The Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) distributes annual grants combining both donor-restricted legacies and CVCF’s own discretionary funds. Competitive grants provide an opportunity for local agencies to seek funding to support new programming, expand audience outreach, develop new materials and engage the next generation of artists, donors, leaders, and supporters.

Our 2017 Arts and Culture grant cycle focused on storytelling through film, which led us to create The Big Tell: a film contest featuring undiscovered stories from California’s great Central Valley.

Ten grants of $5,000 were awarded to local filmmakers to produce mini-documentaries about life in the Central Valley; stories that shine a light on the incredible people and places that make our region so extraordinary. These are authentic, nonfiction mini-docs tell stories of triumph, redemption, grit, hardship, inspiration, perseverance, family, friendship, innovation, community, resilience, pride, humor, fear, and/or hope.

We received overwhelming support from our first showcase that we decided to also focus our 2018 Arts and Culture grant cycle to continue to tell stories from our Central Valley.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for photos of The Big Tell Showcase and YouTube to see the 10 amazing mini-docs that were showcased.

We are so grateful to Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) for their partnership on The Big Tell. All local and aspiring filmmakers can become members of CMAC for access to training and tools including production studio, private editing suites, meeting rooms, classroom space, and a computer lab, along with a variety of portable production gear. Please visit to learn more about available resources.

Needle & Thread

Filmmaker: Orlando J. Gomez

Avenal, the Oasis in the Sun

Filmmaker: Antony V. López

Raisins Made with Love

Filmmaker: Sarah Linder Gonzales

Preying on Innocents

Filmmaker: Zachary Green

One Step at a Time

Filmmaker: Jes Therkelsen

Transformation in the Central Valley

Filmmaker: Floyd Sanchez

Valley of Murals

Filmmaker: Carissa Garcia & Sam Contreras

Just Stuff

Filmmaker: Karen Dusek


Filmmaker: Rippin Sindher

Last year, over 600 people came our to enjoy our very first showcase at the Historic Warnors Theatre. Below our last year’s winners of The Big Tell Showcase: