In 2003, a small group of volunteer civic leaders began a conversation about the way Silicon Valley looks, feels and invests in its community. By 2007, a growing network of cross-sector leaders was engaged in the conversation and 1stACT Silicon Valley was formed to help create a sense of place and cultural identity in one of the most broadly diverse, culturally transformative, world-changing, and economically significant regions of the world.
In October 2007, the Knight Foundation invested $3.5M in 1stACT Silicon Valley’s place making agenda. With urban design and arts and culture as strategies for building community and increasing attachment to “this place,” 1stACT began catalyzing change—a formidable challenge fueled by large immigrant populations connected to some place else, a suburban development pattern that divides the region, and an entrepreneurial culture that thrives on constant churn.
With its initial roots dating back to September of 2003, 1stACT Silicon Valley has been planting its seeds for quite some time. Below is a timeline of key milestones that provide context for the genesis of the organization and its transformation to a nonprofit in January of 2008.
Timeline of Key Milestones:
September 2003 - Arts and Culture Roundtable gathering of board members at Children's Discovery Museum; Economic Impact Study published.
November 2003 - Gathering of regional leaders at the Hewlett Foundation
February 2004 - ALF Board of Director's adopts 1stACT as its first network-wide initiative
Spring 2004 - First Voice and Arts Alliance created to populate Arts Summit
May 2004 - Arts Summit held
Summer 2004 - 1stACT Founders group formed; Arts Council Silicon Valley assumes role of fiscal agent
March 2005 - CEO Leadership Advisory Council formed
October 2005 - Creativity Matters Conference held and 1stACT initiatives take shape
Summer 2006 - Vision for Downtown San Jose: Silicon Valley's City Center released. Over 2,000 people attend 80 briefings, including Mayoral candidates
August 2006 - Global Leadership Forum takes place as part of Zero One
March 2007 - 1stACT Business Plan completed and submitted to Knight Foundation
September 2007 - 1stACT assumes Cultural Initiatives 501(c)(3). 1stACT forms Board of Trustees with Bruce Chizen as Chair. 1stACT hires Connie Martinez as Managing Director. Knight Foundation announces $3.5M investment in 1stACT
January 2008 - 1stACT officially opens its doors