The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced a five-year, $8 million commissioning initiative for Bay Area performing arts organizations.
In celebration of the foundation's fiftieth anniversary, the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions initiative will support the creation and premier of fifty works through grants to local nonprofit organizations working in partnership with exceptional artists. Over the next five years, the foundation will award ten commissions annually in each of five disciplines, starting this year with commissions that support music composition in a variety of genres, including jazz, contemporary and classical music. Future years will focus on theater, dance, folk and traditional arts, and film and media.
Although they need not be an arts producer or presenter, nonprofit organizations interested in participating in the program must be headquartered in one of eleven Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The foundation also is encouraging nonprofits that serve disadvantaged or historically marginalized communities to apply. Recipients of the first ten commissions will be announced in November 2017.
"We believe strongly that the arts are vital for individuals to flourish and neighbors to forge new bonds of understanding," said Hewlett Foundation president Larry Kramer. "With the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, we're honoring our founders' commitment to the arts and ensuring that communities around the Bay Area and nationally will continue to have access to world-class performances."