Hewlett Foundation Awards $17 Million to Bay Area Arts Consortiums

September 21st, 2021

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation on Monday announced that it will award $17 million to more than thirty San Francisco–area nonprofit arts groups. The money is part of the foundation’s Adaptation Grants program, and is aimed at assisting groups with implementing plans in support of future financial and structural stability. The awards respond to a recent study by Northern California Grantmakers showing that 48 percent of Bay Area nonprofits have reduced or ceased operations as the Covid-19 crisis continues to grind on. Additionally, arts organizations in the region must contend with ballooning rents, as well as with issues surrounding access to the arts. The funding is meant to provide organizations with the flexibility to change to meet unforeseen challenges such as the pandemic.

“The pandemic is just the latest crisis to rock arts organizations in the Bay area, already one of the most challenging places to be an artist. To thrive, and not just survive, arts groups need room to experiment and adapt to changing economic, technological, and cultural conditions,” said Emiko Ono, director of Hewlett’s Performing Arts program, in a statement. “These grants provide runway for that innovation, and have the potential to carve a new path forward for the arts sector so that the Bay Area can benefit from a vibrant and equitable cultural landscape.”

The awards vary in size from $300,000 to $975,000, with each equivalent to several years of funding for the receiving organization. The grantee, whose work spans a range of disciplines have all engaged in planning exercises ahead of the awards, focusing on incorporating services such as mental health care and youth services into their work, and on increasing support for arts workers.

Ono praised the recipients as “embody[ing] the engaged, responsive, and innovative work that makes the culture sector vital to the economic and social health of our communities.” A full list of grantees is below.

Aimusic SchoolAlliance for California Traditional ArtsArts Council Napa ValleyArts Council Santa Cruz CountyAsian Improv aRtsAXIS Dance CompanyBrava! for Women in the ArtsCreate CACalifornia County Superintendents Educational Services AssociationCenter for Cultural InnovationCinnabar Arts CorporationCounterPulseDance PalaceDancers’ GroupDestiny Arts CenterEast Bay Center for the Performing ArtsEast Oakland Youth Development CenterEl Teatro CampesinoEPACENTERFresh Meat ProductionsGolden Thread ProductionsIntertribal Friendship HouseLa Peña Cultural CenterLos Cenzontles Cultural Arts AcademyLuna Dance InstituteMovimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA)Performing Arts WorkshopRYSE CenterSan Jose TaikoSangam Arts (now Mosaic America)School of Arts and Culture at MHPSonoma County Economic Development Board and FoundationThe Imaginists