In celebration of the their fiftieth anniversary, the Hewlett Foundation has announced a new five-year, $8 million commissioning initiative that will be one of the largest of its kind in the United States: the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions. The initiative will support the creation of 50 new performing arts works and their premiere in the Bay Area through grants of $100,000 to $200,000 to Bay Area nonprofit organizations. Eligible nonprofit organizations, which must be based in one of the eleven Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma), will receive funding to achieve their creative vision in partnership with the commissioned artists.
Ten commissions will be awarded annually in each of five performing arts disciplines from 2017 to 2021. For 2017, the commissions will focus on music composition, including but not limited to chamber, choral, contemporary, folk, and symphonic music, as well as jazz, opera, musical scores, sound art, and traditional musical practices from around the world. Future years will focus on: theater, spoken word, and musical theater (2018); dance, multi-disciplinary performance art (2019); folk and traditional arts (2020); and finally, film and media (2010).
To apply, organizations should submit a short letter of intent describing the proposed project. The most competitive applicants will be asked to complete an in-depth proposal for their project, and Hewlett Foundation staff will make the final decision about winners of the awards. Letters of Inquiry are due by April 14. Winners of the first awards will be announced in November 2017.