Announcing a New Major Grant Opportunity: Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions

This year, in celebration of the foundation’s fiftieth anniversary, we are pleased to announce the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions.

Since our founding five decades ago, the Hewlett Foundation has supported performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area because we believe that art is critical to fulfill human potential and to create thriving communities. This year, in celebration of the foundation’s fiftieth anniversary, we are pleased to announce the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions. This $8 million initiative will enable Bay Area nonprofits to work with outstanding artists from around the world to create 50 new works of performing art of exceptional quality and enduring value and premiere them in local communities.
To learn more about the initiative and how to apply, we invite you to register for our introductory webinar, which will be held on Thursday, January 26 at 10 a.m. PST.
This five-year initiative aligns with our longstanding commitment to providing diverse Bay Area audiences with access to world class performing arts experiences. It is our hope that the new works created will go on to inspire, engage and challenge audiences across the country and around the world in years to come.
Nonprofit organizations based in the greater San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties) may apply for grants ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 to collaborate with outstanding artists from anywhere in the world. This year’s grants will support music composition in diverse genres including but not limited to: jazz, world music, symphonic, contemporary, and choral music, as well as folk and traditional music. Future years will focus on other performing arts disciplines: theater, dance, folk and traditional arts, and film and media.
Organizations do not need to be arts producers or presenters to apply, and we encourage nonprofits working on diverse issues to consider submitting a letter of inquiry. We also encourage organizations that serve disadvantaged or historically marginalized communities to apply. For full details on the initiative, please visit
To apply for a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission, nonprofit organizations must submit a brief letter of inquiry describing the proposed project by April 14, 2017. The most competitive applicants will be asked to complete an in-depth proposal for their project this summer. Recipients of the first 10 commissions will be announced in November 2017.
We’re excited about providing local nonprofit organizations with this opportunity to engage an exceptional artist in developing new works in the performing arts that will speak directly to our diverse Bay Area communities.
Warm regards,
John E. McGuirk
Program Director, Performing Arts
P.S. If you have questions about the initiative, please register to participate in the introductory webinar that will take place on Thursday, January 26 at 10 a.m. PST.