September 21, 2021 at 10:12am

Dancer Ny’Aja of the Destiny Arts Center. Photo: Beatriz Escobar.
Dancer Ny’Aja of the Destiny Arts Center. Photo: Beatriz Escobar.

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 School
Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Arts Council Napa Valley
Arts Council Santa Cruz County
Asian Improv aRts
AXIS Dance Company
Brava! for Women in the Arts
Create CA
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association
Center for Cultural Innovation
Cinnabar Arts Corporation
Dance Palace
Dancers’ Group
Destiny Arts Center
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
East Oakland Youth Development Center
El Teatro Campesino
Fresh Meat Productions
Golden Thread Productions
Intertribal Friendship House
La Peña Cultural Center
Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy
Luna Dance Institute
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA)
Performing Arts Workshop
RYSE Center
San Jose Taiko
Sangam Arts (now Mosaic America)
School of Arts and Culture at MHP
Sonoma County Economic Development Board and Foundation
The Imaginists


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