Performing Arts Program

The Performing Arts Program makes grants to sustain artistic expression and encourage public engagement in the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bill and Flora Hewlett began with a commitment to support key performing arts organizations in San Francisco. Now, the Hewlett Foundation’s diverse Performing Arts Program is one of the Bay Area’s largest funders of the performing arts. This Program continues our founders’ core belief in the power of art to infuse life with meaning, value, and pleasure.

To achieve this goal, our grantmaking is divided into three parts:

  • Continuity and Engagement. Our grants help the Bay Area public to engage in a variety of arts experiences.
  • Arts Education. Hewlett Foundation funding is designed to give California students equal access to an education rich in the arts.
  • Infrastructure. We provide necessary resources to help organizations and artists to be effective in their work.

In addition, our grantmaking is committed to serving diverse and disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area.

The Arts Ecosystem reflects the wide variety of people who create and experience art and who build and maintain the arts organizations that make this work possible. This system includes individuals and public- and private-sector institutions that support the arts, such as individual donors, government agencies, and private foundations. Others play a critical part in the arts environment as well. For example, for-profit arts and entertainment organizations and nonprofit organizations alike support artists and provide venues for arts experiences. In turn, artists create and interpret works in a wide range of disciplines. Finally, the public participates in the arts in a variety of ways. As in any community, these different elements are connected to and influence each another, and their vitality impacts the system’s health. The arts community is also affected by many external factors, including changing demographics, technology, and the economy.

Our Program uses a number of documents to show how we believe these factors interact. The Logic Model illustrates the role we play and the Strategic Framework explains the approach the Program takes within the arts community. Finally, our Selection Criteria explain how we determine whom to consider for funding.

The Program accepts Letters of Inquiry for its Arts Education and Continuity and Engagement grantmaking at this time. For more information, click here. We encourage Bay Area performing arts grantseekers to explore additional resources with these organizations that provide support for arts organizations and individual artists.