The Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions: supporting the creation and premiere of 50 exceptional new works by world-class artists in partnership with Bay Area nonprofit organizations.

Launched in 2017 in honor of the Hewlett Foundation’s 50th anniversary, the five-year, $8 million initiative awards 10 commissions annually in five performing arts disciplines. These artworks will bring communities together in the Bay Area and go on to inspire, engage, and challenge audiences across the country and around the world in years to come.

Learn more about the initiative

How to apply

Frequently asked questions

Dance & Movement-based Performance

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Joanna Haigood
Dancers’ Group
"The People’s Building" uses movement to investigate the history of San Francisco City Hall.
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Ishmael Houston-Jones
Circo Zero
"TRY," an experimental dance that aims to subvert traditional notions of race and masculinity.
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Margaret Jenkins
Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
"Global Moves," a collaborative dance project exploring isolation and xenophobia around the world.
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Yayoi Kambara
Japanese American Citizens League
"IKKAI means once: a transplanted pilgrimage," a dance project about Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
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Liz Lerman
Green Music Center
"Wicked Bodies (Sonoma)," a dance-theater piece exploring depictions of women’s bodies across history.
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Patrick Makuakāne
Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu
"MĀHŪ," hula dance theater celebrating the role of transgender people in ancient Hawaiian society.
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Prumsodun Ok
Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants and ARTogether
"A Deepest Blue," a piece about humanity’s relationship with our threatened oceans.
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Alleluia Panis
Filipino-American Development Foundation
"Nursing These Wounds," a dance performance about the impact of colonization on Pilipinx health and caregiving.
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Vanessa Sanchez
Brava! for Women in the Arts
"Ghostly Labor," a work about the history of Chicana and Native women working in the US-Mexico borderlands.
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Amara Tabor-Smith
EastSide Arts Alliance
"This too shall pass," part of a dance-theater project about the sex-trafficking of black women and girls in Oakland.

Theater, Spoken Word & Musical Theater

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Brenda Wong Aoki
CAAM
"J-Town, Chinatown, Our Town," a work about personal and community history in San Francisco.
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Rafael Casal
YBCA
“The Limp,” a performance piece at the intersection of musical theater, spoken word, and hip hop.
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Marcus Gardley
California Shakespeare Theater
"A Thousand Ships," a play about the Richmond shipyard workers of WWII.
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Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Destiny Arts Center
"The Black (W)hole" an elegy for Oakland youth killed before they turned 30.
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Taylor Mac
Magic Theatre
"Calamity Joy," a play about the founder of Christian Science and the playwright's mother.
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Weyni Mengesha
Stanford Live
"Treemonisha," a reimagining of Scott Joplin's ahead-of-its-time opera.
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Michael “Quess?” Moore
PolicyLink
“We, the 100 Million,” choreo-poems about inequity in the U.S.
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Salomón Santiago
Teatro Vision
“Alas y Raices (Wings and Roots),” a community-driven work about migration.
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Árpád Schilling
The Imaginists
"The Gun," a play exploring the role of guns and gun violence in American society.
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Karmina Šilec
Kitka
“BABA,” a vocal theater work about the “sworn virgins" of the Balkan highlands.

Music Composition

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Michael Abels
Kronos Quartet
“At War With Ourselves” explores race relations in America
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Taylor Eigsti
Community School of Music and Arts
“Imagine Our Future,” a jazz piece crowdsourced from students
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Jake Heggie
Music at Kohl Mansion
“Violins of Hope Bay Area Project,” using historic instruments
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Laura Kaminsky
Opera Parallèle
“Today it Rains,” an opera inspired by the life of Georgia O’Keeffe
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Dohee Lee
Peralta Hacienda
“MU巫: 9 Goddesses,” a mythological performance ritual
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Jimmy López
Cal Performances at UC Berkeley
"Dreamers," on the U.S. immigrant experience
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Meredith Monk
Mills College
"Indra's Net," a soundscape connecting people with nature
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Huang Ruo
Del Sol String Quartet
“Angel Island Oratorio,” inspired by immigrant poetry
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DJ Spooky
The Internet Archive
“Quantopia,” an acoustic portrait of the Internet
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Miguel Zenón
SFJAZZ
“Golden City Suite,” rooted in San Francisco's communities

Folk & Traditional Arts

Coming 2020

Film & Media

Coming 2021

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