An assessment of our Performing Arts Program grantmaking strategies

Senegalese born Master Choreographer and dancer Oussenou Kouyate in action at the Oriki Arts performance at the 2022 Black Family Day celebration, Oriki Arts. (Danny McLane/Jamii Enterprises)
Our 2020 strategic framework centers the role of the arts and artists in cultivating thriving Bay Area communities and establishes a wide view of what it means for the Hewlett Foundation to support a healthy arts ecosystem. It envisions our role as a supporter of a wide variety of artistic forms and cultural practices, particularly so in communities where resources from Hewlett and other funders have been largely absent. 
When we developed the strategic framework, it was important to the Performing Arts team that we be rigorous in implementing the plan and be open about our progress (or lack thereof). For this reason, we commissioned a midpoint “pulse” evaluation by Arabella Advisors to assess the implementation of our strategic framework thus far. We asked them to help us understand to what degree we were delivering on the goals it outlined, assess the extent to which the Performing Arts Program has been responsive to grantee needs, and consider whether refinements to our strategic priorities were merited. They found that our grantmaking is aligned with our strategy and our values, and they heard a clear call from grantees for Hewlett to raise our voice in support of critical issues for the arts sector. We’re sharing their full report now with a spirit of shared learning and accountability.

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