Nonprofit organizations based in the 11 Bay Area counties listed below are eligible to submit a letter of intent as a first step in being considered for an award. Letters of inquiry for the final round of awards in media arts, administered by Creative Capital, are due March 8, 2022.

1. Carefully review the guidelines and ensure your project meets our eligibility requirements.

  • The lead applicant must be a public charity with 501c3 federal tax status.
  • The lead applicant must be based in the San Francisco Bay Area in one of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano or Sonoma.
  • The lead applicant must have a minimum operating budget of $50,000 per year for the last two fiscal years.
  • If the lead applicant’s annual operating budget is less than $50,000, they may apply by partnering with a fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor must have an annual budget of $50,000 or more, and will serve as the lead applicant.
  • The proposed project must be a new performance-based project that centers the use of emerging media arts technologies.
  • The commissioned project must premiere in the San Francisco Bay Area within three years of the award date (by August 2025).
  • The proposed project must NOT be a current grant recipient of a Gerbode Special Award in the Arts or the Creative Work Fund.

To see complete eligibility and application information for the 2022 Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions in the media arts, review the full application handbook for the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions in Media Arts.

2. Review our selection criteria

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by a national panel of media arts experts using the following selection criteria (please note that the first two criteria—Project and Partnership—will be weighted more heavily than the third, Audience):


Project: Conception and Innovation

  • Proposal clearly articulates the subject matter and major theme(s) of the proposed project and explain how the work will illuminate or advance the key theme(s).
  • Proposal demonstrates boundary-pushing, bold, inventive and singular vision in form with the potential to challenge the status quo and spark new conversations in its given field and for the larger arts community.

Partnership: Artist Experience and Organizational Capacity

  • The lead artist’s training and accomplishments demonstrate why they are positioned to be in the distinctive role of lead artist. Proposal communicates the artist’s depth of thought and distinct creative approach to the theme(s).
  • Proposal convincingly shows how the lead applicant, lead artist, and key collaborators have the capacity to fully realize the project, and that the applicant has the financial capacity to fulfill the commissioned project without creating great financial strain on the organization. Strong proposals will give evidence that the project brings together the administrative and artistic resources, knowledge, and team to ensure the project will be created and produced as planned.

Audience: Accessibility and Impact

  • Proposals describes outreach, promotion and community engagement activities (if any), and attends to accessibility, such as disability access, language, ticketing policies, or public events beyond the performance.
  • Proposal describes the intended constituents, participants, and/or audiences for the new work, and describes the impact the proposed project is likely to have on the art form, the cultural community, and/or the artist(s).

3. Select an artist to partner with on the project. Artists may be based anywhere around the world.

4. Review the frequently asked questions, and submit any additional questions you have which you do not see answered there to

5. Complete the online letter of interest via the Creative Capital website between February 1 and March 8, 2022.

Note: If your letter of interest application is selected to move on to phase 2 of the application process, you will be asked to submit a full application that will include a project timeline with team roles, project budget (with projected income and expenses), lead artist biography, and biographies for key collaborating artists.  If your project is then selected as one of the 20 finalists, you will be asked to submit a memorandum of understanding that lays out the rights and responsibilities of the lead applicant, lead artist and (where appropriate) the fiscal sponsor.