BERKELEY and MENLO PARK, Calif.— The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation are pleased to announce a $300,000 fund for the creation and production of new music by California composers. The works are to be commissioned and premiered by Bay Area nonprofit arts organizations that can apply for grants of $50,000 each.

These grants will support projects that accelerate the creative endeavors and advance the work of innovative California composers. The resulting works will have their world premieres in Bay Area public performances between December 2017 and June 2019.

Proposed commissions in all music genres will be considered. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations and based in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma counties.

These music composition awards are the final round in a three-year $900,000 initiative by the Gerbode and Hewlett foundations to support the commissioning of individual artists and to invest in their contributions to new music. Choreographers were supported in 2014 and playwrights were supported in 2015.

“We look forward to seeing the diverse range of music projects in California’s current music scene,” said Stacie Ma’a, president of the Gerbode Foundation. “We are thrilled to once again partner with the Hewlett Foundation in this endeavor and look forward to recognizing and celebrating an exceptional group of innovative music composers.”

John E. McGuirk, director of the Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program, added, “We are pleased to join with the Gerbode Foundation to support California’s composers in the creative process and spur partnerships with local performing arts organizations to showcase new works. We hope these awards will bring even greater vitality to our region’s performing arts and create opportunities for people and communities to participate in the arts.”

Applications for the 2016 Music Composition Awards are available online at Completed applications must be submitted to the Gerbode Foundation no later than 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2016. An advisory panel of music experts from across the country will review all the proposals, and final selections will be made by the Gerbode Foundation. Grantees will be announced in January 2017.

For questions regarding the program guidelines and application, please contact Olivia Malabuyo Tablante, the Foundation’s Program Manager. She can be reached at or (510) 982-4788.

About The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation

The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation is interested in programs and projects offering potential for significant impact. The primary geographical focus is on the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii. The Foundation’s interests generally fall under the categories of arts and culture, environment, population, reproductive rights, citizen participation, building communities, inclusiveness, strength of the philanthropic process and the nonprofit sector, and Foundation-initiated special projects.

About the Special Awards in the Arts Program

For more than twenty-five years, the Gerbode Foundation has made innovative grants through its Special Awards Program to Bay Area arts institutions to commission new works from choreographers, playwrights, and composers. The Special Awards Program has also supported visual artists, poets, and multimedia artists.

In a time of cultural shifts and fiscal insecurity in the arts, these coveted, nationally respected awards have helped underwrite culturally and aesthetically diverse, acclaimed new works by prominent artists and emerging ones. These grants have supported artists at critical junctures in their careers; enabled nonprofit local arts groups to develop and debut substantial, original works; and enriched Bay Area audiences, readers, and viewers by giving them first access to ambitious new creations.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives, concentrating its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. On the web:

The Performing Arts Program is founded on the premise that the experience, understanding, and appreciation of artistic expression give value, meaning, and enjoyment to people’s lives. Its goal is to ensure continuity and innovation in the performing arts through the creation, performance, and appreciation of exceptional works that enrich the lives of individuals and benefit communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It currently supports artistic expression and its enjoyment through grantmaking to a wide range of over 200 Bay Area arts organizations.

Contact: Stacie Ma’a, President, Gerbode Foundation, 510-982-4788,
Heath Wickline, Communications Officer, Performing Arts Program, Hewlett Foundation, 650-234-4662,

June 23, 2016

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