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

Grants will be aimed at innovative California choreographers who reflect both the cultural and aesthetic diversity of contemporary dance. The resulting works will have their world premiere public performances in the Bay Area between December 2012 and December 2015.

Proposed commissions in any genre will be accepted. Applicant organizations must be nonprofit and based in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma.

“Contemporary dance is branching out in many directions, and California choreographers are often leading the way forward,” says Tom Layton, president of the Gerbode Foundation. “These grants will give some extraordinary artists and Bay Area arts organizations the support to create new dance works in a variety of forms and styles.”

John E. McGuirk, director of the Performing Arts Program at the Hewlett Foundation, says, “For more than a decade, the Gerbode and Hewlett foundations have partnered to commission dynamic new artworks and make them available to diverse audiences.”

Applications for the 2011 Choreographer Commissioning Awards are currently available online at Completed applications must be submitted to the Gerbode Foundation no later than 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, 2011. An advisory panel of dance experts from across the U.S. will review all the proposals, and final selections will be made by the Gerbode Foundation. Grantees will be announced in January 2012.

For questions regarding the awards program’s guidelines and application, please contact The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation’s Manager of Special Awards, Olivia Malabuyo Tablante, 111 Pine Street, Suite 1515, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-391-0911,

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 Program
For over 20 years, the Gerbode Foundation has made innovative grants through its Special Awards Program to San Francisco Bay Area arts institutions to commission new works by gifted individual artists: playwrights (including Tony Kushner of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Angels in America”), choreographers (such as Joanna Haigood and Erika Chong Shuch), composers (John Adams, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Lou Harrison among them), as well as 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 artists who are up-and-coming. The grants have supported artists at critical junctures in their careers, enabled local nonprofit arts organizations to develop and premiere substantial new works, and enriched Bay Area audiences, readers, and viewers by giving them first access to ambitious, original creations.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, and population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of all the Hewlett Foundation’s grants can be found here.

The Foundation’s 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 goals are to ensure that exceptional works of art are created, performed, and preserved, and to provide more opportunities for participation in arts experiences. The Program supports artistic expression and its enjoyment through grantmaking to a wide range of high-quality arts organizations in one of the most culturally diverse regions in the country. The Hewlett Foundation currently supports over 200 arts organizations throughout the Bay Area. Both the scale of funding and the singular nature of multiyear general operating support have made the Hewlett Foundation a key investor in the cultural life of the Bay Area.