Arts Education: 2012-2019

Kathyrn Rummel/Rapt Productions


Nurturing an interest in the arts among young people brings many benefits to society, ranging from cognitive growth and social bonding for individuals to cross-cultural understanding and economic activity for communities.

Effective arts education can nurture a lifelong interest in the arts, build audiences for the future, and — particularly through the public education system — reach a broad segment of students at a critical time in their development. Under our Arts Education grantmaking strategy, the Hewlett Foundation sought to provide equal access for California students to engage in the arts at every level, from introductory programs to professional training. The Performing Arts Program made grants under this strategy from 2012 to 2019 as part of our overall strategic framework during that period.

We continue to support much of the work we funded under this strategy through our current Youth grantmaking.


Program delivery

Increase the number of California students learning about the arts. We aim to fund the most effective arts education programs in school, after school, and out of school.

Policy and advocacy

Encourage public investment at the state and local levels to promote arts education. We make grants to organizations that raise awareness among parents and educators, develop research to inform policymakers, and help set priorities and standards for arts education in schools.

Pre-professional training

Provide exceptionally talented young people opportunities to receive world-class training and flourish. We support pre-professional training organizations that prepare future artists in a variety of disciplines and nurture the next generation to contribute to the Bay Area’s vibrant artistic community.

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