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Funding for New Art Works

The Creative Work Fund joins three Bay Area grantmakers to invite nonprofit organizations and artists to learn about four programs dedicated to commissioning and project grants available to local nonprofits. The four funders are hosting a series of workshops in September.

While each of the four programs has a different focus, they all require applications including project plans and budgets that allocate all or significant portions of the requested funds to paying or commissioning artists. Most of them change the artistic genres funded from year-to-year.

The free September workshops are intended to encourage applications and help artists and organizations understand which grants they are eligible to apply for, as well as which opportunities best suit their goals and ambitions.

“The Bay Area has a well-deserved reputation as a home for exciting new art created both by local artists and by artists who have come here from across the country and around the world to create and present their new works,” said John McGuirk, Performing Arts Program Director at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, one of the grantmakers participating.  “We support these programs because we believe our communities thrive and individuals’ lives are enriched when artists are supported to create and share new works here.”

The East Bay Community Foundation, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will participate alongside the Creative Work Fund. The East Bay Community Foundation’s East Bay Fund for Artists considers applications from organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, while the other three programs have a broader regional scope, encompassing Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Content and speakers vary by workshop, but all or some of the following grant programs will be represented at each event:

  • The Creative Work Fund is a program of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by a generous grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It supports artists creating new works through collaborations with nonprofit organizations. Grants range in size from $10,000 to $40,000, and two-thirds of any award must be invested in artists’ fees or artists’ direct expenses. Applicant organizations and featured artists must be based in or reside any of 11 Bay Area counties. The next letter of inquiry deadline is December 1, 2017 for projects featuring media artists or performing artists.
  • The East Bay Fund for Artists, offered by the East Bay Community Foundation, invites requests for commissioning funds ($500-$8,000) from Alameda or Contra Costa County-based nonprofit organizations with annual budgets under $2 million. These grants must be matched by gifts from individual donors. The next program deadline is February 1, 2018.
  • The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Special Awards in the Arts Program, offered in partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, supports commissions of new works in the performing arts. The Special Awards program next invites applications in dance that are due by November 9, 2017. Applicant organizations must be based in any of 11 Bay Area counties and commissioned artists must reside in California.
  • The Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions are open to nonprofit organizations in 11 Bay Area counties, who can apply for grants of $100,000-$200,000 to achieve their creative visions in partnership with artists who may be based anywhere in the world. In 2018, the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions program will invite letters of inquiry, due in April, for commissioning of theater, spoken word, or musical theater artists.

All seminars are free and open to the public. To attend any of them review the schedule and reserve a space online.