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The Creative Work Fund notes with great sadness the sudden passing of Jess Curtis, who was awarded three Creative Work Fund grants to collaborate with Counterpulse (2006), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2010),  and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired (2022) (project website here). We join the Bay Area arts community in remembering Jess’s powerful presence in our lives and on our stages. Jess embodied what we care so much about in the Creative Work Fund: artists in active, authentic working partnership with organizations, constituents engaged in artist work, and artists creativity and problem-solving abilities centered in the work.  Jess showed us how the making of art can strengthen a community and challenge artistic imagination and organizational thinking.

Several of Jess’s closest family, friends, and collaborators came together to share this offering:

“With great sadness and love we share the tragic news that Jess Curtis died unexpectedly on Monday, March 11, in San Francisco. Jess was doing one of the things he loves most, riding his bike in the Presidio with a long time close friend. It appears that Jess had a heart incident, collapsed, and died quickly. A few friends met at the hospital to spend time with his body. Jess’ community of friends and peers is deep and wide. The positive impact of his creative work will be felt for years. Earlier that same day Jess expressed gratitude for the wonderful life and network of friends he was enjoying.  We are all in shock and deep grief. Details about Jess’ memorial will be shared soon.  WHAT IS REMEMBERED, LIVES.”

We send strength to Jess’s family and community, and are grateful for the role he played in our lives.