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Exceptional Works of Art

Shotgun Players

Shotgun Players presented the 2009 production of This World in a Woman's Hands by Marcus Gardley and directed by Aaron Davidman.  The actresses pictured (left to right) are Dena Martinez, Margo Hall and Beth Wilmurt.  Photo courtesy of Jessica Palopoli.


The Performing Arts Program makes grants to ensure that the San Francisco Bay Area remains a place for exceptional works of art. As the area's largest funder of the performing arts, the Hewlett Foundation supports more than two hundred nonprofit organizations and artists.

We strive to:

  • Ensure that arts organizations are financially stable and effectively managed
  • Reduce barriers for artists, both those that spring from the region's high cost of living and those that result from scarce artistic resources
  • Increase the quality and diversity of the art created and performed in the greater San Francisco Bay Area

With Hewlett Foundation support, for example, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet revamped its board of directors, created a strategic plan, and was able to stabilize its celebrated contemporary ballet company. Grants providing unrestricted support, such as those that went to Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, allow these organizations to remain healthy.

Even with strong organizations and dynamic artists, the public's engagement in the arts is crucial to sustaining a healthy arts community. Recognizing the importance of starting this relationship early, the Program is in partnership with Hewlett's Education Program to invest in arts education.

The Performing Arts Program is not accepting unsolicited Letters of Inquiry for its Exceptional Performances grantmaking at this time. We encourage Bay Area performing arts grantseekers to explore funding opportunities provided with intermediaries and regranters with which we partner.