This week the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced it would be celebrating its 50th anniversary doing what it has always done, but in a big way. They’re launching the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, an $8 million project that will help fund 10 ‘exceptional works of performing arts’ and their premiere in the Bay Area for the next five years. Non-profits from the 11 counties of the Bay Area can partner with artists and performers from around the world. John McGuirk, Director of their Performing Arts Program gives the details.

There’s more information about the project at the Hewlett Foundation website.

“Five years, five different disciplines,” McGuirk explains. “The first year is music, in a wide variety of genres and aesthetics, including jazz, contemporary, classical, musical scores, folk and traditional music. In future years we’ll focus on theater, dance, folk and traditional arts, and film and media. So we’ll cycle through each year with a different discipline.” There are ten awards each year, ranging between 100-thousand and 200-thousand dollars. In its 50 year history, the Hewlett Foundation has brought more than 350 million dollars to arts organizations in the Bay Area (including granting funds to KDFC). “The founders had a very strong commitment for the arts, and the vibrancy of our local communities. The foundation has held that value for the past five decades, and in celebration of their golden anniversary this year, the commissioning program will initiate.”