Hewlett Foundation Gives $25 Million to San Francisco Arts Companies

Classic Arts News   Hewlett Foundation Gives $25 Million to San Francisco Arts Companies
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will donate $10 million to the San Francisco Opera and $5 million each to the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco-based American Conservatory Theater.

In a statement, the foundation said that the San Francisco Opera plans to use the $10 million for its endowment in order to support new works, education, technology and its young artists training program.

The San Francisco Symphony will use its $5 million to support its education programs, including "Adventures in Music," which was established in 1988 to fill the gap caused by declining music education in public schools. According to the statement, the program reaches every San Francisco public school student.

The grant will also support the SFSO's "Concerts for Kids" program, which reaches over 30,000 students per year, as well as instrument-training programs and a complimentary student ticket program.

The San Francisco Ballet will use its $5 million for its new works endowment.

The grants are intended to mark the Menlo Park, California-based Hewlett Foundation's fortieth anniversary of philanthropy in the arts, which it will celebrate next year. During those four decades, the foundation has provided more than $188 million to nearly 1,900 organizations, most of them in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the statement.

A $50,000 grant to the San Francisco Symphony in 1967 was one of two that inaugurated the Hewlett Foundation's support of Bay Area cultural institutions.

"This is a commitment that has broadened and matured through the years," said Moy Eng, director of the Hewlett Foundation's Performing Arts Program, which last year awarded nearly $15 million in grants. "Today, the program has stretched far beyond support for traditional cultural mainstays such as symphonies and ballet companies to embrace the wide-ranging cultural diversity that now signifies California."

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