Creative Capital Partners With Hewlett Foundation on Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions

Grants will support artists working with Bay Area organizations on ten new projects in media arts, including multimedia, technology, and digital art.

New York, New York (December 16, 2021)—Creative Capital announced that they will partner with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to administer the fifth and final round of the foundation’s Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, supporting Media Arts. The Hewlett Foundation will award ten grants of $150,000 each. The grants will be awarded to Bay Area nonprofit organizations to commission artists in the development of major new performance-based projects that center the use of emerging media technologies. With more than 20 years of experience developing open applications for artists to submit project ideas for funding, Creative Capital will collaborate with the Hewlett Foundation to build an online application, to produce applicant information sessions, and to promote the open call. Creative Capital will steward the application process and recommend a group of finalists from which the Hewlett Foundation will select 10 projects to commission.  

“The Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions we’ve awarded so far are funding the creation and premiere of fantastic artistic projects across the San Francisco Bay Area. All of them highlight themes, communities, and disciplinary practices that exemplify the power of the arts” said Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program Director Emiko Ono. “We’re excited to be able to work with Creative Capital, a visionary and artist-focused organization, to steward the implementation of these new awards for projects at the leading edge of media arts.”

“The impact of Hewlett Foundation’s 50 Arts Commissions on the arts ecosystem in the Bay Area has been enormous,” says Christine Kuan, Creative Capital President & Executive Director. “We are excited to partner with the Hewlett Foundation to identify and support the creation of innovative new work in media arts, which will continue to have a transformative impact on the way we imagine the future.”

Launched in 2017 in honor of the Hewlett Foundation’s 50th anniversary, the five-year, $8 million Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions are a symbol of the foundation’s commitment to artistic expression and public engagement with the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each year, the foundation provides grants of $150,000 each to 10 Bay Area nonprofits to bring world-class art in one of five performing arts disciplines to communities across the Bay Area.  The foundation’s hope is that the commissioned projects will go on to inspire, engage, and challenge audiences across the country and around the world in years to come. A minimum of $50,000 of each grant goes directly to the commissioned artist, and the balance of the grant will fund the development and production of the commission.

Eligible 501(c)(3) public charities must be based in one of the 11 Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma). Applicants do not need to be arts-focused organizations, and the Hewlett Foundation encourages nonprofit organizations working on diverse issues to consider submitting an application. The foundation also encourages organizations that serve disadvantaged or historically marginalized communities to apply. Successful proposals will represent an authentic collaboration between organization and artist. Lead artists will receive a minimum of $50,000 from the award as their commissioning fee.

This final round of the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions will support traditional performance, social practice, or time-based projects that center the use of media arts technologies, including but not limited to electronic, computational, algorithmic, robotic, software, sonic, projection, digital, data, cyber, web, immersive, XR, virtual, crypto, and AI elements. Feature and documentary film projects are not eligible.

A full set of application materials for this final round of the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions will be available on Creative Capital’s website in mid-January.

Creative Capital is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fund artists in the creation of groundbreaking new work, to amplify the impact of their work, and to foster sustainable artistic careers. Founded in 1999, Creative Capital pioneered a transformative grant-making model that marries direct funding to individual artists working in the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film, technology, socially engaged and multidisciplinary forms, with infrastructure and scaffolding support. Our pioneering efforts have impacted not just artists, but the arts ecosystem as a whole. The Creative Capital model of philanthropy has inspired countless other nonprofits investing in the long-term, sustainable careers of artists. More than 75% of our recent awardees are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or artists of color representing a wide range of age groups, artistic disciplines, and regions. Our awardees have received prestigious honors and other accolades, including: 127 Guggenheim Fellowships, 19 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships, 3 Academy Awards and 13 nominations, and 1 Booker Prize.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, make the philanthropy sector more effective, and foster gender equity and responsive governance around the world. Today, it is one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the United States, awarding over $465 million in grants in 2020 to organizations across the globe to help people build better lives. To learn more, visit

Jennifer Liu
Digital Manager, Creative Capital
[email protected]