The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced plans Thursday to distribute $1.2 million in grants to eight arts organizations in the North Bay that were affected by last year's wildfires.
The one-time fire recovery grants range from $100,000 to $205,000. As unrestricted grants, they may be used according to each nonprofit organization's needs. In some cases the funds will repair damaged facilities, while in others it will replenish revenues lost due to canceled shows.
"Recovering from a disaster isn’t accomplished in a week or a month, and these unrestricted grants will support the ongoing recovery needs of these arts organizations and their communities," said Emiko Ono, director of the Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program.
The organizations receiving grants are:
- Arts Council Napa Valley — Napa County's arts agency.
- Cazadero Music Camp — A 50-year-old music program for kids 10-18.
- Cinnabar Theater — A Petaluma-based performing arts theater started in 1970.
- Knights of Indulgence/ The Imaginists — An experimental theater company based in Santa Rosa.
- Luther Burbank Center for the Arts — A large performance space and education program in Santa Rosa.
- Santa Rosa Symphony — A regional symphony with an international reputation.
- Sonoma County Economic Development Board/ Creative Sonoma — A consulting and advocacy group focused on helping arts organizations in Sonoma.
- Sonoma State University/ Green Music Center — A performance venue on SSU's campus in Rohnert Park.
The several large wildfires in the North Bay that ignited in October of last year burned approximately 245,000 acres in total, and resulted in the deaths of 44 people and an estimated $9.4 billion in property damage. The large artist community in the area suffered significantly, as many artworks, instruments and collections of memorabilia were destroyed. Over six months later, the area is still recovering.
The Hewlett Foundation was founded more than 50 years ago to support institutions and advance ideas that "promote a better world." With assets estimated around $9 billion, it is considered one of the wealthiest grant makers in the nation.