About the Special Awards Program

Since 1987, The Gerbode Foundation has made innovative grants through its Special Awards Program to San Francisco Bay Area arts institutions to commission new works by gifted individual artists: playwrights (including Tony Kushner of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angels in America"), choreographers (such as Alonzo King and Alleluia Panis), composers (John Adams, Carla Kihlstedt, and Marcus Shelby among them), as well as visual artists, poets, and multi-media artists.

In a time of cultural shifts and fiscal insecurity in the arts, these coveted, nationally respected awards have helped underwrite culturally and aesthetically diverse, acclaimed new works by prominent artists and artists who are up-and-coming. The grants have supported artists at critical junctures in their careers, enabled local nonprofit arts organizations to develop and premiere substantial new works, and enriched Bay Area audiences, readers, and viewers by giving them first access to ambitious, original creations.

The Special Awards cycles are announced annually in May. Applications for the Special Awards are due in late August and awards are announced the following January.


Press Release:

Gerbode and Hewlett Foundations Announce 2013 Music Commissioning Award Recipients

Read the press release as a PDF»

January 21, 2014


View Special Awards Recipients 1987 through 2013 here.

Photo: Doug Slater G. Brad Lewis courtesy of Trust for Public Land Phil Spalding III courtesy of Trust for Public Land
Photo credits

Photography Credits

We gratefully acknowledge those whose images appear on our web site:

Photo by:
Doug Slater
Photo by:
Doug Slater
Photo by:
G. Brad Lewis
- courtesy of Trust for Public Land
Photo by:
Phil Spalding III
- courtesy of Trust for Public Land