Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people. Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants.
ALONZO KING’S LINES BALLET, founded in 1982, is a San Francisco-based performing company that creates works of illuminating beauty and shares them with the widest possible audiences. Grounded in artistic excellence, LINES’ original and innovative work uses the language of dance to express the essence of the human experience and to reveal the spirit that animates all forms. Creating work with artistic collaborators from around the globe, LINES seeks to exemplify human nobility, power and grace.
LINES Ballet will receive $275,000 over four years to diversify its audience by building upon a 25-year history of artmaking that lends itself to cultivating relationships with specific communities. LINES Ballet stretches and renews the traditions of Western dance and creates new work in collaboration with artists representing widely varying world cultures and art forms. The nature of LINES’ work is structurally inclined to open the doors to new relationships with communities of color, cultural communities, and other groups. Project goals are to expand awareness of LINES Ballet, increase the diversity of its audience, increase its audience base, and garner repeat audiences through strategies related to marketing and outreach.
The CENTER FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA (CAAM) was founded in 1980 by independent filmmakers, media activists and educators to address the lack of presence and participation in media of and by Asian Americans. CAAM is the leading Asian American media arts organization in the world and a premiere Bay Area arts and culture organization. Annually, CAAM supported films reach over 10 million viewers on public television, its San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) attracts over 30,000 Bay Area audience members and is the largest festival of its kind in the world, and its educational distribution program serves over 2,000 universities, K-12 schools and libraries around the nation.
CAAM will receive $514,000 over four years from The Wallace Foundation to support a new strategic initiative utilizing advances in digital media to broaden and diversify its audience base for the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. In order to broaden SFIAAFF audiences, CAAM will build interest groups and virtual communities on existing social networking sites and offer exclusive content and opportunities for members on these sites to engage with the Film Festival online and ultimately increase participation at the Film Festival itself. CAAM’s efforts to diversify its audience base centers on the creation of collective, multi-media installations at the Film Festival. Each year of this project, CAAM will select a distinguished media artist to work with and target community members will have the opportunity to submit photos, cellphone videos, comments and other media that speak to the evolution of Asian America and their place in it. The installation will be built over the course of six months preceding and during the 11 days of the Film Festival and exhibit in the Film Festival lobby and subsequently online.
The CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM (CJM) with the opening of its new building in June 2008 will usher in a new chapter in its 20-plus year history of engaging audiences and artists in exploring contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. The new facility, designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, will be a lively center where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather to experience art, share diverse perspectives, and engage in hands-on activities. Inspired by the Hebrew phrase “l’chaim” (to life), the building is a physical embodiment of the Museum’s mission to bring together tradition and innovation in an exploration of the relevance of Jewish culture and tradition in the 21st century.
The Contemporary Jewish Museum will receive a grant of $410,000 over four years for its Family Outreach Initiative. The Initiative is designed to broaden and diversify the CJM’s family audience by building awareness of the Museum as a resource for families of all backgrounds, eliminating financial barriers to participation, and creating a diverse offering of programs designed to attract and engage San Francisco families. The heart of the Initiative is Family Passports, a free admission program for families that includes incentives for repeat visitation. Other components of the Initiative include interactive family programming and special events, family-friendly amenities, a parents’ advisory board, community collaborations, and an integrated marketing and communications strategy targeted to diverse families and children from throughout the city.
THE FINE ARTS MUSEUMS OF SAN FRANCISCO (FAMSF) is one of the premier arts institutions in the United States, existing to provide the community and region with the highest quality exhibitions, programs, education and outreach possible, and to care for, interpret, and foster the continuing development of San Francisco’s art collections. Its mission includes a mandate to initiate exhibitions that serve and engage broad audiences, exposing visitors to diverse artistic styles and cultures. In addition, the Museums are dedicated to playing a central role in arts education by engaging in original research and providing extensive and innovative educational programming. As the Bay Area’s major comprehensive fine arts museum, FAMSF – formed in 1972 with the merger of the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor – offers over 1.6 million visitors each year an overview of artistic achievement spanning ancient times to the present.
The Fine Arts Museums will receive $750,000 over the next four years to support “Cultural Encounters at the New de Young,” a year-round series of three interrelated and interconnected programs designed to attract new and diverse audiences to the museum while broadening understanding of and appreciation for the art on display in the permanent and temporary exhibition galleries. Cultural Encounters consists of 1) Artists’ Studio, 2) Connections, and 3) Friday Night at the de Young. Organized and implemented in collaboration with a host of community partners, these year-round programs are intended to engage traditionally non-museum going audiences through culturally inclusive programs offered during expanded museum hours that will allow target audiences to attend at times more suitable to their lifestyles and schedules.
ODC/ SAN FRANCISCO founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, is an international arts organization with deep roots in the community. It is comprised of a world-class, contemporary dance company, a landmark theater/presenting organization, and a school that serves professional, pre-professional, and recreational dancers across a broad spectrum of genres and aesthetics. The Company, created at Oberlin College to facilitate artistic investigation, collaboration and communication, relocated to San Francisco in 1976, establishing a dynamic environment for a life in contemporary art, bucking modern dance’s dominant paradigm of a performing life spent mainly on the road. In 1979, ODC was the first modern dance company in the country to build its own facility. ODC expanded on its original visionary purchase by building and opening the Dance Commons in October 2005. Tripling ODC’s classroom, rehearsal, and performance space, the Commons is fast becoming the most significant contemporary dance resource on the West Coast and a national destination for artists and arts enthusiasts.
ODC will receive $610,000 over four years for its project called Zip Zip Dance. Its endeavor is guided by zip code and age range, targeting the population between 25-45 years of age living within their own 94110 Zip Code. The key goals are to build a neighborhood derived program, employing a variety of person-to-person strategies, generating a wealth of information about how word-of-mouth / viral marketing works in their community. Additionally, a goal has been set to network new participants together, offering them sustainable “newcomers forums” and thoughtfully conceived interest groups which will help build fluency with contemporary performing arts and arts related activities. The strategy focuses on each part of the organization for a year: first, the School program to support the growth of the new Dance Commons; then the Theater in conjunction with its imminent renovation and grand re-opening in 2009; and finally, the Dance Company in 2011 in celebration of it 40th anniversary season.
SAN FRANCISCO GIRLS CHORUS (SFGC) founded in 1978 and fast approaching its 30th anniversary season, provides an intensive, international-caliber music education for 300 girls from all cultural and economic backgrounds. Its Chorus School training sequence of four levels prepares graduates for professional-level performances, including Chorissima, the Chorus’ 3-time Grammy Award-winning performing, touring, and recording ensemble. Along with musical training, the Chorus teaches life skills – an understanding of true excellence and what it requires; determination; focus; desire for success; teamwork; poise; and leadership. SFGC awards need-based scholarships to one third of its members annually, and commissions at least one new choral work each year. Since 2005, SFGC has owned and operated the Kanbar Performing Arts Center, a busy and vibrant home base for many of the City’s arts organizations.
With a grant of $464,000 over four years from The Wallace Foundation, the San Francisco Girls Chorus will build new audiences and increase participation in choral music by reaching out to classical music patrons, families with young children, and young adults with a new series of free performances, new web-based arts education materials, a new Artist-in-Residence program, and commissions of three major choral works. SFGC will also further implement and develop comprehensive marketing strategies, increase its self-produced concert offerings and its co-productions with major arts organizations; and initiate a mentoring program for university music students.
SFJAZZ, founded in 1983, is a recognized international leader in jazz creation, presentation, and education. SFJAZZ presents a full schedule of concert and education programs each year, with artists ranging from internationally renowned jazz masters to Bay Area-based rising talents. Through the annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, SFJAZZ free outdoor Summerfest Series, the SFJAZZ Collective all-star resident and touring ensemble, and an array of youth and adult education programs, SFJAZZ shares the magic of jazz with more than 100,000 people annually.
SFJAZZ will receive $600,000 over four years to implement the Discovery Project, a constellation of initiatives designed to broaden attendance among SFJAZZ concert patrons ages 18-34. The project will create casual and welcoming opportunities for current participants – and those inclined to participate but not currently doing so – to sample and become familiar with music from the broad range of artists SFJAZZ presents. Project components include: the Discovery Lounge, a mobile listening pavilion staffed by young jazz docents; the Online Discovery Lounge, a multimedia resource center of music samples, video samples, links to artist web sites, and more; Jazz Discovery Parties taking place in popular settings and led by well-known San Francisco personalities; and the Discovery Series, concerts featuring young artists that are curated for and marketed to younger audiences through age-appropriate media channels and word of mouth.
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (SFMOMA), founded in 1935, is among the world’s leading museums for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. SFMOMA engages and inspires a diverse range of audiences through an innovative program of exhibitions, education, publications, and collections activities. International in scope, while reflecting the distinctive character of its region, the Museum presents more than twenty exhibitions and over 300 education programs annually. The Museum’s distinguished collection comprises over 26,000 works of painting and sculpture, photography, media art, and architecture and design. The Museum welcomes more than 560,000 visitors a year from San Francisco, neighboring communities, and countries around the globe, as well as over 2,600,000 visitors to its website.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will receive a grant of $750,000 over four years to research, develop, and market new on-site, online, and community programs for families with young children. These will include onsite participatory art activities led by Bay Area artists and educators; print and online interpretive resources including a multimedia guide to SFMOMA’s collection and galleries; and partnerships with established San Francisco community organizations to provide programs on- and off-site around the Bay Area. These initiatives will take into account the particular socio-economic demographics of San Francisco and the Bay Area, the changing nature of families, and arts participation by families, in this city and region. The Museum will specifically target Bay Area families with children ages 4 through 11 to increase their cultural and visual literacy, help foster a lifelong enjoyment of the visual arts, grow civic participation, and build audiences for modern and contemporary art.
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA has been an integral part of the Bay Area’s cultural landscape since 1922 when its inaugural season was produced at Stanford University. Each season the Opera presents an average of 75 mainstage performances and offers numerous free community outreach events throughout the Bay Area. The Company boasts an internationally acclaimed training and professional development program – the Adler Fellowship Program – under the auspices of San Francisco Opera Center. The Opera Guild’s education programs annually reach close to 50,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade in more than 150 Bay Area schools. The Opera’s Koret-Taube Media Suite, the first in-house media suite of any American opera company, maximizes the Opera House’s technological possibilities while bringing the art of opera to new audiences through simulcasts, podcasts, radio broadcasts, DVDs and CDs.
San Francisco Opera will receive $750,000 over four years to support its research efforts directed toward families with young children ages 6-12 and young adults ages 25-40. Recognizing these target markets as the audience of the future, the goals of this project are to cultivate demand and increase participation. Research will inform the marketing strategies for the following outreach initiatives: family-oriented productions; free simulcasts in venues such as performing arts theaters, outdoor neighborhood parks, and university stadiums; and BravoTix, the Opera’s young adult, special-priced ticket program.
WORLD ARTS WEST produces the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and People Like Me Arts Education Programs, presenting local artists representing over 100 distinct cultural and ethnic heritages. Since 1978, the organization has worked with over 600 dance groups throughout Northern California, providing leadership in broadening public awareness of world dance and music and in encouraging artists to sustain their distinct traditions for the benefit of future generations. Each year, World Arts West’s programs provide the opportunity for more than 25,000 audience members to connect with their own cultural heritages and those of others, promoting cultural understanding. The organization aims to increase cultural literacy and its website has become a greatly utilized source nationwide for information about world dance and music, especially the curriculum materials for parents and teachers created to enrich the arts education programming.
For many years, the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in June has sold-out nine performances at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Three distinct Festival shows have been produced each year, with entirely different artists performing, and three performances of each show per weekend. The Festival artists are selected from a series of open auditions each January, with over 2,500 local artists participating. With $464,000 funding over four years, World Arts West will expand the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival from three to four weekends in June, producing an additional fourth show which will run on an added fourth weekend. This long-awaited expansion will broaden the Festival’s audience and increase visibility and support for the many ethnic dance companies presented.
YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS (YBCA) was founded in 1993 out of a need for a state-of-the-art, accessible, downtown venue devoted to contemporary visual art, performance and film/video representative of San Francisco’s diverse cultural and artistic perspectives. Distinguished by its support for artists from the Bay Area and around the world, YBCA presents contemporary art that reflects the profound issues and ideas of our time, expands the boundaries of artistic practice, and celebrates the diversity of human experience and expression. Over the years, YBCA has commissioned and presented more than 200 world premiere performances, exhibitions and films; helped launch the careers of hundreds of emerging artists; produced nationally-recognized education programs; and supported performances by several hundred Bay Area performing arts groups. By thematically framing its multidisciplinary programs, YBCA seeks to bridge art and ideas at the heart of contemporary cultural discourse and serve as a nexus for cultural activity and community dialogue.
With a grant of $750,000 over four years from The Wallace Foundation, YBCA will increase participation from culturally active Bay Area audiences by implementing a range of marketing and community engagement strategies both onsite and online. With the overarching goal of placing contemporary art at the heart of community life, YBCA will develop and deliver more background and contextual information regarding its artistic programs; create expanded opportunities for audiences to interact directly with the art, artists and each other via new and novel onsite and online initiatives; and utilize technology to provide a niche, customized audience experience.