Hewlett Foundation awards sum for artistic, educational programs

The Burbank Center for the Arts has received a $240,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to help underwrite its artistic and educational programs over the next three years.

"That funding is on par with the support Hewlett gives to Cal Performances and Stanford Live Arts," said David Fischer, the center's executive director. "So it really is a recognition of the quality of our arts programs."

The grant, based on a series of criteria including "improved audience development," will help underwrite jazz and classical programs and expand the center's educational programs for children.

"We're the largest arts education provider in Northern California," Fischer said.

Last year, the Burbank Center for the Arts received a $70,000 grant from the Hewlett Foundation on a trial, one-year basis. The foundation then invited the center to apply for the three-year grant.

The Hewlett Foundation grant is the second gift received by the performing arts center this year. The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced a grant of $25,000 to the center for its outreach programs to the Latino community.

"The two grants combined are equal to about 1 percent of our annual budget," Fischer said.

The Burbank Center for the Arts has an annual operating budget of $8.5 million, which includes operating costs, programming, education and maintenance, he said. In addition, the center's annual capital budget for building improvements is about $300,000.

In 2001, the Santa Rosa Symphony received a $150,000, three-year grant from the Hewlett Foundation to help fund its subscription season, including a performance of Sir Michael Tippett's "A Child of Our Time."

The Hewlett Foundation supports nonprofit endeavors in education, performing arts, population, environment, family, community development and U.S.-Latin American relations.

Diane Peterson

Features, The Press Democrat

I’m interested in the home kitchen, from sheet-pan suppers to the latest food trends. Food encompasses the world, its many cultures, languages and history. It is both essential and sensual. I also have my fingers on the pulse of classical music in Sonoma County, from student mariachi bands to jazz crossover and symphonic sounds. It’s all a rich gumbo, redolent of the many cultures that make up our country and the world.

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