Ranked Nonprofits: Local Arts & Culture 2010

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Art is the imagination expressed through the senses. -Anonymous
Art is the imagination expressed through the senses. -Anonymous

The Cause: In the 1960s, there was an explosion of nonprofit arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1961, before the birth of the national Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco passed a law to require part of the hotel tax to go to funding the arts. Over time, each Bay Area region evolved to have different kinds of arts and culture groups across all disciplines, styles, and ethnicities: jazz, classical, folk, performing arts, choreography, visual arts, literary arts, poetry, film, video, and so on. In fact, at one point, the San Francisco Bay Area was second only to New York in terms of having the largest number of dance companies. Therefore, with decades of support and development, the vibrancy and variety among the arts in the Bay Area has led to a unique texture in the cultural fabric of this region. Today there are hundreds and hundreds of arts and culture nonprofits, of all sizes and varieties, all across the Bay Area.

The Scope: Bay Area arts and culture experts were asked to recommend nonprofits that could be developing or producing new work, be focused on performance, preservation and promotion of traditional culture, have an educational component, provide arts grants, serve any age or type of audience, have any budget size, and/or represent any genre or discipline of art. Read more about the scope of the research here: http://www.myphilanthropedia.org/blog/2010/03/08/bay-area-arts-and-culture/


127 Local Arts & Culture experts recommended the following 21 outstanding nonprofits.
Meet the experts and read more about this research.


Top Nonprofit Mission
1 Medal-small-2010 Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Berkeley Repertory Theatre seeks to set a national standard for ambitious programming, engagement with its audiences and leadership within the community in which it resides.
2 Medal-small-2010 Intersection for the Arts
Intersection pursues innovative models and strategies in order to assert the role that cultural space plays in building and re-building community. In fact, our work has always kept ever-evolving notions of "community" at its core. With the shifting dynamics of technology, time, audiences, and social space, we seek ways of forging deeper and more relevant connections. We believe that art can animate and engage community and neighborhood spaces like nothing else.
3 Medal-small-2010 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents contemporary art from the Bay Area and around the world 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.
4 Medal-small-2010 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a dynamic center for modern and contemporary art. The museum strives to engage and inspire a diverse range of audiences by pursuing an innovative program of exhibitions, education, publications, and collections activities. International in scope, while reflecting the distinctive character of our region, the museum explores compelling expressions of visual culture.
5 Medal-small-2010 Theatre Bay Area
Theatre Bay Area’s mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, working on behalf of our conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a healthy and truly democratic society, and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth.
6 Medal-small-2010 Youth Speaks
Youth Speaks empowers the next generation of leaders, self-defined artists, and visionary activists through written and oral literacy. We challenge youth to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of social change.
7 Medal-small-2010 Oberlin Dance Collective (ODC Theater)
ODC's mission is to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance.
8 Medal-small-2010 San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony sets the highest possible standard for excellence in musical performance at home and around the world; Enriches, serves, and shapes cultural life throughout the spectrum of Bay Area communities; Maintains financial stability and gains public recognition as a means of ensuring its ability to fulfill its mission.
9 Medal-small-2010 Joe Goode Performance Group
The Joe Goode Performance Group promotes understanding, compassion and tolerance among people through the innovative use of dance and theater, as interpreted by the artistic vision and work of Joe Goode.
10 Medal-small-2010 Axis Dance Company
AXIS Dance Company's mission is to create and perform contemporary dance that is developed through the collaboration of dancers with and without disabilities; to teach dance and educate about collaboration and disability through community education and outreach programs; and to promote and support physically integrated dance locally, nationally and internationally.
11 Medal-small-2010 Z Space Studio
Z Space's mission is: new voices for a new era.
12 Medal-small-2010 Dancers' Group
Founded in 1982, Dancers' Group assists and supports the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) dance community by creating a nexus of resources, expertise and knowledge. Working to advocate for dance in the SFBA and beyond, we assist in the creation and production of engaging, original dance. Dancers' Group serves artists at multiple stages in their careers, and assist dancers, choreographers, teachers, funders, dance companies, students, writers, critics and audiences in the passionate pursuit and enjoyment of art.
13 Medal-small-2010 CounterPulse
CounterPULSE provides space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPULSE acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, catalyzing transformation in our communities and our society. We work towards a world that celebrates diversity of race, class, cultural heritage, artistic expression, ability, gender identity & sexual orientation. We strive to create an environment that is physically and economically accessible to everyone.
14 Medal-small-2010 Southern Exposure
Opportunities for creative expression are integral to a healthy society. Southern Exposure's unique programs nurture a broad range of innovative, risk-taking contemporary art in an accessible environment. As an artist-run organization, Southern Exposure reaches out to diverse audiences, and serves as a forum and resource center providing extraordinary support to the Bay Area's arts and educational communities.
15 Medal-small-2010 Shotgun Players
Shotgun Players exists to create fearless, provocative, relevant theatre.
16 Medal-small-2010 Performing Arts Workshop
Performing Arts Workshop is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression, and basic learning skills through the arts.
17 Medal-small-2010 Alliance for California Traditional Arts
ACTA promotes and supports ways for cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future by providing advocacy, resources, and connections for folk and traditional artists.  Folk and traditional artists are tradition bearers: people who transmit what they believe, know, do and create with others who share a common heritage.  From Ohlone basketry and African-American quilt-making to cowboy poetry and Vietnamese opera, California is home to hundreds of diverse traditions.
18 Medal-small-2010 TheatreWorks
TheatreWorks is one of America’s outstanding professional theatres. Our work celebrates the human spirit through innovative productions, new works, and education programs inspired by and engaging our diverse Silicon Valley community.
19 Medal-small-2010 Playwrights Foundation
Playwrights Foundation is dedicated to discovering and supporting local and national American playwrights across a broad spectrum of artistic and career positions, in the inception and development of new plays that speak to and from an increasingly diverse society. Founded on a deeply held belief that the relevance and vitality of American theater depends upon a continual infusion of new work, Playwrights Foundation sustains a commitment to the playwright, who we regard as the creative wellspring of theater.
20 Medal-small-2010 Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA)
MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.
21 Medal-small-2010 Cutting Ball Theater
To develop productions of experimental new plays and revisioned classics with an emphasis on language and images


Check out all nonprofit reviews for Local Arts & Culture (Bay Area).

Have questions about these results? Review our methodology.





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