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.
Bay Area arts and culture experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, government officials, etc.) identified 21 top arts and culture nonprofits (out of 190 total reviewed nonprofits) working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Experts were asked to recommend nonprofits that are developing or producing new work, are focused on performance, preservation and promotion of traditional culture, have an educational component, serve any age or type of audience, have any budget size, and/or represent any genre or discipline of art.
Philanthropedia surveyed 127 Bay Area arts and culture experts (with an average of 22 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest impact in the arts and culture field. We believe a high-impact arts and culture nonprofit is one which is successful at creating or producing something of value to those who care about the arts and culture. A high-impact arts and culture nonprofit is able to contribute to the field by creating meaningful work and/or helping others develop an appreciation for the arts and culture.
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