Koret Winter Update: Helping bring back Bay Area arts & culture

Quarterly Update | Dec 2021

Koret Winter Update: Helping bring back Bay Area arts & culture

Quarterly Update | Dec 2021

Over the past nearly two years, COVID-19 taught us many lessons about what really matters. Among them was how vital it is to have access to high-quality local arts and cultural programming. Across the Bay Area, concert halls, art galleries, and exhibition spaces were the first to shutter in March 2020, and many of them remained closed well into 2021. But now, as the Bay Area continues to reopen, the art world is poised to make a comeback.

In line with our commitment to helping our community thrive, Koret announced $2 million in new grants to fund pillar Bay Area arts and cultural institutions—including performance venues, museums, and arts education programs—as they reopen to live audiences. Recipients included distinguished names like Stanford Live, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and more.

This is the first step to helping our community come back, and we recognize it will take a while for these institutions to fully recover. As our President, Michael Boskin, said when the grants were announced: “It’s critical that we support our long-term grantees through the pandemic and beyond, to ensure that they’re not just able to survive, but to thrive, and to continue enriching our community for generations to come.”

Inspired by our grantees:
Stanford Live: Leading the way back to live performances

The events and programming offered by Stanford Live—which was among the 30 grantees in Koret’s newest round of arts and culture funding—are broad and diverse. From string quartets, to ballet companies, to film screenings, the organization presents a wide range of fine art performances from around the world, with the goal of fostering a vibrant learning community and providing distinctive experiences for audiences from all over. Its executive director, Chris Lorway, spoke to Koret about the challenges and the promise of life during and after the pandemic.

“How do we take care of one another as a sector through this period?” he said of Stanford Live’s mindset when the pandemic first hit. “As we scaled things back up, we felt more and more as though we were not only building back audience, but also we were building back community,” Lorway said.

Today, Stanford Live has a vibrant and growing calendar of offerings for its 2021–2022 season, with performances scheduled from symphony orchestras, jazz musicians, comedians, and dozens more.

Read more about Stanford Live and the innovation they’re driving in the arts and culture sector, here

Thoughts & Opinions:
Food banks are strained from both supply and demand

Food insecurity in the Bay Area is an important issue for the Koret Foundation. This holiday season, as food banks and meal services face sustained increases in demand due to the pandemic, inflation and supply chain issues are adding extra strain on organizations and those they serve. In response, Koret made approximately $100,000 in additional grants this month, on top of $1 million that was awarded earlier this year in response to the pandemic. These grants support the seven core organizations that make up our Food Program to enable them to continue their work fighting hunger in the Bay Area: Alameda County Community Food BankGlideJewish Family & Children’s ServicesMeals on WheelsSecond Harvest of Silicon ValleySF-Marin Food Bank, and St. Anthony’s.

Other food program news: