The Artistic Legacy Grant acknowledges the impact of an artistic director that has served San Francisco-based arts and culture organization consistently for 25 years or more. The awardee is recognized as a vital member of the community they serve and has a history of working to educate the broader community on the importance of their culture and/or artistic genre.
Learn more about past awardees below.
ethnic backgrounds. Founded in 1993, La Pocha Nostra is devoted to erasing the borders between art and politics, art practice and theory, artist and spectator. For 30 years, LPN has intensely focused on the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generations as an act of radical citizen diplomacy and as a means to create “ephemeral communities” of rebel artists. Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and Artistic Director of La Pocha Nostra (LPN). His performance work and 21 books have contributed to debates on cultural, generational and gender diversity, and border culture.
Anne Bluethenthal (she/her) has been bridging dance and community-engaged art for over three decades. Advancing justice and equity through bold, nuanced performance works that tackle subjects from globalization and climate change, to genocide and gender violence, Anne believes that relationships are the first site of social change. Her ongoing program, Skywatchers, brings artists into durational, collaborative relationships with residents of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, interrogating the poverty industrial complex and positioning community voices in the civic discourse through the arts.
Joanna Haigood, co-founder and artistic director of the renowned aerial dance company Zaccho SF, has been pioneering aerial dance and site-specific works for the past 40 years. Her innovative work involves in-depth research into the history and the character of sites, often involving local communities in the creative process, and typically integrates aerial flight and suspension as ways of expanding performers' spatial and dynamic range. Her work has addressed social justice topics like mass incarceration, police violence, housing insecurity, and racial inequity. Based in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point, Zaccho SF’s 2018 project Picture Bayview Hunters Point was deeply aligned with their goals of serving their community. As director and choreographer, Joanna led a year-long process of community programs and events where 300 community members participated in sharing their dreams for the future of their beloved home, Bayview Hunters Point. Community members’ stories were included in the audio score and video, and five members of the community were featured in the live performances.
Joan Pinkvoss, co-founder and co-director of the non-profit feminist publishing company Aunt Lute Books, has spent the last 37 years fostering the works of writers whose voices have been marginalized in the mainstream publishing world—helping to make their important works available to communities of readers who hunger for writing that reflects their own experiences. Under her founding vision—and thanks to a dedicated staff, a caring Board, and savvy funders—Aunt Lute Books has encouraged authors to take risks in form and content, enlarging the world of literary engagement across cultures, sexualities, class and age and has supported authors’ works through community readings, panels, and workshops, both locally and throughout the United States.
Patrick Makuakāne, founder and director of the Hawaiian dance company Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, is a creative force in the hula world and is well known for his vibrant and innovative choreography. Grounded in tradition and the fundamentals of hula, his artistry brings this dynamic dance form to a new level. He proves that tradition and evolution can coexist in surprising and meaningful ways. Founded in 1985, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu (“the many feathered wreaths at the summit, held in high esteem”) is committed to teaching and preserving Hawaiian culture through hula and educational workshops in Hawaiian language, history, arts and crafts. The company has performed throughout California and nationally.
Alleluia Panis is the driving force behind Kulintang Arts, Inc. (Kularts) and a respected elder artist in the United States and the Philippines, at home in both Pilipino tribal and traditional arts and American contemporary forms. She has performed for over 25 years with various choreographers and companies and has created full-length dance theater works that have been performed on main stages in the US, Europe, and Asia. Alleluia is deeply inflluenced by indigenous Pilipino art and history. Her choreographic inventions are drawn from the exquisite articulation of Pilipino indigenous ritual dances, the muscular grace of the warrior Pilipino blade-fighting system, and the dynamic physicality of contemporary dance. A recipient of numerous grant awards, she has collaborated with various artists in theater, film, and dance. Alleluia Panis’s enduring legacy is that of a catalyst for the awakening of the indigenous selves of Pilipino artists whom she has mentored over the years.