For over 60 years, The San Francisco Foundation has recognized inspiring Bay Area leaders through our Community Leadership Awards.
This year’s Community Leadership Awardees, as individual and organizational leaders, are addressing some of the most pressing issues in our region: ensuring that no one is left on the brink by creating pathways to financial security and academic achievement, and by preserving cultural programs and supporting artists and in the Bay Area.
We publicly affirm their present achievements, seek to encourage further work on the part of the recipients, and hope to motivate others to follow their lead in service to Bay Area communities.
More About our 2014 Awardees
Headlands Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary arts center supporting artists and engaging visitors in the creative process. Located in Golden Gate National Park in the Marin Headlands, it provides a singular context for the development of new ideas and artwork in conversation with the Bay Area’s vibrant arts community and inspiring natural environment, shaping unique creative experiences for artists and audiences. In its 30-year history, Headlands has supported over 1,000 artists, creating opportunities for meaningful connection between the best and brightest artists making work today and the region. In just 2013, Headlands provided 48 artists working in and across disciplines with fully supported residencies of 4-10 weeks; subsidized studio space to more than 20 Bay Area artists; provided studio fellowships for promising MFA graduates in partnership with esteemed Bay Area institutions; and held 30 public events and open studio opportunities to build a public dialogue about art in society. Awarded The San Francisco Foundation Community Choice Award, made to an organization demonstrating exemplary commitment to creating greater equity and opportunity in the Bay Area. Headlands Center for the Arts, represented by Board Member and former Artist-in-Residence, Chinaka Hodge, rose to the top of a group of twenty finalists through TSFF’s inaugural online community choice vote.
Linda Tillery is a Bay Area legend: an ethnomusicologist, producer, percussionist, arranger and vocalist, educator and beloved performer. A San Francisco native, she founded the Cultural Heritage Choir twenty years ago to bring African diasporic music to Bay Area audiences, as discovery and cultural healing for African American communities, and as education and connection for many others. Linda believes that restoring cultural history restores community health, ensuring African American culture the opportunity to survive and thrive. In the last twenty years, the Cultural Heritage Choir has reached audiences in 24 countries and three continents, and collaborated with a number of Bay Area community organizations. Awarded the Helen Crocker Russell Award, made to an under-recognized, mature artist who has made a significant and ongoing contribution in the Bay Area.
Luis Granados has been dedicated to launching innovative strategies that create greater equity and opportunity for low- to moderate- income Latino families in San Francisco for over 20 years. In 2011, the Mission District held the highest concentration of Latinos in the City, where the poverty rates for children were 50% higher than the city average; Latinos had a graduation rate of only 60%, compared to the city’s overall average of 86%; and only 12% of the students at one high school were on track to be college-ready upon graduation. In 2012, as Executive Director of Mission Economic Development Agency, Luis spearheaded the launch of Mission Promise Neighborhood, an innovative approach to address academic achievement and family economic success simultaneously. He has built partnerships with SFUSD and a community-wide coalition of 26 non-profit organizations to create a cradle-to-career continuum of services that create comprehensive services for families in the Mission District. Finally, to ensure that clients had the highest rates of success, MPN partners had to integrate their services together. Luis is working hand-in-hand with other neighborhood organizations to transform the Mission District and set an example for how communities can provide children and families with greater opportunity. Awarded the Robert C. Kirkwood Award, made to an individual in recognition of outstanding community service, commitment, and inspired leadership.
Mission Asset Fund creates pathways out of the financial shadows. Every day, they help line cooks and house cleaners across the Bay Area save money with better credit and less debt. They exist because people who are financially excluded lack access to banks and mainstream credit, leaving them with no good options when they need loans. Seven years ago, MAF developed the Lending Circles credit-building social loans programs to take lending and borrowing activity that occurs naturally on the financial fringes, and link social lending with the modern banking system. When low-income families are able to build credit scores and credit histories, it means they can build their financial capital and future by starting successful small businesses, eliminating high-cost debt, buying homes, and away money so that their kids can go to college. Awarded the John R. May Award, made for organizational initiatives in response to a significant contemporary problem.
Awards are $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 awards for organizations.
Nominations are vetted by Foundation staff and the Awards Committee, a panel of community leaders from throughout the Bay Area, which reviews nominees and recommends finalists to the Board of Trustees, which selects the winners. Winners are notified in the fall.