Arthur Dove, Boat Going Through Inlet, c. 1929, oil on tin, 20 1/8 x 28 1/4 in. (51.4 x 71.8 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2015.6

Stories & News / Press Releases

Terra Foundation Announces $8M COVID-19 Relief Fund for Visual Arts Organizations Engaging with Art of the United States

April 29, 2020

CHICAGO—The Terra Foundation for American Art announced an $8 million commitment to emergency funding and ongoing relief for visual arts organizations impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund provides emergency support to Chicago, US, and international arts organizations, as well as relief over the next two years for arts organizations in the US. The ongoing relief for US museums is in the form of a new two-year grant program for the purpose of funding museums’ collection projects. This multi-year relief effort focuses on supporting visual arts organizations committed to engaging with art of the United States.

“What happens to the future of our arts organizations impacts all of us, and this moment is critical for institutions around the world,” said Joseph P. Gromacki, chair of the Terra Foundation for American Art board of directors. “The Terra Foundation’s board of directors is committed to our partners and their important work to share their collections, engender educational opportunities, and make connections across places and people.”

Grants will be awarded in two phases, an initial emergency response for immediate release to organizations that are part of the foundation’s network of partners, and an ongoing relief effort for US museums.

The first round of emergency relief funding is for up to $4 million to support partners, including:

  • $1 million to support operating costs awarded directly to Chicago-area cultural partners, as well as support for the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund. This fund is a collaboration between the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and the broader philanthropic community, and it is administered by 3Arts and Arts Work Fund.
  • $2.6 million to support operating costs awarded directly to US museum partners and nationwide arts service organizations.
  • $400,000 to support operating costs awarded directly to selected international museums that have been ongoing, multi-year foundation partners.

The second round of relief funding is for up to $4 million, awarded over the next two years. The grants will include funding for:

  • A new responsive grant program for US museums to provide grants to support collection-based projects and exhibitions on American art. Application details will be announced in summer 2020.

“Consistent with the values of the Terra Foundation to be nimble and responsive, we are proud to announce this extensive relief program that addresses the needs of our partners and the field,” said Elizabeth Glassman, president and CEO of the Terra Foundation. “We face these challenges together, and together we will build new communities and fresh programs that provide engagement opportunities as audiences return to museums. It is our responsibility to help our partners continue to thrive.”

“As I begin the move to Chicago and my tenure at the Terra Foundation, I am grateful to be part of this important initiative,” said Sharon Corwin, who will succeed Glassman as the foundation’s president and CEO in September. “Whether in Chicago, across the country, or around the world, institutions face many unknowns as they begin again to welcome audiences. The relief fund and our ongoing grant programs will provide needed support at this critical time while continuing to support conversations on American art worldwide.”

In addition to the Terra Foundation’s COVID-19 relief response, the foundation remains committed to its ongoing grant programs, which support programs and exhibitions on US art internationally, nationally, and in Chicago. The foundation is actively accepting grant applications for exhibition research and development, academic programs, and publications for Art Design Chicago 2024.

About Terra Foundation for American Art

Since it was established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art has been one of the leading foundations focused on art of the United States. Headquartered in Chicago, through its grant program, collection, and initiatives, it is committed to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of American art among national and international audiences. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.

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