Art Design Chicago 2024 Convening Grants

Painting of a gray skyscraper with four tiers. The top tier crumbles, chunks of cement and a man falling into the cavern the building sits in. The background is black with bright yellow at the horizon line.

Roger Brown, The Big Jolt, 1972. Oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2019.1 Image: Courtesy Roger Brown Study Collection


Art Design Chicago is a platform for collaboration and exchange developed with cultural practitioners throughout Chicago. The initiative seeks to catalyze transformative approaches to co-creation and community engagement and stimulate expansive narratives of Chicago art and design, past and present.

The Terra Foundation invites proposals for convenings to be presented as part of Art Design Chicago. Recognizing current and historical inequities in presentations and understandings of American (and Chicago) art history, the Terra Foundation encourages convenings that address these disparities and exclusions.

To be considered, programs should focus on the visual arts and/or design of Chicago, whether historical or contemporary, including Native American arts of the region. Contemporary art programs should offer a reflective and critical engagement with histories, arts, and/or art histories associated with Chicago contexts.

The foundation prefers programs that take place in the Chicago metropolitan area and that are free of charge.

What We Fund

Grants are available for convenings that generate new contexts for thinking about Chicago art and design (and by extension American art and design), and that are developed to advance research and teaching in the art history and humanities fields, or professional practice in museums and other cultural settings. Convening formats could include, but are not limited to, workshops, symposia, and colloquia. Convenings held in person and/or online are eligible for support.

The foundation welcomes convenings that are designed to lead to the development of future projects, such as publications or digital humanities projects, and that are documented to reach a wider audience if appropriate.

Convenings should be scheduled to take place before the end of 2024.

We anticipate that convenings grants will range between $5,000 and $25,000.

Priorities and Goals

The foundation supports visual art projects that question and broaden understandings of American art and transform how stories of American art are told. We encourage convenings that:

  • generate knowledge and interpretive frameworks that reflect the range and complexity of American art and its histories through the diversity of artists represented, voices included, and stories told
  • center artists, scholars, and communities who have been systemically excluded from narratives, practices, and presentations of American (and Chicago) art and design
  • commit to inclusive and equitable practices across project development and implementation in order to lead to structural change

Additionally, for this grant program, we encourage projects that bring attention to collections that are significant to Chicago’s art and design history, ultimately making these resources better understood.


The Terra Foundation only accepts proposals from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status and does not make grants to individuals. The Terra Foundation does not accept proposals for capital expenditures.


Summer 2023 Awards
Letter of Inquiry: December 7, 2022
Proposal: March 2, 2023

If the foundation responds to a letter of inquiry by requesting a proposal, the organization applying for a grant will be expected to complete an application. See “How to Apply” below.

How to Apply

The grant application process is three-part:

  1. Before submitting a formal proposal to the Terra Foundation, prospective applicants must complete a letter of inquiry (LOI) using this link: Art Design Chicago Convening Grants Letter of Inquiry
  2. After reviewing the letter of inquiry, the foundation may invite the submission of a formal online proposal.
  3. Formal grant proposals undergo a review process before final decisions are made by the foundation’s Board of Directors.

Review the FAQ for additional information on the online application process.

Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

A letter of inquiry must precede any formal grant proposal to the Terra Foundation; formal proposals are accepted only by invitation of the foundation after review of the online letter of inquiry. A prospective applicant can expect to hear from the foundation within three weeks of receipt of its letter.

The online LOI will require the following information:

  • Brief statement of the organization’s history and mission
  • Concise description of the convening(s)
  • Objectives of the project
  • Other organizing partners and funding sources and amounts contributed for the project, if relevant
  • Total cost of the project and the grant amount requested

Submit a letter of inquiry for an Art Design Chicago Convening Grant using this link: Art Design Chicago Convening Grants Letter of Inquiry

Download a .pdf ADC Convening Grants Letter of Inquiry form, for reference only.

Formal Proposal

After the letter of inquiry is reviewed, prospective applicants may be invited to submit a formal proposal through the online system. Please note that an invitation for a formal proposal does not guarantee funding at any level.

Contact Us

If you have questions about Terra Foundation Convening Grants, please visit the  Art Design Chicago FAQs or contact [email protected].