A selection of publications produced as part of Art Design Chicago 2018.

Art Design Chicago 2024 Publications Grants


Art Design Chicago, now in its second iteration, is a platform for collaboration and collective action to explore and elevate Chicago’s rich visual-art and design histories and creative communities. Art Design Chicago 2024 offers new opportunities to examine and share the multiplicity of voices and stories that contribute to the city’s dynamic artistic identity and cultural history.

As part of Art Design Chicago 2024, the Terra Foundation is offering grants for book-length publications that contribute new insights and knowledge about Chicago’s diverse makers, and art and/or design histories specifically related to the initiative’s focus.

Publications grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are expected to be used to enhance the quality of a publication or to reduce its retail price, making it accessible to a larger audience. Specifically, the funds may be used to underwrite editing and production costs such as editorial research; obtaining and clearing rights for pictures; color reproduction of images; commissioned diagrams, drawings, or photography; high-quality printing and manufacturing; design; and other aspects of publication. Awarded funds will be disbursed when the project is in the closing stages of production—final galley proofs or the equivalent.

Requirements & Priorities

To be considered for a grant, projects must:

  • Offer significant original scholarship;
  • Be under contract for publication and scheduled to be published by the end of 2024; and
  • Undergo a process of peer review. Organizations that do not have a peer-review process in place may use the Terra Foundation’s manuscript assessment form, which should be completed by at least two qualified reviewers.

The Terra Foundation encourages projects that:

  • Feature the work of diverse makers and address creative practices and communities that have not previously, or recently, been the subject of close study;
  • Open up new contexts for thinking about Chicago’s art and design histories (and by extension US art and design histories) by bringing a diversity of voices to the topic, and through interdisciplinary or comparative approaches, for example; and
  • Bring attention to collections that are significant to Chicago’s art and design history, making these resources better understood.


Summer 2022 Awards
Letter of Inquiry: December 7, 2021
Proposal: March 2, 2022

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.


Chicago-based organizations and those based elsewhere in the United States or abroad may apply for a publication grant. The Terra Foundation only accepts proposals from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status or the international equivalent, and does not make grants to commercial publishers or to individuals.

Organizations that are invited to submit a formal grant proposal must include with their application a copy of the completed manuscript and two peer reviews of it.

The following are not eligible for grant support:

  • Commercial publishers and individuals;
  • Projects that focus on architecture, the built environment, or urban plan;
  • Exhibition catalogues as they are supported through exhibitions grants;
  • Collection handbooks, publications that primarily feature a single private or commercial collection, and catalogues raisonnés; and
  • Capital expenditures and internal staff and overhead costs.

Visit our “How to Apply” page for application details. If you have questions about Chicago Art & Design Grants after reviewing the Art Design Chicago FAQs page, please contact Program Director, Chicago Grants and Initiatives, Jenny Siegenthaler, at [email protected].

How to Apply

The Terra Foundation for American Art has moved its grant making to an online system. With the new system, grant seekers will benefit from a streamlined application process. Review the Grants FAQ page for additional information on the online application process.

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). 
  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.

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. The online LOI will require the following information:

  • Brief statement of the organization’s history and mission
  • Concise description of the publications project
  • 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 2024 publications grant using this link: Apply here.

A prospective applicant can expect to hear from the foundation within three weeks of receipt of its letter.

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.

Download Sample Proposal Form here.