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 is inviting grant requests for the creation of resources that serve research and learning, to be presented as part of Art Design Chicago. Recognizing current and historical inequities in presentations and understandings of American (and Chicago-focused) art histories, the Terra Foundation encourages projects that address these imbalances and exclusions.
To be considered, projects should contribute new insights and knowledge about the visual arts and/or design of Chicago, whether historical or contemporary. Projects focused on contemporary art should offer a reflective and critical engagement with histories and/or art histories associated with Chicago.
We anticipate that individual grants will not exceed $25,000.
What We Fund
Uses of grant funds may include but are not limited to:
- Print Publications
- Digital Resources to amplify research and narratives that are significant to the visual arts and/or design of Chicago, including online exhibitions and web features, illustrated essays, and blog series, etc.
Projects should include plans for wide dissemination and activation, sharing findings and providing sustained access to resources.
Priorities and Goals
The Terra Foundation supports visual art projects that question and broaden understandings of American art and transform how stories of American art are told. We encourage projects that:
- generate knowledge and interpretive frameworks that reflect the range and complexity of American (and Chicago) art and design and their 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-focused) art and design
- commit to inclusive and equitable practices across project development and implementation in order to lead to structural change.
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.
For projects connected to Chicago-focused exhibitions, please apply through the Art Design Chicago Exhibitions program.
Fall 2023 Awards
Letter of Inquiry: May 15, 2023
Proposal: August 15, 2023
Spring 2024 Awards
Letter of Inquiry: August 11, 2023
Proposal: November 3, 2023
Grant proposals will be reviewed by an external panel of arts professionals with a diverse range of backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches.
How to Apply
Organizations interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to start the process by reaching out to Jenny Siegenthaler at [email protected]
The grant application process is three-part:
- Before submitting a formal proposal to the Terra Foundation, prospective applicants must complete a letter of inquiry (LOI) using the following link: Link forthcoming.
- After reviewing the letter of inquiry, the foundation may invite the submission of an online formal grant proposal.
- 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 letter of inquiry. A prospective applicant can expect to hear from the foundation within 3–4 weeks of receipt of their letter.
Prospective applicants must complete the Art Design Chicago Research & Learning Resources Grants Letter of Inquiry.
All letters must be written in English.
Download a sample PDF Art Design Chicago Research & Learning Resources Grants form (forthcoming; please check back soon), for reference only.
After a 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. Formal proposals must be written or translated in English. All attachments should also be written or translated into English.