White gallery walls with black and white photographs installed. The exhibition title is set in large type on the nearest wall an says "Installation view FREEDOM: Abstract Expressionism, Tougaloo College and the Civil Rights Movement."
Installation view FREEDOM: Abstract Expressionism, Tougaloo College and the Civil Rights Movement, photo by Mark Geil, supported through a Terra Foundation Re-envisioning Permanent Collections grant.

Collections Grants

Recognizing current and historical inequities in presentations and understandings of American art history, the Terra Foundation encourages permanent-collection projects that address these imbalances and exclusions at institutions worldwide. Please note, this program was previously called Re-envisioning Permanent Collections.

Terra Foundation Collections Grants provide support for organizations to reinterpret and re-present their collections through reinstallations or temporary exhibitions drawn from their permanent collections.

To be considered, visual art projects should focus on arts of the United States, including Native American arts. The projects we support can be focused on historical or contemporary art. Contemporary art projects should offer a reflective and critical engagement with histories, arts, and/or art histories associated with American contexts.

The Terra Foundation encourages proposals from organizations (e.g., museums, art centers, and community-based cultural organizations) of varying sizes and annual budgets and representing the full spectrum of geographic regions, within and outside the United States.

What We Fund

Grants will offset planning and/or implementation costs for:

  • permanent collection reinstallations*
  • temporary exhibitions drawn primarily from an institution’s permanent collection
  • research and planning for permanent collection reinstallations or temporary exhibitions drawn primarily from an institution’s permanent collection (e.g., convenings, travel, research fellows or assistants, advisory groups)

*If you are seeking support for research and planning (e.g., convenings, travel, research fellows or assistants, advisory groups) and/or installation of temporary exhibitions primarily comprising artworks that are not part of the institution’s permanent collection, please see our Exhibitions grant program.

Priorities and Goals

The foundation supports visual arts projects that question and broaden understandings of American art and engage in transforming how the story of American art is told. We encourage projects 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, communities, and audiences who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color as well as narratives that have historically been excluded from American art
  • commit to inclusive and equitable practices across project development and implementation in order to lead to structural change

We also encourage multilingual written materials when possible and relevant to the project and/or its audiences.

Eligibility

For this program, the Terra Foundation accepts proposals only from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status or its international equivalent. If co-organizing a temporary exhibition with a partner museum, the co-organizers must apply jointly. Grants are not made to individuals.

The Terra Foundation does not accept proposals for:

  • acquisitions or capital expenditures
  • exhibitions that are exclusively online
  • exhibitions previously opened that are touring to new venues
  • exhibitions previously declined by the Terra Foundation

Deadlines

Grant support through this program is offered once yearly, with a Board of Directors vote each spring.

Spring 2023 decisions

Letter of Inquiry: August 1, 2022, midnight CST
Proposal: October 14, 2022, midnight CST

The first step in the application process is a letter of inquiry. Those invited to submit proposals will be notified within 3–4 weeks after the LOI due date. The Board of Directors votes on invited proposals in late spring 2023, with decisions communicated to you soon afterwards.

Grant proposals are reviewed by an external panel made up of curators and arts professionals who reflect a diverse range of backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches.

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 the following link: Collections Grants Letter of Inquiry
  2. After reviewing the letter of inquiry, the foundation may invite the submission of an online formal grant 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 letter of inquiry. A prospective applicant can expect to hear from the foundation within 3–4 weeks of receipt of its letter.

Prospective applicants must complete the Collections Grants Letter of Inquiry.

All letters must be written in English.

Download a sample .pdf Collections Grants Letter of Inquiry, for reference only.

Formal Proposal

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.

Contact Us

If you have questions about Collections Grants, please visit the Grant FAQs page, or contact [email protected].