Collections Grants

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.

Recognizing current and historical inequities in presentations and understandings of American art history, the Terra Foundation encourages permanent collection projects that address these disparities and exclusions at institutions worldwide. 

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. 

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. 

We anticipate that individual grants will range between $25,000 and $75,000.

What We Fund

Grants will offset planning and/or implementation costs for:

  • 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)
  • temporary exhibitions drawn primarily from an institution’s permanent collection
  • permanent collection reinstallations*

*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 comprised primarily of loans, please see our Exhibitions grant program.

Priorities and Goals

The Terra Foundation supports visual arts projects with a focus on art of the United States and Indigenous art of North America that question and broaden understandings of American art and transform how its stories are 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, and communities who have been systemically excluded from narratives, practices, and presentations of 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.


For this program, the Terra Foundation accepts proposals only from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status or its international equivalent. Only the project organizer(s) may apply for support; if co-organizing with a presenting partner institution, the co-organizers must apply jointly. Grants are not made to individuals.

Please note, if an organization has received a Collections planning grant, it may apply for Collections implementation support for the same project.

Through its Collections program, the Terra Foundation is pleased to provide support for organizations to plan and/or present permanent collection reinstallations or temporary exhibitions drawn primarily from an institution’s permanent collection. Grants may be used for costs associated with planning and research (including short-term positions, convenings, advisory committees, etc.); interpretation; signage/labels; artist fees (except for commissions); shipping, crating, couriers, insurance, and loan fees for any loaned objects; construction of temporary gallery walls; conservation/framing; rental equipment; programs and events; marketing; evaluation; and dissemination of research, whether digital or print. We are also happy to support related staff positions (up to 25% of the award amount) and indirect costs (up to 15% of the award amount).

Currently, the Collections grant program at the Terra Foundation does not accept proposals for:

  • the creation or acquisition of existing or commissioned artwork
  • acquisitions or capital expenditures or permanent equipment (including technology, construction other than temporary gallery walls, contracted exhibition or architectural design, exhibition furniture/vitrines, etc.)
  • presentations that are exclusively online
  • presentations previously opened that are touring to new venues
  • projects comprised primarily of loans
  • projects previously declined by the Terra Foundation through this program


Grant support through this program is offered once yearly.

Spring 2025 decisions

Letter of Inquiry: August 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CT
Proposal: October 7, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CT

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)

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 summer 2024, with decisions communicated soon afterward.

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. Please note that grant programs are competitive and that an invitation for a formal proposal does not guarantee funding at any level. Formal proposals must be written in English. All attachments must also be written in English.

Contact Us

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

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