Convening Grants

Recognizing current and historical inequities in the presentations and understandings of American art history, the Terra Foundation encourages convenings that address these disparities and exclusions at institutions worldwide. Grant funding is available for programs that foster exchange and collaboration, such as workshops, symposia, and colloquia. Programs should advance innovative and experimental research and professional practice in American art and address critical issues facing the field. We also welcome requests for convenings intended to inform projects in their early stages, which will benefit from the learning and practice that can be developed through dialogue.

For convenings and education programs connected to permanent collection reinstallations or temporary exhibitions, please apply through the Collections program and Exhibitions program, respectively. (Note: Letters of inquiry for exhibition-related convenings that take place before the exhibition opens should be submitted through the Exhibitions program as a request for planning support.) Please contact us if the timing of your convening does not meet the requirements of these programs.

This program is open to organizations within and outside of the United States. Convenings held in person and/or online are eligible for support.

  • 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.
  • Projects with a primary goal of influencing practice change should also demonstrate an engagement with the field of American art.
  • Convening grants are typically between $10,000 and $25,000 unless an award outside this range is warranted by unusual circumstances.
  • Up to 20% of a Terra Foundation grant may offset direct administration costs; and up to 15% of a grant may be applied to indirect costs.
  • The Terra Foundation prefers not to be the sole outside contributor to an event.

While the Terra Foundation welcomes recurring requests over time, organizations that submit applications in subsequent years should note that the foundation aims to fund a broad array of organizations. Due to this program’s competitive nature, prior support does not ensure the acceptance of subsequent requests.

Priorities and Goals

The foundation supports visual arts 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 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


The foundation only accepts proposals from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status or the international equivalent. Convening grants are not made to individuals.

These programs are intended for scholarly and public audiences. Programs designed primarily for the general public, travel grants, fellowship programs, research databases, and capital expenditures are not eligible for funding through this program.


Fall 2023 Awards

For programs taking place after January 1, 2024:

Letter of Inquiry: April 3, 2023
Proposal: June 16, 2023

Summer 2024 Awards

For programs taking place after September 1, 2024:

Letter of Inquiry: December 8, 2023
Proposal: February 23, 2024

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.

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.

This program has two Letter of Inquiry deadlines each year, one in spring and one in winter.

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: 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.

Prospective applicants must complete the Convening Grants Letter of Inquiry.

All letters must be written in English.

Download a sample .pdf Convening Grants Letter of Inquiry, 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. 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 Convening Grants, please visit the Grant FAQs page or contact [email protected].