Lecture given in a classroom
Fudan University Workshop on American Art, 2018.

Convening Grants

The Terra Foundation actively supports convenings worldwide that question and broaden definitions of American art. 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.

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

Recognizing current and historical inequities in the presentations and understandings of American art history, we encourage projects across our grant programs that respond to these  imbalances and exclusions. To expand histories of American art, we seek projects that are committed to inclusive and equitable research and creative practice; generate new scholarship and interpretive frameworks; employ critical methodologies and innovative models; and/or engage diverse partners and audiences. In addition, we lend support for projects that build on existing initiatives at institutions engaged in transforming or complicating how the story of American art is told.

For Terra Foundation consideration, convenings should engage with American and/or Native American arts, including historical and/or or contemporary art. Convenings centered on contemporary art should manifest a critical and reflective engagement with American or Native American histories, arts, and art histories.

Convening grants are typically between $10,000 and $25,000 unless an award outside this range is warranted by unusual circumstances. Up to 15% of a Terra Foundation 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. 

For convenings and education programs connected to permanent collection reinstallations or temporary exhibitions, please apply through the Re-envisioning Permanent Collections program and Exhibitions program, respectively. Please contact us if the timing of your convening does not meet the requirements of these programs.


Summer 2022 Awards

For programs taking place after September 1, 2022:

Letter of Inquiry: December 10, 2021
Proposal: February 24, 2022

Fall 2022 Awards

For programs taking place after January 1, 2023:

Letter of Inquiry: April 1, 2022
Proposal: June 15, 2022

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.


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 category.

If you have questions about Terra Foundation Convening Grants, please visit the Grant FAQs page, contact [email protected], or contact Program Director of Exhibition & Academic Grants Carrie Haslett by emailing [email protected].

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.