Don H. Doyle, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, delivers the keynote address at the international conference “Hybrid Republicanism: Italy and American Art, 1840–1918,” at the Centro Studi Americani, in Rome, on October 6, 2016.

Convening Grants

The Terra Foundation for American Art actively supports projects that question and broaden definitions of American art. Grant funding is available for programs that foster exchange, such as workshops, symposia, and colloquia, and that address critical issues facing the field as well as advance research and scholarship in American art.

Recognizing current and historical inequities in the presentations and understandings of American art history, we encourage projects that redress imbalances and exclusions within the field. To expand histories of American art, we seek projects that reflect a commitment to inclusive and equitable research and museum 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, the program should focus on art of the United States and/or Native American art, including historical art, or contemporary art that manifests a critical and reflective engagement with US or Native American histories, art, and art histories.

The foundation funds museum-organized educational programs related to exhibitions through its Exhibition Grants; therefore, proposals for exhibitions and their related programs should apply through the Exhibition Grants program.

Within a given year, the foundation seeks to support a range of topics. Each convening grant does not exceed $25,000 unless warranted by unusual circumstances. The Terra Foundation prefers not to be the sole contributor to an event. No more than 15% of a Terra Foundation grant may be applied to indirect costs.

While the Terra Foundation welcomes recurring requests over time, organizations that have submitted several applications should note that the foundation aims to fund programs at many organizations. The competitive nature of this program area entails that prior support does not ensure acceptance of subsequent requests.


Summer 2022 Awards

For programs taking place after September 1, 2022:

Letter of Inquiry: December 10, 2021
Proposal: February 22, 2022

Fall 2022 Awards

For programs taking place after January 1, 2023:

Letter of Inquiry: March 15, 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. For research travel grants to individuals, please visit Terra Foundation Research Travel Grants.

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

How to Apply

The Terra Foundation for American Art has moved its grant making to an online system. With the new system, grant seekers will benefit from a streamlined application process. Review the FAQ for additional information on the online application process.

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.

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. The online letter of inquiry will require the following information:

  • Brief statement of the organization’s purpose and goals
  • Description of the project, including its beginning and ending dates as well as the need and audience it addresses
  • Objectives of the project
  • Other organizing partners and funding sources and amounts for the project, if relevant
  • Total cost of project and the grant amount requested

All letters must be written in English.

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.