Convening Grants

Person seated in a crowd asking a question into a microphone.

“How can we gather now?,” March 31–April 2, 2023, produced by Washington Project for the Arts, co-directed by Asad Raza & Prem Krishnamurthy, symposium attendee Anisa Olufemi asks a question during Stefanie Hessler’s keynote lecture, photo by McKenzie Grant-Gordon courtesy of Washington Project for the Arts.

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 support 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. 

What We Fund

Convening grants are typically between $10,000 and $25,000, unless an award outside this range is warranted by unusual circumstances. Up to $5,000 of an awarded grant may be used for resulting proceedings or publications, whether online or printed; funds for this purpose need to be spent within one year of the event. 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.

For convenings and education programs connected to permanent collection reinstallations or temporary exhibitions, please apply through the Collections Grants and Exhibitions Grants, 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.

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

Projects with a primary goal of influencing practice change should also demonstrate an engagement with the field of American art.


For this program, the Terra Foundation accepts proposals only 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. While the Terra Foundation welcomes recurring requests over time, organizations that submit applications in subsequent rounds should note that the foundation aims to fund a broad array of organizations.


Grant support through this program is awarded twice yearly.

For programs taking place after January 1, 2025:

Letter of Inquiry: March 18, 2024
Proposal: May 30, 2024

For programs taking place after March 1, 2025:

Letter of Inquiry: September 23, 2024
Proposal: November 25, 2024

Grant proposals are reviewed by an external panel made up of 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: Convening 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.

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 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 Convening Grants, please visit the  Grant FAQs page or contact [email protected].

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