George Bellows, The Palisades, 1909. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.10

Grant & Fellowship FAQs

What types of grants are available?

The Terra Foundation provides a range of grant and fellowship opportunities to support projects that expand narratives of American art, including funding for exhibitions, permanent collections, convenings, fellowshipspublications, and support through Art Design Chicago, among other programs. Please refer to Grant & Fellowship Opportunities for more information about our programs.

Does the focus of my project meet the guidelines?

Projects should focus on American and/or Native American arts, including historical and/or contemporary art. Projects centered on contemporary art should manifest a critical and reflective engagement with American and/or Native American histories, arts, and/or art histories.

See individual grant program guidelines for additional information.

How do I know if my organization is eligible to receive a grant?

All grants have specific eligibility requirements. Please refer to each grant guideline’s eligibility section for more information. 

How do I know if I, as an individual, am eligible to receive a grant?

All grants have specific eligibility requirements. Please refer to each grant guideline’s eligibility section for more information. 

When should I apply for a grant?

We request that funding from the Terra Foundation be acknowledged in all communication and publication/digital materials related to funded programs. Applicants should aim to time their grant requests such that grant notification will come before any of these materials are produced or distributed.

Each grant program has specific letter of inquiry (LOI) or application deadlines. Please refer to each grant guideline’s deadlines section for more information. 

What is a letter of inquiry (LOI)? Do all grant programs require one?

A letter of inquiry is a short presentation of your grant request that is used by the Terra Foundation and external readers to determine whether to invite a full proposal. Most grant programs require letters of inquiry, but some do not. Please refer to each grant guideline’s “how to apply” section for more information.

How much money should I request? Is there an average grant amount?

Terra Foundation grant sizes vary by program and by project. To get an idea of the scale and scope of our grants, please visit the Grants Awarded page.

When making a request, what would qualify as an “indirect cost”?

Indirect Costs (sometimes called overhead or administrative costs) include items that are associated with operating the organization as a whole, such as administrative staff salaries, rent, utilities, office supplies, etc. Direct Costs are the expenses directly associated with a project.

How should I submit my application materials?

Our application process is online. Please refer to each grant guideline’s “how to apply” section for more information. If you require an accommodation, please contact us at [email protected].

What is your review process? How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

The grant review and selection process varies by program area. Generally, proposals are evaluated by a combination of external readers who are experts in the field, members of the foundations staff, and the Terra Foundation Board of Directors.

How can I check the status of my application?

When there is an update regarding the status of your application, the Terra Foundation will contact you. For a general idea of the timeline of this communication, please refer to the deadline schedule of your grant. Additional questions may be directed to [email protected].

Why did you decline my proposal?

The Terra Foundations grant programs are very competitive. The foundation has limited resources and cannot fund every request we receive.

Can I submit my application for review prior to the application deadline?

A final grant application can be submitted any time prior to the deadline. The Terra Foundation does not currently review drafts of grant applications prior to final submission.

If my grant application has been declined, may I reapply?

The Terra Foundation does not consider projects more than once. You are welcome to apply for support for a different project.

How will I receive my grant award?

The Terra Foundation works with awardees to determine the best method to receive an award. Generally, payment is sent via check or wire transfer.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Questions not addressed here may be directed to [email protected].