Grant Opportunities for Institutions

Through our grant opportunities for institutions, the Terra Foundation actively supports and initiates historical American art exhibitions, academic programs, and programs in Chicago, the United States, and throughout the world. We fund projects that focus on art (circa 1500–1980) of what is now the geographic United States. We recognize the value of fostering global perspectives to expand and enhance, and thereby strengthen, the understanding of historical American art. At the heart of any historical American art exhibition, research project, or discussion, is an original work of art, and we are committed to supporting opportunities to engage with these works.

For specific information about our grant programs, including guidelines and deadlines, please consult the pages for our various program areas: exhibitions, convenings, publications, public programs, K–12 education, Past/Present, Re-envisioning Permanent Collections, and Art Design Chicago.

In addition to supporting American art through our grant program, the Terra Foundation also initiates partnerships with other institutions to organize exhibitions and programs. Our grantees and our partners’ accomplishments have enriched the story of historical American art and have made it relevant for a growing number of individuals worldwide by asking original questions and forging deeper connections.

The Terra Foundation has developed three main goals (see below) and works to achieve these goals through multiple program areas. Some projects that receive grant funding may address multiple goals.

If you have questions about our grant opportunities for institutions, please visit the Grant FAQs page or contact

Goal 1: Field of American Art

Our goal is to help enrich and enlarge the field of American art scholarship by supporting worldwide scholarly engagement, cross-cultural dialogue, and exhibitions and projects that explore American art in an international context.

The Terra Foundation supports exhibitions with focused theses that explore American art in an international context and/or include international curators, as well as academic projects that bring together international scholars, explore American art in an international context, or help disseminate scholarly resources worldwide.

Program areas funded: Exhibitions and Academic Programs

Goal 2: American art exhibitions & programs outside the United States

Our goal is to increase opportunities for international audiences to experience and learn about historical American art through exhibitions and educational programming.

Internationally, the Terra Foundation supports historical American art exhibitions and programs. The Terra Foundation’s Paris Center & Library actively creates a variety of programming with European cultural institutions and provides access to American art resources.

Program areas funded: Exhibitions and Academic Programs

Goal 3: American art in Chicago

Our goal in Chicago is to increase the awareness, enjoyment, and appreciation of historical American art for general audiences, K–12 teachers, and the academic community.

In Chicago, the Terra Foundation works to highlight the city’s rich and diverse historical American art offerings. As an active member of the community, the foundation is committed to bringing American art to the foreground for multiple audiences by training K–12 teachers to use American art in their classrooms, encouraging undergraduate and graduate study, and supporting exhibitions and programs.

Program areas funded: Exhibitions, Academic Programs, Chicago Public Programs, and Chicago K–12 Education