About

Mission

In partnership with organizations and individuals locally and globally, the Terra Foundation fosters intercultural dialogues and encourages transformative practices to expand narratives of American art.

Vision

To illuminate diverse histories, inspire present connections, and create equitable futures.

Values

Cultural Humility

We embrace curiosity and call upon ourselves to listen, learn, and remain open-minded. We engage multiple perspectives to shape our work and practices, recognizing and learning from varied forms of wisdom and world-making.

Equity and Inclusion

We commit to equity and inclusion, where all people belong, are valued, and are treated justly. We center racial equity in our values; recognizing the structural harm inflicted on communities of color, we advance approaches that redress systemic inequities in their many manifestations.

Partnership and Collaboration

We facilitate exchange and dialogue among organizations and individuals by investing time and resources to build and sustain authentic, peer-driven, relationally based partnerships. We are participants in a collective enterprise to effect positive growth and change in the field of American art and to transform its impact in the world.

Experimentation and Adaptiveness

We support bold, courageous, often experimental work that challenges the status quo and helps us reimagine American art—its histories, systems, and practices. Driven by a belief in the necessity of responsive adaptation, we embrace opportunities to support immediate and emerging needs within the arts and cultural sphere.

Letter from our President & CEO, Winter 2023, from the Terra Foundation Report 2019–22

Beginning in late 2020, the Terra Foundation initiated a strategic planning process that began with deep listening and learning from our partners and peers within the fields of American art and philanthropy. We embarked on this work acknowledging the imperative and collective responsibility to question existing narratives of American art and to broaden the range of the stories we tell to ensure that the full richness and complexity of American art are represented. We also understood the need to rethink the methods, models, and systems that structure both our own philanthropic work and practices in the field. Only through such reassessments can we address inequities in funding and support systemic changes in American art and in museum practice more broadly.

Our planning process focused on reimagining our approach to supporting the American art field and developing a new conception of the mission, vision, and values that guide our work. Reflecting our commitment to partnership and collaboration, we engaged in dialogue with partners and philanthropic peers to better understand the needs of the field. Ultimately, our strategic planning clarified the nature of our vision and values and culminated in our new mission: In partnership with organizations and individuals locally and globally, the Terra Foundation fosters intercultural dialogues and encourages transformative practices to expand narratives of American art.

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