At the Terra Foundation, we believe art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences.

One of the ways we achieve this goal is by offering a wide range of grant and fellowship opportunities, including funding for:

Exhibitions,
Past/Present: An Exhibition Initiative for US Museums,
Art Design Chicago 2024 grants, currently including support for Exhibition Research & Development,
Academic programs,
Fellowships and visiting professorships,
Publications, and
K–12 education and public programs in Chicago.
Overarchingly, we aim to:

Enrich and enlarge the field of American art scholarship by supporting worldwide scholarly engagement, cross-cultural dialogue, and exhibitions and projects that explore historic American art (circa 1500–1980) in an international context;
Increase opportunities for international audiences to experience and learn about historical American art through exhibitions and related educational programming; and
Increase the awareness, enjoyment, and appreciation of historical American art for general audiences, K–12 teachers, and the academic community in Chicago.
Visual arts that are eligible for Terra Foundation funding vary by program area as follows:

Exhibition programs: Painting; sculpture; works on paper (prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs); decorative arts (typically handmade functional objects of high aesthetic quality); design (objects of high aesthetic quality; excludes industrial design); performance art; video art; and conceptual art. Excludes architecture and commercial film/animation.
Ongoing academic program: All visual art categories except architecture and commercial film/animation. We favor programs that place objects and practices in an art historical perspective.
Other program areas: See individual program pages for details.

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