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Academic Program Grants

2014 Terra Foundation Academic Awards, Fellowships & Grants

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Published on Thursday, October 31, 2013


These grants provide support for symposia, colloquia, and scholarly convenings on American art that take place in Chicago or outside the United States; or that take place within the United States and examine American art within an international context and/or include a significant number of international participants.



Through our grant program, the Terra Foundation for American Art actively supports and initiates historical American art exhibitions, scholarship, and programs in Chicago, the United States, and throughout the world. We fund projects that focus on American art dating from circa 1500 to 1980, made by artists from what is now the geographic United States. 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.

Principally, the Terra Foundation’s objective is to foster the understanding of American art worldwide through exhibitions, educational programs, and the dissemination of scholarly resources. We recognize the value of fostering global perspectives in order to enlarge and enhance, and thereby strengthen, the understanding of historical American art. At the same time, we are committed to highlighting the rich and diverse historical American art in Chicago as well as the educational opportunities available through the city’s schools, museums, cultural organizations, and universities.

In addition to supporting American art through our grant program, the Terra Foundation also initiates partnerships with other institutions to organize exhibitions and programs. In the past seven years 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 and works to achieve these goals through multiple program areas, including Exhibitions, Academic Programs, and in Chicago, Public Programs and K-12 Education Programs.

Some projects that receive grant funding may address multiple goals.

  • 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, 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 center in Paris, Terra Foundation for American Art Europe, actively creates a variety of programming with European cultural institutions and provides access to American art resources.

Program Areas funded: Exhibitions, 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.

How to Apply

The grant application process is three-part:

  1. Before submitting a formal proposal to the Terra Foundation, prospective applicants must write a letter of inquiry (LOI).
  2. After reviewing the letter of inquiry, the foundation may invite the submission of a formal proposal.
  3. Formal grant proposals undergo a review process before final decisions are made by the foundation’s Board of Directors.

Please see here for information about the application process and deadlines for Publication Grants which are different from the grants described below.

Letter of Inquiry

A letter of inquiry must precede any formal grant proposal to the Terra Foundation; formal proposals are accepted only by invitation of the foundation after review of the letter of inquiry. Prospective applicants can expect to hear from the foundation within three weeks of their letter’s receipt. The letter should be no longer than 3 pages (including attachments) and include:

  • Brief statement of the organization’s purpose and goals
  • Description of the project, including its beginning and ending dates as well as the need and audience it addresses
  • Objectives of the project
  • Other organizing partners and funding sources and amounts for the project, if relevant
  • Total cost of project and the grant amount requested

All letters should be written in English, addressed to the grants manager, and sent by email to grants@terraamericanart.org. Additional printed copies of the letters may be sent to:

Terra Foundation for American Art
120 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
United States  

Formal Proposal

After a letter of inquiry is reviewed, prospective applicants may be invited to submit a formal proposal. Please note that an invitation for a formal proposal does not guarantee funding at any level. Formal proposals must be written or translated in English and should not be stapled or bound. All attachments should also be written or translated in English.

Below are downloadable PDFs of the application form for each of the program areas: Exhibitions, including Exhibition Research and Development, Academic Programs, Chicago Public Programs, and Chicago K–12 Education Programs. These forms can also be found on the guidelines page for each program area.
Academic Program Application Form 

Proposal Review Process

During the time that a proposal is under review, applicants must notify the foundation of any significant changes in staff or board leadership, financial circumstances, or the capacity of the institution to accomplish the proposed activities.

Following submission, proposals go through the review process outlined below:

Staff Contact
Foundation staff will contact the applicant to confirm that the required material has been submitted, clarify any questions regarding the proposal, request any additional information, and discuss any special needs or circumstances that may exist.

Staff and Peer Review
The foundation’s program staff reviews all proposals, and may contact other institutions that have knowledge of the grant-seeking organization. Proposals may also be presented to colleagues for peer review and recommendation.

Executive Approval

Proposals are presented to the Board of Directors, which makes final decisions on grants. Currently, the Board of Directors reviews proposals for the Academic Programs, Public Programs, and Chicago K–12 Education Programs in Fall, Winter, and Spring. Exhibition proposals are reviewed twice annually, in Spring and Fall.

Foundation staff will notify the organization of a decision by telephone or by mail approximately 2–3 weeks after the Board of Directors meeting at which the proposal is considered. Please keep this in mind while writing your project timeline.

Please note:
If a grant is awarded, the recipient will be expected to provide regular reports to the foundation on the project’s progress and the expenditure of grant monies.  


Letter of Inquiry: December 16, 2013 – Proposal: March 5, 2014 – Awards announced: Summer 2014

Letter of Inquiry: March 14, 2014 – Proposal: June 16, 2014 – Awards announced: Fall 2014

Letter of Inquiry: December 15, 2014 – Proposal: March 2, 2015 – Awards announced: Summer 2015

If the foundation responds to a letter of inquiry by requesting a proposal, the organization applying for a grant will be expected to complete an application. Download the Academic Program Grants application.


The foundation only accepts proposals from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status or the international equivalent. Grants are not made to individuals.

Other Terra Foundation Academic Initiatives include the following American art residencies and fellowships:

The Terra Foundation does not accept proposals for:

  • Fellowship programs
  • Research databases
  • Programs primarily designed for non-academic audiences
  • Capital expenditures
  • Programs focused on architecture, conservation, or fil

    Download our 2010-2012 report.

For more information, please visit terraamericanart.org/academic-program-grants.


  • Chicago, America


  • Monday, December 16, 2013
  • Friday, March 14, 2014
  • Monday, December 15, 2014


  • bourses, colloques, conferences, etats-unis, histoire de l'art


  • amy gunderson
    courriel : grants [at] terraamericanart [dot] org

Information source

  • amy gunderson
    courriel : grants [at] terraamericanart [dot] org


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Academic Program Grants », Scholarship, prize and job offer, Calenda, Published on Thursday, October 31, 2013, https://doi.org/10.58079/okf

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