Applying for a 2022 Pew Center Project Grant: What You Need to Know

12 Jan 2022

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Arcadia Exhibitions, Sun & Sea, opera-performance by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė, 2021, The Budd, Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Johanna Austin. 

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is pleased to share the 2022 guidelines for Letters of Intent to Apply for Project grants in our Exhibitions & Public Interpretation and Performance programs. Following our focus last year on pandemic-related recovery work, the Center is resuming project funding in areas of cultural production in 2022.

We are gratified to continue our annual support of the greater Philadelphia region’s cultural community, in service of our mission to enhance civic life and raise Philadelphia’s visibility as a major cultural destination.

Below, you’ll find important dates and information on our Letter of Intent (LOI) process. Full LOI submission guidelines can be downloaded on our Apply page.

We encourage all potential applicants to stay up to date on our grant-making process and other Center news by joining our email list.

 

What's New in 2022

Growing out of our experience over the last year and a half, there are important new considerations and questions that applicants will be asked to address in proposals developed for this new cycle. LOI questions will ask you to describe:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in the design, development, and audience engagement strategies of your project;
  • Strategies that you've evolved from COVID-19 to change your approaches to health, safety, and audience customer service practices; and
  • Lessons from COVID-19 that have led you to adopt hybrid or adaptable platforms for programming, and opportunities that have arisen from the adoption of those platforms.

Discovery grants are no longer a category of project area funding at the panel level. Modest capacity building support may be available from the Center on a rolling deadline that will be focused on furthering program ideation or organizational practice.

 

Important 2022 Deadlines to Remember

February 23: Deadline to contact Center staff to discuss your LOI idea

March 2 at 4 p.m.: Deadline to submit a 150-word written distillation of your idea

March 7: Date by which the Center will notify you if you have met the eligibility criteria to submit a full LOI

April 11 at 4 p.m.: Deadline to submit your LOI through the Center’s online application system

May 4: Date by which applicants will be notified of their LOI submission status. Those whose LOIs are reviewed favorably by an external review panel will be invited to submit a full application.

>>Find full LOI submission details on our Apply page.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Project grant funds support?

Project grants are for making bold ideas happen: bringing artistically and programmatically excellent, ambitious, and substantive performances, exhibitions, or interpretation projects to fruition for diverse publics. Projects must deliver distinctive, high-quality, and meaningful cultural experiences to the Philadelphia region’s many communities and reflect an organizational commitment to multiple perspectives and inclusive practices in program design, development, and impact.

Recognizing the fluid boundaries in the presentation and interpretation of material and visual culture and in performance, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) has two areas of funding with the same goals for cultural production: Exhibitions & Public Interpretation and Performance. These areas support projects that are multi- or interdisciplinary, as well as those based in a specific discipline, but all projects must manifest new understandings of content through their public realization.

If a proposed project has elements of both performance and exhibition/public interpretation, Center staff will work with the applicant to decide which grant category would be most appropriate.

The implementation period for Project grants extends from October 1, 2022 and must conclude by June 30, 2025. Public events that are part of a Center grant should generally not be scheduled to take place before March 1, 2023.

We encourage you to review our list of past grants and grantees.

Who is eligible to apply for Project grants?

The Center’s 2022 cycle is open to organizations whose primary mission and defining purpose is the presentation of art and public history programs for public audiences. In addition, non-art and non-history organizations who wish to apply—such as academic departments, arboreta, libraries, etc.—must secure in advance the appropriate personnel and project management expertise—including artistic, curatorial, producing, and administrative support—and their ability to apply is subject to Center review and approval. Social service organizations are not eligible to apply this cycle.

Please review the LOI guidelines for full eligibility criteria.

Threshold criteria include:

  • Organizations must be located in the five-county Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties).
  • Organizations must have 501(c)(3) designation at the time of submitting a Letter of Intent to Apply (LOI).
  • Organizations must have a minimum annual budget of $150,000 and must have paid, professional artistic and managerial project staff. 
  • Applicants with parent organizations (such as libraries and departments/schools at academic institutions) must submit a letter of commitment from a governing official at the time of LOI submission.
  • Organizations must have a demonstrated record of presenting professional public programs in the genre or content area identified in the proposal.
  • Organizations must be in sound financial health, as determined by their three most recent fiscal years of audited financial statements and verified Cultural Data Profile (CDP) Funder Reports. 

Grants are not made for individual exhibitions of private collections, nor for acquiring artworks, collections, or property. Grants are not made for ongoing seasonal support, such as for presenting arts organizations.

In what amounts are Project grants awarded?

Grant requests are determined with and subject to Center staff review and approval. Maximum allowable grant requests for all Project grants are dependent on organizational budget size and range from $75,000 to $300,000. Organizations with an operating budget minimum of $1 million and that meet additional criteria may be eligible to apply for Project grants up to $400,000. Up to three organizations may pool their individual grants towards a collaborative effort, not to exceed $800,000 in total.

How are grant decisions made at the Center?

LOIs are assessed by a diverse panel of arts and culture professionals from outside of the Center’s funding region. LOI reviewers are chosen for their expertise and drawn from the relevant areas of practice reflected by the projects and artists within the 2022 LOI applicant pool. Reviewers evaluate each applicant’s potential to address the Center’s grant-making goals and criteria to produce a competitive application.

Staff from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and staff from The Pew Charitable Trusts do not serve on the peer review panel and do not determine grant recipients.

What is my first step in applying?

All applicants are required to schedule an appointment to discuss your LOI project idea with Center senior program staff on or before February 23, 2022. To schedule an appointment, please email apply@pewcenterarts.org.

In your email message, please indicate if you are interested in applying to the Performance or Exhibitions & Public Interpretation program areas.

Accessibility

The Center is committed to providing accessibility to our applicants, regardless of ability. Center staff are prepared to assist applicants requesting additional accommodation regarding review of our application guidelines or the use of our online application system (apply.pewcenterarts.org) at any time. Please contact us at help@pewcenterarts.org to offer feedback or discuss accommodations available for individuals with disabilities.