FAQs on Applying for a 2018 Project Grant: What You Need to Know

25 Sep 2017


WXPN’s Zydeco Crossroads. Photo by Matthew Shaver, courtesy of WXPN.

At The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, we encourage an ongoing dialogue with the Philadelphia region’s cultural community regarding our application process and your creative project ideas. You can view and download full application guidelines and details about the types of grants we award on our Apply page.

We encourage all potential applicants to stay up to date on the 2018 application process and other Center news by joining our e-newsletter, here.

Below, we've rounded up some of the most commonly asked questions about the Center’s application process, to help you get started.

What types of grants does the Center award?

Our grant types include Project grants for implementation and discovery, Advancement grants, and Pew Fellowships (for individual artists and artist teams, awarded through a nomination process). Each of our funding programs—Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, Performance, Advancement, and Pew Fellowships—has a set of annual guidelines detailing the types of grants available and eligibility criteria. Project grants and Fellowships are made through a peer review panel process. Advancement grants are approved directly by the Pew Charitable Trusts' Board of Directors. Staff of the Center and of The Pew Charitable Trusts do not serve on the peer review panel and do not determine grant recipients.

Can individuals apply?

Yes, individual artists in Performance, as well as curators, and other cultural practitioners may apply for Project grants, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements. However, individuals must discuss their applications with the appropriate Center program staff to determine their eligibility. Individuals applying directly may be eligible for grants of up to $60,000, while organizations may be eligible to apply for grants of up to $300,000.

Full eligibility details can be found on page 6 of our Project grant guidelines.

What do Project grant funds support?

Project grants are for making big ideas happen: bringing artistically and programmatically urgent, ambitious, and substantive performances, exhibitions, or interpretation projects to fruition. Discovery grants are for focused exploration that will seed future project proposals.

We encourage you to review our list of past grants and grantees. Please see page 5 of our Project grant guidelines for full details on the types of support available.

How are applications evaluated?

Project grant applications are reviewed by a peer review panel composed of five to nine panelists from outside the greater Philadelphia region. Panelists are selected for their expertise in the disciplines and issues represented in the applicant pool. Three criteria will be used by the panel to evaluate these applications: Excellence; Ability to Realize Project; and Impact. Each applicant will be asked to articulate a project's central idea and its artistic and programmatic urgency, in addition to describing the project’s primary creative personnel and intended audiences. Please see page 9 of our Project grant guidelines for a full list of application questions.

What is my first step in applying?

Talk to us: Before beginning a Letter of Intent to Apply (LOI), you are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with the Center's senior program staff to discuss any eligibility concerns, the amount of funds being requested, and your project concept and its fit within the Center's goals and priorities. If you are applying as an individual, you must determine eligibility with the appropriate Center program staff before submitting an LOI. Please keep in mind that the process of submitting an LOI includes answering a series of questions, along with submitting work samples. Please schedule a meeting with the appropriate Center staff no later than October 13, 2017.

To schedule an appointment, contact:

Exhibitions & Public Interpretation
267.350.4950, ncroom[at]pcah.us

267.350.4970, eread[at]pcah.us

What are the 2018 Project grant application deadlines?

  • November 15, 2017 at 4 p.m. — Letter of Intent to Apply deadline
  • By December 22, 2017 — Notification of invitation to apply
  • March 7, 2018 at 4 p.m. — Full Project grant applications deadline

When will applicants be notified of their status?

Announcements of grant recipients will be made in June 2018.