British Association for American Studies


Terra Art Foundation Fellowships: Academic Program Grants

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Terra Art Foundation Fellowships: Academic Program Grants

December 10, 2015


Academic Program Grants

The Terra Foundation for American Art actively supports projects that encourage international scholarship on American art topics, as well as scholarly projects with focused theses that further research of American art in an international context. Academic program funding is available for symposia, colloquia, and convenings that advance scholarship in the field of American art (circa 1500–1980) that take place:

  • In Chicago or outside the United States, or
  • In the United States and examine American art within an international context and/or include a significant number of international participants.


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

These programs are intended for scholarly audiences. Public programs, travel grants, fellowship programs, research databases, programs designed for non-academic audiences, capital expenditures, and programs focused on architecture, conservation, or film are not eligible for funding through this category. For research travel grants to individuals, please visit our Research Travel Grants to the United States page.

If you have questions about our Academic Program Grants, please visit the Grant FAQs page or contact Grants Manager Amy Gunderson (grants@terraamericanart.org) or Program Director of Exhibition & Academic Grants Carrie Haslett (haslett@terraamericanart.org).

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.

Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

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. A prospective applicant can expect to hear from the foundation within three weeks of receipt of its letter. The letter should be no longer than three pages (including any 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 into English.

Download the Academic Program Grants application.