Union Pacific Foundation Cracks Open the Door for Creative Writing Enterprises

Union Pacific Foundation is the philanthropic offspring of Union Pacific Corporation and Union Pacific Railroad, and it places significant giving emphasis on arts and culture through its through its Community-Based Grant Program "Community and Civic" category.

This giving primarily manifests through grants to organizations, notably those in visual arts, music, and theater. But an intriguing one for the creative writing set pops up on the foundation's giving list: $3,500 to the Tennessee Wiliams New Orleans Literary Festival. It's not a big grant, but it opens the door for other organizations that serve the literary set.

And, in fact, a few other non-profits that place a focus on creativing writing have also recently made their way through. Union Pacific Foundation granted $10,000 to the Columbus Area Arts Council (Columbus, NE), which places creative writing and literary expression on their agenda. The foundation also gave $1,500 to The Cabin, a literary cultural center in Boise, ID and $1,000 to Pendleton Center for the Arts (Pendleton, OR), which operates the First Draft Writers Series as part of its tentpole programming.

If you too try to make it through the door with your creative writing program, be mindful that generally speaking Union Pacific Foundation seeks to promote “program effectiveness,” and therefore particularly likes its grants to go capacity building, which it describes as “helping new or existing programs reach more people or reach them effectively.” This definition and prioritization opens up a lot of opportunity for a creative writing organization or program seeking support.

Also be sure to emphasize the community you'll serve, because Union Pacific Foundation really is about supporting communities, specifically those that make up the 56 large regions along their railroad lines.