Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: Grants for Dance

OVERVIEW:  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation makes grants in five program areas, one of which is "arts and cultural heritage." It funds efforts in performance, art history, and conservation. It also especially supports increased public access to the arts, research, and collaborative efforts.

IP TAKE:  Mellon makes grants ranging from several thousand dollars to several million, and supports organizations of all sizes (but not individuals). The thing to know is that it doesn't accept unsolicited proposals, so if you are interested, you have to submit an inquiry email.

PROFILE: Founded in 1969, The Mellon Foundation was created by the children of Andrew W. Mellon to honor their father, the banker, industrialist, politician, and philanthropist. The foundation seeks to “strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies” and supports “exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.” Most of Mellon’s dance grantmaking happens through its Arts and Cultural Heritage funding program.

Mellon's overall preference regarding the type and size of its dance funding is varied. Past dance companies and programs include large universities such the Brooklyn Academy of Music which received $1 million for its Bam Opera Program and Pick Up Performance Company, Inc. which received $435,000 to support the preservation of its audio-visual and related dance materials. However, past dance grants have supported smaller theater companies as well. To see the full grants database, click here. It does not offer grants directly to individuals, but it does distribute funds to service organizations that then re-grant them.

Grant seekers interested in applying for a Mellon grant must first send an inquiry email.


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