OVERVIEW: Astraea funds grants for lesbians and queer women, trans and gender non-conforming people, intersex people, and people of color. The foundation also supports rights organizations that advance racial, economic, and gender-related justice.
IP TAKE: This is an approachable funder that prioritizes smaller organizations that have a more difficult time securing grants. Newer organizations in the LGBTQI community should note that while Astraea is open to providing support, it requires that new organizations demonstrate longer-term sustainability and impact.
PROFILE: Created in 1977, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice was founded in New York by a diverse group of women who wanted to address lack of funding for lesbians and queer women, trans and gender non-conforming people, intersex people, and people of color. The foundation seeks to “fuel local and global movements that shift power to LGBTQI people and organizations pursuing social justice and human rights” by “providing support in the form of grantmaking, philanthropic advocacy, communications, and capacity building.” Astraea primarily funds dance grants through its Global Arts Fund, although it does occasionally fund arts grants through its other grantmaking programs.
Astraea’s Global Arts Fund supports art by LGBTQI people and organizations that use “art as a tool for social transformation and have limited access to resources for this critical work.” Grants typically adhere to a theme which changes with each funding cycle. Past themes include migration, criminalization, and “the construct, concept & culture of Blackness.”
The foundation only accepts proposals that have been nominated by past grantees, activist advisors, allied organizations, or Astraea staff and board. It does not accept unsolicited applications.
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