Hearst Foundations: Grants for Dance

OVERVIEW: The Hearst Foundations have an overarching mission to “build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives.” They seek to achieve this by supporting well-established non-profit organizations that operate in the realms of culture, education, health, and social service.

IP TAKE: Grants from the Hearst Foundations are for already high-achieving organizations; your operating budget must be at least $1 million. Their focus on culture includes a substantial commitment to dance. Like all of their arts funding, this support is skewed towards artist development and outreach to underserved communities.

PROFILE: The goal of the Hearst Foundations, inspired by its founder William Randolph Hearst, is to “ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives.”  

The foundations are technically comprised of two separate foundations that are managed together. William Randolph Hearst established an east coast foundation in 1945 and a west coast foundation in 1948. Their missions were (and still remain) the same, as are the granting stipulations. Whether your organization resides east or west of the Mississippi River is the only difference.

These foundations are staunchly committed to supporting culture, including the arts, specifically as it relates to developing artists and exposing underserved communities to both artistic output and artistic training. Support of dance is well-established amongst the foundations' cultural giving.

As the foundations themselves put it, they prioritize “cultural institutions” that “enable engagement by young people and create a lasting impression” and “fund select programs nurturing and developing artistic talent.” They also look for efforts that fill the current gap in arts education in the K-12 curricula. In addition, they have funding priorities they outline on their website. Note: the foundations do have strict and specific funding limitations. Be sure you review them here.

To see a full list of past culture grantees, you can click here.

The Hearst Foundations have an open online application process. In terms of culture giving, they do, however, alert potential new applicants that 80 percent of their culture funding goes to previous recipients. On the flipside of this daunting statistic, if you do make the cut for initial dance funding through the Hearst Foundations, the odds are in your favor that you’ll continue receiving it. 

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