F.M. Kirby Foundation: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The F.M. Kirby Foundation support a wide range of visual and performing arts organizations across the country.

IP TAKE: Although Kirby awards grants or nonprofits around the country, those located in the Northeastern United States may have an increased chance in obtaining a grant for this funder.

PROFILE: Fred Morgan Kirby, a five-and-dime merchant, merged his business with Woolworth’s in 1912. In 1931, he established the F.M. Kirby Foundation to “[i]nvest in opportunities that foster self-reliance or otherwise create strong, healthy communities.” The foundation awards grants to support a wide range of interests including education, health and medicine, the arts and humanities, civic and public affairs, religious affairs and welfare and youth organizations.  

Kirby awards its visual arts grants through its arts and humanities program. Past grantees in this space include the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. To learn more about the types of visual arts organizations the foundation supports and at what level, explore its recent grants list. While Kirby arts and humanities grants can reach to well over $300,000, the majority of awards fall in the $10,000 to $50,000 range.   

The F.M. Kirby Foundation does not have a required grant application format; however, grantseekers may submit unsolicited requests for funding by submitting a letter of inquiry (LOI). The foundation accepts LOIs on a rolling basis throughout the year. Submission made after October 31 are held for grant consideration until the following year.

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