Foundation for Contemporary Arts: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts supports a wide range of visual artists including, but not limited to photographers, sculptors, and performance artists.

IP TAKE: This funder does not award a large number of grants each year so grant seekers should expect competition—intensified by the fact that grants here are unrestricted.

PROFILE: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) was founded by artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg in the early 1960s. Since those early days, FCA has been working on its mission “to encourage, sponsor, and promote innovative work in the arts created and presented by individuals, groups, and organizations.” Visual arts grants are made through the foundation’s Grants to Artists program.

The Grants to Artists program features unrestricted grants of $40,000 that are awarded to artists who have been nominated by their peers. Recipients are chosen by a selection panel. Grant seekers should note that FCA awards are not intended to fund specific projects but to support artists and their creative pursuits.

In addition to its regular grantmaking, FCA offers the Robert Rauschenberg Award to visual and performing artists “in recognition of outstanding achievement that reflects the spirit of its namesake.” The Ellsworth Kelly Award supports “museum exhibitions for contemporary artists.” The Roy Lichtenstein Award supports “an individual working and contributing to the creative arts in the wide-ranging and investigative spirit of Roy Lichtenstein.” The Robert Rauschenberg Award supports “an individual visual or performing artist in recognition of outstanding achievement that reflects the spirit of its namesake.” The Dorothea Tanning Award “is made annually through Grants to Artists in celebration of Tanning’s fierce independence and limitless imagination.”

Finally, FCA operates an Emergency Grants program for both performing and visual artists who have incurred unexpected expenses or have been presented with unanticipated opportunities which they cannot fund through other sources. Emergency grants range from between $200 and $2,500. Open applications are accepted for this program.

To learn more about FCA grantees, explore its grant recipients page, which gives a detailed description of grantees. 

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