Leon Levy Foundation: Grants for Fine Arts

OVERVIEW: The Leon Levy Foundation supports several different initiatives at various cultural institutions that are designed to "expand knowledge and encourage artistic efforts at the highest levels." It also provides unrestricted support grants to organizations in the visual, performing, and literary arts and humanities located predominantly in New York City and the immediate surrounding areas. 

IP TAKE: The Leon Levy Foundation is a tough nut to crack, as it does not accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry for their grants. This is all about networking, so if grant seekers know someone who has received a Levy grant in the past, that would be a good connection to pursue.

PROFILE: The Levy Foundation was created by Shelby White in memory of her husband, Leon Levy, who died in 2003. The foundation gives 99.9% of its arts grants to arts organizations in the New York City area. It also has a very small staff and does not accept any unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry for their grants.

Levy’s Arts and Humanities grants generally hover in the $5,000 to $10,000 range and occasionally reach into the six figures for larger institutions.

Past grants include $10,000 to Young Concerts Artists for general operating support, $16,300 to the Writer's Room for general operating support, $131,000 to the Roundabout Theatre Company for project support, and $5,000 to ART/New York for general operating support. Each year it awards a long list of grants to arts and cultural institutions, so its generosity is definitely not lacking in this area. The foundation does not appear to support individual artists.

Some good advice for grant seekers would be to find out if they know anyone who has received a Levy grant in the past or knows someone who has and see if they can help make a connection to contact to talk further.


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