Pew Center for Arts and Heritage: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage awards grants exclusively to organizations and individuals in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region. It supports artists and organizations with ambitious, imaginative projects.

IP TAKE: Pew recently integrated some of its project and performance grants, so most grant seekers in the arts will now compete with applicants from all other artistic disciplines for grant dollars. Organizations that do not meet the criteria for Project Grants ought to consider the Discovery Grants, which seek to put grant seekers on the road to bigger and better things, including Project Grants.

PROFILE: Created in 2005, the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. It seeks to invest “in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life” and to “engage in an ongoing exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders.”

The center offers grants for visual arts through a number of program areas:

  • Performance: Grants for performance include visual arts, as well as other forms of dynamic arts presentations. These can support original works or new treatments of existing works. Two types of grants are available in this area. Project Grants support the implementation of big ideas, and must "deliver distinctive, high-quality, and meaningful cultural experiences to audiences in the Philadelphia region." Organizations can receive up to $300,000 and individuals can receive up to $60,000. Discovery Grants are intended to allow organizations to work toward becoming competitive for Project Grants by developing new creative strategies or carrying out research to develop new ideas. These grants are up to $60,000. Both Project and Discovery Grants should be discussed with the Center's senior staff prior to the submission of letters of inquiry. View previous grantees here.

  • Pew Fellowships: Twelves of these fellowships are given every year to support individual artists. The award includes an unrestricted grant of $75,000, along with customized professional development resources. View past Pew Fellows here.

  • Advancement Grants: These grants support organizations seeking to make long term improvements to their "programming, audience engagement, and financial health."  They are available to organizations which have already received two or more grants from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage and have operating budgets of $300,000 or more. These grants can be up to $500,000. The application process begins with a letter of inquiry to the Center's Executive Director. Previous grantees include Opera Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum, and the Franklin Institute.


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