Robert Rauschenberg Foundation: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation awards grants to small- and mid-sized visual arts groups, projects, and organizations.

IP TAKE: Rauschenberg prioritizes smaller organizations, making it an excellent resource for local dance companies.

PROFILE: Artist Robert Rauschenberg established the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 1990 to foster both his philanthropic and artistic legacies. Its grant programs “aspire to a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable world through the power of creative problem solving.” The foundation supports five grantmaking programs: Art + Education, Art + Environment, Artist as Activist, Regional grants, and Seed

Rauschenberg supports visual arts-related grantmaking primarily through its SEED grantmaking program. According to the foundation, SEED “is a combination of risk capital and value added support to early stage, groundbreaking projects.” Grants are awarded to small- to mid-sized arts organizations in their early operational stages. In this area, Rauschenberg seeks to help new groups expand and build capacity. While grant amounts can vary widely, most fall in the $10,000 to $50,000 range.  

Funding has gone to Atlanta’s Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery and the Heidelberg Project in Detroit. To get a broader sense of the funder's giving, explore the SEED grants page.

Grants are limited to visual arts organizations in Atlanta, Boise, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Phoenix, Portland, and New Orleans. In 2016, Rauschenberg extended its geographic interests to include Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, West Virginia, as well as Houston, and Santa Fe.

Rauschenberg awards grants via open RFPs and by invitation only. RFPs often have a specific theme or subject matter so grantseekers should check out the foundation’s website before submitting. Grants made by invitation only are awarded at the foundation’s discretion.

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