Pew Center for Arts and Heritage: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW: The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage grants are given exclusively to organizations and individuals in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region. They support artists and organizations to support ambitious, imaginative projects. Their grants go not just to theater, but also to dance, visual art exhibitions, heritage, cultural management, music, and individual artist’s fellowships.

IP TAKE: Pew recently integrated some of their project and performance grants, so most grant seekers in the theatre arts will now be competing with all other artistic disciplines for grant dollars. Organizations that don't meet the criteria for Project Grants ought to check out the Discovery Grants, which are intended to put you on the road to bigger and better things, including Project Grants.

PROFILE: One of the main grantmaking arms of the Pew Charitable Trust, its Center for Arts and Heritage offers grants for theater through a number of program areas.

Performance: Grants for performance include theater, as well as other forms of dynamic arts presentations. They 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 towards 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. Previous grantees include Thaddeus Phillips for 100 Billion Nights, the Wilma Theatre for Adapt!, and the Nicole Canuso Dance Company for Body of Text.

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. To date, 323 artists have been named Pew Fellows.

Advancement Grants: These grants are intended to support organizations looking to make long term improvements to their "programming, audience engagement, and financial health."  These grants 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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