Rockefeller Foundation: Grants for Creative Writing

OVERVIEW: The Rockefeller Foundation famously has a myriad of issues and causes they are interested in; however, in the area of creative writing, the only direct support the foundation gives is in the way of their writers' residency programs.

IP TAKE: Rockefeller does not have a specific creative writing grantmaking program, per se, but it does offer one program for academic writers and one for literary writers. Both are quite competitive. Note: Rockefeller administers their writer's residencies through the Bellagio Center, so make sure to use the proper application, as it's different from their general grant applications.

PROFILE: The Rockefeller Foundation's Academic Writer's Residency Program is aimed toward academic writers whose work contributes to "the well-being of humanity or in some way connects with the Rockefeller Foundation’s focus areas: advance health; revalue ecosystems; secure livelihoods; and transform cities." The Writer's Residency is a two to four-week program at the Bellagio Center and is open to collaborative residencies of up to four people working on the same project.

The foundation's Arts and Literary Arts Residency Program is for playwrights, poets, novelists, or otherwise "creative artists in all career stages." Though Rockefeller welcomes projects of all types of subject matter, it has a keen interest in projects that are inspired by or relates to global or social issues that align with the foundation's overall grant making priorities as mentioned above. This residency is also a two to four week program and also welcomes collaborative residencies of up to four people working on the same project.

All Bellagio Center residencies give preference to "team projects that bring residents together from different geographies, institutions, or disciplines since this reinforces the Center's goal of establishing new connections." Both residencies generally occur sometime from August through November. Applications are usually open starting in October, with a final deadline in the beginning of December.

As Robert Garris, former managing director of Bellagio Programs, told IP, "The Bellagio Center hosts approximately 55 conferences and 90 resident fellows per year, with a selection process that favors new applicants that take a systems approach to their work."

He also explained, "Our grantees tend to be well-networked across multiple sectors, enabling them to take a strategic and systems approach to designing scalable and resilient solutions."


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