Rockefeller Foundation: Grants for Creative Writing

OVERVIEW: The Rockefeller Foundation famously has a myriad of issues and causes in which it is interested. However, in the area of creative writing, the only direct support the foundation provides is through its writers' residency programs.

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

PROFILE: Founded in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller and his son, the Rockefeller Foundation seeks “to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.” It funds creative and academic writing through its Writer’s Residency, a two to four week program at the Bellagio Center, which is open to collaborative residencies of up to four people working on the same project.

Its Academic Writer's Residency Program supports 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 foundation's Arts and Literary Arts Residency Program supports 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.

All Bellagio Center residencies prioritize "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 usually open in October, with a final deadline in the beginning of December.

"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," Robert Garris, former managing director of Bellagio Programs, told IP. "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."

Grantseekers should review the Writer’s Residency application and the Bellagio Application Resource Center before applying.


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