Lannan Foundation: New Mexico Grants

OVERVIEW: The Lannan Foundation is committed to supporting innovative approaches to the visual and literary arts. The foundation also awards grants for programs related to indigenous Native American communities and that promote cultural freedom in New Mexico and beyond.

FUNDING AREAS: Contemporary visual art, literature, indigenous communities, cultural freedom

IP TAKE: This funder no longer accepts unsolicited inquiries, so nonprofits will need to have an established connection with Lannan to receive support.

PROFILE: Established in 1960, the Lannan Foundation is a family foundation that’s committed to cultural diversity and creative freedom through supporting artists, writers, and Native American activists. Lannan recognizes the unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks for ambitious and experimental thinking. J. Patrick Lannan, Sr. was an entrepreneur and financier who established this foundation. He was a scholar and liberal thinker who saw the value of innovative and controversial forms of visual and literary art, and he had an extensive collection of contemporary and modern American and European art. Lannan passed away in 1983 and left a sizable chunk of his estate to the Lannan Foundation. Grantmaking areas of interest include contemporary visual art, literature, indigenous communities, and cultural freedom.

Lannan began making arts grants in 1986, and the foundation began awarding literary grants in 1987 to support nonprofit publishers, literary centers and organizations that bring literary works to wider audiences. It established the Indigenous Communities program in 1994 to support Native Americans working to preserve their institutions and traditions, and it awarded the first Cultural Freedom Program prize in 2003. The foundation also grants monetary awards and fellowships to individuals who write poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and about cultural freedom. Lannan’s art program is focused on exhibitions, scholarly publications, and special projects for nonprofits that empower contemporary artists in mid-to-senior career stages. It awards literary grants to nonprofits that create and promote works that reflect and challenge our understanding of the world.

Past grants have often ranged between $25,000 and $250,000. The foundation has website pages that list past grantees by program area. Although the foundation maintains a national focus overall, New Mexico and Santa Fe typically see a substantial amount of support. Lannan's Readings and Conversations Program, for example, brings a wide range of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry writers to Santa Fe.

Lannan does not accept unsolicited applications, letters of inquiry, or nominations for awards or fellowships. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 505-986-8160 or


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