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A New Initiative in the Arts

Opportunity for USA and Puerto Rico Arts Nonprofits of Color
to Participate in an Initiative to Strengthen Organizational Capacity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Wallace Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Opportunity for USA and Puerto Rico arts nonprofit organizations of color to participate in an initiative to develop and implement an organizational strategy. Applicants must submit an expression of interest prior to submitting a full application. The program involves participation in a planning year, four years to implement and refine strategic change efforts, and participation in research related to the initiative.

In addition to directly supporting the grantees as they foster strategic change at their organizations, a key goal of the initiative is to develop credible, useful insights to benefit other arts organizations of color and the field at large.

Participation in the first cohort will include working with coaches, consultants and researchers to document each grantee’s organizational history and culture through an ethnographic study. Researchers will also document practices and approaches during the initiative through an implementation study.

In service of the learning effort, grantees must commit to:

  • Participation in a planning year;
  • Executive-level participation in monthly meetings with Wallace staffers, consultants or independent researchers to collaborate and share information to inform the development of reports to benefit the field;
  • Executive-level participation in cohort learning, including attendance and participation at two convenings per year;
  • In the first year of the initiative, working closely with ethnographic researchers to document organizations' histories and cultures, as well as to document how they address strategic challenges; and
  • Collaborating with researchers documenting change efforts over the life of the project.
  • Submissions from the following genres will be considered: performing arts, media arts, literary arts, visual arts, artists, community-based organizations founded by and centering artists and artistic practice. Heritage museums of color that include contemporary art and artists are eligible.​ 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197740

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Organizations selected to participate in the initial cohort will receive the following:
- Funding: Each organization selected to participate in the initiative will receive five years of funding totaling approximately $2 to 3 million. Funding allocations will be determined based on need and will be proportionate to budget sizes.
- Coaching Supports
- Peer Learning
- Contributions to the Field

For more information about benefits to grantees, see the URL for Full Text (RFP) link below.

Term of Contract:

Five years

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility requirements for the first cohort are listed below. The initiative will include a second, larger cohort designed specifically for organizations with smaller budgets. Timing, eligibility criteria and the work that the second cohort will engage in will be determined at a later date.

To be eligible for consideration in the first cohort, organizations must:
- Be based in the United States, District of Columbia or Puerto Rico; ​
- Be a registered nonprofit organization, or have an existing nonprofit fiscal sponsor;
- Have an annual budget between $500,000 and $5 million (based on FY 2019 or FY 2020);
- Have been in operation for at least 10 years; and
- Identify as an arts organization of color.

​For the purposes of this initiative, the Foundation defines an arts organization of color as one that was founded by (in either artistic or administrative leadership) and for Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Arab American or Asian American/Pacific Islander communities through mission-related work, and continues to serve those communities today.

Organizations whose primary mission is arts education, youth outcomes, professional development or continuing education are not eligible for this initiative. Wallace has separate initiatives in arts education. This initiative will focus on arts presenters with a reasonable degree of similarity so we can effectively manage the initiative and learn from their experiences.

Pre-Application Information:

Round 1: Open call for expressions of interest: July 19 to August 20, 2021.
- Deadline for letters of interest: August 20, 2021.
- Wallace will invite 50 organizations to apply for grants.
- Wallace will respond to letters of interest in the end of September.
Round 2: Grant applications for organizations invited to apply: Late September.
- Deadline for applications: Friday, October 29.
- Wallace will shortlist 15 to 20 organizations to participate in Round 3.
Round 3: Interviews and site visits: December 2021 and January 2022.
- Wallace will select 10 to 12 organizations to participate in the initiative.
- Grantee selection will be announced in January 2022.
- A planning year will begin in the first quarter of 2022​.
- The first year of implementation will begin in 2023​.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Direct questions to:​​​​​

Wallace Foundation
140 Broadway, 49th Fl, New York, NY 10005
Tel (212) 251-9700
Fax (212) 679-6990

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: Puerto Rico (USA)

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