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Arts Organizations Centering Communities of Color: Community-Orientation Study

Grants to USA and Puerto Rico Research Teams for Projects
Related to Arts Nonprofits and BIPOC Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Wallace Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA and Puerto Rico research teams for research projects related to nonprofit arts organizations and BIPOC communities. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. The purpose of the research is to improve the understanding of these organizations and how they interact with the communities they serve.

By January 2022, The Wallace Foundation intends to launch an initiative that will support a cohort of 10-12 arts organizations of color that, in their second decade or more of existence, are grappling with strategic challenges to their founding organizational model or context. Adopting a strengths-based approach, collectively the cohort will address the following guiding question: How can and do arts organizations of color facing strategic challenges leverage their experience and histories of community orientation to increase their resilience, while sustaining their relevance? Strategic challenges will be identified by the cohort’s members and will likely involve a blend of organization-specific challenges (e.g., cost structures, location, partnerships) and structural challenges (e.g., racism, chronic undercapitalization, shifting community demographics). The purpose of the initiative is to support and document a strength-based approach to navigating these strategic challenges.

In Year 1, members of the cohort will receive a planning grant to develop, with their organizational leadership teams, a 4-year project plan to test, in their own context, the initiative’s guiding question. In Years 2-5, organizations will be funded to (1) implement their project plans, adjusting and refining them as needed, (2) receive targeted technical assistance at their request, (3) participate in the community orientation research study, described in this RFP, and (4) participate in a professional learning community with one another, and with initiative researchers, key consultants, and Wallace staff.

The Wallace Foundation seeks a research team, or collaborating team of researchers, with a deep understanding of arts organizations of color and their relationships with the communities they serve, across the diversity of communities and arts disciplines that constitute this part of the arts ecosystem. The team will study and document the five years of project work, including the planning year, of the cohort’s 10-12 organizations using theoretically and methodologically rigorous approaches to:

  • Contribute to the research-based body of evidence on cultural institutions, and specifically arts organizations of color.
  • Provide practical, formative insights for the cohort’s arts organizations, and the initiative leaders, as their projects are implemented.
  • Develop evidence-based, practical guidance that can inform other arts organizations in the field, particularly other arts organizations of color, and their stakeholders.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197756

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

We seek research teams with the following qualifications:
- Experience studying arts organizations focused on presenting or advancing art work and practices from BIPOC communities or community-based organizations of color.
- Research and analytical skills appropriate to the project and proposed research designs.
- History of publications relevant to the research design and focus.
- Demonstrated experience working with diverse stakeholders on issues of equity and culture.
- Experience working with arts organization directors and leaders.
- Excellent writing, publication, and communication skills.

Wallace seeks to support research teams that bring a variety of perspectives to the work, including in methodological expertise, firsthand knowledge and understanding of the communities and contexts being studied, and active engagement with the scholarly and practical discussions that are relevant to this study. Preference will be given to teams whose senior intellectual leadership (PI and/or co-PIs) includes researchers from communities of color. Proposers are further encouraged to develop teams that include early career scholars and scholars from communities underrepresented in the academy. It is encouraged but in no way require that the research effort bring together partners from various departments and/or institutions in order to build the best team possible for meeting the project goals. We invite proposers to explicitly address these issues in their description of their team’s qualifications.

Pre-Application Information:

Letters of intent are due by August 20, 2021, and full proposals are due by October 4, 2021​.​​​​​


Contact Information:

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

Submit letter of intent to:

Direct questions to the email address listed above

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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