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Thriving Cultures Program - Artists Engaging in Social Change

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Arts and Culture Projects
to Promote Community Engagement and Social Change

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Surdna Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations for arts and culture programs and projects that deepen society's understanding and appreciation of diverse communities and social issues. Funding is intended to give artists and culture bearers the opportunity to open discourse and influence a community’s social change goals.

The Foundation seeks funding opportunities that:

- Deepen a collective understanding of diverse cultures through high quality art-making;
- Provide resources and support to artists and culture bearers who use their artistic practice to promote their communities' values and traditions;
- Engage communities with well-developed methods of cultural practice and art;
- Articulate clear goals around a program’s potential to support a community’s social change priorities.

Preference is given to organizations that:

- Demonstrate a commitment to artistic and design excellence;
- Find innovative ways to use arts and culture to make communities more just and sustainable;
- Prioritize the needs of low-income communities and people of color in their work;
- Maintain sound financial practices and management;
- Demonstrate a capacity and willingness to share best practices and knowledge with their colleagues and others in the field;
- Operate ongoing programs that contribute to a community’s cultural diversity and/or art forms;

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148145

Term of Contract:

Organizations may inquire about grants of up to 36 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nonprofit organizations must generally have a valid tax exemption status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be classified as a public charity and not as a "private foundation" under Section 509(a).

Surdna makes grants throughout the United States. The Foundation does not make grants to organizations for projects that are internationally based or focused.

The Foundation generally does not fund individuals, capital campaigns or building construction, or projects that are internationally based or focused.

Not funded:
- In-school arts programs;
- Organizations that primarily present, rather than produce, art;
- Organizations that solely provide arts-integrated services (e.g. arts as a mode for rehabilitation or therapy, health and social services delivery).

Pre-Application Information:

There are no deadlines for letters of inquiry—LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis through the foundation’s online application form and are reviewed by Surdna staff within 90 days.

Please note: The Surdna Foundation allows for indirect costs for program grants up to 15% of project expenses provided that: 1) indirect costs are reflected in the project budget; and 2) the grant request is over $25,000. The Surdna Foundation does not allow indirect costs for grants of $25,000 or less.

Eligibility and FAQs:

Contact Information:

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

Submit an LOI online:

Surdna Foundation
330 Madison Avenue, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10017

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