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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits in Eligible Counties for Arts and Cultural Projects


Geographic Focus

USA: Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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Project Grants

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #148821

Grant Description

Previous Page Version

Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations in eligible counties for the implementation of major arts and cultural events and performances. First-time applicants must schedule an appointment with program staff prior to applying. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Eligible applicants are located in the five-county Philadelphia Area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties).

Project grants are for making bold ideas happen: bringing artistically and programmatically excellent, ambitious, and substantive performances, exhibitions, or interpretation projects to fruition for diverse publics. Projects must deliver distinctive, high-quality, and meaningful cultural experiences to the Philadelphia region’s many communities and reflect an organizational commitment to multiple perspectives and inclusive practices in program design, development, and impact. Projects can take various forms and be produced by single organizations or multi-organizational collaborators. They may be wholly new undertakings for the applicant or represent the further development of an ongoing direction.

Projects should also demonstrate awareness of leading practices in the field and be situated in relationship to them. Core artistic or program personnel must include one central practitioner with whom you have not worked before. Program series within the same application must be conceived for presentation under a single rigorously considered curatorial premise that cogently outlines what is at stake artistically and programmatically.

The goals of Center grantmaking are to: 

  • Support substantive projects that grow out of mission, demonstrate a high level of artistic and programmatic excellence, ambition, and conceptual rigor; and that reflect the organization’s commitment to multiple perspectives and inclusive practices in program design, development, and impact.
  • Support projects that represent a thoughtful development of an existing line of work or a heretofore unexplored direction.
  • Support partnerships and collaborations outside of the applicant’s habitual frame of reference (i.e. disciplinary, geographic, cultural, etc.) that are significant and build new relationships and audiences.
  • Support projects that expand the audience reach and impact of the applicant’s programming, deepen meaningful engagement with diverse audiences, and build toward future audiences for the organization’s creative work.

Funding Categories:

Recognizing the fluid boundaries in the presentation and interpretation of material and visual culture, and in performance, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) has two areas of funding with the same goals for cultural production. These areas support projects that are multi- or interdisciplinary, as well as those based in a specific discipline, but all projects must manifest new understandings of content through their public realization. All projects must be presented to audiences as a primary consideration in their design and have the necessary administrative structure and expertise to realize the grant to its maximum public impact.

Areas of programming that may be considered within Exhibitions and Public Interpretation (EPI) include public display and/or interpretation of artworks, historical artifacts, scientific objects, living collections, archives, buildings, stories, or ideas; film, video, or other time-based media presentations and technology platforms; and all other forms of exhibitions and public cultural interpretation, including those that take place in public spaces, online, and/or make use of participatory strategies.

Areas of programming that may be considered within Performance include original works or new treatments of existing works in all performance forms including those drawn from archival sources; film, video, and other moving-image performance works whose development and public presentation is interpreted through the project’s performative intentions; distribution and installation of performance using experimental media or technology platforms; and performances in public spaces, online, and/or making use of participatory strategies.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility Criteria for All Grant Requests:

The Center’s 2022 cycle is open to organizations whose primary mission and defining purpose is the presentation of art and public history programs for public audiences. In addition, non-art and non-history organizations who wish to apply, such as academic departments, arboreta, libraries, etc., must secure in advance the appropriate personnel and project management expertise— including artistic, curatorial, producing, and administrative support—and their ability to apply is subject to Center review and approval. Social service organizations are not eligible to apply this cycle.

Threshold criteria include:
- Organizations must be located in the five-county Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties).
- Organizations must have 501(c)(3) designation at the time of submitting a Letter of Intent to Apply (LOI).
- Organizations must have a minimum annual budget of $150,000, and must have paid, professional artistic and managerial project staff.
- Applicants with parent organizations (such as libraries, and departments/schools at academic institutions) must submit a letter of commitment from a governing official at the time of LOI submission. If awarded funding, grant contracts can only be signed by a person with legal and fiduciary responsibility for the organization.
- Organizations must have a demonstrated record of presenting professional public programs in the genre or content area identified in the proposal. For non-art or history organizations, a project-hired administrator with appropriate expertise is required and must be clearly identified with other key leadership from the project’s inception.
- The Cebter encourages applicants to tour or present Centerfunded projects outside the region when appropriate. If you are touring a project or working collaboratively with an organization outside of the region, please discuss with Center senior staff the types of costs in these instances that are and are not eligible for support.

Additional Criteria for Special Opportunity (Project Grants Exceeding $300,000) and Multi-Organization Applicants:

Single organizations wishing to apply for grants over $300,000 must have a minimum operating budget of $1 million. Along with meeting all other eligibility criteria, these projects, whether from a single organization or a multi-organizational team, must—
- Represent a demonstrably new level of ambition in content, scope, and scale for applicants;
- Be artist/creative practitioner driven and involve new commissions;
- Include one major creative contributor from outside the United States; and
- Consider the audience experience as integral to the project’s design and realization, as well as its impact.

Grants are not made for individual exhibitions of private collections, nor for acquiring artworks, collections, or property. Grants are not made for ongoing seasonal support, such as for presenting arts organizations.

For all applicants:
- Ineligible costs include capital improvements or real estate expenditures; debt service or retirement; endowment funds; or operation support (including salaries).
- Organizations are ineligible if they are managed by current employees of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage or The Pew Charitable Trusts; members of such employees’ households; or people closely related to such employees through blood, marriage, or domestic partnership.
- Individuals who have been nominated for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and who intend to submit an application may not participate in a Project grant application as a commissioned or key featured artist within the same grant cycle of their application, or, if awarded a Pew Fellowship, for the duration of their two-year Fellowship grant period.

Pre-Application Information:

LOI Application Process and Deadlines:

Step 1:
All applicants are required to schedule an appointment to discuss their LOI project idea with Center senior program staff on or before February 23, 2022.

Step 2:
Deadline to submit written distillation of LOI idea via email: March 2, 2022, 4 p.m.

Step 3:
The Center will notify applicants by March 7, 2022, if they have met the eligibility criteria to submit a full LOI through the Center’s online application system. If the applicant's LOI idea has been approved, Center program staff will reach out to schedule a meeting.

Step 4:
Meetings with LOI applicants are an important part of the application process and are required. Applicants will be contacted by the Center to schedule a conversation to discuss their LOI. This meeting must occur prior to the LOI Deadline on April 8, 2022 at 4 p.m. Once applicants have met with the staff the LOI is submitted through the Center’s online application system.

Step 5:
Applicants whose LOIs are reviewed favorably by an external review panel will be invited to submit a full application. Notification regarding an invitation to apply will be communicated by May 4, 2022. The full Project Grant application guidelines will also be released at that time. The deadline for the full Project grant application is scheduled for June 2022. Details will be announced shortly after the LOI advancement notification.

2022 Updates:


Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Project Grants:
Maximum allowable grant requests will range from $75,000 to $300,000.

Special Opportunity and Multi-Organizational Project Grants:
- Organizations may be eligible to apply for Project grants up to $400,000. Single organizations wishing to apply for grants over $300,000 must have an operating budget minimum of $1 million and meet additional criteria.
- Up to three organizations may pool their individual grants towards a collaborative effort, not to exceed $800,000 in total. Again, grant requests are determined with and subject to Center staff review and approval.

Term of Contract:

The implementation period for Project grants extends from October 1, 2022 and must conclude by June 30, 2025.

Public events that are part of a Center grant should generally not be scheduled to take place before March 1, 2023.

Contact Information:

For questions, to schedule an appointment to discuss the LOI, and to submit the written distillation of the LOI idea, please email

Submit the LOI online:

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