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Exhibition Award

Awards to USA Curators and Curator
Teams for New Thematic Art Exhibits

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Foundation / Corporation

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Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation

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Awards to USA curators or curatorial teams in partnership with an established nonprofit exhibition space, such as a traditional gallery or museum, or an alternative nonprofit venue for thematic contemporary art exhibitions. Funding is intended to provide support for exhibitions at the beginning stage of their development and to offer the curator the support needed to fully explore a concept and realize an exhibition.

The proposal should be for a strong, thematic exhibition that puts the works of contemporary art and/or architecture in a new or unconventional aesthetic, historical, cultural, and/or social framework. Applicants are encouraged to think expansively and challenge conventional thought through the exploration of critical ideas in the context of contemporary art.

The Exhibition Award includes four components:
- Core Exhibition and Publication
- Living Artist Honorariums
- Enhanced Engagement Fund
- Post-Opening Opportunity Fund

Core Exhibition and Publication
The core exhibition funding ranges from $50,000-$150,000, depending on the amount requested by the applicant. Core funding is intended to support the following items:
- Opportunities for a curator (or multiple curators) to research and fully explore a concept.
- Full development and opening of a thematic exhibition that put the works of contemporary art and/or architecture in a new or unconventional aesthetic, or in historical, cultural, and/or social frameworks that challenge conventional thought.
- Commission new works for the exhibition.

Living Artists Honorariums (existing works)
- In honor of Emily Hall Tremaine’s dedication to supporting living artists, the Foundation will make available up to $10,000 for the exhibiting institution to provide direct benefits to living artists lending, installing, or in any other way showing their existing work in the exhibition.
- The suggested structure is to provide $1,000 per artist or per artist collaborative or artist collective (regardless of the number of pieces involved). The living artist support may be combined with artist fees or any other payments made related to securing existing works.
- Note 1: Because exhibitions proposals will be in early conceptual stages, the estimate of existing work and living artist supports will be finalized when the final exhibition checklist is submitted. In addition, the Foundation will issue a single check for the total amount of living artist supports to the exhibiting institution. After the opening, the exhibiting institution, in accordance with any and all IRS regulations, is responsible for distributing the living artist supports to each artist, artist collaborative, and/or artist collective whose existing work is exhibited.
- Note 2: Curators commissioning new work for an exhibition should reflect associated commissioning fees in the Core Exhibition budget line (under artists).

Enhanced Engagement Fund
- Up to $20,000 is designated to elevate the exhibition reach beyond the institution’s standard marketing/outreach. Uses may include interactive websites, 3D online tours, video documentation, etc.

Post-Opening Opportunity Fund
This $20,000 fund can be utilized for unbudgeted, post-opening opportunities that further impact and social discourse. For example, based on feedback, additional talks may be scheduled that require artists to travel to the institution, hours may be extended, more community or school groups can be underwritten, etc.

Review Criteria:
- Intellectual quality of the proposal's premise
- Degree of innovation
- Distinction from other major art exhibitions either planned or mounted within the last 15 years with a similar topic
- Potential for both professional and public impact
- Feasibility of implementation
- Quality and excellence of the works of art to be included
- Capacity of the exhibition space to physically accomplish the vision of the concept.

Whether the curator is on-staff or contracted for the exhibition, the research for an exhibition is a valid expense.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164141

Estimated Size of Grant:

Core Exhibition & Publication - up to $150,000.
Living Artist Honorariums - up to $10,000.
Enhanced Engagement Fund - up to $20,000
Post-Opening Opportunity Fund - up to $20,000.

Term of Contract:

If selected as recipients, the individual and institution must realize the exhibition no sooner that 18 months and within 36 months after the Exhibition Award is announced.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are accepted on a triennial basis from any curator, or curatorial team, applying in partnership with an established (five or more years old) non-profit exhibition space, whether a traditional gallery or museum, or an alternative non-profit venue.

The curator can be on staff at the partnering exhibition space or a guest/independent curator working with the partnering space for this exhibit. A curator is an individual who devotes at least 50% of his/her professional life to creating, organizing or analyzing contemporary art exhibitions. Curatorial teams are groups comprised of at least one curator (according to definition above) and additional curators and/ or artists.

Curators on contract can have their fees included in the budget. Additionally, if the curator is not on-staff and the exhibition is selected, a letter of agreement between both the institution and curator(s) will be required.

The partner institution is the exhibiting space that will first mount the show. This institutions must hold non-profit status, be in operation for at least five years, have an operating budget of at least $500,000, and be respected in the art field whether as a traditional gallery or museum, or an alternative non-profit venue. While the institution does not need to have a continual exhibition history, it must be able to show exhibitions of significance and an ability to fulfill the requirements mounting an exhibition of this caliber.

All institutions and curators must have in some way published in conjunction with an exhibition. This can be an electronic or printed publication. It can also be co-authored as long as the institution and/or curator has taken an active role in writing the publication.

Staff salaries and benefits are not eligible expenses.

Not Eligible:
- Single artist exhibitions, retrospectives, re-installations, and artist collective exhibitions
- Exhibitions composed solely of works of graduate students/faculty at a university
- Exhibitions that do not involve contemporary art (post-1950)
- Exhibitions that are past the early stage of development
- Residency programs
- Exhibition spaces based outside of the United States
- Exhibitions with multiple large funding sources. (The Exhibition Award does not need to be the sole or primary source of funding for the exhibition but should receive top credit.)
- Curators who have received the Exhibition Award in the previous four years. (Note that the partner exhibiting institution is exempt from this restriction. They may serve as a partner institution on an application submitted at the next Exhibition Award round.)

Pre-Application Information:

The exhibition planning process should be in the early stages of development.

Please ask questions as they arise in your application process. Ideally, questions should be asked at least two weeks prior to the deadline.

Applications are accepted on a triennial basis. The next application deadline will be in 2019, then 2022, 2025, etc.

- Application deadline: February 28, 2019
- Awards announced in May 2019

Award components:



Contact Information:

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

Register and apply online:

Questions should be sent via email to

If you think that you or someone at your organization has already registered in the system, do not create a new account. Please contact the Foundation's staff, at to receive your username and password.

Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation
171 Orange Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Heather Pontonio, Senior Program Director

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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