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Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Program

Grants to Pittsburgh Area, Pennsylvania Artists and Nonprofits
to Promote the Black Arts Sector Within the Community

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation

Deadline Date:

03/15/19 11:59 PM - Deadline for Planning Grants, Individual Artist Support, Culturally Relevant Residency Support, Festival Support, Advancing the Field Support, and Special Project Support streams; Special Opportunity applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and General Operating Support applications are due 08/1/19.


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Grants to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area individual artists and nonprofit organizations across the arts disciplines whose work focuses on the art of African Americans, Africa, and the larger Diaspora. Funding is intended to enhance career building, raise public awareness of Black arts, and support the efforts of cultural organizations to promote the Black arts sector.

The Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh initiative aims to create a vibrant and inclusive cultural life in the Pittsburgh region. The program offers the following funding streams:

- Planning Grants: To help cover expenses related to developing a full project proposal, including data gathering and research, convening partners, consensus building and problem definition.
- Individual Artist Support: Grants made to individual artists in any discipline whose work focuses on Black art – defined as the art of African Americans, Africa and the larger African diaspora – to support creative and career development, self-curated artistic professional development, creation of new works and self-productions.
- Culturally Relevant Residency Support: Artist residency support is available to any arts or culturally relevant organization interested in hosting artists.
- Festival Support: To support individuals and small arts organizations seeking to participate in local, regional or national festivals. Grants support projects that culminate in a programmatic activity with public presentation and/or participation in an artist market with the award recipient’s own artistic product and wares.
- Advancing the Field Support: Grants to nonprofit organizations, researchers and arts advocates for collaborative projects, research or marketing/advocacy efforts that increase the health and visibility of the Black arts sector beyond a single artistic engagement. Broad-scale, sector-wide advocacy aimed at the Pittsburgh community as a whole is encouraged.
- Special Project Support: To nonprofit organizations to present and/or produce work. Preference will be given to arts or other organizations that emphasize significant community involvement or engagement in the project. Projects in the areas of Black media and journalism, or that specifically address issues of social justice and equity are welcome.

In addition:

- Special Opportunity support is available to artists or culturally relevant organizations that have an unexpected artistic opportunity arise during the course of the year.
- General Operating Support (by invitation only)

For additional information on each of the funding streams, click on each of the "Available Programs" listed on

For program goals and values, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182982

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Planning Grants: Up to $5,000
- Individual Artist Support: Up to $15,000
- Culturally Relevant Residency Support: Up to $20,000
- Festival Support : Up to $10,000
- Advancing the Field Support: Up to $25,000
- Special Project Support: Up to $20,000
- Special Opportunity: Up to $10,000

Term of Contract:

Activities to be funded should not begin sooner than Aug. 15, 2019.

Grantees will be required to submit a final report on the project one year from the date of the grant award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Individual Artist Support:
- Artists must be at least 18 years of age and residents of the Pittsburgh region.*
- Previous grantees are eligible to apply one year after the close of their grant. (Grantees in 2018 are eligible to apply again in 2020.)

Culturally Relevant Residencies:
- Applicant organizations must be 501(c)(3) organizations (or work with a fiscal sponsor) located in the Pittsburgh region*.
- Competitive residency proposals will demonstrate significant artist involvement in the development of the residency.
- Two-thirds of project costs should be directly related to artist fees or production expenses.
- Previous grantee organizations are eligible to apply one year after the close of their grant.

Arts Organizations must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
- Classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a relationship with a fiscal sponsor.
- Operate in the Pittsburgh region*.
- Have a history of producing or presenting.
- Demonstrate reasonable attendance by, as well as accessibility to, a broad and diverse public audience.
- Previous grantee organizations are eligible to apply one year after the close of their grant.

*Artists and organizations located in the following counties of the Pittsburgh region are eligible to apply for funding: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland.

Applicants who are outside of these 13 counties and have a project that is competitive though not eligible are requested to contact Celeste Smith at the Foundation. There may be opportunities to form authentic partnerships with artists and organizations within the qualifying Pittsburgh region.

Pre-Application Information:

- Letters of intent for the 6 main funding streams are due March 15, 2019, by 11:59 p.m..
- Special Opportunity requests are accepted on an ongoing basis.
- General Operating Support requests are made by invitation only and are due on August 1, 2019, by 11:59 PM.

Application Process:

1. Eligible applicants must establish an account online via the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program’s SlideRoom.
2. Applicants will be asked to submit a letter of intent (LOI). Letters of intent are due March 15, 2019.
3. Foundation staff will review letters of intent and will notify applicants by April 15, 2019, if they have been selected to submit a full application. Only applicants who have submitted a letter of intent and have been invited to apply will be considered for funding.
4. If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants will receive detailed instructions on how to apply.
5. Applicants who progress to the full proposal stage and are approved for a grant will be notified by July 15, 2019.

For more information about submitting an application for review (two weeks prior to the deadline), contact Shaunda McDill.

To watch the video about the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program:

For further information about the grant program:

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

For information, contact:

Shaunda McDill

Interested applicants may also contact:

Celeste C. Smith, Program Officer for Arts and Culture

The Pittsburgh Foundation
Five PPG Place, Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412 391 5122

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh Region (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties)