For an introduction to our grant opportunities, see what we fund.
How does Teiger Foundation define contemporary art?
We define contemporary art as visual art that was made from the 1960s onward. To be eligible for funding, projects and programs need not focus exclusively on contemporary art or visual art, but should take place within a framework or context in which contemporary visual art is a significant component.
Does Teiger Foundation support only visual art projects?
Visual art is our focus. We do not support projects in the fields of film, design/decorative arts, craft, or architecture unless they are presented in a framework or context in which visual art is a significant component. We recognize that distinctions among genres of art are not always clear and we welcome proposals that include contemporary work in various disciplines, as long as they are conceptually and formally defined in dialogue with visual art. If you are unsure about whether the content of your project or program aligns with our focus on contemporary visual art, please look at our recent grantees for examples of eligible projects. If you are still unsure, please contact us.
My organization does not focus on contemporary or visual art. Can we apply with an upcoming project that does?
Cultural and community organizations of all types working with visual art curators to pursue projects involving contemporary art are encouraged to apply. These programs can involve other artistic disciplines or eras of art, but contemporary art must form a primary component.
What qualifies as indirect costs and/or overhead?
Examples include administrative costs, such as non-project staff salaries and office supplies; facility costs, such as your organization's rent or mortgage payments, utilities, property insurance, and maintenance expenses; technology and communication costs, such as costs associated with maintaining, upgrading, and using technology infrastructure, as well as internet and phone services; and general operating expenses related to the functioning of your organization but not directly linked to the project (e.g., legal and accounting fees or other professional services).
Roles and positions
My job title is not “Curator” (e.g., I am an Executive Director or Artistic Director), but I serve as a curator within my organization. Can I apply?
Yes. The job title of “Curator” is not a requirement for eligibility. We acknowledge that institutions are structured differently depending on scale and other factors, and that many directors of small organizations hold a dual administrative/curatorial role. If you are performing a curatorial role in relation to your proposed project or program, you are welcome to apply. The same standards govern the evaluation of your past projects. You must convey a serious commitment to curatorial practice in the visual art context, even if your role or prior work involves focus areas other than, or in addition to, curatorial work. Your application should demonstrate your curatorial role in the project or in shaping the vision of the program.
I am an early-career curator. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. Curators at all levels are welcome to apply. If your prior curatorial experience is minimal, please pay special attention to the past project section of the application, and use it to illustrate other activities and experiences that have helped inform your point of view and professional strengths as a curator.
Can I apply if I am a guest curator of a one-time exhibition or program? I otherwise fill a different professional role.
Teiger Foundation typically supports professional curators, but recognizes that there are instances in which an organization brings in special expertise for a project in the form of a professional from another discipline, or a person with uniquely relevant knowledge and life experience. In your application, make sure to convey your expertise in your subject area while also articulating how it relates to the context of visual art and your proposed project. Your application should make clear how the host organization will support you to bridge your expertise with curatorial work.
I have not completed formal education in curatorial studies or a related field. Can I still apply for a Teiger Foundation grant?
Yes. Teiger Foundation does not have educational requirements for grant eligibility. We understand and appreciate that knowledge and experience in the field of curating can be acquired through diverse pathways, and not just through formal education. It's important that your application clearly demonstrates your commitment to curatorial practice within the visual art context. Whether you have gained your expertise through nontraditional means or through academic pursuits, you are invited to apply, as long as you can illustrate your curatorial vision for the project or program you're proposing.
I'm an independent curator. Can I apply?
Teiger Foundation is set up to fund organizations, not individuals. As an independent curator, you will need to apply with a host institution that holds 501(c)(3) status.
What do I need from the host institution to apply?
You will need a written commitment from the institution that will host your project. This commitment can be either a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a formal contract. Submit this commitment and the institution’s 501(c)(3) proof as one PDF with your application. If you're awarded a grant, a formal contract will be requested before we disburse funds.
Can I apply with a fiscal sponsor instead of a host institution?
How are the funds disbursed?
Funds will be directed to the host institution or fiscal sponsor identified on your application, not to individual curators. If you are preparing the application, remember to include appropriate compensation for your work in the project budget. Consider referencing industry standards for curators who are permanently employed by art institutions. If your partnering organization lacks salaried staff whose roles are similar to yours, you can check the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for regional rate standards. The College Art Association Guidelines for Guest Curators also provide insights on best practices and contract terms.
Can curators from partnering organizations collaborate and submit a single application for support?
Yes. We encourage curators to partner with colleagues at other cultural institutions and also with community organizations, institutions of higher learning, etc.
How should partnering organizations structure their application?
For efficiency's sake, we ask that one curator and/or organization take the lead on the application itself and apply for the single project or research and development grant. As you describe your project, please share how each curator and/or organization contributes their expertise, resources, and networks. You may choose to dedicate some of the text fields or link fields to provide background on partner organizations, as needed. Partnerships require considerable work and time, and collaborative applicants should include related expenses in project budgets as well as the projected award distribution across organizations. We are open to distributing funds to either the lead organization or across the organizations affiliated with the curatorial team.
Does the exhibiting or presenting venue for a project need to be the lead partner or applicant?
Not necessarily. If your project is a partnership among multiple entities, please choose the organization that is most closely connected to your project or best equipped to receive the grant funds.
Beyond the gallery
Does Teiger Foundation support publications?
Currently, we do not support stand-alone publishing projects, but grants can include support for print or digital publications related to the proposed program(s) or project(s). Publications should reflect informed decisions about whether and how to make a book or a website, or deploy another digital medium such as a podcast, live or edited video interview, etc. Traditionally, publications have extended the life of an exhibition and brought it to a wider audience. Our aim is to empower curators to take charge of how their work exists online, and drive innovation around methods for doing so.
Does Teiger Foundation support digital projects hosted online?
We are open to supporting exhibitions, new commissions, and public programs curated for digital platforms that are affiliated with nonprofit organizations.
Do you provide support for organizations that offer regranting programs, curatorial fellowships, or training programs?
At the moment, we do not offer support for these types of programs. They are an important part of the art funding and curatorial practice ecosystems, and we may offer grants to support them in the future.
Application and award process
How are applications evaluated?
Selections are made by a rotating jury of peers, including past grantees as well as other curators, artists, and arts professionals. Given the focus of the Foundation, evidence of the curator's creativity and engagement as well as how the proposed project will offer artists opportunities for learning and connection are very important. We hope you will consider the application an opportunity for you and/or your organization to reflect on your individual or shared work and what it contributes to the field more broadly. This may involve framing past and proposed projects as a cohesive practice with particular through-lines or strengths, or narrating them as an intellectual trajectory with key concerns and/or turning points. In addition to curatorial distinction and creativity, we prioritize applicant diversity across geography and career stage. We also value the diversity of perspectives that curators can bring, including those that illuminate the pasts, presents, and potential futures of art as they relate to gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, race, and ethnicity.
Who should be the contact person on the application form?
The application is designed to be written from the perspective of the lead curator directing the proposed program or project. We recognize, however, that curators collaborate with their colleagues in development departments to submit grant applications. The application has separate fields for the names of the lead curator and the submitter.
Can I discuss my application with Teiger Foundation staff before the submission deadline?
We will not offer feedback on applications or drafts of applications. We will offer a virtual information session in webinar format with an opportunity to submit questions in advance. We will also offer online office hours before the application deadline, but please note that appointment slots will be limited.
Can I apply to more than one category in the same cycle?
No. You must choose one category. We will only accept one application per institution.
How competitive is Teiger’s Call for Proposals?
Teiger Foundation’s inaugural 2023 Call for Proposals received over 400 applications. From that pool we awarded fourteen single project grants, thirteen three years of programming grants, seven research (now research and development) grants, and six touring (now touring) grants, totaling $3.3 million. We do not require a certain number of awards to be granted in each category. The total number and proportion of grants may change in future grant cycles.
How will funds be distributed?
For grants geared toward single projects, research and development, and hosting a touring show, all funds will be disbursed within two months of notification. Three years of programming grants will be disbursed annually in three equal installments.
What are Teiger Foundation’s reporting requirements?
At the midpoint of each grant cycle, Teiger Foundation will schedule a meeting with the leading curator(s) for each funded project. We’ll ask for a one-page final budget at the conclusion of the project (or its primary public-facing aspects). Both the leading curator(s) and the applying organization’s leadership will need to sign off on this budget.
Eligibility for all applicants, including past grantees
I applied to the 2023 Call for Proposals but did not receive funding. Can I apply again in the next cycle?
Yes, but not with the same project proposal.
Can institutions submit multiple applications per cycle?
No. Only one application is allowed per institution.
I got a single project grant in 2023. Can I apply again in this cycle?
If you are a curator who has received a single project grant, you will have to skip one cycle before applying for another single project grant. If there is another curator at your organization who is planning an eligible project, we encourage that curator to apply for a single project, research and development, or hosting grant. If there are no other curators with eligible projects at your organization, you may apply again immediately for a grant in the research and development or hosting categories.
I got a touring grant in 2023. Can I apply again in this cycle?
Curators with a touring grant (now known as a hosting grant) can apply for a grant in any category in the next cycle. But we encourage all organizations who were awarded grants in 2023 to support the applications of other curatorial staff, if possible.
I got a research (now research and development) grant in 2023. Can I apply for a single project or three years of programming grant for the completed project?
My organization got funding for three years of programming in 2023. What’s next?
Recipients of a 2023 grant for three years of programming are not eligible to apply for any grants in the 2024 cycle.