Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture celebrates the transcendent power of the arts to challenge, activate, and nourish the human spirit. We support exceptional creative practice, scholarship, and conservation of arts and culture, while nurturing a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem. 

Our program works with artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and organizations to ensure equitable access to excellent arts and cultural experiences. Our goal is to add complexity and justice to our understanding of the world, and to foster societies that value artists as the chroniclers of our humanity.

In short, we work to place the arts and artists at the center of thriving, healthy communities.


Mellon at 50: Cultural Leaders Who Are Telling a Fuller American Story 

How do we mindfully uncover and memorialize erased histories? If the American landscape is a text, whose story are we reading?

mural depicting scenes from American historyREAD MORE >

Carpetbag Theatre's "Stories that Validate and Strengthen Us" 

A cornerstone of Southern theater celebrates 50 years of art and community advocacy.

actors on stageREAD MORE >

How Museums Are Deepening Their Commitment to Native American Perspectives 

A constellation of Mellon-supported fellowship programs address a growing need for diversity among cultural heritage professionals.

Two people in a museum store room with a painting in the background.READ MORE >

State of the Arts 

ALL ARTS—a revolutionary public media broadcast channel and streaming platform—and enhanced coverage on PBS NewsHour connect diverse audiences across America to the arts.


From Survival to Sustainability: The Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative 

Regional arts and cultural organizations in the fields of conservation, dance, and theater are able to work toward long-term capacity goals with the help of Mellon grants.

[four actresses on stage]READ MORE >

Demonstrating the Social Impact of the Arts 

Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch on how an online tool highlights the arts’ impact on health, community development, and other sectors of society, making the case for increased arts activity and funding.

performers on stage with an American flag behind a cage of barsREAD MORE >

Putting Creative Industries to Work 

On the release of "Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts," Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, writes about how new research documents the size and scope of the nation’s arts establishments and jobs—and makes the case for increased investment in the arts.


Puerto Rico: After The Storm 

Northwestern University performance studies professor and department chair Ramón H. Rivera-Servera has spearheaded an innovative outreach initiative to assist Puerto Rican artists in the aftermath of last fall’s devastating hurricanes. Article by Kerry Trotter and Cara Lockwood, originally appearing in Dialogue, a publication of Northwestern University.


Behind the Scenes: Assessing the National Playwright Residency Program 

Established in 2012, the National Playwright Residency Program seeks to empower playwrights by embedding them in producing theaters. Here, a summary of Helicon Collaborative’s Report on the program’s impact.


Art in America: Supporting a New Generation of Curators 

The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship program is designed to diversify the curatorial ranks in museums across America.


Enriching our Communities, Part 1: An Analysis of Museums as Economic Engines  

A Mellon Foundation-supported study by the American Alliance of Museums and Oxford Economics highlights the need for a greater understanding of the full scope of how museums benefit our lives and the economy.


Pushing Boundaries: Sanchita Balachandran and the Art of Conservation 

“Conservation in the 21st century can no longer just be about objects,” says Balachandran. “Conservation also has to be about the people whose lives are inscribed on them.”


Better Together: Public and Private Funding for the Arts 

"Relegating arts support to the private sector alone would leave millions of people behind," writes National Assembly of State Arts Agencies CEO Pam Breaux.


Chicago Sings 

Lyric Opera of Chicago brings voices of the community to the stage.

Community theater participants working on original music for a Chicago Voices production.READ MORE >

Putting Artists at the Center of Conservation 

SFMOMA’s Artist Initiative takes a mutually reinforcing approach to curating, conserving and displaying contemporary works.


Can Plays Looking Back at US History Offer a Way Forward? 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s (OSF) “American Revolutions” project is the nonprofit regional theater company’s biggest undertaking since was founded in 1935. More than 100 playwrights, historians, and partner institutions are collaborating on the creation of 37 plays, each about a critical moment of change and importance in American history.


All Arts and Culture News >