Arts and Culture

a line of dancers, wearing hats, on a dimly lit stage

Through our Arts and Culture program, Mellon celebrates the power of the arts to challenge, activate, and nourish the human spirit. We support exceptional creative practice, scholarship, and conservation practices while nurturing a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem. We work with artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and organizations to ensure equitable access to excellent arts and cultural experiences and support approaches that place the arts and artists at the center of thriving, healthy communities.  


How We Do This 

Three interconnected strategies guide Mellon’s Arts and Culture grantmaking:  

Strategy one: Supporting visionary artists and practitioners and the participatory roles they play across institutions and communities. 
Artists reveal our shared humanity and connect us all. We invest in visionary artists and arts leaders whose practices extend beyond their studios or workspaces to catalyze change in our world. We celebrate artist-driven, cross-sector collaborations and acknowledge the dimensional nature of an artist’s work and place in society. 

Strategy two: Supporting exceptional organizations and artists that have been historically under-resourced, including the creation, conservation, and preservation of their artwork, histories, collections, and traditions. 
Mellon seeks to engender an understanding of broader histories, narratives, and aesthetic traditions through multi-year support of artists and communities historically subject to disinvestment. Grants seek to ensure the legacies of many instead of few.

Strategy three: Creating scaffolding for experiments with new economic paradigms and institutional models that center equity and justice and creative problem-solving in arts and culture.  
Mellon seeds experiments that center and embolden artists to imagine new structures and organizational models that reflect their holistic approach to social change. Mellon provides support for projects that pilot new operating and funding models for individual artists and organizations that foster a more inclusive, nimble, and cooperative sector.

Top photo: Courtesy JAE. Credit: Olivia Moon Photography