The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation provides grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations whose innovative projects and original ideas will advance scholarship in the arts. We accept Letters of Inquiry on a quarterly basis for bold proposals that provide promising insights into the fields of art which we collect: Art of the Spanish Americas, Digital & Media Art, Japanese Bamboo, and Post-War Painting & Sculpture. We also welcome requests pertaining to the arts and culture of the American Southwest.
Although we fund projects from all across the United States and abroad, we are particularly interested in receiving proposals from our target regions. In the U.S., this includes Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Internationally, we are especially excited to support projects that engage with our Art of the Spanish Americas collection.
We value long-term relationships with grantees and encourage you to connect with us at any stage of the application process. The Foundation prefers 12 months’ notice before the start of a project. For more information on projects we have supported in the past, view our previous recipients. Questions about our grant opportunities should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update March 15, 2021: All grant requests must be submitted through our online grant portal. Your initial letter of inquiry should provide general information about the project such as the start and end dates, requested amount, and total budget, as well as a 200- to 300-word synopsis of the project outlining the main goals of the project and its significance.
The projects we support through our General Nonprofit Grants fall within one or more of the following categories:
Research, travel, manuscript development, hiring research assistants, equipment, etc. to support original scholarship related to our collection areas. Academic projects should culminate in a clear final deliverable such as a book manuscript or peer-reviewed article. For potential partners working in university settings, a letter stating our policy on funding indirect costs is available on our Grantee Resources page.
As of Spring 2021, we are excited to learn about exhibitions that are slated to open in 2022 or 2023. We welcome the opportunity to become an early funder of landmark exhibitions that relate to our collections, and which significantly raise the public profile of those genres while also advancing art historical scholarship. Historically, we have cultivated strong relationships with medium-size museums across the country that reach a diverse regional audience and value innovative curation. Exhibition funding can include development, scholarship, construction, outreach, traveling costs, admissions subsidies, and more.
The Thoma Foundation also loans pieces from its collections in support of exhibitions. The loan application process is separate from our grant platform; please see our collections site and read the FAQ page to learn more about our artwork loans.
To encourage scholarly debate and dialogue, we fund academic conferences and workshops that will significantly advance the fields of art scholarship related to our collections. We urge applicants to familiarize themselves with industry standards for honoraria and per diems in advance of creating a convening budget.
Our Publication Grant follows the same deadlines as the rest of our General Nonprofit Grants but uses a different application. Please refer to our separate Publications Grants page to learn more.
How to Apply
Before applying please read more about how we select our nonprofit arts funding partners:
As of September 2020, our grant portal has migrated platforms from Slideroom to SmartSimple. For instructions on how to apply with the new system, download this User Guide.
NEXT DEADLINE TO SUBMIT LETTERS OF INQUIRY: September 15, 2021
Current grantees can find links to acknowledgement policies, our image reproduction request form, and other assets on our Grantee Resources page.