Grants for Theater
501(c)(3) Grants for Theater in the United States
Find grants for theater for your 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization here. Whether you are looking for funding opportunities for your theatrical project or program, general operating expense, fund for your capital project, and so on, we've got you covered. Keep scrolling to find a list of grants for theater arts or start your 14-day free trial of Instrumentl to see all the grants recommended for your specific programs.
Entergy Charitable Foundation
Entergy’s Open Grants Program focuses on improving communities as a whole. We look for giving opportunities in the areas of arts and culture, education and workforce development, poverty solutions and social services, healthy families, and community improvement.
Arts and Culture
The arts are expressions of ourselves – our heritage, feelings and ideas. To cultivate that, we support a diverse range of locally based visual arts, theater, dance and music institutions. Our long-term goal is to increase the access to contemporary art for a wider public, including children and the financially disadvantaged.Community Improvement/EnrichmentEntergy supports community-based projects that focus community enrichment and improvement. A few examples include civic affairs, blighted housing improvements, and neighborhood safety. By giving to communities in this way, we actually help them become more self-sufficient.Healthy FamiliesChildren need a good start to grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults. With that in mind, we give to programs that have a direct impact on children educationally and emotionally. We’re also interested in family programs, like those that better prepare parents to balance the demands of work and home. The amount and nature of an organization’s request will determine which type of grant the organization would need to apply for.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
Note: If you have thoroughly reviewed the Foundation’s priorities and grantmaking activity on the website and you believe your organization is a good match for our mission, you can fill out an information form here. Please be aware that the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or formal letters of inquiry and rarely makes grants to organizations that we first learn about through the information form—so we urge you to carefully review your fit with our organization’s priorities before investing time in filling out our information form. Full applications may be submitted by invitation only.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
The Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF) is a private family foundation in Seattle, Washington, with a mission to 1) honor and reflect the family’s shared values through giving and 2) engage the family in philanthropy as a platform for strengthening family connections.
The Laird Norton Family
The Laird and Norton families, related to each other from their pioneer origins in Pennsylvania, settled in Winona, Minnesota, in the mid-1850s. There, William Harris Laird and his cousins, Matthew G. Norton and James Laird Norton, formed the Laird Norton Company.
The pioneer logging and lumberyard operation was the first of several family-owned companies, first in the Midwest, later in the Pacific Northwest, and finally all over the West, including Alaska. Today, Laird Norton Company, LLC is still a privately owned and operated family business, committed to contributing value to its family and community.
A seventh-generation family, the Laird Norton family now includes approximately 500 living family members. Family members live throughout the world and occupy a wide array of professions. We come together every year to share skills and interests, and strengthen our connection to each other and our shared history.
Arts in Education
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Arts in Education program is to increase arts education and to improve pre-K through grade 12 student learning through the arts. Funding will be directed toward programs that seek to enhance students’ educational outcomes rather than to simply increase participation in, or appreciation for, the arts.
The Arts in Education program will consider funding programs that:
Why Take This Approach?
There is clear evidence to suggest that arts-integrated curricula and/or arts-rich environments are beneficial to student learning. Although we value the arts as a stand-alone experience, programs are most successful when:
- They have the support of an entire district and in-school leadership
- Teacher professional development is included in the program
- Partnerships with high-quality arts organizations are created and nourished
- Arts lessons are aligned with other student learning goals, and
- Student progress is effectively monitored
With the above lessons in mind, we have established the following guiding principles.
- K-12 public schools (or pre-K programs that receive public funding) must already have traction in arts programs (i.e. some arts education has already been established in the school, policies are in place to support arts in education, principals want a more robust arts program, and schools have support from parent groups (PTAs) to strengthen their arts programs).
- Programs must focus on positively impacting students’ learning.
- Programs must focus on students “doing” art, as opposed to observing art. Programs should enhance comprehensive, sequential delivery of arts instruction and can include all arts: performing, music, visual, theater, literary (poetry & writing), folk, media, and emerging art fields.
- Applicants should be able to demonstrate their program has been designed and is managed with an understanding of cultural competencies appropriate to their student demographic.
Goals and Strategies
Climate change poses a significant global threat, one which we are addressing by striving to ensure an equitable, resilient, habitable, and enjoyable world for current and future generations. While our work is focused on climate change, we believe in the value of ecosystems services and in the stability and resiliency of healthy natural systems. We also believe it is essential that the cost of externalities be incorporated into lifestyle, policy, and business considerations.
As a small funder addressing an enormous issue, we aim to make grants that offer potential for leverage and scalability — as well as “opportunistic” grants where our ability to move quickly may positively impact a project’s outcome. We are particularly interested in policy and research work, demonstration projects, and finding ways to address critical gaps. We are also interested in expanding our own learning (we are not experts, nor do we aspire to be).
Why Take This Approach?
We believe in persistence and prefer to invest in ongoing work with a long-term focus. Although our grants operate on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and prefer to support organizations and projects that take a long-term view and can demonstrate progress toward goals each year. We are also interested in projects that have the potential to be self-sustaining in the long run.
Currently, our grantmaking is focused on efforts to hasten the demise of coal, and on work that increases the abilities of the forests, agricultural lands, and estuaries of the Pacific Northwest to sequester carbon. We are looking to support leverageable, measurable work focused on:
- Regenerative biological systems that influence the carbon cycle (“biocarbon”)
- Reducing dependency on fossil fuels, and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Human Services program is to support, empower, uplift, and create opportunities for long-term success and a brighter future for unaccompanied youth and young adults (age 12-24) who are in crisis, have experienced trauma, or are aging out of the foster care system. We want to support these youth and young adults in their journey from surviving to thriving.
We will consider funding organizations or programs that provide support for youth/young adults suffering from trauma, mental illness, or addiction, with priority given to homeless youth and those impacted by the foster care system. While the full spectrum of services for youth in crisis is essential, we expect to do the bulk of our grantmaking in two areas:
Why Take This Approach?
We believe treatment and support for mental health issues and trauma can help prevent homelessness and addiction later in life. We also believe supporting youth/young adults as they transition out of foster care and into independent living increases their odds for a positive future.
Organizations must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered:
- Have leaders and/or staff that are representative of the community they serve. We believe that the best programs will have mentors and leaders that truly understand and can identify with those they serve (e.g., staff that have been homeless or in foster care or are open about their own mental health, trauma, or addiction struggles). We value organizations or programs that emphasize connection to and even emanate from the communities they seek to serve; those that embrace the mantra "nothing about us without us” in all aspects of their work.
- Organizations or programs that include or connect to wrap-around services for youth/young adults. For example: organizations that identify and connect youth to community resources, offer job/skills training and/or provide case management. We value organizations that partner with others in the community to ensure all of a young person’s needs are met.
Goals and Strategies
The Laird Norton family continually promotes the advancement of intellectual growth, business experience, and philanthropic focus in order to ensure the excellence of its youngest generations. Through the Sapling Fund, young Laird Norton family members (ages 14–21) come together to learn about grantmaking, the nonprofit sector, and family philanthropy. The Sapling Fund provides young family members a chance to identify and support causes that resonate with them, and endows future family leaders with a sense of fiscal and social responsibility.
Sapling Fund grants are guided by a “for kids, from kids” philosophy. Grants support programs and organizations that cater specifically to youth and specific priorities change each year as new cohorts of Sapling members collectively identify shared priorities for the year’s grantmaking.
Why Take This Approach?
Sapling Fund committee members gain valuable experience by organizing an annual campaign to raise money for their grantmaking activities through contributions from Laird Norton family members. The annual budget supports three to five grant awards each year and an all-family service project organized by members of the committee.
Goals and Strategies
Watersheds have social, ecological, and economic significance. The goal of the Watershed Stewardship program is to create enabling conditions for long-term social and ecological health and resilience in places of importance to the Laird Norton Family.
We take a long-term view on healthy watersheds and invest in organizational capacity with an eye to future resilience. We encourage our partners to focus not on single-species recovery or restoration to historical conditions as a primary end-goal, but to also consider the potential value of significantly altered — but functioning — ecosystems as we continue to face the impacts of climate change and other natural and human-caused changes into the future.
We seek to add value not just by making financial investments in organizations advancing place-based ecological and social outcomes, but also by building relationships in watershed communities, spending time listening and gaining experience in the watersheds in which we invest, and fostering partnerships, convenings, and additional investment from other funders.
Why Take This Approach?
We believe the wellbeing of the people who live in a place must be considered alongside ecological goals; understanding the diverse interests and values of a watershed’s human inhabitants is an important component of long-term success.
Organizations or programs we partner with should:
- Possess the organizational capacity and skills to be well-positioned to secure much more significant funding for projects than we would ever be able to provide.
- Be open to the Foundation removing barriers to entry for public funding and get projects to a shovel ready position.
- Provide us with opportunities to invest in their abilities to develop strong governance structures, collaborate, mediate, facilitate, tackle sticky challenges, get paperwork in order, maintain momentum on big projects, and otherwise lay the groundwork for success.
While we don’t specifically commit to a set term of investment in any watershed, we believe that investing in a place long enough to really understand the work is important, and we believe that sustained and flexible funding enables greater long-term success for our partners. Although we make grants on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and hold a long-term view on the work being done in the watersheds we prioritize, but we do move on when we no longer have a necessary role to play.
Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
NOTE: The annual fall application deadline is for proposals for projects and performances taking place in the New Year. An additional summer application deadline is primarily intended for College/University Performance grants for productions taking place in the following academic year.
About the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
Chartered in 1962 as a not-for-profit private foundation, the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music preserves and perpetuates the legacies of composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and his actress-singer wife Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). Based in New York City, it encourages an appreciation of Weill’s music through support of performances, recordings, and scholarship, while nurturing talent more generally in the creation, performance, and study of musical theater. It maintains the Weill-Lenya Research Center; the annual Lotte Lenya Singing Competition; Weill-Lenya Artist Sponsorships, the Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellowship, and the Harold Prince/Kurt Weill Directing Fellowship. It has prepared and co-published twelve volumes of the Kurt Weill Edition, with more in preparation. It awards biennially the Kurt Weill Prize for scholarship about music theater. The Foundation’s ongoing communications include its semi-annual Kurt Weill Newsletter, monthly E-News, and lively presence on multiple social media platforms. Since 2012, the Foundation has also administered the musical and literary estate of Marc Blitzstein. The Foundation's eight-member staff happily assists individuals and institutions on a daily basis in response to inquiries about licensing, casting, performing materials, historical and biographical information, and other resources. Overseen and energized by a distinguished and diverse fourteen-member board of trustees, the Foundation functions imaginatively and responsibly as the heir, custodian, and administrator of the rights of Weill, Lenya, and Blitzstein.
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. administers, promotes, and perpetuates the legacies of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. It encourages broad dissemination and appreciation of Weill’s music through support of performances, productions, recordings, and scholarship, and it fosters understanding of Weill’s and Lenya’s lives and work within diverse cultural contexts. Building upon the legacies of both, it nurtures talent, particularly in the creation, performance, and study of musical theater in its various manifestations and media.
Kurt Weill Foundation Grant Program
The Foundation's Grant and Collaborative Initiatives Programs award financial support to individuals and not-for-profit organizations for projects related to Weill, Lenya, or Marc Blitzstein. Since 1983 the Foundation has awarded more than $5,000,000 in grant funding to hundreds of organizations and individuals worldwide. Its Grants and Collaborative Initiatives Programs reflect the Kurt Weill Foundation's commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As such, the Foundation ensures that its grant funding is awarded to organizations who have demonstrably committed to and implemented policies ensuring non-discrimination, diversity, and equality in its practices.
The Foundation's Grant Program accepts proposals in the following categories: Professional Performance, College/University and Amateur Performance, Media, Scholarly Symposia and Conferences, Publication Assistance, Research & Travel, and the Kurt Weill Dissertation Fellowship. For guidance concerning the Foundation's general standards for performing Weill's music, please see our Summary of Artistic Policies.
- Professional Performance
- College/University and Amateur Performance
- Scholarly Symposia and Conferences
- Publication Assistance
- Research & Travel
- Kurt Weill Dissertation Fellowship
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
OUR TOWN: Grant Program Description
- Bring new attention to or elevate key community assets and issues, voices of residents, local history, or cultural infrastructure.
- Inject new or additional energy, resources, activity, people, or enthusiasm into a place, community issue, or local economy.
- Envision new possibilities for a community or place - a new future, a new way of overcoming a challenge, or approaching problem-solving.
- Connect communities, people, places, and economic opportunity via physical spaces or new relationships.
The National Endowment for the Arts plans to support a variety of projects across the country in urban, rural, and tribal communities of all sizes.
Our Town projects must integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Projects may include activities such as:
Artist residency: A program designed to strategically connect artists with the opportunity to bring their creative skill sets to non-arts institutions, including residencies in government offices, businesses, or other institutions.
Arts festivals: Public events that gather people, often in public space or otherwise unexpected places, to showcase talent and exchange culture.
Community co-creation of art: The process of engaging stakeholders to participate or collaborate alongside artists/designers in conceiving, designing, or fabricating a work or works of art.
Performances: Presentations of a live art work (e.g., music, theater, dance, media).
Public art: A work of art that is conceived for a particular place or community, with the intention of being broadly accessible, and often involving community members in the process of developing, selecting, or executing the work.
Temporary public art: A work of art that is conceived for a particular place or community and meant for display over a finite period of time, with the intention of being broadly accessible and often involving community members in developing, selecting, or executing the work.
Cultural planning: The process of identifying and leveraging a community's cultural resources and decision-making (e.g., creating a cultural plan, or integrating plans and policies around arts and culture as part of a city master planning process).
Cultural district planning: The process of convening stakeholders to identify a specific geography with unique potential for community and/or economic development based on cultural assets (e.g., through designation, branding, policy, plans, or other means).
Creative asset mapping: The process of identifying the people, places, physical infrastructure, institutions, and customs that hold meaningful aesthetics, historical, and/or economic value that make a place unique.
Public art planning: The process of developing community-wide strategies and/or policies that guide and support commissioning, installing, and maintaining works of public art and/or temporary public art.
Artist/designer-facilitated community planning: Artists/designers leading or partnering in the creative processes of visioning, and for solutions to community issues.
Design of artist space: Design processes to support the creation of dedicated spaces for artists to live and/or to produce, exhibit, or sell their work.
Design of cultural facilities: Design processes to support the creation of a dedicated building or space for creating and/or showcasing arts and culture.
Public space design: The process of designing elements of public infrastructure, or spaces where people congregate (e.g., parks, plazas, landscapes, neighborhoods, districts, infrastructure, and artist-produced elements of streetscapes).
Artist and Creative Industry Support
Creative business development: Programs or services that support entrepreneurs and businesses in the creative industries, or help cultivate strong infrastructure for establishing and developing creative businesses.
Professional artist development: Programs or services that support artists professionally, such as through skill development or accessing markets and capital.
Through Our Town projects, the National Endowment for the Arts Endowment intends to achieve the following objective: Strengthening Communities: Provide opportunities for the arts to be integrated into the fabric of community life.
Our Town project outcomes may include:
Economic Change: Economic improvements of individuals, institutions, or the community including local business growth, job creation/labor force participation, professional development/training, prevention of displacement, in-migration, and tourism.
Physical Change: Physical improvements that occur to the built and natural environment including beautification and/or enhancement of physical environment, new construction, and redevelopment (including arts, culture, and public space).
Social Change: Improvements to social relationships, civic engagement and community empowerment, and/or amplifying community identity including civic engagement, collective efficacy, social capital, social cohesion, and community attachment.
Systems Change: Improvements to community capacity to sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes including, for example: establishment of new and lasting cross-sector partnerships; shifts in institutional structure, practices or policies; replication or scaling of innovative project models; establishment of training programs; or dissemination of informational resources to support the creative placemaking field.
Jim Henson Foundation
Funding Priorities & Restrictions
The Jim Henson Foundation awards grants each year for the creation and development of innovative works of puppet theater.
- Production Grants of $7,000 are awarded for the production of new works ready to be presented in the coming year.
- Workshop Grants of $3,000 are for the development and workshopping of these pieces.
Workshop Grants and Production Grants can be combined over a two year period for the greatest benefit to the piece; keep in mind, however, that a Production Grant does not need to be proceeded by a Workshop grant and a Workshop Grant in no way ensures a future Production Grant.
- Family Grants of $4,000 fund the development of new and innovative work specifically for children, families, and teenagers.
Please keep in mind that Family Grants will be evaluated by the same high artistic standards as works for adults.
Since we began awarding grants in 1982, there has been astonishing growth in both the quantity and quality of puppet theater in this country. This has made it increasingly difficult to narrow the applicant pool, so we have instituted a policy that we hope will more evenly distribute our funds among the many artists worthy of support. Artists who received a grant in the previous year are not eligible to submit a proposal in the current year. Artists who received a Workshop Grant in the previous year are eligible to apply in the current year, but only for a Production Grant to further develop the previously funded piece.
We would like to emphasize that live puppet performance needs to be an integral element of any proposed project. While we will consider productions that utilize other media and genres, a substantial portion of the piece must feature puppetry that is well-executed in both design and performance.
Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation
The applications are reviewed regularly and accepted through the deadline above for the current year.
The Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation was created in 2010 to provide philanthropic support to help make the world a better place. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, our mission is to help further Jewish ideals in the areas of education, science and the arts.
Since our beginning, we’ve funded projects from New York to California, Michigan to Florida. We have helped teachers educate, helped children learn, helped feed the hungry, helped people earn a living, helped provide work for the unemployed, and helped find new ways to treat illness and improve quality of life. If you are engaged in any of these activities, let us hear from you.
Our logo, the Tree of Life, is a universal symbol of growth and re-growth, providing benefits to the present and future. The circle represents unity and continuity within our communities and our lives.
The Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation (rtbcf) was created to help achieve the Jewish Ideals of improving the world through Science, Education and the Arts.
We do not have minimum or maximum grant amounts. Grants are made based on our evaluation of your project, the number of grants we are considering, and the amount of funds we have to distribute.
The foundation, as stated in its bylaws, will make contributions to qualified exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for, but not limited to, the following purposes:
- Jewish education
- nationwide recycling programs
- alternative energy
- classical musical education
- public radio & television
- wildlife conservation
- music education
- HIV/AIDS research
- Hemophilia research
- food for the hungry