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Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Program

Grants to Pennsylvania Artists and Nonprofits in
Eligible Regions to Promote the Black Arts Sector

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/16/21 11:59 PM - Deadline for Individual artist support, Residency support, Advancing the field support, Project support, The Aboveground Railroad grant, and Planning grants; The deadline for Special opportunity grants is ongoing.


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Grants to Pennsylvania individual artists and nonprofit organizations in eligible regions whose work focuses on the art of African Americans, Africa, and the larger Diaspora. Funding may be used for projects, project planning, professional development for artists, collaborative projects, residency support, and for individuals pursuing higher education in pursuit of a career in arts administration. Eligible applicants must be located in the Pittsburgh region.

Creating an equitable arts ecology within the region is a core value of Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh and its funders. The program goals are to:

  • Help build the careers and support the lives of individual artists.
  • Increase the sustainability of cultural organizations that focus on Black arts.
  • Build community awareness of the Black arts sector.
  • Support efforts toward greater collaboration and the elimination of racial disparities within the larger arts sector.
  • Prioritize the documentation and discussion of Black artists’ work and well-being as part of the region’s cultural health.
  • Support work that directly addresses and calls for the eradication of systemic and structural racism that allows for disparities to exist.

Funding Streams

  • Individual artist support: Grants to support creative and career development, self-organized artistic professional development, creation of new works and self-productions.
  • Culturally relevant residency support
    • Artist residency
    • Arts administration
  • Advancing the field support: Grants for collaborative projects, research or marketing
    and advocacy efforts that increase the health and visibility of the
    Black arts sector beyond a single artistic engagement. Broad-scale,
    sector-wide advocacy aimed at the Pittsburgh community as a
    whole is encouraged.
  • Project support: Grants to present and/or produce work.
  • The Aboveground Railroad Grant: Unrestricted grant that will be awarded annually to three Black students between the ages of 18 to 25 who are pursuing higher education in pursuit of a career in arts administration.
  • Planning Grants: Grants to help cover expenses related to developing a full project proposal, including data gathering and research, convening partners, consensus building and problem definition. 
  • Special opportunity: Support for unique opportunities is available to any artist or culturally relevant organization that has an unexpected artistic opportunity that arises during the year, is time sensitive and cannot wait until the next scheduled grant cycle.
  • General operating support: By invitation only

For additional information on each of the funding streams, see here:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182982

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Individual artist support (up to $15,000).
- Culturally relevant residency support (up to $20,000).
- Advancing the field support (up to $25,000).
- Project support (up to $20,000).
- The Aboveground Railroad grant (up to $10,000).
- Planning grants (up to $5,000).*
- Special opportunity (up to $10,000)*

Term of Contract:

Activities to be funded by this grant request should not begin sooner than Aug. 1. Residencies should last a minimum of three months to a maximum of 18 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All individual applicants must:
- Be at least 18 years of age by the time of submission.
- Identify as Black, African American, African, Caribbean, Afro-Latinx or of the African diaspora, or be a Black-led 501(c)(3) organization (you may work with a non-Black fiscal sponsor).
- Be in the Pittsburgh region. Applicants in the following counties are eligible to apply for funding: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland.
- Previous grantees are eligible to apply one year after the close of their grant. Grantees funded in 2019 are eligible to apply again in 2021.
- Previous grantee organizations are eligible to apply one year after the close of their grant. Grantees funded in 2019 are eligible to apply again in 2021.

Arts Organizations Seeking Support
- Applicant organizations must be 501(c)(3) organizations (or work with a fiscal sponsor) and must be in the Pittsburgh region.
- Have a history of producing or presenting art.
- Demonstrate reasonable attendance by, as well as accessibility to a broad and diverse public audience.
- Previous grantees are eligible to apply one year after the close of their grant. Grantees funded in 2019 are eligible to apply again in 2021.
- Operating support recipients are not eligible for other funding streams.

For additional eligibility information relating to specific funding streams, see the following link:

Pre-proposal Conference:

For more information, please RSVP to attend one of the virtual ABAP Community Q+A Application Review sessions scheduled for Feb. 24 and March 24 at 1:00 p.m.

- Register for the February 24 session:
- Register for the March 24 session:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for the following grants are due via SlideRoom by 11:59 p.m. on April 16:
- Individual Artist Support
- Culturally Relevant Residency Support
- Advancing the Field Support
- Project Support
- The Aboveground Railroad grant
- Planning grants

Applicants who are approved for a grant will be notified by June 11.

Applications for planning grants are accepted twice a year. Special opportunity grants are accepted at any time. General operating support is provided by invitation only and has a separate deadline for submission.

Although it is not required, all applicants are encouraged to create an artist profile on the Pittsburgh Artists Registry before submitting an Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grant application.

All individual applicants and organizations may only apply to one (1) stream of funding per year.

The Pittsburgh Foundation:
The Heinz Endowments:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Full application:

Planning grant application:

Special opportunity application:

The Aboveground Railroad application:

Should you have questions about a current Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grant, or general inquiry about the program, please contact Jessica Moss at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh Region (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland Counties)

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