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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

Call for proposals poster


When we meet in society, if we have not learned to . . . [imagine] in one another inner faculties of thought and emotion, democracy is bound to fail, because democracy is built upon respect and concern, and these in turn are built upon the ability to see other people as human beings, not simply as objects.

Martha Nussbaum, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities


To the Swarthmore Community: 

The Office of the President of Swarthmore College has received a 3-year grant in the amount of $100,000 to support initiatives that explore the power of the arts and humanities to engage the imagination and enable communication across different viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. We invite members of the Swarthmore community to propose projects that use the shared creation or experience of works of artistic or humanistic expression to cultivate a common understanding of our shared humanity.

All members of the community are eligible to submit proposals. Successful proposals must:

a. reflect collaborations between or among individuals from two or more distinct backgrounds, experiences or roles at the College;
b. describe way(s) they intend to use works of arts or the humanities to facilitate deeper understanding;
c. include a detailed budget.

Projects may include, but are not limited to, storytelling, book discussions, film discussions, artists’ visits, collaborative art projects, original performances, transportation to galleries or museums, etc. They may involve discussions of shared experience, or they may invite participants to learn together through acts of creative expression.

For the 2018-19 academic year, successful applicants may receive up to $10,000 in funding. Grants may be used to cover such costs as speakers’ honoraria, food, transportation, materials, etc. Funds can be used for projects already underway which meet the stated criteria.

Proposals should be no more than 2 pages (single-spaced, 11 point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins). Please include a budget and budget narrative of no more than one page.

Deadlines: To receive funding for Spring 2018, complete applications should be sent to Chelsea Hicks, Office of the President, no later than February 1, 2018. 

UPDATE: To receive funding for the 2018-19 academic year, complete applications should be sent no later than March 19, 2018.

For further information, contact Chelsea Hicks, Special Assistant for Presidential Initiatives:

Valerie Smith