Puerto Rico

Building Sustainable Cultural Infrastructure in Puerto Rico


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Puerto Rico had endured a series of natural and political crises. But mainland philanthropy had largely ignored the island’s needs and its historic strengths. In the face of these disruptions, Puerto Rico’s resourceful and resilient creative communities are not merely surviving—they are thriving. To ensure the arts and humanities will continue to flourish there, and to redress past underfunding, the Foundation supports higher education, museums, and grassroots organizations in their efforts to enrich and sustain Puerto Rico’s vibrant cultural and humanities ecosystem. Together with our dedicated partners on the island, Mellon has provided assistance with ongoing recovery efforts, bolstering the robust cultural organizations and artists who provide both immediate and long-term support in the midst of ongoing economic and humanitarian concerns. 
Why Puerto Rico: Our work in Puerto Rico connects to the Foundation’s strategic mission to broaden and deepen the range of how and where the stories of our histories and communities are told and to nurture a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem. 


  • Increase capacity: Offer operational support and professional training for grassroots organizers to become self-sustaining, create spaces for artists to make and show their work, and bring public programming to culturally underserved communities.  
  • Retain local expertise: Fund salaried positions for curators, archivists, conservators, educators, artists, and other professionals who want to live and work on the island.    
  • Recover untold stories: Share alternative narratives and elevate the cultural contributions of previously marginalized voices in Puerto Rico and broaden awareness of its artistic heritage beyond the region. 
Total grants since 2018
See related grants
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