Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture celebrates the transcendent power of the arts to challenge, activate, and nourish the human spirit. We support exceptional creative practice, scholarship, and conservation of arts and culture, while nurturing a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem. 

Our program works with artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and organizations to ensure equitable access to excellent arts and cultural experiences. Our goal is to add complexity and justice to our understanding of the world, and to foster societies that value artists as the chroniclers of our humanity.

In short, we work to place the arts and artists at the center of thriving, healthy communities.


A Brave Space for Brave Art 

At Asian Arts Initiative, artists can be community activists without losing sight of their craft, says director Anne Ishii.

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Dance Artists Take Creative Steps to Reconnect 

Gathering in COVID-safe "bubble" residencies allows dancers, choreographers, and their collaborators to once again create and perform together, safely.

dancers on stageREAD MORE >

AXIS Dance Uplifts through Inclusivity 

Accustomed to overcoming limits, the physically integrated company has gracefully adapted to the challenges of making art in a pandemic.

dance company on white stage featuring dance artists with a range of physical abilitiesREAD MORE >

“Thinking Deeply about What Is Essential:" Kaywin Feldman on Leading the Nation’s Museum in Uncertain Times 

The National Gallery of Art director shares her thoughts on the role of culture in times of crisis and how to make a great institution even more significant to an increasingly diverse America.


Mellon at 50: Language, Performance, and Democracy 

How do we center the critical role of artists in our society?


Carpetbag Theatre's "Stories that Validate and Strengthen Us" 

A cornerstone of Southern theater celebrates 50 years of art and community advocacy.

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How Museums Are Deepening Their Commitment to Native American Perspectives 

A constellation of Mellon-supported fellowship programs address a growing need for diversity among cultural heritage professionals.

Two people in a museum store room with a painting in the background.READ MORE >

State of the Arts 

ALL ARTS—a revolutionary public media broadcast channel and streaming platform—and enhanced coverage on PBS NewsHour connect diverse audiences across America to the arts.


From Survival to Sustainability: The Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative 

Regional arts and cultural organizations in the fields of conservation, dance, and theater are able to work toward long-term capacity goals with the help of Mellon grants.

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Puerto Rico: After The Storm 

Northwestern University performance studies professor and department chair Ramón H. Rivera-Servera has spearheaded an innovative outreach initiative to assist Puerto Rican artists in the aftermath of last fall’s devastating hurricanes. Article by Kerry Trotter and Cara Lockwood, originally appearing in Dialogue, a publication of Northwestern University.


Behind the Scenes: Assessing the National Playwright Residency Program 

Established in 2012, the National Playwright Residency Program seeks to empower playwrights by embedding them in producing theaters. Here, a summary of Helicon Collaborative’s Report on the program’s impact.


Art in America: Supporting a New Generation of Curators 

The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship program is designed to diversify the curatorial ranks in museums across America.


Enriching our Communities, Part 1: An Analysis of Museums as Economic Engines  

A Mellon Foundation-supported study by the American Alliance of Museums and Oxford Economics highlights the need for a greater understanding of the full scope of how museums benefit our lives and the economy.


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