Arts Service Organizations of Color Field Studies Frequently Asked Questions


Letters of Intent Due: June 9, 2022
​Proposals Due: August 19, 2022

​My organization works with BIPOC artists and/or arts organizations. Does my organization qualify as an arts service organization of color under the Field Studies grant opportunity?

The purpose of the Field Studies program is to support the work and build the knowledge base about the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) serving arts ecosystem of BIPOC artists and BIPOC arts organizations and arts service organizations. We want to fund those who serve that ecosystem to ask the questions that they feel are important for their work and for the arts organizations and artists (not general public) they serve. 

Therefore, for purposes of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for Field Studies by Arts Service Organizations Rooted in Communities of Color, Wallace is defining eligible arts service organizations as organizations, networks, collectives, and associations (a) founded by, for, and with arts organizations of color and/or artists of color (b) that are specifically and primarily focused on advancing the needs and interests of artists and/or arts organizations of color as evidenced from mission, organizational leadership, communities served, and programming.

We recognize that there is considerable variation in the histories, structures, and programming of arts service organizations of color, and that there are a multiplicity of ways for organizations to be deeply focused on, and accountable to, BIPOC artists and arts organizations. It will be important for you to demonstrate in your proposal that your organization is, and is recognized as, meeting the above definition and purpose.

Organizations that do not meet the eligibility requirements for purposes of the Field Studies RFP include:

  • Organizations with a mission and community focus on the arts and culture field more broadly (whether locally, regionally, or nationally), of which artists and arts organizations of color may be or are a subset of the organization’s work rather than its primary focus
  • Organizations primarily focused on the direct creation, production, or presentation of art for public audiences, and that may also partner with or have programs for artists or arts organizations of color
  • Organizations focused on youth arts programming or arts education service delivery
  • Consulting firms that form client/vendor relationships with arts service organizations of color or artists from communities of color

My organization is a local or regional arts service organization, responsible for serving all arts and culture organizations with areas of programmatic focus on BIPOC artists and arts organizations. Are we eligible to apply?

No, see above ineligible organizations.

My organization is unincorporated and housed out of a larger organization. Are we eligible to apply?

Yes, groups otherwise meeting the arts service organization of color eligibility requirements that are hosted at or fiscally sponsored by a separate organization such as a university may apply. The host organization or fiscal sponsor need not independently meet the eligibility requirements. However, in the proposal the applicant organization should clearly describe how it independently meets the arts service organization of color eligibility requirements, and should have a leadership and organizational structure that is autonomous or semi-autonomous from the host organization.

My organization primarily or exclusively provides services to the youth arts field. Are we eligible to apply?

No. See above list of ineligible organizations. The Wallace Foundation expects to launch a youth arts initiative in 2024, and invites organizations that focus on this aspect of the arts ecosystem to review its youth arts focused grant opportunities when they open.

Following submission of my proposal, what are the next steps in the application process?

Proposals will be read by a review team comprised of Wallace Foundation staff plus researchers and practitioners with areas of expertise in the ecosystem of arts communities of color. Following this review, finalists may receive questions from Wallace requesting additional information or clarification on their proposal. We expect to announce awards before the end of the calendar year. Projects should therefore plan to start early in 2023.

I submitted a letter of intent. Am I waiting for an invitation from The Wallace Foundation to submit a full proposal in August?

No. All interested applicants who meet the eligibility requirements for the Field Studies program may submit a full proposal by the August 19 deadline.

Letters of intent are not required for this arts research funding opportunity, but were an option for those who sought advice or guidance during office hours.

How do I apply?

The full Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Field Studies grant program is available here on The Wallace Foundation website. Section 6.2 of the RFP lists the proposal requirements, including attachments, for each grant type, which should be submitted in written format by email to no later than August 19, 2022.

What is the budget limit for the Field Studies grants, and how will funds be disbursed?

There are two types of Field Studies grants:

  • Planning and Implementation grants will be up to $250,000
  • Expansion grants will be up to $500,000

You are not required to scope your study exactly to these dollar amounts. Proposals may be for less than the amounts shown, but not more. The appropriate alignment of budget, activities, and intended deliverables is one of the criteria upon which we will assess proposals. Your budget justification should explain all budget choices.

We encourage the following in your research proposal budgets:

  • Arts service organization staff time, reflecting they are key collaborators in the study
  • In addition to staff time, indirect costs at a 15 percent rate
  • Meaningful incentives for research participants

If your organization is awarded a grant, we will work with you to determine a mutually beneficial way to disburse funds, whether tied to deliverables (e.g., development of a full research design, data collection instruments, initial data analyses, draft reports, etc.) or on a reimbursable basis (e.g., upon receipt of invoices). Up to 20 percent of the total grant can be paid up front.

My organization already has a relationship with a researcher. Can I apply with this researcher, or do I need to form a new relationship to carry out research under the Wallace Field Studies program?

This grant program will support existing research-practice partnerships, including partnerships with an applicant organization’s in-house researchers or research team. Before you submit your proposal, we strongly encourage you and your research partner to review the qualifications we look for in proposed research partners. Research Team Eligibility and Qualifications may be found in Section 6.1 of the Field Studies RFP.

Can our research partner be a staff member at our organization?

Yes. As the proposal review team will be considering a research partner’s subject matter and methodological expertise within the specific context of the research question posed by your organization, we strongly recommend you consider your research partner’s areas of expertise within this context alongside the other qualifications we look for in proposed research partners. To bring added depth and external perspective to your research design, your organization may want to consider assembling an external research advisory board of two or more individuals.

Can I or my partner only submit one proposal for the Field Studies program?

Individuals can serve as project senior personnel (principal investigators and co-principal investigators) on up to two proposals, whether the individual is a research partner or an arts service organization partner. There is no limit on institutional submissions.

Can The Wallace Foundation match me with a research partner?

No, we are unable to match you with a research partner.  

My organization has not identified a research partner to apply for this grant. Can we still apply?

For the Field Studies program, applicant arts service organizations must have identified their research partner by the time of proposal submission.

For Planning and Implementation grants, what are the timelines and expectations in moving from the planning process to research implementation?

Organizations that receive Planning and Implementation grants will receive support from the Field Studies advisory group, comprised of Wallace’s arts research consultant, technical advisors, and mentors, on the development of their research plans. The grant period starts on January 2023 with an optional period of up to six months to develop a detailed research plan. Organizations with an existing detailed plan may use this period for further refinement. In either case, it is our expectation that final plans be submitted no later than June 30, 2023 for review and approval by the Field Studies advisory group before research implementation begins.

Final research plans will need to include the following elements:

  • Rationale for the Study, including a literature review
  • Study Methodology
  • Data Collection Plan
  • Data Analysis Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

What is required for Expansion Grants?

Expansion grants are intended to scale up, refine, or deepen existing research projects. These proposals should clearly describe the existing study, learnings from the study, how these learnings have been used by the arts service organization and its artist/arts organization communities to date, and provide a compelling reason for expanding the study. Applicants for this grant type should submit a detailed research plan for the expanded study, including data sources, data collection methods, data analysis plans, and project deliverables. A full description of the required elements for these proposals may be found in Section 6.2 of the RFP.  

What are the expectations for joint activities among the research grantees?

Field Studies grantees will join a national cohort and community of arts service organizations and research partners seeking to advance their work and field knowledge of arts communities of color. Over the duration of the two-year grant period, grantees will receive research support from program advisors and mentors, and from other grantees in sharing research project lessons and findings. While the content and frequency of learning opportunities will be determined with feedback from funded teams, we anticipate at minimum the following types of joint activities:

  • An initial kick-off meeting of funded teams to share project hopes, goals, and plans, and to support community-building within the cohort
  • At least two virtual meetings per year between cohort members to exchange organizational and research updates
  • At least one virtual meeting per year with research methods advisors, arts service organization mentors, and/or other individuals identified by cohort members to provide grantees with research guidance and support
  • A final closing virtual meeting for teams to present findings and reflect on project and grantee experiences

Based on cohort interest and capacity, we anticipate providing additional annual opportunities for cohort learning and research dissemination, whether in-person or virtually. A more detailed description of expectations for grantee meetings and learning activities may be found in Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the RFP.

Is this grant renewable?

No, grants are not renewable within the same grant category. Organizations awarded a Planning and Implementation grant may, however, apply for an Expansion grant if their research project concludes before the proposal submission deadline for a subsequent RFP for Expansion grants and otherwise meets the eligibility requirements.

Is it possible to receive more than one grant award from Wallace under its new arts initiative?


Are there particular requirements for research deliverables?

Please review the RFP, particularly Section 5.3. In your proposal you should describe what research deliverables will be of greatest use to your organization, the artist/arts organization communities you serve and other intended constituencies, and the formats (e.g. reports, briefs, videos, podcasts, etc.) that will best disseminate and activate learnings from your proposed research project. In addition, all studies will be expected to produce a technical report detailing your research methodology and findings. This document is the source document for any of the research deliverables for your audiences who may not need the methodological or technical background on the study design and findings. Technical reports are meant for researchers and other technical readers and establish the validity of both findings and interpretations. The Field Studies program advisory group will be available to provide guidance in preparing your research project’s technical report.

How important are academic publications?

The Wallace Foundation seeks to support research that can build the knowledge base supporting both practice and policy. Research that is published in academic, peer reviewed journals can be more likely to influence the larger research enterprise than research published in non-academic contexts.  We encourage proposals to include both kinds of research products: those intended for practitioner and policy audiences and those submitted to peer review journals. While not required, a history of academic publications, and an intent to publish the results of this study in academic outlets, will be seen as a value add.