• email
  • rss
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

Surdna Foundation: Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement


Surdna Foundation

Maximum Award: 

Range of $30,000 - 80,000, annually

The Thriving Cultures Program therefore supports programs that successfully connect teens to artistically rigorous and culturally relevant programs that equip them with practical and life-enhancing skills. The foundation values programs that prepare young, emerging artists to be creative and innovative leaders in their communities.

The foundation seeks organizations that have a proven and longstanding commitment to serving teens and that emphasize skill building. The foundation seeks funding opportunities that:


  • Provide high quality arts training that integrate life skills.  These skills include:  written and oral communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and leadership development;
  • Encourage teens to connect to their cultural identity through art-making;
  • Provide young people with a well-developed, sequential curriculum that meets the increasing skills of participants;
  • Foster strong mentoring opportunities for artists with teens;
  • Employ accomplished faculty and guest artists who engage teens in art forms that reflect their cultural interests and community;
  • Use research and evaluation tools to track the progress of teens’ success over time;
  • Share best practices in regards to training and evaluation in order to strengthen the field of youth arts training.

The foundation does not fund:

  • Individuals;
  • In-school arts programs, including elementary or middle-school programs;
  • Projects that enhance in-school arts training (e.g. guest artists, professional development for arts faculty);
  • Recruitment efforts at specialized public arts high schools, arts-focused charter schools or community music schools;
  • One-time projects;
  • Organizations that solely provide arts-integrated learning (e.g. arts as a pedagogy for teaching other academic subjects or as a mode for health and social services delivery).


Ages Served: 

Middle School, High School