Published: January 7, 2020
By Laura Beach
MEDIA, PENN. — The Decorative Arts Trust has announced a new $100,000 annual prize to fund major arts initiatives. The organization is calling for proposals for what it has named the Prize for Excellence and Innovation, to be announced on or about September 1.
Trust executive director Matthew A. Thurlow said the group, inspired by the leadership shown by such foresighted entities as the Wunsch Americana Foundation, envisions the prize as a central component of its mission to support scholarship and broaden public appreciation for American art and design. The prize complements the trust’s existing program of grants and awards for emerging scholars, summer research, curatorial internships and exhibitions and publications.
Three lead donors provided the seed capital for the prize, which underwrites scholarly endeavors undertaken by not-for-profit organizations for purposes such as exhibitions, print and digital publications, online databases and conservation. Collaborations among project partners will also be considered.
“Although the trust by its name and nature is focused on three-dimensional objects, our programming extends beyond the decorative arts to include fine art, architecture, gardens and landscapes. The award supports projects representing the full diversity of those four different fields,” Thurlow said.
The trust has set a long-range fundraising goal of $2.5 million to permanently endow the prize, fully funded for the first five years at the $100,000 level. The group welcomes additional financial support, including contributions, appreciated securities and IRA and other retirement fund disbursements.
Talks concerning the new initiative began in early 2019 among trust board members, Thurlow and Robert A. Leath, chairman of the organization’s education committee and director of collections, research and archaeology at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.
A dedicated page on the trust’s website outlines the nomination process. A five-person committee will evaluate all proposals, which must be submitted by March 31. Proposals should describe the defined mission and outcomes of the project and include a budget, project timeline and list of key personnel and partners, if applicable. Projects can extend 1 to 5 years for final completion after the prize is awarded. Finalists will be contacted by June 1.
“The trust has the ideal platform to administer this prize. We look forward to advancing the trust’s mission while making a greater contribution to the arts,” Thurlow said.
For information, 610-627-4970 or www.decorativeartstrust.org. For more information about the Decorative Arts Trust Prize for Excellence and Innovation, visit www.decorativeartstrust.org/prize, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-627-4970.
The Decorative Arts Trust is at 206 West State Street, Suite 300.
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