Culpeper Arts & Culture

Goal: Support a vibrant and inclusive arts Community in New York City

The Charles E. Culpeper Arts & Culture grants honor the legacy of Charles E. Culpeper by supporting the artists and arts and cultural organizations that make New York City one of the world's most dynamic creative capitals. The Fund is inspired by the conviction that arts and culture promote free expression, foster a deeper understanding of human experience and diverse communities, and provide a fresh lens on persistent problems and emerging challenges.

The Culpeper Arts & Culture program only considers unsolicited requests during its annual call for Letters of Inquiry (LOI). Please do not submit requests for Arts & Culture support through the unsolicited grant request.

Strategies

  • Supporting the role of artists in the creative process and in the presentation of their work, with an emphasis on artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+, women, nonbinary, and disabled.
  • Providing time, space, and financial resources through residencies in New York City and at the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center at The Pocantico Center, in partnership with artist-led organizations, artist collectives, and cultural leaders.
  • Elevating arts advocacy efforts, field research, cultural-civic movements, and cultural leadership development opportunities to strengthen the arts and culture field and the creative community.
Read the Full Guidelines

The Charles E. Culpeper Arts & Culture grants honor the legacy of Charles E. Culpeper by supporting the artists and cultural organizations that make New York City one of the world's most dynamic creative capitals. The Fund is inspired by the conviction that arts and culture promote free expression, foster a deeper understanding of human experience, and provide a fresh lens on persistent problems and emerging challenges in diverse communities. The Fund aims to strengthen the cultural environment of the city by supporting its rich artistic community and the diversity of the city’s population.

Increasingly, the arts and artists have an important role to play in civic discourse and social movements—shedding light on important social, economic, and political issues; breaking down barriers; helping society heal after crisis and hardship; and offering hope for a better future. Artists are true innovators that spark creativity, inspiration, and imagination.

The movement toward a more equitable ecosystem of support and increased representation for artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color is underway. Throughout the city’s communities, promising artists are demonstrating a trajectory of artistic achievement and showing promise for further artistic growth and impact in society. Leaders at many of the city’s iconic museums and cultural institutions have initiated new hires and are implementing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility plans for their organizations to break down barriers and increase artist and audience diversity.

To support these emerging trends, the program’s grantmaking includes a focus on community building and social impact, prioritizes artist-centered and multidisciplinary work, advances the Fund’s anti-racist and anti-sexist commitments, ensures attention to accessibility, and celebrates innovation. The program supports the creative process, elevating artists and cultural leaders across all disciplines. The Pocantico Center, located in Tarrytown, New York, is an important complement to the Fund’s grantmaking efforts, providing time and space for aesthetic exploration, artistic collaborations, and nurturing artistic imagination.

Organizations that nurture innovative, socially engaged, multidisciplinary artists working in new genres and with new technology are encouraged to apply. The Fund also seeks to encourage larger, established institutions to incorporate socially engaged art and artists into their programming and decision-making processes and to find innovative ways to engage diverse communities.

Program Team

Program Director

Program Associate

What We Fund

The Culpeper Arts & Culture program funds organizations that elevate the role the arts and artists play in revealing, assessing, and addressing pressing social issues. Grantee organizations must provide support—including space, materials, education, and paid work opportunities—primarily to artists living in New York City. Given limited resources and to enable the Fund to be responsive to a wider range of applicants, grantee organizations must wait a minimum of three years from their grant final payment before reapplying. While we believe all artists should be fairly compensated for their work, by law, the RBF cannot make grants to individual artists, including filmmakers. The RBF does not contribute to capital expenses for the purchase, construction, or renovation of buildings or property. Read more about What We Fund.