*Detail of Untitled (2005), a yarn painting by José Benítez Sánchez that is featured in a display of Wixárika sacred arts at the Fowler Museum at UCLA

Lilly Endowment invited museums, historical sites and other cultural organizations to submit concept papers that describe potential plans to mount exhibitions, conduct educational programs and/or engage in other activities to provide fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of the role religion has played and continues to play in the United States and around the world.

Through this open and competitive round of the Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative, the Endowment anticipates awarding a total of up to $78 million through planning and implementation grants to approximately 30 select museums and cultural organizations to support projects that demonstrate significant promise to strengthen their organizations’ capacities to incorporate religion more fully into their interpretive activities and public programs.

Organizations that submitted the most compelling concept papers will receive planning grants of up to $100,000 each and will be invited to submit proposals for implementation grants of up to $2.5 million each to develop and implement their concepts.

The aim of the initiative is to improve the public understanding of religion and thus foster greater knowledge of and respect for diverse religious traditions. Learn more about previous grants related to the initiative here.


Museums and cultural organizations in the United States with Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and public charity status were eligible to apply. The deadline for submitting concept papers was Monday, October 30.


Please email