Overview of Programs

Humanities
Performing Arts
Research Libraries
Venetian Programs

In general, awards are made for single-year, and not multi-year, projects.  The Foundation does not support capital campaigns, building projects, overhead, or indirect costs.  Very rarely does the Foundation support endowment campaigns, and then only where the objectives are clearly focused and very closely aligned to Foundation purposes.

Please note, the Foundation has a NEW ONLINE APPLICATION process.  After reviewing the program guidelines below, please consult the Application Instructions page.


Humanities Program

The Foundation intends to further the humanities along a broad front, supporting projects which address the concerns of the historical studia humanitatis: a humanistic education rooted in the great traditions of the past; the formation of human beings according to cultural, moral, and aesthetic ideals derived from that past; and the ongoing debate over how these ideals may best be conceived and realized.

Programs in the following areas are eligible: history; archaeology; literature; languages, both classical and modern; philosophy; ethics; comparative religion; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; and those aspects of the social sciences which share the content and methods of humanistic disciplines. The Foundation welcomes projects that cross the boundaries between humanistic disciplines and explore the connection between the humanities and other areas of scholarship. Programs of institutions in Venice relating to the humanities are eligible in this category. (Individuals seeking research grants for work in Venice should see Venetian Programs.)  The geographical concentration is primarily but not exclusively directed toward European and American history and letters, broadly defined.

The Humanities Program is primarily directed to institutions of higher education and humanistic enterprises such as learned societies, museums, and major editorial projects. The program may also consider, on a selective basis, projects that increase the exposure of those outside these institutions to the humanistic experience or that strengthen preparation for the humanistic disciplines in secondary education.  The prime criterion remains that of Gladys and Jean Delmas: a commitment to excellence, whether proven or promised.

Please see the list of grants for the Humanities Program.


Performing Arts Program

The principal mission of the Performing Arts Program is to provide core program and special project support to organizations of quality in the fields of dance, music and theater that perform and produce or present work in New York City.  Applications are accepted only from performing arts organizations based in New York City.

The Foundation has a special interest in supporting:

  • Ballet and modern dance companies, especially those that are actively working to preserve an important legacy of past achievement, and the presenters who make the work of these companies available to the public and otherwise provide support to the dance field;
  • Theater companies and presenters that have demonstrated a commitment to include the classics in their regular offerings;
  • Music groups and concert presenters committed to making the contemporary repertory available to New York City audiences and a limited number of notable early music groups of professional importance to the field;
  • Organizations formed to support the work of artists who, over time, have reinterpreted the traditional elements of dance or theater and thereby have broadened our aesthetic appreciation and understanding.

Research Libraries Program

The Research Libraries Program concentrates primarily in those areas of its founders’ interests and aims to be fully complementary to the Foundation’s other program areas (i.e., humanities scholarship, performing arts, and Venetian history and culture).

The overall objective of the Research Libraries Program is to improve the ability of research libraries to serve the needs of scholarship in the humanities and the performing arts, and to help make their resources more widely accessible to scholars and the general public. Wherever possible, grants to libraries seek to promote cooperative cataloging projects, with an emphasis on access to archival, manuscript, and other unique sources; some elements of interpretation and exhibition; scholarly library publications; bibliographical and publishing projects of interest to research libraries; and collection-level preservation/conservation work and research.

Small-scale digitizing is eligible for support when the process is part of a clearly defined and timely scholarly project that incorporates recognized standards for metadata production, for preservation, and for distribution. The Foundation does not support massive digitizing projects of a general nature.

The geographical concentration is primarily but not exclusively directed toward European and American history and letters, broadly defined. Technological developments that support humanities research and access to humanities resources are also eligible. A limited number of modest grants will also be available for projects related to the history of the book, book culture, printing history, and related programs. Conferences designed to address these issues in collaborative ways and programs formulated to enhance or leverage similar activity by other institutions, consortia, or funding agencies will also be considered.

Please see the list of grants for the Research Libraries Program.


Venetian Programs

Designed to support historical research on Venice and the former Venetian empire, and the study of contemporary Venetian society and culture, grants are awarded for independent research, for publications assistance, and for the support of institutions engaged in related research programs. See Venetian Programs page for more details.


Trustees’ Discretionary Grants

The discretionary fund permits each Trustee to initiate, with concurrence of the other Trustees, a limited number of grants outside of the Foundation’s established grant-making guidelines.  Applications for Trustees’ Discretionary Grants are by invitation only.


Foundation Service Organizations

The Delmas Foundation supports various foundation service organizations through membership contributions.