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 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.
The principal mission of the Performing Arts Program is to support organizations of quality in the fields of dance, music, and theater that perform or produce work in New York City. More specifically, the program seeks to:
- Preserve and support New York City’s major performing arts institutions, those organizations of national and international importance that make sustained, significant contributions to the cultural life of the City;
- Support theater companies that have demonstrated a commitment to include the classics in their regular repertory;
- Encourage dance, theater, and music companies and presenters to make their offerings accessible to audiences by placing them in their historical contexts, connecting them to societal concerns, or otherwise contributing to the educational aspects of the aesthetic experience;
- Provide stabilization and project funds for dance companies, especially those that face the challenge of maintaining an active company and of preserving a legacy of past achievements;
- Provide support for music groups committed to performing the contemporary repertory;
- Assist innovative or important projects that address the professional training and development of performing artists, and;
- Support the work of artists who, over time, have reinterpreted the traditional elements of dance or theater and thereby have broadened our aesthetic appreciation or understanding.
The Research Library 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 Library 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 preservation/conservation work and research.
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.
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 Program Grants 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 are not accepted for Trustees’ Discretionary Grants.
Foundation Service Organizations
The Delmas Foundation supports various foundation service organizations through membership contributions.