Building Bridges


The mission of the Building Bridges Program is to advance relationships, increase understanding, and reduce bias between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. 

About the Building Bridges Program

The Building Bridges Program is headquartered in New York and is the national grant-making program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (DDFIA), an operating foundation of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The mission of DDFIA is to improve the quality of people’s lives through the study, understanding and appreciation of Islamic arts and cultures. DDFIA also operates Shangri La, a center for the study of Islamic arts and cultures housed in what was once Doris Duke’s seasonal Honolulu home.

Since 2007, the Building Bridges Program has supported endeavors that engage U.S.-based Muslims and non-Muslims in arts experiences to increase understanding and advance relationships between communities. The need for this work is clear. Muslims number approximately 1.6 billion people around the world, including more than five million in the United States. Yet despite this large, dispersed and diverse worldwide population, studies have shown that U.S. perceptions of them may remain narrow. A September 2014 report from Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed that 50 percent of Americans believe that Islam encourages more violence than other religions, and a May 2013 Pew report stated that 45 percent of Americans believe that American Muslims face "a lot" of discrimination.

In the face of this reality, Building Bridges grantees have provided compelling opportunities using arts and/or media arts-based programs rooted in diverse Muslim cultures to catalyze a social transformation in attitudes for target audiences. 

* The Building Bridges Program is currently undergoing a strategic review of its past funding to determine its future grant-making activities. The program will continue to make grants under its current strategy throughout this process.    

Goals & Strategies

Grant-making Process

The program's grants are primarily awarded through competitive (request-for-proposal) processes or to organizations that are invited by the foundation's staff to submit proposals.

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Funding Opportunities

There are no open competitions available at this time.