Building Bridges

Goals & Strategies

Since 2007, Building Bridges Program grants have supported planning and implementation of programs or projects that engage U.S.-based Muslim and non-Muslim populations in literary, media- and/or performing arts-based experiences that foster relationships and understanding across communities. Through this approach, the program’s larger aim is to contribute toward a more just civil society and greater well-being among people.

Building Bridges Program grantee projects have included, literary-, media, and performing arts-based experiences, performances and related educational programming as well as materials and/or discussions to contextualize exhibitions for audiences. Through a collective appraisal of self-evaluations conducted by the program’s past grantees, the foundation has observed that greater familiarity and resonance with Muslim cultures is most effectively forged when audiences are able to immerse themselves in the experience and directly engage with the artists and other participants. Projects that provided opportunities for experiential learning through interactions, collaborations or communication with the creative community have demonstrated significant impact.

Criteria for Support

The Building Bridges Program uses the following criteria when considering grant requests (see Grants Awarded for examples of projects that have received funding):

  • Focus: The program supports projects that primarily center on literary, media and performing arts with roots in Muslim regions and diaspora.
  • Intended Audiences: The program supports projects that define a specific, clearly identified population and demonstrate understanding of their behaviors and preferences.
  • Goals for Achieving Success: The program prioritizes initiatives that can clearly define how they will advance understanding and relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
  • Management Capacity: The program supports organizations with the capacity to manage the projects for which they seek funding, and whose efforts align with the organization's mission and goals.

Funding Initiatives

The Building Bridges Program will award grants in 2019 primarily through the Building Bridges 2018-19 Grants Program.