This is an application for Art Works, a grants program of the Philadelphia Foundation in partnership with Forman Arts Initiative.  

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, operates under the auspices of Philadelphia Foundation and is hosting the 2023 Art Works application.  

Art Works is a $3-million grant program for community-based organizations that is designed to support arts, culture and creativity — particularly those working with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) individuals and those in other underserved communities. Art Works, the inaugural program from the Forman Arts Initiative in partnership with the Philadelphia Foundation, will provide direct grants to artists and organizations that shine a light on Greater Philadelphia's rich diversity.

Art Works'  will fund organizations and individual artists whose work is equitable and community focused. Art Works places a premium on work that is designed to connect, build and transform spaces and narratives to break down barriers through open access and inclusion. Organizations and artists must demonstrate how they are using the arts as an engine to transform their communities and create safe spaces for active citizenship.

Once grants are awarded, grantees will have the opportunity to come together to share their experiences and approaches to creative work with the Forman Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Foundation.  This community of practice will not only inform Art Works' grantmaking but also support participants to realize their creative potential and connect with synergistic individuals and organizations. 


Grants for Organizations

Four community-based organizations will be selected to receive two-year, unrestricted grants.  Awards will range from $75,000-$150,000 over two years and can be used to support any aspect of an organization's mission.  Organizations will be chosen based on how closely their work aligns with Art Works' programmatic goals.   

Grantees will be offered an additional opportunity to host co-operative education students from Drexel University to enhance organizational effectiveness. Organizations that choose this option will work with one or more co-op students at a time during their grant cycle. The co-op hiring process will be handled by the Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships at Drexel University with the assistance of the Steinbright Career and Development Center.

Grants for Artists 

Four Philadelphia-based artists will be selected to receive two-year grants of $25,000 per year. Grants can be used freely by artists. Some artists may wish to use the grant to support the development of new work while others may use it to pay for living or studio expenses. Artists will be chosen based on how closely their work aligns with Art Works' programmatic goals.   


The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund is designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, with a focus on journalistic excellence and serving the information needs of communities in the U.S. A critical part of achieving this is supporting the work in Philadelphia, which is known as Workstream #3 of the Fund. The Philly-based work in particular is focused on addressing a larger design imperative - How Might We create a more sustainable and equitable news and information ecosystem. This means we are focused on transformative investments that promote quality journalism in support of thriving communities and civic engagement. This contributes to the K-L Fund’s mutual aid approach to journalism where we see news and information as a vehicle for solidarity.

All proposals should address the questions/topics in the document below along with a budget in the Knight-Lenfest Fund template. There’s no need for long narratives in the Submittable form. A bulleted and succinct approach to answering the questions is preferred. This proposal application can include a memo, three pages max, if it would help us understand your vision and implementation plan further. If applicable, please indicate in the application when we should be referencing the memo.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Belonging is central to all of our efforts. This includes not only who is participating in the programming/initiatives of the proposed grant, but also the approaches, techniques and the overall experience.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the proposal process. For technical questions about Submittable, please contact Charles Jun ( of the Lenfest Institute and cc Diana Lu (

Thank you for your interest in applying for a travel grant through the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

Read the application questions and answer each question directly and completely.

Contact if you have any questions or concerns about this application or the application process.

Program Eligibility & Criteria

These criteria are guidelines to identify who the program will best serve. If you do not meet the criteria exactly (revenue, etc.), we still encourage you to apply.

  • You are at least 21 years of age.
  • You are located in the Philadelphia region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. And, New Castle County, Delaware).
  • You are able to participate in virtual programming and have access to the internet.
  • You identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or a person of color.
  • You are a media entrepreneur. You are a media maker who has an existing business that has:
  • Existed for at least one year;
  • Demonstrated traction (customers, revenue, other community indicator);
  • Earned less than $400,000 in annual revenue per year; and
  • A desire to grow and/or deepen your commitment to serving your local community.
  • You are a media intrapreneur. You are a media maker who may have launched an initiative inside of a news enterprise and wish to scale an independent initiative. You:
  • Can successfully demonstrate you have started an initiative (a product or service) inside of a news enterprise; and
  • Wish to launch and scale an initiative of your own outside of the news enterprise and you have a documented plan and prototype to develop it.
  • You can commit 12-15 hours per month to this program.

Founder Profile

  • You are deeply connected to and knowledgeable about the community you serve.
  • You are interested in and passionate about growing your business.
  • You are excited to connect and work in community with your peers in the ecosystem.
  • You value collaboration, sharing knowledge, experimentation, sharing wins and lessons, and bringing ideas and solutions to the table. 

The Lenfest Constellation News Leadership Initiative (CNL) is a program designed to provide added support to mid-career media professionals of color. This seven month fellowship will provide world class training from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, mentorship from Executive Advisors who have advanced to positions of leadership in news organizations and career coaching from CLS Next to mid-career media professionals of color in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The goal of this program is to support fellows and lead to increased agency in their current and future roles in journalism.

Fellows Criteria

  • Participant is a person of color who works in a media organization in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester in NJ & New Castle County in Delaware.
  • The program is open to candidates from the editorial, product, business, and technology sides of media organizations
  • Participants are expected to have some leadership experience. Participants with strategic leadership responsibilities but no direct reports will also be considered.
  • Participant has aspirations of advancing in their career with the ultimate goal to run a desk, department, or news organization
  • Participants should have a desire to learn, be coached, mentored and have an understanding of the core competencies they’d like to improve on over the course of this program.
  • The participant keeps it real and is willing to have tough conversations when needed - especially around issues of equity and pushes for progress, developing creative and innovative solutions while being reflective and rooted in past context
  • Participants should expect to dedicate 20-25 hours a month on this project.
  • Applications will close on September 15th, 2022 at 11:59PM

Executive Advisor Criteria

We are looking for desk, department and news organization leaders that are willing and able to mentor fellows in this program. We’re looking for adaptive leaders with strong coaching skills that can support a fellow with setting and meeting their goals. This leader will be adept at influencing and motivating people, have strong listening, relationship building and interpersonal skills and be a strong communicator. Executive Advisors should expect to dedicate 1-4 hours a month on this project. Leaders should also be competent in at least one of the following areas:

  • Organizational Leadership: This competency is about managing people, projects, self and organizations. It includes skills such as conflict resolution, developing staffers, strategic thinking, change management, critical thinking, gaining and managing influence, accountability and resiliency.
  • Reporting & Editing: This competency is about overseeing the content being produced. It includes skills such as identifying content that is of interest to the community, developing journalists’ stories and work-product, team leadership, organizational skills, critical thinking, & goal setting.
  • Audience Development, Data & Metrics: This competency is about understanding our audience and community to be able to meet information needs and increase the number of loyal audience members. It includes skills such as community engagement and listening strategies, developing metrics to determine effectiveness, gathering and understanding user data and creating audience-centric news organizations.
  • Product Management and Development: This competency is about creating and managing current and prospective product ideas to delight your audience and increase loyalty. It includes skills such as creating and executing a strategy, managing interdisciplinary teams, design-thinking, and user research.
  • Revenue Models & Business Models for Journalism: This competency is about building sustainable practices that ensures organizations can continue to function and thrive. It includes skills such as business planning, identifying strategic opportunities, understanding of various various revenue models and project management.
  • Other competencies

This is the reporting form to be completed quarterly by each Lenfest grantee until project completion. Please refer to your contract agreement for project due dates.

If you have any questions, please contact Shawn Mooring at or Samiya Green at

This form is for applying for grants from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. 

If you have any questions please contact

Lenfest Institute for Journalism