Topic: Arts & Culture

Rockefeller Foundation Funding for Literature

Supporting American writers and the journals that publish their work.

Building Global Understanding: Area Studies, Language, and History

Encouraging cross-cultural knowledge in an interconnected postwar world by shaping new interdisciplinary programs and retooling traditional academic fields.

“A Very Broad Field”: Building the Rockefeller Foundation’s Humanities Program

The Rockefeller Foundation evolved to bring the arts and humanities together, from classical archaeology to contemporary museums.

An Overview of Rockefeller Foundation Support for the Performing Arts in the 20th Century

Although known for its work in science, medicine, and health, the Rockefeller Foundation supported a surprising number of performing arts activities.

Rockefeller Foundation Support for Communications Media in the 1930s and 1940s

The mid-20th century was an era influenced by mass communications, and a handful of philanthropic programs sought to tap into the possibilities of film and radio.

World War II & the Rockefeller Foundation

Saving threatened scholars and confronting a dramatically changed world.

War of the Worlds: Rockefeller Philanthropies, Disinformation, and Media Literacy in the 1930s

Orson Welles’s 1938 radio performance of The War of the Worlds prompted a foundation to explore issues of media literacy and fake news.

Preserving Scholarship During World War II: the Rockefeller Foundation, Libraries, and Microphotography

Using new technology to save threatened world resources and keep free inquiry alive under threat of fascist destruction.

Margaret Mead’s Call for Less “Orthodox” Grantmaking

How a famous anthropologist challenged her own funder to take more risks.

“Highest Standards”: Elite Philanthropy and Literary Black Voices during the Civil Rights Era

Against a backdrop of white, establishment concepts of literary excellence, one foundation struggled to appreciate Black voices.