In keeping with our mission, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts (MKFA) supports arts organizations that foster critical thinking, risk-taking, and provocation in the arts through innovative programming and projects with artists. The grant program furthers Mike Kelley’s philanthropic work and honors his legacy by awarding funds to arts organizations that reflect the spirit of his practice.

For the 2025 grant cycle, MKFA will offer the new Infinite Expansion Grants (IEG). The grant takes its name from Mike Kelley’s Infinite Expansion (1983), a large drawing depicting a tiny landscape in the center of the work from which radiate larger and larger psychedelic wood grain patterns. With this in mind, the aim of these grants is to emphasize the expansive impact that arts organizations and artists make in the world and the communities they build. 

A shift away from the recent Organizational Support Grants (2021-2024), the IEG will center on the experimental and thought-provoking work of artists presented by arts nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in LA County. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded based on the submission of an upcoming project.  Award size will depend on the project budget, operating budget, and how much MKFA can offer in awards. While the grants will primarily support the culmination of an artist project, a portion of the funds may be directed toward general operating support.

The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting work that has proven (or may prove) challenging to undertake or fund due to its content, experimental nature, complexity, or other factors. Grants may cover any or all project phases, from planning to implementation, but the project must culminate in a publicly presented work in Los Angeles County by December 2026.

A number of changes have been made to this grant cycle, including the addition of an initial submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) due by August 15, 2024.  Please read the eligibility criteria, guidelines and FAQs to help complete your LOI.


Nonprofit arts institutions and organizations whose programming portfolio aligns with MKFA’s core values of critical thinking, risk taking, and provocation in the arts.  Please look at past Artist Project Grants and Organizational Support Grants  awardees to see programs that exemplify these values.

Nonprofit arts institutions and organizations with an operating budget of $5 million or less, located in Los Angeles County, with an IRS Determination Letter reflecting their Los Angeles address.  Organizations must have an updated Guidestar profile that verifies their current nonprofit status.

● Organizations must have nonprofit status for at least two years by June of the application year.

● Organizations must have at least two years of documented public programs by June of the application year.  Additionally, organizations must be planning programming through 2026 as the application will ask for an upcoming artist(s) project that must culminate by December 2026. 

Organizations without nonprofit status can propose to use a fiscal sponsor, and these requests will be evaluated for eligibility on a case-by-case basis at the Foundation’s discretion. Both the organization and the fiscal sponsor need to have been in operation for at least two years, be based in Los Angeles County as described above, and the application must come from the fiscal sponsor. See FAQ for details and contact the Foundation early to discuss fiscal sponsor plans.

Each nonprofit is limited to one submission when applying for their organization. Fiscal Sponsors can apply multiple times as sponsors as long as the organizations they are sponsoring meet the eligibility criteria mentioned above.

● If you are awarded an Infinite Expansion Grant in 2025, your organization will not be eligible to apply again for one to two grant cycles depending on when your project is presented. If your project is presented in 2025, you are eligible to apply for the 2027 grant cycle. If your project takes place in 2026, you will be eligible to apply for the 2028 grant cycle.  

● Projects may include collaborations with additional groups or organizations, including those without nonprofit status, as long as the lead applicant organization is a nonprofit in good standing.

●  There is no restriction on past APG or OSG awardees.  Organizations that meet the eligibility criteria and have been awarded an Artist Project Grants or Organizational Support Grant in the past are eligible to apply to the 2025 IEG.

Generally, MKFA grants are designed to support visual arts organizations that present contemporary art, and art historically important exhibitions. The Foundation recognizes, however, that disciplinary boundaries are often fluid. Other types of presenting organizations with a history of interdisciplinary work, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, at the Foundation’s discretion.  Examples of organizations that might be of interest to the Foundation are organizations that present experimental music, movement-based practices that have a relationship to performance art, or experimental theater. Please email the Foundation with any questions at grants@mikekelleyfoundation.org.

Ineligible to apply

● Arts organizations with an operating budget of more than $5 million.

● Arts organizations whose main focus is arts education or youth programs.

● Arts organizations that curate through open calls.

● Arts organizations that primarily fundraise through programming.

● Arts organizations that focus on an annual film festival program.


Grant Cycle Timeline for 2025 Award Year

● June 18, 2024 letter of inquiry made available through our online grant portal

● June 26, 2024 MKFA webinar and Q&A on 2025 Infinite Expansion Grants

August 18, 2024 letter of inquiry due through our online grant portal

● September 6, 2024 eligible letter of inquiry submissions will receive a link to fill out the full application

● October 31, 2024 deadline to submit the 2025 Infinite Expansion Grant application

Review Process and Criteria

●  MKFA audits each letter of inquiry to verify organizations meet all eligibility criteria and to verify the artist project aligns with MKFA’s core values.  Ineligible letters of inquiry will not receive a link to submit an application.  For this reason, we encourage any organizations that are unsure if they meet eligibility criteria to email the Foundation at grants@mikekelleyfoundation.org to see if they should apply.

●  MKFA grants are awarded on a competitive basis and evaluated by an independent review panel.  Panels are comprised of artists, curators, art writers, and other arts professionals that are familiar with the Los Angeles arts community and various modes of artistic practices. Panelists change year-to-year and are announced when the awardees are made public.

●  Panelists evaluate applications on the basis of: 1) significance of the projects 2) past work of the artist(s) 3) past work of the host organization and its capacity to carry out the project 4) appropriateness of the budget. 

The programming portfolio should give the panel an idea of the strength of an organization’s past programming and one upcoming project that will take place by December 2026. 

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts reserves the right to deny any submission at its discretion.



Receipt of your letter of inquiry will be acknowledged via an automated email sent by Submittable.com. Please check your Spam folder for these notifications as they may unintentionally be sent there.  All letter of inquiry submissions will receive eligibility determinations by early September 2024.

MKFA appreciates your patience during the application review process, as our grants team is small.  Please do not contact MKFA about the status of your application. All applicants will receive notification of the panel’s decision in Spring of 2025.


Please refer to the FAQs, or contact the Foundation at grants@mikekelleyfoundation.org.