• How did the Foundation determine its funding priorities?

    Our funding priorities are based on a desire to improve the conditions necessary for creative production in Seattle. We examined current and past philanthropic efforts in our region and then identified new approaches to the direct support of artists and existing programs. We maintain flexibility to adapt as we move forward.

  • Where does the Foundation’s money come from?

    The New Foundation Seattle is a private foundation funded by Shari D. Behnke and her husband John. Seed money for the Foundation came from the sale of a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois titled, Spider Home, gifted by Shari. Shari will continue to fund the Foundation through personal contributions and gifts of artwork from her collection. The gift of Spider Home is significant, as Bourgeois avidly supported younger artists and demonstrated outstanding tenacity throughout her career.

  • Does the Foundation buy artwork for its own collection?

    No, the Foundation does not maintain a collection.

  • Can I contribute to the charitable work of The New Foundation Seattle?

    If you would like to make a donation to the Foundation, please contact us at

  • In addition to making a donation, what else can I do to support the Foundation?

    Join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Program Questions

  • How can I get the Foundation to buy my artwork/an artist’s artwork?

    The Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests from artists or their representatives to buy artwork for museum collections.

  • Are organizations eligible for Foundation support?

    The Foundation funds academic institutions based in Western Washington with studio art programs that offer MFA degrees. The organization must be recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity.

  • Are individuals eligible for Foundation support?

    The Foundation provides support to professional, practicing visual artists, independent curators, and arts writers residing in the Seattle-area or Portland-area. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age. More details can be found here.

  • Can individuals apply to be supported by the Artist Program?

    The Artist Program is on hiatus as of April 2016.

  • Does the Foundation accept project proposals?

    The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals at this time.

  • How do you select 100K Prize recipients?

    100K Prize recipients are selected by the Foundation’s board of directors. Comprising the board are individuals who have experience in the contemporary art field working as curators, cultural producers, arts administrators, and philanthropists. The Foundation will select recipients on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis that is compliant with its federal tax-exempt status. In selecting recipients, the Foundation will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy, protected veteran status or protected genetic information.

  • Can individuals apply for The 100K Prize?

    No. 100K Prize recipients are selected by the Foundation’s board of directors.

Individual Grants

  • The Foundation no longer offers Career Incentive Funds, Residency Program Funds, or New Fellows grants.