Places Awarded Grant from the Mellon Foundation

John Mann, from the series Folded in Place.
John Mann, from the series Folded in Place. [Courtesy John Mann Studio]

We are thrilled to announce that Places Journal has received a grant of $500,000 from the Mellon Foundation to support a new project called “An Unfinished Atlas.” The grant was awarded through the foundation’s Humanities in Place program, which was established in 2020 to support “a fuller, more complex telling of American histories and lived experiences by deepening the range of how and where our stories are told and by bringing a wider variety of voices into the public dialogue.”

The two-year grant will support the launch of an ambitious new editorial project. “An Unfinished Atlas” will be a series showcasing diverse methods of storytelling, from longform journalism to personal reflection to archival investigation to visual portfolios, and dedicated to the work of authors and artists of color. Connecting its varied formats, the series will be thematically unified: Places will invite BIPOC authors to choose one location — intimately known or not; famous or minor; historical or contemporary — that will, through their research, reportage, or recollection, be added to the national typology of place and community. The aim of “An Unfinished Atlas” is to enrich the cultural record of place-based narratives across what is now called the North American continent.

Importantly, the Humanities in Place grant will simultaneously promote organizational growth by supporting the recruitment of six new schools to join our global network of academic partners. The new partners will be drawn from a mix of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. In adding significant new capacity to this longtime institutional goal, the grant will also allow us to expand our staff with the addition of a project manager and to establish an editorial advisory committee for the new series.

We are very grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its support of our work, and for enabling us to more fully realize our mission of public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at