FY25 Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund Overview

The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund is now accepting applications for the FY25 grant cycle!

Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes created their namesake foundation to support the design and production costs of New York City-based non-profit theatre companies. The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund provides grants intended to augment the artistic needs of a production and allow a designer to more fully realize their artistic vision for a production. Design enhancement can impact the artists and audiences involved in a production in many ways, from formal and technological innovations to augmenting the audience's experience in the theatre.

In order to have the most significant impact, these funds must supplement the current production budget and augment the original design concept. Applicants may request support for enhancement to design elements including (but not limited to) sets, lights, sound, costumes, video, puppetry, props, or multimedia design elements.  

In essence, we ask you and your design team to dream big and answer the question:
"How would your organization spend up to $10,000 on an enhanced design for your production?" 

The Application Guide below provides detailed information on the application process, eligibility requirements, and more. 



Application Opens: March 12, 2024 at 10am ET

Office Hours: March 12 - April 5, 2024

Application Closes: April 9th, 2024 at 5pm ET

Notifications: Mid May 2024


Information session

A recorded info session is available here on YouTube. The recorded info session is captioned, and all slides are audio-described. Automatic captioning is available on all virtual info sessions. 

Office hours 

A.R.T./New York staff offers technical assistance in virtual "office hours." All applicants will be able to schedule a 25-minute session, during which they’ll be happy to discuss your responses to the questions in the grant application, discuss your enhanced versus original design, talk through questions on your budget and/or budget notes, and answer any other questions regarding the grant and your application you might have. All appointments will be held virtually through Zoom between March 12, 2024 - April 5, 2024.

Please be sure you have reviewed the grant application, eligibility requirements, and evaluation criteria before your meeting. You do not need to have completed responses to the application questionnaire before your meeting, but we encourage all meeting participants to be prepared; the more you have prepared, the more substantial feedback our team can provide.


About the Foundation

The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund was created from the estate of noted designers Edith Lutyens and her husband, Norman Bel Geddes. Edith was one of two girls born in Belgium into an Edwardian era family and it is to her English father that she credits much of her indelible sense of character. Her many accomplishments throughout her life, including representing Belgium in the National Field Hockey team and competing in the 1928 Olympics in fencing, helped to prepare her for a life of challenges and success.

Arriving alone in New York City during the height of the war it was not long before she entered the theater world with her own costume production house and soon was producing for Broadway and Ballet Society; working with such luminaries as George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein; producing the costumes for FireBird with Marc Chagall; Orson Welles on Around the World in 80 Days; South Pacific and so many others. And in 1947 Edith Lutyens produced Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone/The Medium for Broadway. It was during this time that she met and later married Norman Bel Geddes and, in her own words, considered this the happiest time of her life. Together they traveled, collaborated on multiple projects, and remained inseparable until Norman’s death in 1958.

Edith then worked for several years to preserve the Bel Geddes legacy by arranging for all his papers to be archived at The Harry Ransom Center in Austin Texas. This was a major accomplishment and it is to Edith’s credit that Norman’s work is accurately represented today. To further that goal, in 2004 Edith conceived and created the Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Foundation with the directive to assist those in the theater world who were most often overlooked; those, like her, who toiled “back of the curtain” as it were; the lighting people, the sound people, the technicians, and of course the costumer. 
A.R.T./New York has been the Foundation's partner in that mission since its inception. The goal of the Foundation is totally consistent with the important work of A.R.T./New York, by supporting design innovation and securing a future for a vital and essential theater in New York City. 


A.R.T./New York is committed to making our grantmaking and funding programs accessible to disabled theatre-makers, artists, and administrators. Our Application Guide and FAQ documents are available in large print. The recorded Information Session has captioning available, and Office Hours Appointments offer automatic captioning through Zoom and Google. Additional accommodations, including ASL interpretation, live captioning, audio description, etc are available upon request. Please submit requests to Adam Mummery and Erica Barnes at [email protected] at least 5 business days in advance. 


Header Image: FY21 Design Enhancement Fund Recipient:The Assembly, Photo Credit: Bjorn Bolinder, IN CORPO, June 2023