The Dille Fund for Visual Art Acquisition is a special initiative offered by the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) to enhance collections at Mississippi museums, arts organizations, and cultural institutions in the form of purchasing a visual art piece. This initiative supports the creation and collecting of the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with high quality art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through arts engagement. The work collected should be a seascape or a landscape, no portraits or still lifes.

Please note: MAC is not currently accepting applications to the program. The agency will notify the field when the next application deadline is set.

About the Fund

In 1993, Mr. Avery B. Dille, Jr., bequeathed funds to the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) to be used for the acquisition of landscapes and seascapes created by visual artists. In Mr. Dille’s Last Will and Testament, he expressed his intention that the bequeathed funds should be used to aquire these artworks in memory of his father Mr. A.B. Dille, Sr. and his mother, Mrs. Katherine T. Dille.

Eligibility Requirements

Organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be either a non-profit tax exempt 501(c) 3 organization; unit of state or local government; a college or university or federally recognized Native American communities may apply.
  • The applicant must have an existing visual art collection.
  • The applicant must have a minimum three-year history of public programming.
  • The applicant must have a current collections policy and emergency preparedness + security plan.
  • The applicant must meet all reporting requirements on previous Mississippi Arts Commission grants.
  • The applicant’s facility must be open and accessible to the public and the institution must follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and guidelines.

Funding is only available for the purchase of a visual art pieces ONLY. The art piece purchased MUST be a landscape or a seascape, no portraits or still lifes.

Examples of Artists and Works

Mississippi artists such as Kate Freeman Clark, 1875-1957 (native of Holly Springs | landscapes), Gaines Ruger Donoho, 1857-1916 (native of Church Hill |landscapes), Caroline Compton, 1907 -1987 (native of Vicksburg | landscapes), Bill Dunlap, 1944- (native Webster County | hypothetical realism, landscapes), and Walter Inglis Anderson, 1903-1965 (native of New Orleans, lived in Ocean Springs | seascapes, landscapes and wildlife.)

National artists such as Charles Melville Dewy, 1849-1937 (native of New York | landscapes), Thomas Moran, 1837-1926 (native of England, lived in Philadelphia | landscapes), Edward Mitchell Bannister, 1828 -1901 (native of Canada, lived in Providence, Rhode Island | pastoral subject matter.)

In addition, the applicant may seek to collect work produced by contemporary artists working outside the narrow definition but still address the land and the sea in installations, video and sculpture.

Ineligible Projects or Expenses

  • Costs incurred before or after the beginning of the official grant period.
  • General operating or seasonal support.
  • Costs for the creation of new organizations.
  • Direct grants to individuals. (However, we encourage applicant organizations to involve individual artists in all possible ways.)
  • Individual elementary or secondary schools — charter, private, or public. Schools may participate as partners in projects for which another eligible organization applies. Local education agencies, school districts, and state and regional education agencies are eligible. If a single school also is a local education agency, as is the case with some charter schools, the school may apply with documentation that supports its status as a local education agency.
  • Construction, purchase, or renovation of facilities. Design fees, preparing space for an exhibit, installation or de-installation of art, and community planning are eligible.
  • Commercial (for-profit) enterprises or activities, including concessions, food, T-shirts, or other items for resale.• Cash reserves and endowments.
  • Generally, publication of books, exhibition of works, or other projects by the applicant organization’s board members, faculty, or trustees.
  • Expenditures related to compensation to foreign nationals and/or travel to or from foreign countries when those expenditures are not in compliance with regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control.
  • Alcoholic beverages and food. Alcoholic beverages and food.
  • Gifts and prizes, including cash prizes, as well as other items (e.g., iPads, gift certificates) with monetary value.
  • General miscellaneous or contingency costs.
  • Contributions and donations to other entities.
  • Fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction.
  • Social activities such as receptions, parties, galas.
  • Lobbying.
  • Marketing expenses.
  • Rental costs for home office workspace owned by individuals or entities affiliated with the applicant organization.

How to Apply

Please note: Apply online using MAC’s eGRANT system. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications are not accepted. If you are new to eGRANT, please refer to MAC’s video guide on how to create an account. Please contact MAC staff if you have questions.

  • Certification on the Dille Fund Guidelines.
  • Present a narrative of no more than three pages describing the artwork that the organization wishes to purchase (including medium, dimensions, and dates) and programming associated. In this description, the applicant must provide a biography of the artist including dates that the artist worked and other major works produced by the artist. Please follow the page formatting requirements for other MAC grant narratives.
  • Provide a brief description of the community partner organizations associated with the project and explain their connection to the project.
  • Provide a current emergency preparedness plan and collections policy.

Deadline and Timeline

Grants from the Dille Fund are available periodically as funding allows. Applications for this grant are not open at this time.


APPLICATION AWARD AMOUNT: $15,000 to $ 25,000

Applicants must have a 50% cash match
Applicants must have cash match in- hand before payment from MAC is executed.

Project Narrative

Narrative should be no more than three pages in length describing the following. Please follow page formatting requirements for other MAC grant narratives.  Please reference our website for specifics on formatting at Grant Forms and Resources.

  1. Give a brief overview of your organization, including a brief history, mission, and goals of your ongoing programming. Explain how your organization’s work fits into your community. Include a brief description of the community partner organizations associated with the project and explain their connection to the project.
  2. Describe the history of your visual arts collection, the size and scope of the collection and your organization’s long term goals for it. Include a copy of the current collections policy and emergency preparedness/security plan.
  3. Describe the artwork that the organization wishes to purchase (including medium, dimensions, and dates) and programming associated.
  4. Include the biography of the artist; including dates that the artist worked and other major works produced by the artist. Explain why the chosen work (s) will strengthened the organization’s overall collections.

Additional Information needed:

  • On a separate page, include your board of directors indicating their ethnic make-up and members with disabilities.
  • Current biographies (one half-page maximum for each) of key artistic and administrative personnel, both paid and volunteer, who will be responsible for this project.

Evaluation Criteria

Application review will be based on the artistic excellence of the artwork chosen. Specifically, each application will be evaluated based on the following review criteria:

  • Quality of proposed artwork and artist (30 points)
  • Capacity to safeguard work selected and carryout public programming.  (30 points)
  • Quality of Programming: Showing a clear connection between the work of art chosen and the mission of the institution or organization.  (25 points)
  • Quality of the organization’s visual arts program (15 points)

The total cannot exceed 100 points.

If you have questions regarding the Dille Fund, please contact the Mississippi Arts Commission at 601.359.6030.

Paintings above by Tom Harmon.