Philip A. Morris Fund for the Design Arts

“Good design must be part of the fabric of the community.”

The mission of the Philip A. Morris Fund for the Design Arts is to create and expand awareness of the design arts and the impact of quality design in our community.

In 2015, Phillip Morris—a champion of how good design enriches our communities and our lives, and a former executive editor of Southern Living magazine—established the Morris Fund, an endowed Field of Interest Fund* at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

He envisioned a fund that could provide resources to support his passion for the design arts and the role that the design arts play in building and enhancing communities.  Central to the mission of the Fund is creating and expanding awareness of the design arts and the impact of quality design.

Broadly stated, “design arts” include but are not limited to urban planning; design and the built environment; architecture; graphic arts and graphic design; and landscape planning and design.

An Advisory Committee for the Philip Morris Fund for the Design Arts reviews grant proposals to ensure that they meet Mr. Morris’s specific definition of design arts and his intentions for broad community building and inclusion.  The Advisory Committee reviews grant proposals, conducts site reviews, and presents recommendations for funding to be awarded annually in August. The awards are a function of funds available and the number of grant-worthy requests.

Previously awarded grants have included:

  • The Ways of Seeing exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art [BMA grantee]
  • Support of design fees for the Linn Park “Revision” [REV Birmingham grantee]
  • Jeff Speck lecture on Walkability [Auburn University’s Urban Studio grantee]

The Community Foundation along with the Advisory Committee of the Morris Fund hope to connect with local government officials, other nonprofit organizations, and those in the design arts community to collaborate on future projects that amplify the design arts’ impact in the Greater Birmingham area.

For more information on the Philip A. Morris Fund for the Design Arts at the Community Foundation, please contact Kendall Chew, Senior Philanthropy Coordinator.


* The Community Foundation uses Field of Interest Funds to make grants to organizations working in the field(s) of interest identified by the fund’s founding donor