The Paul Green Foundation


$500 - $2,500


Funding awarded to nonprofits to support dramatic productions, projects and programs or publications that reflect the life’s work and values of Paul Green.


The Paul Green Foundation exists to advance the ideals of human rights to which Paul Green was committed; to own, preserve, and promote his literary works; and to encourage dramatic art with special emphasis on symphonic outdoor drama.  The Foundation makes modest arts and human rights grants and awards to nonprofit organizations.

Proposals should focus on efforts to uphold basic human rights and racial equality; dramatic art; and literary projects, which could include the promotion and preservation of Green’s own literary works.

Proposals to fund projects that combine any of the three above would be welcomed.  For example, Green’s plays and stories typically supported his social conscience. A proposal in which an art form is made to serve the cause of human rights would be particularly appropriate.

Green’s Accomplishments and Values

Paul Green (1894-1981) was one of North Carolina’s most revered writers and one of America’s most distinguished literary figures during his lifetime. He was the first playwright of his generation in the South to gain national and international recognition. He was a natural teacher and often supported and encouraged the work of his literary contemporaries and friends–Sherwood Anderson, James Boyd, Dubose Heyward, Zora Neale Hurston, Clifford Odets, Betty Smith, Carl Sandburg, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, and Richard Wright, among others.

Recognition for Green’s playwriting talent came early. In 1927, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for In Abraham’s Bosom. The play dealt with the then-taboo topic of interracial intimacy and was never performed below the Mason-Dixon line.

In the 1930s, Green collaborated with composer Kurt Weill to create the satirical musical Johnny Johnson, based, in part, upon Green’s experience in the trenches of France during  World War I. This anti-war play still speaks to contemporary audiences.

Green was also selected by Richard Wright to adapt Wright’s novel, Native Son, for the Broadway stage in 1941.

After writing stints in New York and Hollywood, Green came home to create a new theatrical form which he called “the symphonic outdoor drama.” His first and longest running play in this genre is The Lost Colony,  presented annually on the coast of North Carolina for more than 85 years.

Equal to his literary influence has been Green’s impact as a passionate advocate for social justice, prison reform, and the abolition of the death penalty. Green regularly lobbied government leaders about the racial injustices he witnessed over his lifetime. He also led vigils at North Carolina’s Central Prison when executions were being conducted by the state.

The Paul Green Foundation was established in 1982 to perpetuate his work and vision through a program of grantmaking in the arts and human rights.


North Carolina 501(c)(3)

Level of Support:

Ranging from $500 – $2,500

Schedule and submission requirements:

Postmark deadline by October 1; grants announced in November for use in the next calendar year. 

Proposals should include these initial materials (finalists will be asked for additional information):

One-page cover letter briefly stating the project title, description, and grant amount requested.  This page does not count against the page limit.

Organization’s tax I.D. letter or that of an appropriate fiscal agent

In six pages or fewer (12 point standard font):

Project description and explanation for how the proposal fits the criteria

Project time table

Project budget’s proposed expenses and sources of income

List of Board of Directors and staff


By email only to Grants Committee,

To learn more, click here.

Please reach out to us if you have questions PRIOR to the deadline!