The American Rescue Plan and the Arts and Creative Industries FAQs

How soon can I apply?

The Arts Endowment is moving quickly to develop guidelines and application materials for the competitive funding process. Visit the American Rescue Plan section of our website for periodic updates and important information about how to apply.

Where should I go for updates?

Information will be published as it becomes available on the Endowment’s website at You can also follow the NEA on social media for notifications (Twitter:; Facebook:

What should I do to prepare?

Be sure that your organization has registered or renewed/verified its current registration with both and the System for Award Management ( before the application deadline. This process can take time; start now!

My organization won’t be able to reopen for several months and we won’t be offering programs. How will the NEA funding from ARP help me?

Congress has charged the NEA to allow grant recipients to use ARP funding to cover general operating costs. This change marks a significant shift in policy and demonstrates a recognition of the tremendous need in the sector.

Will funding be available to help our organization reopen?

The NEA is in the process of determining funding categories for ARP. We anticipate that the guidelines and application will be available in late April. In the interim, the NEA is providing guidance on reopening through programs such as “The Art of Reopening” webinar on March 23.

How soon will grants be made?

We don’t have an estimate for precisely when grants will be made, but we can point to our track record as an effective funder. In 2020, Congress appropriated $75 million to the NEA in the CARES Act. The NEA’s effective distribution of CARES Act funding showed the NEA's ability to effectively and efficiently expedite funds to organizations in need.

Are there other resources for the arts sector in the American Rescue Plan?

Other arts and culture agencies included in the American Rescue Plan are the National Endowment for the Humanities (, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ( Follow these organizations on their websites and social media for potential grant opportunities in the next few months.

Why were the arts included in the Rescue Plan – isn’t the Rescue Plan about COVID-19 and the economy?

The arts and culture sector is a major economic driver in the U.S. economy. There are over 673,000 arts businesses in the U.S. (nonprofit AND for-profit per Dun & Bradstreet data) and more than five million artists and arts workers, including 780,000 self-employed artists. Without additional government assistance to these businesses and individuals, the economic and public health crises in this sector could worsen in the months ahead.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19 relief resources and opportunities?

Visit the Endowment’s COVID-19 Resource Page at: