ART WORKS Guidelines: Artist Communities

These are expired guidelines. New Art Works guidelines will be posted in mid-December. Do not begin working on your application until the new guidelines are posted as the requirements have changed.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to providing assistance to artist communities for projects that encourage and nurture the development of individual artists and foster and inspire their creative processes. For the National Endowment for the Arts' purposes, an artist community is defined as an organization, whether focused on a single discipline or multidisciplinary, whose primary mission is to provide artist residencies.

Support is available for artist communities that:

  • Provide space, time, and resources to artists for incubation, thought, or creativity in a retreat setting in an urban or rural location.
  • Foster and support the creative process of art making by providing studio facilities and assistance with living accommodations to enable artists to live and work concurrently.
  • Utilize a competitive application process to recruit and select participants, and rotate a wide range of artists in order to encourage the highest standards of creativity.


The application deadline for all projects is February 18, 2016. (There is no July deadline.)

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to February 18, 2016
Step 2 - Submit Materials to NEA-GO February 25, 2016 to March 3, 2016
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2016
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2017


  • Stipends and living accommodations for professional artists where the primary purpose is to create new art.
  • The expansion of the pool of artists that encourages the participation of artists from a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints, ethnic backgrounds, disability perspectives, or geographic areas where the primary purpose is to create new art.
  • Access to facilities or technology to meet the needs of interdisciplinary or new genre artists where the primary purpose is to create new art.
  • Innovative approaches to serving as an incubator for the creation of art.
  • Innovative collaborations between artists and those from sectors outside of the arts (e.g., science) to create new art.
  • Support for residencies that place artists in non-traditional contexts such as incubator programs or businesses.
  • Innovative uses of science, technology, media, or new models and activities with the surrounding community that provide the public with direct experiences with resident artists and increase the visibility of the work of artists and the organization.
  • Innovative approaches to collaboration with outside organizations and disciplines where the primary purpose is public engagement with art.
  • Support for artist residencies where the art will engage the public to make positive social change.
  • Activities with the surrounding community that provide educational and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools.
  • Residency exchange programs with artists and artist communities in other countries where the primary purpose is the acquisition of knowledge or skills in the arts.
  • The enhancement of public spaces through commissioning and/or installation of works created by members of artist communities.
  • The engagement of artist communities in plans and processes to improve community livability.
  • Community-based partnerships that integrate artist communities with livability efforts.