ART WORKS Guidelines: Local Arts Agencies

Across the United States, thousands of Local Arts Agencies (LAAs) provide a wide range of programs and services to help support and enable arts and culture at the local level.  LAAs are intermediaries, serving artists and arts organizations, local residents, visitors and other partners.  No two LAAs are alike ─ whether they serve a single village or town, a large city, county, or a multi-county region.  Some LAAs are departments of local government, others are nonprofit organizations, and still others are hybrids of the two.

Characteristics: LAAs may present and/or produce arts programming, commission and manage public art, administer grant programs, provide technical assistance to artists and arts organizations, and guide cultural planning efforts.  Still others may own, manage, and/or operate cultural facilities and be actively engaged in community development, and partner with entities in tourism, social services, public education, housing, economic development, and public safety.  All strive to enhance the quality of life in their communities by working to increase public access to the arts.  You will also find national and statewide arts service organizations in the LAA portfolio that work primarily with a network of LAAs.

All Art Works applications submitted by an LAA will be reviewed with other Local Arts Agencies.  There are only two exceptions: Projects that have a Folk & Traditional Arts focus will be reviewed under Folk & Traditional Arts, and projects with a K-12 standards-based arts education, professional development, or collective impact focus will be reviewed under Arts Education.

NEW: Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) organizations and Arts and Business Councils are now eligible to apply for Services to the Field projects under Local Arts Agencies for projects that serve artists and/or arts organizations in a city or a region.

Projects

Art Works applications will be accepted under two deadlines. All project types are accepted under both deadlines. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year under the Art Works category.

The work of local arts agencies can cover a wide range of activity, depending on the dynamics of the community. There are two types of projects eligible for support: Programming activities, which can include commissioning, presenting, and exhibiting art works; and Services to the Field activities, which can include planning and technical assistance.

Deadlines

First Art Works Deadline:

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov 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

Second Art Works Deadline:

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov July 14, 2016
Step 2 - Submit Materials to NEA-GO July 21, 2016 to July 28, 2016
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2017
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2017

Programming includes:

  • Artist commissions, including the enhancement of public spaces through commissioning and/or installation of art works.
  • Artist residencies where the primary purpose is to create new works of art and deepen community engagement, and/or where the primary purpose is the acquisition of knowledge or skills in the arts.
  • Creation, commissioning, and presentation of new work.
  • Festivals and other community events, which may include performances, exhibitions, lecture-demonstrations, and workshops.
  • Performing arts events, readings, screenings, broadcasts, and visual arts exhibitions.
  • Programming projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved communities.
  • Projects using technology, media, new models, or other strategies in the creation of new work.
  • Subgranting for programming activities on behalf of a local arts agency's constituents. To be eligible, a local arts agency must be a unit of city or county government or officially designated to operate on behalf of its local government. In addition to the "Applicant Eligibility" section for all Art Works applicants, applicants for subgranting projects must have a three-year history of subgranting in the arts prior to the application deadline.

    Designated local arts agencies that will subgrant must:

    • Require their grantees to provide DUNS numbers before a grant can be made.
    • Report subgrants of $25,000 or more in federal funds to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System (FSRS).
    • Ensure that all subawards made with federal or matching funds are in compliance with the General Terms and Conditions for an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, including requirements for pass-through entities as provide for under 2 CFR 200.331.
      • Please note that officially designated Local Arts Agencies are the only entities allowed to apply to Art Works for subgranting.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools.
    • If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.
    • We encourage you to also review Arts Education guidelines for Collective Impact awards for projects that are collaborations with school districts with a focus on systemic change.

Services to the Field include:

  • Coordinated arts services, including community-wide marketing campaigns, online services, and community-wide arts engagement activities.
  • Services to advance the professional skills of artists and arts organizations. This may include conferences, convenings, workshops, technical assistance, leadership training, and professional development opportunities for artists and arts administrators.
  • Subgranting for services to the field activities on behalf of a local arts agency's constituents. To be eligible, a local arts agency must be a unit of city or county government or officially designated to operate on behalf of its local government. In addition to the "Applicant Eligibility" section for all applicants, applicants for subgranting projects must have a three-year history of subgranting in the arts prior to the application deadline.

    Designated local arts agencies that will subgrant must:

    • Require their grantees to provide DUNS numbers before a grant can be made.
    • Report subgrants of $25,000 or more in federal funds to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System (FSRS).
    • Ensure that all subawards made with federal or matching funds are in compliance with the General Terms and Conditions for an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, including requirements for pass-through entities as provide for under 2 CFR 200.331.
      • Please note that officially designated Local Arts Agencies are the only entities allowed to apply to Art Works for subgranting.
  • Cultural planning, which may include the development of plans for cultural and/or creative sector growth, cultural assessments and mapping, community-wide cultural planning, specific-issue cultural plans, and the integration of arts and culture into broader community planning efforts.
  • The planning and development of artist live/work spaces, as well as studio, production, rehearsal, and performance spaces.
  • Documentation and conservation of public and monumental art.