Grants

ART WORKS Guidelines: Museums

The nation's museums face a tall and challenging order, increasingly called upon to be civic anchor, community gathering place, and stewards of our most prized artistic and cultural heritage. Museums are visited by millions of people each year -- more than those that attend all major sporting events and theme parks combined.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting museum activity that demonstrates exceptional aesthetic investigation and meaningful community engagement. Specifically, the National Endowment for the Arts assists museums through the support of exhibitions, care of collections, conservation, commissions, public art works, community engagement, education activities, and other museum work. Museum projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts demonstrate artistic excellence in and across a variety of mediums, movements, eras, and cultures.

We encourage applications for artistically excellent projects that address any of the activities below:

  • Honor the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States (aka the Women’s Suffrage Centennial).
  • Engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Hispanic or Latino organizations; and the Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts.
  • Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.

Deadlines

Art Works applications will be accepted at two deadlines. All project types (described below) are accepted at both deadlines. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Art Works category.

First Art Works Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov February 14, 2019
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal February 19-26, 2019
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2019
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2020

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, we strongly recommend that you register/renew your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least January 23, 2019 and submit to Grants.gov by at least February 5, 2019.

Second Art Works Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov July 11, 2019
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal July 16-23, 2019
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2020

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, we strongly recommend that you register/renew your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least June 19, 2019 and submit to Grants.gov by at least July 2, 2019.

Project Types:

  • Exhibitions and related activities.
  • Conservation, preservation, and/or restoration.
  • Commissions or public art.
  • Creation and presentation of work that honors the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States.
  • Residencies.
  • Provenance research.
  • Collections management.
  • Reinstallation of collections.
  • Public programming such as workshops, lectures and symposia, or other outreach activities.
  • Periodicals, publications, or catalogues.
  • 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.)
  • Innovative uses of technology.
  • Services to the field.

For information on how to apply, see the “To Apply” box on the right.

National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act Review

If you are recommended for a grant, your project may be subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and/or the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance NEPA/NHPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (please note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An arts festival in a park.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/our ability to release grant funds. If you are recommended for an award which may have historic preservation or environmental concerns (NHPA/NEPA), you will be notified and asked to provide additional information. Your thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The NEA cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the historic preservation and/or environmental review is complete.

To learn more about what questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act, see here.

Note: Federal regulations require that all NEA-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Funded activities must be held in an accessible venue and program access and effective communication must be provided for participants and audience members with disabilities. If your project is recommended for funding, you will be asked to provide information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities.