Grants

ART WORKS Guidelines: Music

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to advancing a wide range of music, from classical and contemporary to jazz. We support projects by performing ensembles and music presenting organizations including but not limited to chamber music ensembles, choruses, early music programs, jazz ensembles, music festivals, and symphony orchestras. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts accepts applications from professional artist development programs, artist residencies, and service organizations.

Organizations of all types and sizes may apply for a variety of music production, presentation, professional development, engagement, and service projects. The National Endowment for the Arts is particularly interested in collaborations, innovative presentation strategies, and initiatives that help organizations engage audiences in new and meaningful ways. In addition to projects that focus on the standard repertoire, the National Endowment for the Arts encourages the commissioning and performance of new American works.  

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.

Projects

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.

Deadlines

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

Performances, presentations, and commissions

  • Public presentations of musical works.
  • Commissions and/or co-commissions.
  • Development and performances of new musical compositions and innovative works.
  • Performances and educational engagements by NEA Jazz Masters that honor their work, history, style, and/or significance to jazz; and broaden public awareness of the art form.
  • Domestic touring.
  • Festivals and other events (may include performances, lecture-demonstrations, audience talkbacks, master classes, and workshops).
  • Creation and presentation of work that honors the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States.

Professional artistic development

  • Professional artistic development and training programs for musicians such as conducting skills, mentorship, and career development.
  • Residencies and workshops with artists.

Engagement, education, recordings, and technology

  • Community engagement projects that involve diverse communities and/or reach new audiences.
  • Innovative methods of engaging audiences (may include collaborations with other organizations, new approaches that have the potential to increase the impact on audiences, artists, communities, or the field).
  • Recordings of works by American composers.
  • Technology projects such as local broadcasts, online resources, and libraries that provide public access to musical works.
  • Archival, documentation, and preservation projects.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects."

Services to the field

  • Services that reach a broad constituency of musicians, music educators, administrators, and music organizations (may include workshops, conferences, publications, professional leadership development, technical assistance, or online resources).

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.