Grants

GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS Guidelines: Media Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting activities that reflect the dynamic, diverse, and evolving nature of the media arts field. Applicants may apply in this Grants for Arts Projects category for media arts projects that support creation, exhibition, education, and distribution of historic and contemporary artworks in all genres and forms that use electronic media, film, and technology (analog & digital; old and new) as an artistic medium or a medium to broaden arts appreciation and awareness (of any discipline). All genres are welcome to apply; all phases of project support are eligible.

While we welcome applications for a variety of artistically excellent projects, we encourage projects that address any of the following activities below:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or 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.
  • In the spirit of White House Executive Orders that encourage federal agencies to engage with typically underserved constituencies, the National Endowment for the Arts encourages applications from:
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
    • Tribal Colleges and Universities,
    • American Indian and Alaska Native tribes,
    • African American Serving Institutions,
    • Hispanic Serving Institutions,
    • Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and
    • Organizations that support the independence and lifelong inclusion of people with disabilities.

Cost share/matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

If your project is developed and managed by local government, see the Local Arts Agencies description to help you in your discipline selection.

Deadlines

Grants for Arts Projects applications will be accepted at two deadlines; project types vary for each deadline. Apply at the deadline with the project type that most closely corresponds to the primary activities within your proposed project (see below for more details). All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf; applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed.

An organization may submit only one application in the Grants for Arts Projects category, with the following exception:  Any organization may submit more than one application in the Grants for Arts Projects category through the Media Arts discipline for the July deadline only. See Applicant Eligibility for more details.

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Media Arts Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov February 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal February 18-25, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2021
Eligible projects types include exhibition, presentation, distribution, and preservation activities:

  • Film/video/audio/new-media festivals and associated public programming that include artists, critics, and/or scholars, and are open to the general public and demonstrate meaningful community engagement.
  • Preservation, restoration, or archiving of media art works, and services that support preservation, restoration, or archiving efforts with a distribution plan to engage public audiences with the newly available work. Priority will be given to short or feature-length films and videos (any genre), audio and digital art works, and time-based performances residing on audio or visual formats. If you are looking to support the digitization of arts and cultural humanities collections (all sizes), you may wish to contact the National Endowment for the Humanities at preservation@neh.gov.
  • Curated series, screenings, exhibitions, installations, and/or touring programs and associated programming featuring all genres of historic and contemporary art that uses electronic media, film and technology (old and new) as an artistic medium and demonstrate meaningful community engagement.
  • Regional, national, or international distribution of electronic media, film, and technology as art.

Note: We recognize that projects may include a range of media arts-related activities. Contact staff if it is unclear which deadline will be most suitable.

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least January 22, 2020 and submit to Grants.gov by at least February 4, 2020.

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Media Arts Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov July 9, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal July 14-21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2021
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2021
Eligible project types include creation, education, and resources for artistic and professional development:

  • Commission, creation, and/or production of all genres and forms of media art that use electronic media, film, and technology (old and new) as an artistic medium or a medium to broaden arts appreciation and awareness of any discipline. High-profile multi-part or single television, radio, and multi-platform programs are also acceptable. Genres include, but are not limited to, documentary, experimental, narrative, interactive, transmedia storytelling, game design, immersive, audio, internet, and other new technologies. All phases of a project are eligible for support including research and development, production, and completion costs.
  • Projects that enable the production of analog and digital tools, hardware and/or software that engage the process of hacking, circuit bending, creative coding, development of open source code, robotics, and audio or visual instrument building to produce new media art works.
  • Projects providing resources to artists and organizations, workspace and facilities access to equipment and related technologies, and artist residencies that are available to artists and/or the general public that assist in any phase of media arts production.
  • Educational activities and workshop series that engage groups of all ages and skill levels to learn, participate, or engage in the process of using electronic media, film, and technology as an art form. Artist-led activities are encouraged. If these activities are directly aligned with festival or exhibition projects, the first Grants for Arts Projects deadline may be more appropriate. If your project intends to serve pre-K-12 youth audiences, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.
  • Services to the national field, including conferences, field studies, convenings, or workshops intended for media artists, critics, and scholars, and that are publicly accessible.
  • Widely distributed publications on issues pertinent to the media arts field, both practical and aesthetic, and both digital and in print.
  • Project activities that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities through employment, industry training, technical assistance, organization capacity-building, and infrastructure.

Note: We recognize that projects may include a range of media arts-related activities. Contact staff if it is unclear which deadline will be most suitable.

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least June 17, 2020 and submit to Grants.gov by at least June 30, 2020.

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

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

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

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 potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (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 outdoor arts festival.
  • 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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

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

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Funded activities must be held in a physically 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 detailed information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities.