Grants

GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS Guidelines: Musical Theater

The National Endowment for the Arts nurtures the nonprofit musical theater field, as one of America’s unique art forms, by funding the work of established musical theater organizations as well as musical theater projects by companies known primarily for non-musical work. The National Endowment for the Arts awards grants for the production or presentation of traditional repertoire, new musicals, development laboratories, showcases, artist residencies, work for young audiences, experimental work, and community-based work. Projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts should help to fully realize an organization's mission and may provide support for organizations and artists in the creation and refinement of work, the public presentation of musicals from all cultures and periods, and opportunities for professional development. Supported projects will reflect the breadth of the musical theater genre and its artistic, historical, and cultural significance.

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.

Projects

Grants for Arts Projects 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 Grants for Arts Projects category.

Applications must be for projects only. A project may consist of one or more specific events or activities, and should not cover an entire season of programming. We do not fund seasonal or general operating support.

Deadlines:

First Grants for Arts Projects 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

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:

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

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.

Project Types

  • Commissioning, development, and production of new musicals.
  • Production of existing contemporary musicals or masterworks from the musical theater canon that are re-imagined or speak to today's audiences in new and original ways.
  • Development, production, or presentation of musical theater work for young audiences.
  • Development programs and labs for new musicals, which may include the hosting of artist residencies, showcase productions of new work, development workshops, and festivals of new works or works in progress. (The National Endowment for the Arts does not fund festivals for which no curatorial judgment has been applied, or development programs in which participants must pay a fee to participate.)
  • Local, regional, and national touring of musicals.
  • Documentation, preservation, conservation, and dissemination of America's musical theater heritage.
  • Community-based projects that involve the creation and/or production of musical theater with community members.
  • Services to the musical theater field that assist organizations or artists in administrative, developmental, technical, and related areas.
  • Professional training including classes, guest artist residencies, workshops, and mentorship of musical theater artists.
  • Musical theater exposure and enrichment projects, including projects for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)

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.