Grants

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 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and/or the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with 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 or older and therefore included in or 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.

Based on your responses to the questions below, the National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review to determine whether:

  1. There are no adverse effects on historic properties or resources;
  2. One or more approved exemptions can be applied to the project, confirming that there are no anticipated adverse effects on historic properties or resources (approved exemptions are outlined in the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement between the NEA, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO); or
  3. The project has the potential to have adverse effects on historic properties or resources (in this case, you will be asked to contact and work directly with your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

Below are the questions you will need to answer for the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NEPA/NHPA.

Provide responses for every project location. Include maps and photographs of each location and property.

  1. Provide a very clear description of the district, building, site, landscape, structure, or object in which you will be working, including the address(es). If you don’t have a physical address, provide the block or other area of potential effect. Describe the nature of your site, whether activities will take place in public space, streets, vacant lots, historic structures, etc. Include a map.

  2. Describe your project activities, including whether the planned activities are temporary or permanent. Provide a short assessment of whether your project has the potential to have an effect on environmental or historic resources and whether that effect is an adverse effect. If your project will physically alter a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object, or if you are working on a plan or design for such a site, describe. For example, if you are commissioning permanent public art, murals, or the design of a permanent structure, your project has the potential to have an adverse effect on environmental or historic resources under NEPA/NHPA.

    For the purposes of questions (a)-(i) below, a National Historic Register Place (NHRP) includes any district, site, building, structure, landscape or object that is included or eligible for inclusion on the NHRP, whether individually or as a contributing element.

    Additionally, for a project to qualify as temporary it must be 100% reversible.

    1. Does your project involve a festival/public event of limited size or duration? If so, will there be any permanent effects on a NHRP Site(s) or any structures/installations erected or installed on an NHRP Site(s)?
    2. Does your project involve outdoor murals or other art on a NHRP Site(s) or adjacent to a NHRP Site(s)?
    3. Does your project involve temporary public art on a building 50 years or older (e.g., sculpture, statuary, banners, mixed media, painting)? If so, does the project necessitate the installation of hardware on a NHRP Site(s)?
    4. Does your project involve erecting or placing permanent wayfinding signs (e.g., artistic directional signs) adjacent to or on a NHRP Site(s)?
    5. Does your project involve installing small structures (e.g., benches, bus shelters, produce stands) attached to or dependent on a NHRP Site(s)? If so, describe the ground disturbance necessary for such an installation.
    6. Does your project involve landscape maintenance or rehabilitation (e.g., community garden, urban park) on a NHRP Site(s)? If so, where? Will it include the addition of new large scale landscape elements?
    7. Does your project involve in-kind replacements or repairs?
    8. Does your project involve conceptual planning/design/research (e.g., feasibility and planning studies, early design development work/conceptual drawings and renderings, asset mapping, design charrettes)?
    9. Does your project involve information gathering/data analysis/information dissemination (e.g., historic and cultural demonstrations, public affairs actions, studies, reports, document mailings, data analysis)?
  3. If you are proposing a temporary or permanent public art project, or you are designing or planning a district, building, site, landscape, structure or object, you must provide us with the following detailed information: If any element of the district, building, site, landscape, structure or object (or adjacent properties) is 50 years old or older, describe that element in detail. For example, if you are working on a historic building or district (or there is one adjacent), describe the age (give year built if available), whether or not it's included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, and the type of activities being planned or designed for your project.

  4. Provide a detailed description of any project activities that might now or someday have an effect on the environment so that we may review the actions under the NEPA. Be very specific. For example, if you will be doing cleanup of a site, describe exactly what needs to be cleaned. Is it litter on the site or toxic waste that needs to be cleaned up? If you will be installing public art, describe the previous use of the property and why you think the land is not likely to be contaminated.

  5. If an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization might attach religious and/or cultural significance to historic properties touched by your project, describe.

We may contact you for additional documentation.