OUR TOWN: Award Administration

Crediting Requirement

Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from the National Endowment for the Arts in their programs and related promotional material including publications and websites. Additional acknowledgment requirements may be provided later.

Administrative Requirements

Beyond the reporting requirements for all grantees, selected Our Town grantees may be asked to assist in the collection of additional information that can help the NEA determine the degree to which agency objectives were achieved. For example, Our Town grantees may be asked to participate in surveys or interviews, and/or may be asked to assist in publicizing and promoting these data collection efforts. You may be contacted to provide evidence of project accomplishments including, but not limited to, work samples, community action plans, cultural asset studies, programs, reviews, relevant news clippings, and playbills. Please remember that you are required to maintain project documentation for three years following submission of your final report.

We may publish grantees' reports and products on our website. Please note that all federal grantmaking agencies retain a royalty-free right to use all or a portion of grantees’ reports and products for federal purposes.

For Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking:

At the end of the grant period, grantees will be required to submit a final product that documents lessons learned from the funded activities. The final product must include:

  • An abstract of the project consisting of 2-3 short paragraphs summarizing the project's goals, partners, and project activities.
  • An executive summary of the project, which should be no longer than 10 pages, and includes:
    • A summary that outlines the types of resources created, knowledge disseminated, and technical assistance delivered during the project period.
    • A summary of activities that took place, and links to any electronic final work products, including online resources, white papers, webinars, technical assistance, mentorship programming, etc.
    • Descriptions of project participants and audiences engaged.
    • Ideas on ways to scale activities conducted during this project.
    • A summary of any evaluation conducted and key lessons learned.

    The exact format and organization of the final products may vary depending on the project scope and dissemination plans.

    The lessons learned for NEA grantee projects will be widely disseminated and therefore must be targeted toward a variety of audiences. 

    The NEA reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish or otherwise use these materials for federal purposes and to authorize others to do so (see 2CFR Part 200.315, Intangible Property). "Federal purposes" include the use of award products in activities or programs undertaken by the federal government, in response to a governmental request, or as otherwise required by federal law. However, the federal government's use of copyrighted materials is not intended to interfere with or disadvantage the recipient or assignee in the sale and distribution of the award product.

    It is the NEA's intention to publish grantees’ lessons learned on its website.

    Award Notices

    Grant decisions for the Our Town category are expected to be announced in April 2016.

    Note that "announcement" is likely to take the form of a preliminary congratulatory note, a request for revisions, or a rejection notification. Official grant award notification (i.e., the grant award letter that is signed by the Arts Endowment Chairman) is the only legal and valid confirmation of award. This can take several months to reach you depending on a number of factors such as whether a revised budget is needed for your project, the number of awards to be processed, whether the agency has its appropriation from Congress, etc.

    Implementation of Title 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

    This guidance from the federal government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) combines eight separate documents into one, and is intended to improve clarity and consistency of the pre- and post-award requirements applicable to federal grantees. Changes are also intended to strengthen accountability for federal dollars by improving policies that protect against waste, fraud, and abuse.

    Under the authority listed above, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) adopts the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance in 2 CFR part 200 under §3255.1 Adoption of 2 CFR Part 200. This part gives regulatory effect to the OMB guidance and supplements the guidance as needed for the NEA. 

    General Terms & Conditions

    Federal and agency requirements that relate to grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts are highlighted in our General Terms & Conditions (GTC). The GTC incorporates the adoption of 2 CFR Part 200 by reference. The document also explicitly identifies where the NEA has selected options offered in the regulation, such as budget waivers and requirements for use of program income. It also includes agency requirements for matching funds reporting requirements, amendment processes, and termination actions. Grantees must review, understand, and comply with these requirements. Failure to do so may result in having a grant terminated and/or returning funds to the NEA, among other things.  

    Legal Requirements

    By law, the National Endowment for the Arts may support only those organizations that:

    • Are tax-exempt. Organizations qualifying for this status must meet the following criteria:

      1. No part of net earnings may benefit a private stockholder or individual.

      2. Donations to the organization must be allowable as a charitable contribution under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.

      For further information, go to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website.

      Note that organizations who have had their IRS status revoked are not eligible for Arts Endowment support. It is your responsibility to ensure that your status is current at the time of the application and throughout the life of your award.

    • Compensate all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel on Arts Endowment-supported projects at no less than the prevailing minimum compensation. (This requirement is in accordance with regulations that have been issued by the Secretary
      of Labor in part 505 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 505 does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)

    • Assure that no part of any Arts Endowment-supported project will be performed or engaged in under working conditions which are unsanitary or hazardous or dangerous to the health and safety of the employees involved.

    • Comply with the federal requirements that are outlined in the "Assurance of Compliance" below.

    Assurance of Compliance

    By signing the application form, the Applicant certifies that it is in compliance with the statutes outlined below and all related Arts Endowment regulations and will maintain records and submit the reports that are necessary to determine compliance. The Applicant further certifies that it will obtain assurances of compliance from all subrecipients and will require all subrecipients of Arts Endowment funds to comply with these requirements. The Arts Endowment may conduct a review of your organization to ensure that it is in compliance. If the Arts Endowment determines that a grantee has failed to comply with these statutes, it may suspend, terminate, and/or recover funds. This assurance is subject to judicial enforcement.

    1. Nondiscrimination Statutes The Applicant certifies that it does not discriminate:

      For further information and copies of the nondiscrimination regulations identified above, contact the Arts Endowment's Office of Civil Rights at 202/682-5454 or 202/682-5082 Voice/T.T.Y. For inquiries about limited English proficiency, please go to http://www.lep.gov, the FOIA Reading Room, or contact the Office of General Counsel at ogc@arts.gov or 202/682-5418.

    2. Regulations relating to Debarment and Suspension (2 C.F.R. pt. 3254) in which the Applicant certifies that neither it nor its principals is presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in covered transactions by any federal department or agency, nor has, within the three years preceding the submission of this application, been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with a public (federal, state, or local) transaction or a contract under a public transaction; for violation of federal or state antitrust statutes; for commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property; had any public transactions terminated for cause or default; or is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity with any of the preceding offenses.

    3. Federal Debt Status (OMB Circular A-129). The applicant certifies that it is not delinquent in the repayment of any federal debt. Examples of relevant debt include delinquent payroll or other taxes, audit disallowances, and benefit overpayments. Processing of applications will be suspended when applicants are delinquent on federal tax or non-tax debts, including judgment liens against property for a debt to the federal government.

    4. Labor Standards (29 C.F.R. pt 505). The applicant certifies that, if awarded a grant, it will comply with the labor standards set out in Labor Standards on Projects or Productions Assisted by Grants from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

    5. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701 et seq. and 45 C.F.R. pt. 1154) requires grantee organizations, within 30 days of receiving a grant, to make a continuing, good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace through implementation of the following:

      • Publish a statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the grantee's workplace, and specifying the actions that will be taken against employees for violation of the prohibition. (For the purposes of this Act, alcohol is not considered a controlled substance.) The grantee shall give a copy of the statement to each employee who will be involved in grant-supported activities and notify those employees that they are expected to abide by the statement. For the purposes of this law, "employees" include consultants and temporary personnel (but not volunteers), who are directly engaged in work under the grant and who are on the grantee's payroll. The grantee should maintain on file the address of each site where work is performed under the grant.

      • Establish a drug-free awareness program that will inform employees about the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace, the grantee's policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace, any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs, and the penalties that might be imposed for workplace drug abuse violations. Employees should be informed that any conviction for a violation of a criminal drug statute that occurs in the workplace must be reported to the employer, in writing, no later than five calendar days after such a conviction. The grantee, in turn, must notify the Arts Endowment's Grants & Contracts Officer, in writing, within ten calendar days of receiving such notice from its employee. The grantee's notice to the Arts Endowment must include the convicted individual's position title and the number(s) of each affected grant.

      • Within 30 calendar days of receiving notice of an employee's criminal drug conviction a grantee should take appropriate personnel action against the convicted employee, up to and including termination, consistent with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; or require the employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program that has been approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.

    1. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.) which applies to any organization which controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects, and which receives federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act.

    2. The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), as amended, which require that each contract over $2,000 to which the United States is a party for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works (these activities include, but are not limited to, painting, decorating, altering, remodeling, installing pieces fabricated off-site, and furnishing supplies or equipment for a work-site) contain a clause setting forth the minimum wages to be paid to laborers and mechanics employed under the contract. Under the provisions of DBRA, contractors or their subcontractors must pay workers who qualify under DBRA no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on projects of a similar character.

      Information about the laborers and projects that fall under DBRA can be found in the Department of Labor’s Compliance Guide at http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/dbra.htm. DBRA wage determinations are to be used in accordance with the provisions of Regulations, 29 C.F.R. Part 1, Part 3, and Part 5, and with DOL’s Compliance Guide. The provisions of DBRA apply within the 50 states, territories, protectorates, and Native American nations (if the labor is completed by non-tribal laborers).


    If your project, including the planning stage, has environmental implications (e.g., an arts festival in a park or the commissioning and installation of an outdoor sculpture or mural), you may be requested to provide information to the Arts Endowment in response to specific questions in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

    If your project includes the planning for major renovation of any structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, you may be asked to provide additional information on your project to ensure compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. This law also applies to planning that would affect historic properties. If a structure for your proposed project or one nearby is more than fifty years old, contact your state historic preservation office for more information.