RESEARCH: ART WORKS: Applicant Eligibility

Official applicant organizations must be nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. This may include, but is not limited to, colleges and universities.

See "How to Prepare and Submit an Application" for the documentation that is required to demonstrate eligibility. Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

For projects that involve multiple organizations, one organization that meets the eligibility requirements below must act as the official applicant, submit the application, and assume full responsibility for the grant. Partnering organizations are not required to meet the same eligibility requirements as the official applicant organization.

To be eligible, the official applicant organization must:

  • Meet the National Endowment for the Arts' "Legal Requirements," including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application.
  • Have three consecutive years of operating history prior to the application deadline.
  • Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts award(s) previously received.

All applicants must have a DUNS number ( and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award.

Organizations that are not eligible to apply as the official applicant organization:

  • The designated fifty state and six jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs). SAAs and RAOs may serve as partners in projects. However, they may not receive National Endowment for the Arts funds (except as provided through their designated grant programs), and SAA/RAO costs may not be included as part of the required match. SAAs and RAOs are eligible to apply through the Partnership Agreements guidelines.
  • An organization whose primary purpose is to channel resources (financial, human, or other) to an affiliated organization if the affiliated organization submits its own application. This prohibition applies even if each organization has its own 501(c)(3) status. For example, the "Friends of ABC Museum" may not apply if the ABC Museum applies. See more about fiscal sponsorships.

Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

Note: Competition for Research: Art Works is extremely rigorous. It is expected that an applicant selected to receive an award will complete the research project. We will not transfer the award to another organization.

Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian Applicants or Projects

We provide support for projects featuring Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts across all NEA disciplines. (See more information here.)

Application Limits

  • An organization may submit more than one application under these Research: Art Works guidelines. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project.
  • An application in response to this announcement does not preclude an organization from applying under other National Endowment for the Arts funding opportunities including Art Works and Research Labs. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project.