American Rescue Plan Grants to Local Arts Agencies for Subgranting: Program Description

The Rescue Plan’s Grants to Local Arts Agencies for Subgranting program recognizes the central role that local arts agencies play in supporting artists, enhancing the quality of life in their communities, and increasing public access to the arts. Local arts agencies are valued partners of the Arts Endowment, greatly extending our reach and impact to assist communities responding to the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Arts Endowment will competitively award funds to designated local arts agencies for subgranting programs. To be eligible to subgrant, a designated local arts agency must have a history of grantmaking that occurred anytime within the ten-year period immediately preceding this program’s application deadline (i.e., July 22, 2011 to present). The grantmaking program is not required to have been supported by the Arts Endowment. See Eligibility for more information.

Eligible local arts agencies may apply for subgranting activities through this program OR to the Rescue Plan’s Grants to Organizations program for general operating support. We also encourage local arts agencies to contact their SAA or RAO for other Rescue Plan funding opportunities.

We recognize that the financial needs of the field far outweigh the available funds that will be awarded through this program. We anticipate making approximately 80 awards in this category and encourage applicants to select a grant amount that is reflective of their own internal capacity and the impact the funds will have in their local community. There is no pre-determined number of awards per grant amount. Grants will NOT be awarded on a “first come, first served” basis. See Award Information for more information.

We intend to make awards that will impact a broad constituency, and encourage applications from a variety of eligible organizations including:

  • Organizations that serve populations that are underserved, such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics, geography, or disability.
  • Organizations with small and medium-sized budgets.
  • Organizations from rural to urban communities.
  • Organizations that may be applying for federal support through the Arts Endowment for the first time.

The Arts Endowment is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups, including:

  • 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.

Proposals may focus on reaching a particular constituency; however, they may not be exclusionary under national civil rights laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement activities.

Subgranting Funds

Eligible designated local arts agencies may request a fixed grant amount of $150,000, $250,000, or $500,000 for subgranting programs. When choosing a grant amount, local arts agencies should consider factors such as their organizational capacity and mission, potential applicant pool, and any unique characteristics of their communities.

Cost share/matching funds are not required. Similarly, subgrants awarded as a result of this program do not require a cost share/match.

A subgranting relationship exists when Arts Endowment grant funds received by a local arts agency are then regranted by the local arts agency to subgrantees for activities conducted independently of the local arts agency. See the Subgranting Terms and Conditions resource for important information on the definition of subgranting, and requirements for subgrantee eligibility.

Subgranting programs may be existing or new; however, they must be consistent with the purpose and requirements of the Grants to Local Arts Agencies for Subgranting program as described below.

Subgrants to Organizations:

Subgranting support by local arts agencies to eligible subgrantee organizations is limited to any or all of the following costs:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more staff positions.
  • Fees/stipends for artists and/or contractual personnel only in support of services they provide for specific activities in support of your organization’s day to day operations.
  • Facilities costs such as mortgage principal, rent, and utilities.
  • Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors/audiences (e.g., personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc.).
  • Marketing and promotion costs.

Rescue Plan funds may be used by an organization to support existing jobs, new jobs, or to restore jobs that were furloughed or eliminated due to the pandemic.

Subgrants to Individual Artists:

If your local arts agency (or organization) is allowed to make direct awards to individuals, subgrants may be awarded to individuals for artist fees/stipends to support the services they provide for specific programs and activities. Such awards to individuals may include providing presentations, workshops, research, and/or the creation of artwork with tangible outcomes required by the subaward. This is a considered a stipend to the artist for the work undertaken and completed consistent with the programmatic objectives of the subgranting agency. (See the Subgranting Terms & Conditions for more information).

Support to individuals may not include honorifics or fellowships, or other forms of funding for financial hardship, including but not limited to rent or food assistance or the general operating expenses of individual artists.

The Arts Endowment does not fund direct grants to individuals.

Local Arts Agency Operating Costs

Out of the Arts Endowment’s fixed-amount grant, applicants may request up to $50,000 to support their own eligible operating costs associated with administering the subgranting program.

Allowable costs are limited to any or all of the following:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more staff positions.
  • Fees/stipends for contractual personnel to support the services they provide for specific activities in support of your organization’s day to day activities.
  • Facilities costs such as mortgage principal, rent, and utilities.
  • Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors/audiences (e.g., personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc.).
  • Costs associated with marketing, promotion, and applicant/grantee technical assistance.

Rescue Plan funds may be used by an organization to support existing jobs, new jobs, or to restore jobs that were furloughed or eliminated due the pandemic.

Grantees will be required to report on funding received through this program. See Award Administration for more information.

We understand that applying for federal funding and managing a grant can be a significant undertaking. Our staff strives to ensure that every applicant receives the support they need to understand every step of the process. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about this program. Contact us with your questions.