American Rescue Plan Grants to Organizations: Program Description


Update 9/17

We are continuing to monitor news about the recovery efforts related to severe weather events such as Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in California and Nevada. We are thinking of everyone who has been impacted and hope you are safe.

For organizations that have experienced weather-related difficulties completing Part 2 of the American Rescue Plan Grants to Organizations (Group M-Z) program, we previously extended the Part 2 application deadline until September 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time. The Applicant Portal will close for all applicants on this date and time.

If you are still unable to submit your application by the September 19th deadline because of weather-related difficulties you must contact us to request a further extension.

Contact: or 202-682-5046. Please be sure to include your name, the legal name of your organization, and your contact information.

If you are granted an extension, NEA staff will notify you and reopen your application in the Applicant Portal. The new, final Part 2 application deadline will be November 4, 2021 at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Applications will not be accepted after this date and time. NOTE: These applicants will not receive notification of grant funding or rejection until early April 2022 and the earliest start date for the period of performance will be May 1, 2022 instead of January 1, 2022.

Again, we are thinking of everyone who has been impacted and we hope you are finding a path to recovery.

The Rescue Plan’s Grants to Organizations program will be carried out through one-time grants to eligible organizations including, but not limited to, nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, units of state or local government, federally recognized tribal communities or tribes, and a wide range of other organizations that can help advance the goals of this program. See Eligibility for more information.

Grants will be made to eligible organizations to support their own operations. Unlike other Arts Endowment funding programs that offer project-based support, Rescue Plan funds are intended to support day-to-day business expenses/operating costs, and not specific programmatic activities. Cost share/matching funds are not required.

Support is limited to any or all of the following:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more staff positions. Staff positions funded may not conduct work independent of the organization receiving funds.
  • Fees/stipends for artists and/or contractual personnel to support the services they provide for specific activities as part of organizational operations.
    • Artist fees/stipends should be related to work with a tangible outcome, such as performances, presentations, workshops, and/or the creation of artwork. This is considered a stipend to the artist for the work undertaken during the period of performance. Such work must not be performed independently of the organization receiving funds.
  • 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 to support existing jobs, new jobs, or to restore jobs that were furloughed or eliminated due to the pandemic.

The Arts Endowment does not fund direct grants to individuals.

Applicants may request a fixed grant amount for: $50,000, $100,000 or $150,000. Cost share/matching funds are not required. We encourage applicants to select a grant amount that is reflective of their overall organization size and internal capacity. See Award Information for more details. A grant period of up to two years is allowed.

The Arts Endowment intends to make awards that will impact a broad constituency. We 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.

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

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 800 awards. There is no pre-determined number of awards per grant amount, so please choose the amount that makes the most sense for your organization's capacity and budget. Grants will NOT be awarded on a “first come, first served” basis.

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.