Grants for Organizations

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Endowment for the Arts staff is working almost entirely off-site. As a result, we will not be able to accept and process postal mail and other deliveries in our usual manner. Because mail and other deliveries may be returned to sender, we ask that you not send us anything until the agency has resumed normal operations. We will update this notice as necessary to reflect evolving conditions.

Grants for organizations support exemplary projects in artist communities, arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literary arts, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting and multidisciplinary works, theater, and visuals arts.

We fund projects only. Projects may be large or small, existing or new, and may take place in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Projects may consist of one or more specific events or activities.

Funding is available through four categories:
CARES Act | Grants for Arts Projects | Our Town | Research Awards

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognizes that the nonprofit arts industry is an important sector of America’s economy. The National Endowment for the Arts will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19. As part of this important investment, the Arts Endowment has designed a plan to expedite the distribution of critical funds to the national, regional, state, and local levels to help retain as many jobs as possible, as quickly as possible. These funds are intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities.

Grants will be for a fixed amount of $50,000. Designated local arts agencies eligible to subgrant may request $100,000 or $250,000 for subgranting programs. Grants will have no cost share/matching requirement.

Upcoming deadlines:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov April 22, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal April 27-May 4, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection June 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance July 1, 2020

Grants for Arts Projects

These grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required.

Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category.

Updated 6/19/20: See our new Frequently Asked Questions.

Deadlines:

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov February 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal February 18-25, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2021

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least January 22, 2020 and submit to Grants.gov by at least February 4, 2020.

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov July 9, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal July 14-21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2021
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2021

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least June 17, 2020 and submit to Grants.gov by at least June 30, 2020.

Challenge America

Challenge America application deadline cancelled for the Arts Endowment to prepare for distribution of funding from CARES Act.

For the National Endowment for the Arts to effectively and efficiently gear up to distribute $75 million in funding provided to it by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Arts Endowment must cancel its April 9, 2020 Challenge America application deadline. Challenge America applicants should apply for Grants for Arts Projects with a deadline of July 9, 2020. For more information contact us at challengeamerica@arts.gov. Please see additional information and guidance >>

Our Town

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Cost share/matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

Upcoming deadlines:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov August 6, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal August 11-18, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2021
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance July 1, 2021

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least July 16, 2020, and submit to Grants.gov by at least July 27, 2020.

Research Awards

The National Endowment for the Arts invites applicants to engage with the agency’s five-year research agenda through two funding opportunities for research projects:

  • Research Grants in the Arts funds research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life. Matching/cost share grants of $10,000 to $100,000 will be awarded.
  • NEA Research Labs funds transdisciplinary research teams grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, yielding empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike. Matching/cost share cooperative agreements of up to $150,000 will be awarded.

Research Grants in the Arts offers grants, and NEA Research Labs offers cooperative agreements. The difference between grants and cooperative agreements is the Arts Endowment’s involvement. The Arts Endowment is substantially involved with cooperative agreements. Therefore, the Arts Endowment will be substantially involved in the direction and accomplishments of NEA Research Labs.

NOTICE: The Research Awards application deadline has been extended to help applicants dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

These are the new dates:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov April 13, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Part 1 deadline has been extended.

Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal April 16, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Time, to April 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Part 2 dates to submit materials have been changed.

Earliest Announcement of Award or Rejection November 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance Research Grants in the Arts:
January 1, 2021

NEA Research Labs:
March 1, 2021

If you have questions about your application please contact nearesearchgrants@arts.gov