GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS: Award Administration
The "Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection" date for your category on the Application Calendar tells you when we expect to announce grant decisions.
Note that the "announcement" is likely to take the form of a preliminary congratulatory message, a request for project/budget revisions, or a rejection notification. The official grant award notification (i.e., a notice of action authorized by the NEA Office of Grants Management) is the only legal and valid confirmation of award. Receipt of your official award notification can take several months depending on a number of factors such as reviewing changes to the project budget, the number of awards to be processed, whether the agency has its appropriation from Congress, etc.
Changes in Projects
Applicants must notify the NEA immediately of any significant changes in their project that occur after submitting an application. If the project or the organization's capacity to carry out the project changes significantly before an award is made, the NEA may revise or withdraw the funding recommendation.
Grantees are expected to carry out a project that is consistent with the proposal that was approved for funding by the NEA. If changes to the project are required, the grantee must submit a request with justification for the change(s) through a proper REACH account for the award for review by the Office of Grants Management. Approval is not guaranteed. Detailed information is included in the NEA’s General Terms & Conditions for Grants to Organizations. Only the NEA Office of Grants Management is authorized to amend or change an NEA award. Written and/or verbal approval of proposed project changes from any other NEA office does not constitute an approved change to an award.
National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act Review
If you are recommended for a grant, your project may be subject to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and/or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the NEA will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.
Some of the common project types requiring NHPA review are:
- A project involving or occurring at or near a place that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. This includes a property, such as a historic house museum or a historic plaza; or a historic district with multiple historic properties. Historic places may also be structures, such as bridges, or objects, such as sculptures, or a landscape that is historically significant.
- The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor installations, including sculptures, statuary, banners, mixed media, painting, or murals.
- An outdoor arts festival.
- Permanent wayfinding signs and other similar artistic directional installations.
- Maintenance or rehabilitation of landscapes and gardens.
- In-kind replacement or repairs at a facility that is older than 50 years of age.
- Design services and planning for projects that may affect historic properties.
This review and approval process takes time to complete and may delay your project's start date, and our ability to make a grant award; and/or our ability to release grant funds. If you are recommended for an award which may have historic preservation or environmental concerns (NHPA/NEPA), you will be notified and asked to provide additional information.
To expedite review, include thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations. The NEA cannot release grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete. If asked for additional information during a review, you must provide the timeline for determining grant activities and locations, if they are not yet finalized.
For some projects, such as permanent art installations or advanced design work (more advanced than early design development) affecting historic properties, you may be instructed to continue the review with the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
See here to learn more about the questions you must answer for the review of a project subject to the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and NEA’s implementing regulation require that all NEA-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities may be audiences, visitors, artists, performers, teaching artists, students, staff, and volunteers. Funded activities must be held in a physically-accessible venue, and program access and effective communication must be provided for participants and audience members with disabilities.
If your project is recommended for funding, you will be asked to provide detailed information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities:
- Buildings and facilities (including projects held in historic facilities) must be physically accessible. The following are some examples, but are not an exhaustive list:
- Ground-level/no-step entry, ramped access, and/or elevators to project facilities and outdoor spaces;
- Wheelchair-accessible box office, stage/backstage, meeting, and dressing rooms;
- Wheelchair-accessible restrooms and water fountains;
- Directional signage for accessible entrances, restrooms, and other facilities; and
- Accessible workspaces for employees.
- The programmatic activities must be accessible either as part of the funded activity or upon request, where relevant. The following are some examples, but they are not an exhaustive list:
- Accommodations for performances, tours, virtually streamed events, conferences, and lectures, such as sign language interpretation, real-time captioning, and audio description;
- Print materials in alternative formats, such as large-print brochures/labels/programs, braille, and electronic/digital formats;
- Accessible and screen reader-compatible electronic materials, documents, websites, and virtual platforms, and inclusion of alternative text for images;
- Closed/open captioning and audio/visual description for video, film, television broadcasts, and virtual events;
- Auxiliary aids and devices, such as assistive listening devices.
See the Nondiscrimination Statutes in our "Assurance of Compliance" for additional information.
For technical assistance on how to make your project accessible, contact the Accessibility Office at email@example.com, 202-682-5532; or the Civil Rights Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-682-5454; or see our online Accessibility Resources.
Project Reporting and Evaluation
We ask all applicants to define what they would like to achieve, how they will evaluate the degree to which it is achieved, and, upon completion of the project, what they have learned from their experiences. This information does not require large-scale or expensive evaluation efforts. You should do what is feasible and appropriate for your organization and project. When your grant is completed, you must submit final reports and answer questions detailing your project’s accomplishments, beneficiaries, and the resulting impact of your project, as well as list the involvement of key partners, funders, and artists. Recipients of an Arts Education Direct Learning Grant will be required to describe the methods that were used to assess student learning. You are required to maintain project documentation, including financial records, for three years following submission of your final reports.
Before applying, review the reporting requirements for the agency’s Final Reports. If you have any questions about the agency’s objectives or the required final reports, contact NEA staff before applying.
Beyond the required final reports for all grantees, selected grantees may be asked to assist in the collection of additional information to help the NEA determine the degree to which agency objectives were achieved. You may be asked share project accomplishments such as work samples, community action plans, cultural asset studies, programs, reviews, relevant news clippings, and playbills.
General Terms & Conditions
Federal government-wide and agency-specific requirements that relate to grants awarded by the NEA 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 requirements for cost share/matching funds, reporting requirements, amendment processes, and termination actions. Grantees must review, understand, and comply with these requirements. Failure to comply with the GTCs for an award may result in termination of a grant award, and/or returning funds to the NEA, among other consequences.
Grantees must clearly acknowledge NEA support of the grant project in their programs and related promotional material, including publications and websites. Additional acknowledgment requirements may be provided later. The NEA does not fund general operating support, so you must ensure that the NEA is only credited with funding the grant project and not your entire organization or its operations.
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) establishes clarity and consistency of the pre- and post-award requirements applicable to federal grantees. Under the authority listed above, the NEA adopts the 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.
Final Reports for Previous Awards
Before a grant is awarded, organizations must have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all previous NEA grant(s).
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Notice
Disclosure Notice: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) may share a copy of awarded grant applications and/or related materials submitted to the NEA by the applicants, with the public or other third parties, where required or permitted by law.
NOTE: This list highlights some of the significant legal requirements that may apply to an applicant or grantee, however, it is not exhaustive. More information regarding these and other legal requirements may be found at Appendix A of our General Terms & Conditions which sets forth the National Policy and Other Legal Requirements, Statutes, and Regulations that Govern Your Award. There may be other applicable legal requirements that are not listed here.
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.
Organizations who have had their IRS status revoked are not eligible for National Endowment for the Arts 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 National Endowment for the Arts-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 29 C.F.R. Part 505. This part does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)
Ensure that no part of any National Endowment for the Arts-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.
Some legal requirements apply to every applicant, for example:
Compliance with the federal requirements that are outlined in the Assurance of Compliance below.
Debarment and Suspension procedures. The applicant must comply with the record keeping and other requirements set forth in Subpart C of 2 CFR 180, as adopted by the Arts Endowment in 2 CFR Part 3254. Failure to comply may result in the debarment or suspension of the grantee and the National Endowment for the Arts suspending, terminating and/or recovering funds. More information on Debarment and Suspension procedures can be found in the General Terms and Conditions, under the “Other National Policies” heading
Federal Debt Status (OMB Circular A-129). 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. An organization's debt status is displayed in the System for Award Management (SAM). New awards will not be made if an applicant is still in debt status as of September 1.
Labor Standards (29 C.F.R. pt 505). If a grant is awarded, the grantee must comply with the standards set out in Labor Standards on Projects or Productions Assisted by Grants from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701 et seq. and 2 C.F.R. Part 3256). The grantee is required to publish a statement regarding its drug-free workplace program as well as comply with other requirements.
Some legal requirements apply depending upon what the grant is funding, for example:
If your project activities have the potential to impact any structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, adjacent to a structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, or located in an historic district, you will be asked to provide additional information about your project or take additional action so that the agency can review and comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). NHPA also applies to any planning activities that may affect historic properties or districts. The additional agency review must be completed prior to any agency funds being released.
If your project activities have the potential to impact the environment or environmentally sensitive resources, you will be required to provide information in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The additional agency review must be completed prior to any agency funds being released.
If your contract is over $2,000 and involves the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works, it must contain a clause setting forth the minimum wages to be paid to laborers and mechanics employed under the contract in accordance with The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA). More information on DBRA can be found in the General Terms and Conditions, under the “Other National Policies” heading.
Some legal requirements apply depending upon who the Applicant is, for example:
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.) – which applies to any organization that controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and receives Federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act (25 USC 3001 et seq.).
By signing and submitting its application form on Grants.gov, the Applicant certifies that it is in compliance with the statutes outlined below and all related National Endowment for the Arts regulations and will maintain records and submit the reports that are necessary to determine compliance.
We may conduct a review of your organization to ensure that it is in compliance with these statutes. If the NEA determines that a grantee has failed to comply with these statutes, it may suspend or terminate the award, and/or recover funds. This assurance is subject to judicial enforcement.
The Applicant certifies that it does not discriminate:
- On the grounds of race, color, or national origin, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 CFR 1110.
- Solely on the grounds of disability, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), as amended implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 CFR 1151, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), as amended, (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
- On the basis of age, in accordance with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 CFR 1156.
- On the basis of sex, in any education program or activity, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).
The applicant will inform the public that persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age may file a complaint with the Director of Civil Rights at the National Endowment for the Arts.
The applicant will forward all complaints for investigation and any finding issued by a Federal or state court or by a Federal or state administrative agency to:
Director, NEA Office of Civil Rights
The applicant shall maintain records of its compliance and submission for three (3) years. The applicant will compile, maintain and permit access to records as required by applicable regulations, guidelines or other directives.
The applicant must also certify that it will obtain assurances of compliance from all subrecipients and will require all subrecipients of National Endowment for the Arts funds to comply with these requirements.
The United States has the right to seek judicial or administrative enforcement of this assurance.
Projects may focus on reaching a particular group or demographic (such as gender, disability, economic status, race, color, or national origin, including limited English proficiency); however, they may not be exclusionary under Federal civil rights laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices, artist selection processes, and audience engagement. Your application should make it clear that project activities are not exclusionary. Please review the Assurance of Compliance, as well as NEA Civil Rights guidance on our website, including this archived webinar: Things to Know Before You Apply: Federal Civil Rights and Your Grants Application.
The NEA’s Office of Civil Rights investigates complaints about compliance with accessibility standards as well as other federal civil rights statutes. For further information and copies of the nondiscrimination regulations identified above, contact the Office of Civil Rights at 202-682-5454 or email@example.com.
Regulations Relating to Lobbying
For organizations applying for more than $100,000 (31 U.S.C. 1352).
The Applicant certifies that:
- It has not and will not use federal appropriated funds to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a member of a National Endowment for the Arts advisory panel or the National Council on the Arts, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of or modification to any federal grant or contract.
- If it has used or will use any funds other than federal appropriated funds to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the individuals specified above, the Applicant:
- Is not required to disclose that activity if that person is regularly employed by the Applicant. (Regularly employed means working for at least 130 days within the year immediately preceding the submission of this application.)
- Will complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities," if that person is not regularly employed by the Applicant.
- It will require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards of more than $100,000 and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly.
Standards for Service
The National Endowment for the Arts has set the following standards for serving applicants. We pledge to:
- Treat you with courtesy and efficiency.
- Respond to inquiries and correspondence promptly.
- Provide clear and accurate information about our policies and procedures.
- Provide timely information about funding opportunities and make guidelines available promptly.
- Promptly acknowledge the receipt of your application.
- Ensure that all eligible applications are reviewed thoughtfully and fairly.
We welcome your comments on how we are meeting these standards. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, attention: Standards for Service.
For questions about these guidelines or your application, see Agency Contacts. In addition, applicants may receive an invitation to participate in a voluntary survey to provide feedback on the grant application guidelines on our website and any experiences consulting with our staff.
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at an average of 26 hours per response. This includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. We welcome any suggestions that you might have on improving the guidelines and making them as easy to use as possible. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: email@example.com, attention: Reporting Burden. Note: Applicants are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.