The following are eligible to apply:

  • Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations;
  • Units of state or local government; or
  • Federally recognized tribal communities or tribes.

Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and other organizations that can help advance the NEA’s goals.

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:

  • Meet the NEA’s "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application.
  • Have completed a three-year history of arts programming prior to the application deadline.
    • For the purpose of defining eligibility, "three-year history" refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
    • You will be asked to provide examples of previous programming in the application. For applicants to the February 2023 deadline, programming must have started in or before February 2020; for applicants to the July 2023 deadline, programming must have started in or before July 2020.
    • Programming is not required to have taken place during consecutive years.
    • Organizations that previously operated as a program of another institution may include arts programming it carried out while part of that institution for its three- year history.

Eligible organizations that received American Rescue Plan (ARP) or CARES Act funding may apply to this program as long as there are no overlapping costs during the same grant period.

An organization whose primary purpose is to channel resources (financial, human, or other) to an affiliated organization may only apply if the affiliated organization does not submit 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.

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

The following are not eligible to apply:

  • Individuals;
  • Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent (organizations must apply directly on their own behalf, see more information on fiscal sponsors/agents); or
  • Designated state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs).

SAAs and RAOs may serve as partners in projects. However, they may not receive NEA funds (except as provided through their designated grant programs), and SAA/RAO costs may not be included as part of the required cost share/match. SAAs and RAOs are eligible to apply through the Partnership Agreements guidelines.

Late, ineligible, and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Application Limits

An organization may submit only one application to the FY 2023 Grants for Arts Projects program (i.e., one application per calendar year), with limited exceptions.

Exceptions to the one-application rule are made only for:

  • Parent (and Related) Organizations

    • A parent organization that comprises separately identifiable and independent components (e.g., a university campus that has a presenting organization and a radio station) may submit an application for each such component. In addition, a parent organization also may submit one application on its own behalf for a project that is different from any project submitted in an application by its independent component(s).

      See detailed information about Parent (and Related) Organizations, including definitions and other requirements.

  • Applicants to the Media Arts discipline at the July 6, 2023, deadline

    • An organization of any artistic discipline may submit one additional application in the Grants for Arts Projects category through the Media Arts discipline at the July 6, 2023, deadline. The additional application must be for a distinctly different project and must align with certain programmatic requirements described here: Additional Applications in Media Arts.

Applications to other NEA funding categories:

  • An organization may not apply to both the Challenge America category and the Grants for Arts Projects category in the same calendar year.
  • An organization may apply to other NEA funding opportunities, including Our Town, in addition to Grants for Arts Projects. If you submit applications to other opportunities, each request must be for a distinctly different project or a distinctly different phase of the same project, with a different period of performance and costs.

If you have other NEA awards with activities and/or periods of performance that will overlap with your proposed Grants for Arts project, please contact staff for guidance to ensure that the projects are different or for a distinctly different phase of a project.