The NEA is committed to advancing a wide range of music, from classical and contemporary to jazz. We support projects by performing ensembles and music presenting organizations including but not limited to chamber music ensembles, choruses, early music programs, jazz ensembles, music festivals, and symphony orchestras. In addition, the NEA accepts applications from professional artist development programs, artist residencies, community engagement projects that involve diverse communities; education activities for people of all ages; and service organizations.

Organizations of all types and sizes may apply for a variety of music production, presentation, professional development, engagement, and service projects. The NEA is particularly interested in collaborations, innovative presentation strategies, and initiatives that help organizations engage audiences in new and meaningful ways. In addition to projects that focus on the standard repertoire, the NEA encourages the commissioning and performance of new American works. 

The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Projects may focus on reaching a particular group or demographic; 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. For additional information, refer to this archived webinar: Things to Know Before You Apply: Federal Civil Rights and Your Grants Application.

Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

If your project is developed and managed by local government, see the Local Arts Agencies description to help you in your discipline selection.

For information on how to apply, see “How to Apply” on the left.

Project Types

Applications must be for projects only. A project may consist of one or more specific events or activities. A project should not cover an entire season of programming as we do not fund seasonal or general operating support.

We welcome and encourage applicants to contact the discipline staff to discuss potential proposed project types, many of which are listed below.

Performances, presentations, and commissions

  • Public presentations of musical works.
  • Commissions and/or co-commissions.
  • Development and performances of new musical compositions and innovative works.
  • Performances and educational engagements by NEA Jazz Masters that honor their work, history, style, and/or significance to jazz; and broaden public awareness of the art form.
  • Domestic touring.
  • Festivals and other events (may include performances, lecture-demonstrations, audience talkbacks, master classes, and workshops).

Professional artistic development

  • Professional artistic development and training programs for musicians such as conducting skills, mentorship, and career development.
  • Residencies and workshops with artists.

Engagement, education, recordings, and technology

  • Community engagement projects that involve diverse communities and/or reach new audiences.
  • Innovative methods of engaging audiences (may include collaborations with other organizations, new approaches that have the potential to increase the impact on audiences, artists, communities, or the field).
  • Recordings of works by American composers.
  • Technology projects such as broadcasts or webcasts, online resources, and libraries that provide public access to musical works.
  • Archival, documentation, and preservation projects.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects."
  • Projects that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities though employment, industry training, technical assistance, and organizational capacity-building.
  • Projects that include planning, research, and training that supports an organization’s capacity to respond to current events.

Services to the field

  • Services that reach a broad constituency of musicians, music educators, administrators, and music organizations (may include workshops, conferences, publications, professional leadership development, technical assistance, or online resources).


Grants for Arts Projects applications will be accepted at two deadlines. All project types (described above) are accepted at both deadlines. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

For Music projects with a distinct technology-focused media arts component: Your organization may be eligible to submit a second application under the July deadline for Media Arts.

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to

February 9, 2023 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 14-21, 2023 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2023

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2024

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to

July 6, 2023 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 11-18, 2023 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2024

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2024