GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS: Program Description

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

Read the program description. Then select your project discipline from the dropdown below which includes application deadlines and project types.

“The Arts . . . belong to all the people of the United States.” *

The arts are a powerful and important part of what unites us as Americans. The arts celebrate our differences while connecting us through a communal experience. For over 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts has been healing, uniting, and lifting up communities with compassion and creativity.

Grants for Arts Projects is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program for organizations based in the United States. Through project-based funding, the program supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of excellent art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.

The Arts Endowment encourages applications from a variety of eligible organizations, e.g., with small, medium, or large budgets, and from rural to urban communities. Similarly, 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. 

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

*1965 Enabling Legislation for the National Endowment for the Arts in the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. In the past few years, well over half of the agency's grants have been for amounts less than $25,000. Designated local arts agencies eligible to subgrant may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 for subgranting programs in the Local Arts Agencies discipline.

For more information about what we fund, see “We Fund/Do Not Fund” on the left.

Select your project discipline:

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

This area provides assistance to artist communities for projects that encourage and nurture the development of individual artists and foster and inspire their creative processes. We define an artist community as an organization, whether focused on a single discipline or multidisciplinary, whose primary mission is to provide artist residencies.

The Arts Endowment encourages applications from a variety of eligible organizations, e.g., with small, medium, or large budgets, and from rural to urban communities.

Support is available for artist communities that:

  • Provide dedicated space, time, and resources to artists for incubation, thought, or creativity.
  • Foster and support the creative process of art making by providing artists with the conditions to live and work concurrently while advancing their own artistic practice.
  • Utilize an open application process to recruit and rotate a range of artists in order to encourage a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints, racial and ethnic backgrounds, cultures, disability perspectives, and/or geographic areas.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Deadline

The application deadline for all projects is February 11, 2021. (Artist Communities does not accept applications at the July deadline.)

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Project Types

Projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Stipends and temporary living accommodations for professional artists where the primary purpose of the residency is determined by the artist.
  • The expansion of the pool of artists that encourages the participation of artists from a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints, racial and ethnic backgrounds, cultures, disability perspectives, and/or geographic areas.
  • Access to facilities or technology to meet the needs of interdisciplinary or new genre artists.
  • Innovative collaborations between artists and those from sectors outside of the arts.
  • Support for residencies that place artists in non-traditional settings such as, but not limited to, businesses, hospitals, schools, prisons, military branches, municipal offices, or first-responder organizations.
  • Innovative approaches to collaboration with outside organizations and disciplines where the primary purpose is public engagement with art and/or the enhancement of public spaces.
  • Support for artist residencies that utilize artistically excellent art in civic and social practice, conflict transformation, and collaborative work with community partners.
  • Activities with the surrounding community that provide educational and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools.
  • Residency exchange programs with artists and artist communities in other countries.
  • Services to the Artist Communities field. This may include, but is not limited to:
    • Arts and arts-related conferences and convenings.
    • Leadership training and other professional development opportunities for artists and arts administrators.
    • Projects that include planning, capacity building performance measurements, and training that supports an organization’s capacity to respond to current events, including the pandemic, economic downturn, and inequality.
    • Archiving, preservation, and documentation projects.

Artist residences must be accessible, including sleeping rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and work spaces.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts envisions a nation where every student is engaged and empowered through an excellent arts education. Arts education is vital to developing America's next generation of creative and innovative thinkers. Students who participate in the arts are better prepared to be fulfilled, responsible citizens who can make a profound impact on this world. National Endowment for the Arts-supported research has shown that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who have arts-rich experiences are more likely to achieve key positive outcomes—academically, socially, and civically—compared with their peers who lack access to arts experiences. Research also shows that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as students of color, are more likely to attend schools without arts education programs.

Our Arts Education funding is focused on providing arts education for all students and closing the opportunity gap for students who have the least arts education access. Projects are for pre-K-12 students (Direct Learning), the educators and artists who support them (Professional Development), and the schools and communities that serve them (Collective Impact). All students are served when each level of the system is supported. Applicants should consider what role their proposed project plays within this system, and the impact their project has on students.

Competitive projects will:

  • Increase student participation in arts education through the use of innovative strategies or scaled up proven methodologies.
  • Have national, regional, or field-wide significance. This includes local projects that can have significant impact within communities or are likely to demonstrate best practices for the field.

Arts Education projects may be in any artistic discipline. Projects for short-term arts exposure, arts appreciation, or intergenerational activity should not be submitted under Arts Education; rather, they should be submitted under the appropriate artistic discipline. If you have questions about whether you should apply under Arts Education or some other discipline, read "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects."

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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

Deadlines

Grants for Arts Projects applications will be accepted at two deadlines. All project types (described below) are accepted at both deadlines. Apply at the deadline that most closely fits the schedule of activities or timeline of your proposed project. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Projects include, but are not limited to:

Direct Learning Grants

Projects support arts instruction for students, generally pre-K through 12th grade, that result in increased knowledge and skills in the arts and may occur in-person or online. Activities may be offered during or outside the regular school day schedule by school districts, arts organizations, or non-arts organizations or agencies in partnership with artists and/or arts groups. Projects could take place in locations such as schools (including charter schools), arts organizations, community centers, faith-based organizations, makerspaces, public housing, tribal community centers, and/or juvenile justice facilities. Projects should engage students over an extended period of time; short-term projects will not be competitive.

Applicants applying in Direct Learning should convey how their projects are distinctive and deepen the arts learning experience for students by offering fresh insights and adding new value to the field. Applicants may provide examples of how they are using data to inform programmatic decision making, scaling up or expanding existing arts education services, incorporating effective community partnerships, or working within a larger system or community effort to benefit students in that system. Where appropriate, applicants should describe how the project is reflective of the cultural life of the participants.

Direct Learning projects should address each of the following elements:

Experience: Participants experience exemplary works of art -- in live form where possible -- to gain increased knowledge and skills in the art form.

Create: Informed by their experience in an art form, participants will create or perform art.

Assess: Student learning is measured and assessed in alignment with national or state arts education standards. Explain how you plan to measure increased knowledge and skills in the arts. Where appropriate, applicants also may describe project outcomes that use the arts to address youth development, college, career, or citizen readiness or affect change in school or community culture such as school attendance, graduation or recidivism rates. Explain how you plan to measure those outcomes. Before applying, review the reporting requirements for Arts Education

Professional Development Grants

Projects equip classroom teachers, arts specialists, teaching artists, school/district administrators, other educators, and community leaders with the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively engage students in high quality, curriculum-based arts learning, and improve instruction.

Applicants applying for a Professional Development project should convey how their project is distinctive and offers fresh insights and new value to the field.

Applicants may provide examples of how they are using data to inform programmatic decision making, scaling up or expanding existing professional development projects, utilizing technology, establishing communities of practice, incorporating effective community partnerships, or working within a larger system or community effort to benefit students in that system, as appropriate.
Professional Development projects should include all of the following elements:

Experience: Participants have an experience in or through the arts.

Study: Participants are engaged in a sustained, in-depth course of study.

Evaluate: Participant learning is evaluated and the impact of the professional development on practice is measured. Before applying, review the reporting requirements for Arts Education 

Collective Impact Grants

Projects transform schools and communities by providing access and engagement in the arts for all students through collective, systemic approaches. Projects aim to ensure that all students across entire neighborhoods, schools, school districts, and/or states – in communities of all sizes – participate in the arts over time. Collective Impact grants are higher award amounts for longer term, large-scale projects that create lasting systems change tailored to community needs, fundamentally altering the ways in which the components and structures of a system behave and interact over time. Projects should have significant potential to be shared and customized in communities across the country.

See further details about this project type. Applicants considering submission of a Collective Impact application are strongly encouraged to contact Arts Education Specialist Denise Brandenburg at brandenburg@arts.gov.

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

We Do Not Fund

In addition to the "We Do Not Fund" section for all applicants, funding under the Arts Education discipline is not available for research on the value of arts education. Applicants may consider our research grant opportunity for support of research projects.

Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects

If you are proposing a Collective Impact project, a pre-K through 12th grade Professional Development project, or a Direct Learning project that aligns with either national or state arts education standards, choose Arts Education as your project discipline.

See more information on the National Core Arts standards.

If the target audience is intergenerational, submit your application directly to one of the artistic disciplines rather than to Arts Education. Applications for projects for youth where the focus is exposure to or appreciation of the arts -- whether activities take place in school, after school, during the summer, or in community settings -- should be submitted directly to the appropriate artistic discipline in the Grants for Arts Projects category. Such projects may include performances by or exhibitions of professional artists. Arts events may be accompanied by ancillary learning activities (e.g., study guides for teachers and students, artists' visits prior to or following the event, workshops, lecture-demonstrations, or master classes).

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

Dance welcomes applications for projects that reflect a multitude of dance genres and communities, strengthen dance practices, and recognize dance as a vital expression of culture. Grants support organizations including companies, presenters, service organizations, educators, festivals, and more. Dance companies may be artist-led, collaborative, disabled, physically-integrated, and/or repertory-based. We encourage dance projects of all sizes that are working to cultivate dance in their communities or throughout the country. Projects can be at any stage of the process including planning, creation, and presentation/touring, and may focus on providing services such as training, documentation, residencies, and access to dance. The National Endowment for the Arts plans to support a variety of projects across the country in urban, rural, and tribal communities of all sizes.

We encourage applications for artistically excellent projects that:

  • Include planning, research, and/or trainings that build an organization’s capacity to respond to current events.
  • Document and preserve choreography, performance, and other aspects of dance heritage in ways that increase the diversity and the representation of dance artists, forms, and communities in existing dance archives.
  • Represent a multiplicity of forms, techniques, and histories that stem from all over the world and include many different styles -- such as but not limited to aerial, African diasporic dances, Alaskan Native dances, ballet, bharatanatyam, butoh, capoeira, dance films, flamenco, folkloric, hip-hop, jazz, kathak, kuchipudi, Native American dances, Native Hawaiian dances, modern dance, and tap.

Competitive projects will:

  • Demonstrate alignment with the National Endowment for the Arts’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Have national, regional, or field-wide significance. This includes local projects that can have significant impact within communities.
  • Describe clear goals and ways of measuring those goals.
  • If applicable, offer direct payment to artists.
  • If applicable, connect communities and public audiences to dance through engaging and reciprocal partnerships.
  • If applicable, clearly describe the curatorial process and how the resulting selection of artists/companies will demonstrate diversity.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Projects

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

Deadlines

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

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types include, but are not limited to:

Examples of eligible project types are offered below to demonstrate a range of possibilities, but projects may encompass activities that fall within multiple categories. Project activities may take place virtually or in person.

Planning:

  • Projects that include planning, research, and training that supports an organization’s capacity to respond to current events including the pandemic, economic downturn, and inequality.

Creation, development, or restaging of new, existing, or historically significant works:

  • Residencies to conduct artistic research, create, or ready a work for premiere and/or touring.
  • The restaging and rehearsal of repertory, including works of historical significance.
  • Development of new dance works, including dance films, and works that involve community in the creation of the work.

Presentation and Touring:

  • Performances at home, and local, regional, and national presentations and tours.
  • The live or virtual presentation of dance artists, companies, and/or dance films, as part of a season, public event, or festival.
  • Touring and related activities that intentionally engage youth or specific and identified communities.

Preservation and Archives:

  • Documentation, preservation, and conservation of America's many diverse dance forms, traditions, aesthetics, cultures, techniques, and histories, including creation or development of archival projects. These projects may use technology and media, and should connect with or be made accessible to dance communities and/or the general public.

Professional Development and Services:

  • Projects that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities through employment, training, technical assistance, organization capacity-building, and infrastructure.
  • Dance publications.
  • Professional training.
  • Services to dancers, choreographers, companies, and administrators through convenings, research and evaluation, development of marketing materials or other forms of documentation, resource sharing, and technical assistance.

Education and Community Engagement:

  • Dance projects that utilize artistically excellent art in civic and social practice, conflict transformation, and collaborative work with community partners in ways that are mutually beneficial.
  • Dance education projects including classes, workshops, and other training opportunities that can include performances or public events. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

From the typeface on this page to the neighborhood in which you live, every object and place is the result of design. Design surrounds us and has a direct impact on the quality of our lives. The National Endowment for the Arts supports design projects that have a public benefit and advance the field of design. In addition, we invite projects that respond to current events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, employment of designers, and inequality. Funding can support various design disciplines including architecture, communications and graphic design, fashion design, historic preservation, industrial and product design, interior design, landscape architecture, inclusive design, rural design, social impact design, and urban design.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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

Deadline

The application deadline for all projects is February 11, 2021. (Design does not accept applications at the July deadline.)

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

The Design program supports projects across a wide array of design types, in two main areas of work. In addition to the two main areas described below, we invite projects that include planning, research, and training that supports an organization’s capacity to respond to current events.

Projects that have a public benefit, including:

  • Commissions and production of new work, particularly projects that hire and/or provide direct fees to artists and designers.
  • Exhibitions, tours, publications, or websites that provide new insights about specific designed objects, places, designers, or design history or movements.
  • Historic and community preservation projects that promote awareness of cultural and historic assets, or adaptive reuse of historic properties for cultural and arts uses.
  • Design and community planning for new arts/cultural buildings, districts, neighborhoods, public spaces, landscapes, or housing for artists or designers.
  • Community planning, charrettes, and design-related activities that promote economic and cultural vitality; involve community-based partnerships; foster community interaction; enhance the unique characteristics of a place; and/or assist underserved communities or neighborhoods.
  • Artistically excellent design projects that foster positive social impact, employ inclusive design concepts, or foster collaboration between design and non-arts disciplines.
  • Design competitions.

Projects that advance or support the design field, including:

  • Conferences, symposia, and other gatherings that promote innovation in design practice or design education, or facilitate collaborations between design and non-arts disciplines.
  • Workshops or residencies for designers.
  • Documentation and preservation of historic design work.
  • Design research or collaboration projects that examine current practice, propose design solutions for pressing problems, or advance understanding of the design field.
  • Innovative technology projects or new media projects meant to advance the design field or design theory.
  • Education, mentorship, apprenticeship, and outreach activities that teach design practices to American communities.
  • Education initiatives that prepare designers for careers in the emerging fields of design.
  • Projects that support emerging fields of design.
  • Innovative festivals, tours, or programming that raise awareness of design.

Note: Applicants should be aware that we do not fund capital campaigns, construction costs, or the purchase or leasing of sites or structures, although we can support the design process all the way through construction documentation. We also do not fund design thinking projects that are not related to or in service of promoting the arts or design as a field. Museums and visual arts venues presenting a design exhibition or installation should contact staff to determine whether to apply under Design or under Museums or Visual Arts. Contact us if you have further questions.

If your project is developed and managed by local government, see the Local Arts Agencies description to help you in your discipline selection (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The folk and traditional arts are rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community. Community members may share a common ethnic heritage, cultural mores, language, religion, occupation, or geographic region. These vital and constantly reinvigorated artistic traditions are shaped by values and standards of excellence that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community, through demonstration, conversation, and practice. Genres of artistic activity include, but are not limited to, music, dance, crafts, and oral expression.

Applications for Grants for Arts Projects in the Folk & Traditional Arts will be accepted at two deadlines. All project types (described below) are accepted at both deadlines. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category. Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Applicants are encouraged to contact Folk & Traditional Arts Division Specialist, Bill Mansfield, with questions: mansfieldw@arts.gov

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the project types below.

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Projects

While we welcome applications for a variety of projects, we particularly encourage those that focus on stewardship and awareness of living cultural traditions.

Project Types include, but are not limited to:

Public Programs

  • Festivals;
  • Concerts, performances, plays, powwows, symposia;
  • Media projects:
    • Film (production, editing, screening, distribution, curating);
    • Radio and television broadcasts, podcasts, webcasts;
  • Websites (includes creating, maintaining, and upgrading the sites);
  • Exhibits (this includes fieldwork and archival research, construction, touring, catalogs, and ancillary events, such as lectures, concerts, screenings, panel discussions, workshops, and demonstrations);
  • Activities that originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders for cultural heritage projects from postsecondary minority serving institutions (MSIs), which include:
    • 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.
  • Creation of programs and partnerships that identify, document, and celebrate folklife and cultural heritage of the applicant’s metropolitan area;
  • Creation of programs and partnerships that identify, document, and celebrate lifeways of the applicant’s tribal community;
  • Creation of programs and partnerships that identify, document, and celebrate folklife and cultural heritage of the country’s rural regions of the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain West, and Alaska;
  • Projects that celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage;
  • Projects that invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups;
  • Projects that enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society;

Cultural Sustainability & Education

  • Projects with the primary purpose to support the transmission of tradition and the strengthening of living traditions (apprenticeship programs, mentorship programs);
  • Workshops/classes offering instruction in various folk and traditional arts to the general public;
  • For federally recognized tribes, programs whose primary focus is the reanimation, fortification, and continuation of traditional lifeways for tribal communities;
  • Folk Arts in Education programs (folk arts are used to augment regular curriculum);
  • Training for teachers and/or folk and traditional artists and the creation of educational material to incorporate folk arts into the classroom;
  • Publications (both hard copy and digital).

Research

  • Ethnographic fieldwork to document folklife, lifeways, and cultural heritage and to identify traditional artists.
  • Research in ethnographic fieldwork archives and collections related to folklife and cultural heritage.
  • Projects that seek to connect communities of practice (local or diasporic) to ethnographic fieldwork collections. Such projects might include:
    • Opportunities for tradition bearers to visit with archival collections, exploring materials, and sharing findings;
    • Strategies to utilize fieldwork collections to repair ruptured traditions, reanimate endangered languages and traditions, or reintroduce neglected repertoire or practices;
    • Collaborations between archives and cultural communities to identify collections, through crowd-sourcing or regular convenings.
  • Marketing research to identify audiences for folk & traditional arts.

Services to the Field

  • Local, regional, tribal, inter-tribal, and national convenings of cultural practitioners, traditional arts organizations, and public folklorists focused on regional identity, traditions, and resources, or focused on intersecting fields and critical issues such as:
    • Strategies to address the impact of environmental changes, pandemic crises, and current social injustice concerns on cultural heritage practices, communities, and landscapes;
    • Dialogue with fields that intersect with folk and traditional arts, such as public health, agriculture, and ageing;
    • The role of folk and traditional arts in building social cohesion and benefiting the public good;
    • The efficacy of folklife programs within museums;
    • Identification and articulation of best practices in the field of folk and traditional arts, including the development of a universal language for the field;
  • Training and mentorships for folk and traditional artists, folklorists, cultural elders, and folk and traditional arts organizations.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts seeks to sustain and nurture a multiplicity of American literary endeavors, including, but not limited to:

  • Ensuring that literary presses and magazines, community-based activities, and national literary organizations complement the trade publishing sector in the shaping of contemporary literature.
  • Supporting organizations that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the literary arts and cultivate writers at all stages of their careers, including emerging writers.
  • Supporting efforts to provide America's readers with direct access to contemporary writers.
  • Supporting innovation and the use of new technology.

In addition to offering grant opportunities for organizations, the National Endowment for the Arts offers a separate fellowships program to published creative writers and translators in the areas of prose and poetry.

We welcome applications for a variety of arts projects that address the review criteria of Artistic Excellence and Artistic Merit.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Deadlines

The National Endowment for the Arts supports two general project types under Grants for Arts Projects Literary Arts:

  • Literary publishing projects (February Grants for Arts Projects Deadline)
  • Audience and professional development projects (July Grants for Arts Projects Deadline)

Apply under the project type and associated deadline that most closely corresponds to the primary focus of your proposed project. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

Literary Publishing Projects
These projects focus on print and/or digital literary magazines and independent and university presses that publish poetry, fiction, drama, and/or creative nonfiction by contemporary writers and translators.

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Publication and distribution of books. (Note that proposed book titles should already be selected and must be described in the application. Exceptions are made for titles that will be selected through a contest.)
  • Publication and distribution of magazine issues.
  • Payments to writers.
  • Marketing and promotion efforts to increase book sales or magazine circulation and expand readership.
  • Efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the literary publishing field.
  • Digitization of publishers' backlists and other endeavors to make work available in new and emerging markets.
  • Technologies and/or experiments that strive to deepen audiences' engagement with literature and/or provide writers with new platforms and tools to create work.
  • Collaboration within and/or across fields to advance literary publishing in the digital age, reach new audiences, and encourage dialogue.

NOTE: Literary publishing projects must focus primarily on contemporary literature and/or writers.

Deadlines:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Audience and Professional Development Projects
These projects focus on local and/or national activities designed to promote and develop practitioners of, and audiences for, the literary arts. (Projects that are primarily focused on publishing and/or distributing books or journals should be submitted at the other Grants for Arts Projects deadline.)

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Residencies, readings, author tours, writing workshops, conferences, and literary festivals.
  • Podcasts, radio, video, and/or media endeavors that promote the literary arts.
  • Innovative uses of technology, media, or new models to provide readers with access to writers and the literary arts.
  • Efforts to maintain or augment America's literary infrastructure and provide services, advice, and technical support to writers, translators, and literary organizations.
  • Efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the literary arts.
  • Collaboration within and/or across fields to reach new audiences and encourage dialogue.

Deadlines:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

Across the United States, more than 4,500 Local Arts Agencies (LAAs) provide a wide range of programs and services to help support and enable arts and culture at the local level. LAAs are intermediaries, serving artists and arts organizations, local residents, visitors, and other community partners. No two LAAs are alike ─ whether they serve a single village or town, a large city, county, or a multi-county or multi-state region. Some LAAs are departments of local government, others are nonprofit organizations, and still others are hybrids of the two.

Characteristics of Local Arts Agencies: LAAs may present and/or produce arts programming, commission and manage public art, administer grant programs, provide technical assistance to artists and arts organizations, and guide cultural planning efforts. Still others may own, manage, and/or operate cultural facilities and be actively engaged in community development, and partner with entities in tourism, social services, public education, housing, economic development, and public safety. All strive to enhance the quality of life in their communities by working to increase public access to the arts. 

The Local Arts Agencies discipline also welcomes applications for arts projects developed and managed by:

  • Non-arts departments of local government, including but not limited to economic development, parks and recreation, or planning departments. For the purposes of these guidelines, local governments are defined as counties, parishes, cities, towns, villages, or federally recognized tribal governments.
  • Designated special districts, such as creative, arts and entertainment, or cultural districts.
  • National and statewide service organizations that work primarily with a network of LAAs, as well as projects by organizations such as Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts or Arts and Business Councils.

Local Arts Agencies can apply through Grants for Arts Projects for support through two project types: Programming and Subgranting. The Arts Endowment’s legislation allows only State Arts Agencies, Regional Arts Organizations, and Local Arts Agencies to subgrant Arts Endowment funds.

Subgranting awards are unique to Local Arts Agencies in the Grants for Arts Projects grant category. The subgranting project type recognizes the central role of grantmaking in the work of Local Arts Agencies, as well as the relationship between federal and local government. Local arts agencies are critical partners of the National Endowment for the Arts, greatly extending federal reach and impact and translating national leadership into local benefit. Additional eligibility, documentation, and reporting requirements for subgranting applications are detailed in the Project Types section below.

All Grants for Arts Projects applications submitted by LAAs will be reviewed within the Local Arts Agencies discipline. There are only two exceptions: Projects that have a Folk & Traditional Arts focus will be reviewed under Folk & Traditional Arts, and projects with a K-12 standards-based arts education, professional development, or collective impact focus will be reviewed under Arts Education.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

Projects

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

The work of Local Arts Agencies can cover a wide range of activity, depending on the dynamics of the community. Project types eligible for support include Programming (including Services to the Field) and Subgranting, both of which are described in detail below. Applications for programming may request up to $100,000. Applications for subgranting may request up to $150,000 and include additional eligibility, documentation, and reporting requirements.

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types

Eligible project types include the full breadth of programming typically developed and managed by local arts agencies*, such as Programming (including Services to the Field) and Subgranting.

Programming (including Services to the Field)

Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

Examples of Programming (including Services to the Field) include, but are not limited to:

  • The presentation of artists, artworks, and arts programming.
  • The commissioning of artists for the creation of new work.
  • Projects related to public art, such as creation, installation, documentation, and preservation. See “Public Art Resources” for additional information.
  • The development and/or management of cultural facilities or artist residency projects.
  • Services to advance the professional skills of artists and arts organizations, such as convenings, technical assistance, and professional development opportunities.
  • Coordinated arts services, such as community-wide marketing campaigns, cross-sector partnerships, or cultural planning efforts.
  • Projects and initiatives that build equity and extend the reach of the arts to communities that have been historically underserved.
  • Project activities that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities through employment, industry training, technical assistance, organization capacity-building, and infrastructure.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools. 

However, if your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you select between the Local Arts Agencies and Arts Education disciplines.

* See “We Fund/Do Not Fund” to make sure your project is eligible.

Subgranting

Designated local arts agencies (see Subgranting Documentation section below) eligible to subgrant may request $10,000 to $150,000 for subgranting programs, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

Local Arts Agencies may apply to subgrant Arts Endowment funds in support of programming and services to the field activities by arts organizations. For the purposes of Arts Endowment subgranting awards, a Local Arts Agency subgranting federal funds is considered a “passthrough” entity. A subgrant relationship exists when Arts Endowment grant funds are regranted to subgrantees for activities conducted independently of the Local Arts Agency grantee. See the Subgranting Terms and Conditions resource for additional information on the definition of subgranting, and requirements for subgrantee eligibility.

The Subgranting project type includes additional eligibility, documentation, and reporting requirements.

Subgranting Eligibility:

In addition to the Grants for Arts Project Applicant Eligibility requirements, to be eligible to subgrant Arts Endowment funds, a Local Arts Agency must be an arts agency that is a unit of city or county government or officially designated to operate as an arts agency on behalf of its local government. This designation will be demonstrated in the documentation outlined below.

Non-arts departments of local government (e.g., economic development, parks and recreation, or planning departments) cannot subgrant. In addition to the "Applicant Eligibility" section for all Grants for Arts Projects applicants, applicants for subgranting projects must have completed a three-year history of grantmaking in the arts prior to the application deadline. Organizations without a three-year history of grantmaking are encouraged to contact Arts Endowment staff to discuss alternative project types.

Subgranting Documentation:

The documents below should be submitted as Additional Items in your Grants for Arts Projects application, to include:

  • A copy of the local government ordinance, resolution, charter, or contract that assigns your organization the authority to operate on your local government's behalf. Note: This document should demonstrate your eligibility to subgrant as a designated local arts agency.
  • The application guidelines for the grant program for which support is being requested.
  • A profile of the applicant pool (no more than one page). Detail the number of applicants, the artistic disciplines represented, and the range of organizational budget sizes.
  • A list of most recent grantees including grant amount and one-sentence project description.
  • A description of the review process and criteria used, including a list of most recent or proposed panelists. Note: In accordance with the Arts Endowment’s enabling legislation, you must include "artistic excellence and artistic merit" in the review criteria used to make the subgrant awards.

Subgranting Reporting:

Subgranting applicants that are recommended for funding will have additional reporting requirements as grantees, including but not limited to the below. For a complete understanding of grantee requirements, see the Subgranting Terms and Conditions resource.

  • Require their grantees to provide DUNS numbers before a grant can be made.
  • Report subgrants of $25,000 or more in federal funds to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System (FSRS).
  • Ensure that all subawards made with federal or cost share/matching funds are in compliance with the General Terms and Conditions for an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, including requirements for pass-through entities as provided for under 2 CFR 200.331 and the NHPA/NEPA and accessibility requirements described below.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts envisions a nation with a robust creative ecosystem that is responsive and adapting to the dynamic, diverse, and evolving nature of the media arts field. Projects supported by the Arts Endowment are intended to support and advance careers for independent film and media artists, media arts practitioners, and artists exploring traditional or expanded forms of storytelling and visual expression using film, cinema, audio, broadcast, new media, creative code, and related formats. In addition, projects supported by the Arts Endowment provide opportunities for the public to deepen appreciation for, and experience, historic or contemporary works in-person, online, or through television or radio broadcast, digital streaming, or any other emerging formats including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.

We encourage applicants to apply with projects of all sizes by a variety of organizations—from large and small, rural and urban—that are working to advance this vision.

Eligible projects types include, but are not limited to: Distribution & Exhibition; Creation; Artistic & Professional Development; Arts Appreciation & Education; Preservation; and Services to the Field. For reference, see below for brief descriptions of sample activities within these project types.

Competitive projects will meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • Increase opportunities for artists to create, distribute, or exhibit new work or access impactful artistic or professional development programs essential for career advancement.
  • Provide opportunities for the public to explore the artistic process by engaging directly with artists, practitioners, and/or artworks.
  • Demonstrate significant national, regional, or field-wide value relevant for the participating artists or communities. This includes locally-focused projects with potential to demonstrate best practices for the national field.
  • Contribute to digital capacity building efforts of organizations by hiring (or providing direct fees to) artists, arts collectives, and arts workers that have expertise working at the intersection of arts and technology.
  • If applicable, offer exemplary models that support emerging practices at the intersection of arts and technology, including, but not limited to: creative investigations in storytelling; visual expression and cinematic arts; net art; or performance engaging various technologies, including immersive and interactive media, open source software toolkits, and other forms of data visualization or computation across all artistic disciplines, genres, and forms.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Deadlines

Grants for Arts Projects applications will be accepted at two deadlines. All project types (described below) are accepted at both deadlines. Apply at the deadline that most closely fits the schedule of activities or timeline of your proposed project.

Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category. However, an organization of any artistic discipline may submit more than one application in the Grants for Arts Projects category through the Media Arts discipline for the July deadline only. Any additional applications must be for distinctly different projects that align with the vision and objectives of the Media Arts discipline, as stated above. See Applicant Eligibility for more details. 

Organizations must apply directly on their own behalf; applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed.

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Media Arts Deadline

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types

Eligible project types include, but are not limited to:

  • Local, regional, national, or international festivals, curated presentation or screening series, exhibitions, installations, and/ or touring programs that are open to the general public and demonstrate meaningful community and field-wide engagement.
  • Distribution services or presentation programs.
  • Commissions or the creation, development, and/or production of new work, across all genres and forms. This includes, but is not limited to, the creation of works to be experienced in-person, online, or through television or radio broadcast, digital streaming, or any other emerging formats including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Projects can support any phase of artistic development and include activities related to accelerator labs or incubator programs.
  • Artistic and professional development activities for artists, communities, arts workers or organizations which align with objectives of the Media Arts discipline. This includes artist-led workshops or educational seminars, fellowship or mentorship programs, artist residencies, and access to technical facilities or equipment available for artists and/or the general public.
  • Educational and community engagement activities that provide opportunities for the general public to explore the artistic process by engaging directly with artists, practitioners, and/or artworks. If your project intends to serve youth audiences, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.
  • Digital capacity building projects intended to increases an organization’s ability to support creative investigations at the intersection of arts and technology and hire, or provide direct fees to, artists, arts collectives, and arts workers that have related expertise.
  • Services to the national field, including conferences, field studies, convenings, trainings, research, or workshops.
  • Widely distributed publications on issues pertinent to the media arts field, both practical and aesthetic, and both digital and in print.
  • Preservation, restoration, or archiving of media art works on analog or digital media (including preservation services). Priority will be given to projects that offer significant value to the media arts field and have clear plans to engage new audiences. If you are looking to support the digitization of arts and cultural humanities collections (all sizes), you may wish to contact the National Endowment for the Humanities at preservation@neh.gov.

Note to applicants:

If your organization typically submits to an artistic discipline other than Media Arts, but will be submitting a project adapted for film, online streaming, or broadcast due to COVID-19, we encourage you to apply to your primary artistic discipline. For example, if your organization typically submits to the Dance discipline and wants to complete a dance-related film or project for online streaming or broadcast due to COVID-19, you should continue to submit your application to the Dance discipline. If you have questions about this, contact staff.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The nation's museums face a tall and challenging order, increasingly called upon to be civic anchors, community gathering places, and stewards of our most prized artistic and cultural heritage. Museums are visited by millions of people each year -- more than those that attend all major sporting events and theme parks combined.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting museum activity that demonstrates exceptional aesthetic investigation and meaningful community engagement. Specifically, the National Endowment for the Arts assists museums through the support of exhibitions, care of collections, conservation, commissions, public art works, community engagement, education activities, and other museum work. Museum projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts demonstrate artistic excellence in and across a variety of mediums, movements, eras, and cultures.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Deadlines

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

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types include, but are not limited to:

  • Exhibitions and related activities.
  • Conservation, preservation, and/or restoration.
  • Commissions or public art.
  • Residencies.
  • Provenance research.
  • Collections management.
  • Reinstallation of collections.
  • Public programming such as workshops, lectures and symposia, or other outreach activities.
  • Periodicals, publications, or catalogues.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)
  • Innovative uses of technology.
  • Services to the field.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts 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 National Endowment for the Arts 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 National Endowment for the Arts 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 National Endowment for the Arts encourages the commissioning and performance of new American works. 

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Projects

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

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.

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types

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 local broadcasts, 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, organizational capacity-building, and infrastructure.
  • Projects that include planning, research, and training that supports an organization’s capacity to respond to current events including the pandemic, economic downturn, and inequality.

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).

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts nurtures the nonprofit musical theater field, as one of America’s unique art forms, by funding the work of established musical theater organizations as well as musical theater projects by companies known primarily for non-musical work. The National Endowment for the Arts awards grants for the production or presentation of traditional repertoire, new musicals, development laboratories, showcases, artist residencies, work for young audiences, experimental work, and community-based work. Projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts should help to fully realize an organization's mission and may provide support for organizations and artists in the creation and refinement of work, the public presentation of musicals from all cultures and periods, and opportunities for professional development. Supported projects will reflect the breadth of the musical theater genre and its artistic, historical, and cultural significance.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Projects

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

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

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types include, but are not limited to:

  • Musical theater projects that encourage the participation of artists, production staff, and administrators from a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints, racial and ethnic backgrounds, cultures, disability perspectives, and/or geographic areas.
  • Commissioning, development, and production of new musicals.
  • Production of existing contemporary musicals or works from the musical theater canon that are re-imagined or speak to today's audiences in new and original ways.
  • Development, production, or presentation of musical theater work for young audiences.
  • Development programs and labs for new musicals, which may include the hosting of artist residencies, showcase productions of new work, development workshops, and festivals of new works or works in progress. (The National Endowment for the Arts does not fund festivals for which no curatorial judgment has been applied, or development programs in which participants must pay a fee to participate.)
  • Local, regional, and national touring of musicals.
  • Documentation, preservation, conservation, archiving, and dissemination of America's musical theater heritage.
  • Community-based projects that involve the creation and/or production of musical theater with community members.
  • Projects and initiatives that explore issues of inequality and extend the reach of the arts to communities that have been historically underserved.
  • Services to the musical theater field that assist organizations or artists in administrative, developmental, technical, and related areas.
  • Professional training including classes, guest artist residencies, workshops, and mentorship of musical theater artists.
  • Projects that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities through employment, industry training, technical assistance, organization capacity-building, and infrastructure.
  • Musical theater exposure and enrichment projects, including projects for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to nurturing and advancing operatic artistry to enrich communities large and small across the nation. Opera is a multifaceted art form that can involve singing, acting, orchestral playing, scenic artistry, costume design, lighting, and dance to convey a story or dramatic concept.

Organizations of all types and sizes are welcome to apply, including professional opera companies, opera festivals, music festivals, presenting organizations, professional artist development programs, and other organizations that commission, develop, or produce fully-staged operatic works and/or concert opera.

The National Endowment for the Arts supports the commissioning, development, presentation, and professional recordings of new or existing operatic works; professional artist development programs and artist residencies; community engagement projects that involve diverse communities; education activities for people of all ages; and projects by service organizations. Applications for collaborations and innovative projects that engage audiences in new and meaningful ways are encouraged.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Projects

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

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.

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types

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

  • Creation of new operatic works, especially those that are innovative or that cross genres (including commissions, residencies, and workshops with artists).
  • Premieres.
  • Repeat productions of previously-premiered 21st century works.
  • New productions of traditional and contemporary operas.
  • Remounting of existing productions.
  • Concert opera (performances that are not fully staged). Contact the Opera staff before preparing a concert opera application.
  • Domestic touring.
  • Opera festivals and other events (may include performances, lecture-demonstrations, audience talk-backs, master classes, and workshops).

Professional artistic development

  • Artist residencies.
  • Post-conservatory professional development programs for artists including coaching, conducting, acting, stage movement, diction, language, mentorship, and career development.
  • Projects that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities through employment, industry training, technical assistance, organization capacity-building, and infrastructure.

Engagement, education, recordings, and technology

  • Community engagement projects that involve diverse communities and/or reach new audiences.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups.
  • Projects that include planning, research, and training that supports an organization’s capacity to respond to current events including the pandemic, economic downturn, and inequality.
  • Audience engagement initiatives (including collaborations with other organizations).
  • Opera performances and activities in public spaces intended to foster community interaction and/or enhance the unique characteristics of a community.
  • Recordings of opera works (by international or American composers).
  • Technology projects (including simulcast performances and online resources that provide public access to opera).
  • Archival, documentation, and preservation projects.

Services to the opera field

  • Services to the opera field (for organizations, singers, composers, librettists, administrators, and/or volunteers).

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

Through this funding area, the National Endowment for the Arts supports artistic works and events that present multiple artistic disciplines, combine and/or integrate art forms, explore boundaries between art disciplines, fuse or transcend disciplines, and look to new forms of expression.

The Arts Endowment encourages applications from a variety of eligible organizations, e.g., with small, medium, or large budgets, and from rural to urban communities.

Projects should be multi- or cross-disciplinary in nature and may include work from the performing, visual, media, design, and literary arts. These projects can be for any stage of the artistic process including creation, commissioning, presentations, touring, training, residencies, and access to the arts. In addition, we also fund projects that provide services to artists and arts organizations. Projects that present or otherwise feature a single artistic discipline (including but not limited to dance, literary arts, media arts, music, musical theater, theater, visual arts) should apply through that discipline.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Projects

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

If you are unsure whether Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works is the right discipline for your project, or if you have never applied before, we encourage you to contact staff prior to submitting your application.

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow ti

me to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types

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

Projects include, but are not limited to:

  • The presentation and/or touring of new or existing works. This may include, but is not limited to, performances, exhibitions, festivals, and guest artist residencies.
  • The commissioning, development, and creation of new works, including creative artist residency programs.
  • Participatory art works, community-based work, and projects with a distinct focus on community engagement.
  • Projects that utilize artistically excellent art in civic and social practice, conflict transformation, and collaborative work with community partners in ways that are mutually beneficial.
  • Festivals and other activities in public spaces that are intended to foster community interaction and/or enhance the unique characteristics of a community.
  • Circus arts, site-specific work, and outdoor spectacles.
  • Exposure and enrichment projects for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)
  • Services to artists and arts organizations. (Service projects that focus on a single discipline should apply through that discipline.) This may include, but is not limited to:
    • Arts and arts-related conferences and convenings.
    • Leadership training and other professional development opportunities for artists and arts administrators.
    • Projects that include planning, capacity building performance measurements, and training that supports an organization’s ability to respond to current events, such as the pandemic, economic downturn, and inequality.
    • Archiving, preservation, and documentation projects.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

The National Endowment for the Arts awards grants to the nonprofit theater field for the production or presentation of traditional or classical repertoire, new plays, development laboratories, showcases, artist residencies, work for young audiences, experimental work, community-based work, outdoor historical dramas, and puppetry. Projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts should help to fully realize an organization's mission and may provide support for organizations and artists in the creation and refinement of work, the public presentation of plays from all cultures and periods, and opportunities for professional development.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Projects

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

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

Deadlines

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types include, but are not limited to

  • Theater projects that encourage the participation of artists, production staff, and administrators from a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints, racial and ethnic backgrounds, cultures, disability perspectives, and/or geographic areas.
  • Commissioning, development, and production of new work, translations, and adaptations.
  • Production or presentation of existing contemporary or classical work.
  • Development, production, or presentation of theater work for young audiences.
  • Development programs and labs for new work, which may include the hosting of artist residencies, showcase productions of new work, development workshops, and festivals of new works or works in progress. (The National Endowment for the Arts does not fund festivals for which no curatorial judgment has been applied, or development programs in which participants must pay a fee to participate).
  • Local, regional, and national touring of theater productions.
  • Documentation, preservation, conservation, archiving, and dissemination of America's theater heritage.
  • Community-based projects that involve the creation and/or production of theater with community members.
  • Projects and initiatives that explore issues of inequality and extend the reach of the arts to communities that have been historically underserved.
  • Services to the field that assist organizations or artists in administrative, developmental, technical, and related areas.
  • Professional training including classes, guest artist residencies, workshops, and mentorship of theater artists.
  • Projects that advance and/or sustain the creative work of and/or careers for people with disabilities through employment, industry training, technical assistance, organization capacity-building, and infrastructure.
  • Exposure and enrichment projects, including arts/science/technology projects, for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.

FAQs for Applicants & Awardees in Response to COVID-19 »

Visual Arts activity in the nation is undertaken by a variety of organizations and institutions—including large and small, rural and urban, emerging and established, public or private non-profit—many of which have solely artistic missions. Others are community-based organizations whose portfolios may, on occasion, include the visual arts.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting visual arts activity—painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing, craft, and public art—that demonstrates exceptional aesthetic investigation and meaningful community engagement.

Specifically, the National Endowment for the Arts is interested in supporting contemporary artists and the projects they undertake, such as exhibitions, residencies, publications, commissions, public art works, conservation, documentation, services to the field, and public programs. The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to encouraging individual artistic development, experimentation, and dialogue between artists and the public.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. The Arts Endowment encourages projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events, as well as address any of the following:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
    • 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.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency, however, they may not be exclusionary under national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

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 (see Program Description and select Local Arts Agencies from the dropdown).

Deadlines:

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than January 20, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than February 2, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 11, 2021 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 16-23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2021

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2022

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

SAM.gov: No later than June 16, 2021

Grants.gov: No later than June 29, 2021

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 8, 2021 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 13-20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2022

Project Types include, but are not limited to:

  • Exhibitions and related activities.
  • Conservation, preservation, and/or restoration.
  • Commissions or public art.
  • Residencies.
  • Periodicals, publications, or catalogues.
  • Public programming such as workshops, lectures and symposia, or other outreach activities.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)
  • Innovative uses of technology.
  • Services to the field.

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

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 National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a NHPA review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures, or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

Learn more about the questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. 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.