GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS: Program Description
“The Arts . . . belong to all the people of the United States.” *
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is proud to support the nation’s arts sector with grant opportunities so that together we can help everyone live more artful lives. The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for the future.
Grants for Arts Projects
Grants for Arts Projects is our largest grants program for organizations, providing comprehensive and expansive funding opportunities for communities. Through project-based funding, the program supports opportunities for public engagement with the arts and arts education, for the integration of the arts with strategies promoting the health and well-being of people and communities, and for the improvement of overall capacity and capabilities within the arts sector.
We welcome applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; from organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and from organizations with small, medium, or large operating budgets.
We fund arts projects in the following disciplines: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Arts, Theater, and Visual Arts.
Go to Artistic Disciplines for detailed information about each discipline’s project types and application deadlines.
Projects may be small, medium, or large; existing or new; and may take place in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions. A project may consist of one or more specific events or activities; it may be a new initiative or part of your organization’s regular season or activities. Organizations that undertake a single short-term program in a year could apply for that event, or they could identify certain components (such as the presentation of a particular artist and the associated activities) as their project. Organizations may apply for any or all phases of a project, from its planning through its implementation. A project should not encompass all of an organization’s activities or costs in a given year.
Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. All grants require a nonfederal cost share or match of at least 1 to 1. In the past few years, a majority of the agency's grants have been for amounts less than $25,000. In addition, designated local arts agencies eligible to subgrant may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 for subgranting programs in the Local Arts Agencies discipline.
Areas of Particular Interest
The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. We encourage projects that address any of the following:
- Elevate artists as integral and essential to a healthy and vibrant society.
- Celebrate the nation’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
- Facilitate cross-sector collaborations that center the arts at the intersection of other disciplines, sectors, and industries.
- Contribute to healthy and thriving local, regional, state-wide, and national arts ecosystems and arts infrastructures.
- Invest in organizational capacity-building and leadership development for arts organizations, arts workers, and artists.
- Build arts organizations’ capacity to serve a broad public through digital or emergent technology and/or support tech-centered creative practices across all artistic disciplines and forms.
- 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,
- Predominantly Black Institutions,
- Hispanic Serving Institutions,
- Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and
- Organizations that support the independence and lifelong inclusion of people with disabilities.
In recognition of the United States of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026, we also welcome arts projects that educate and engage communities in dialogue about the past, present, and future of our nation.
*1965 Enabling Legislation for the National Endowment for the Arts in the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965
The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Projects may focus on reaching a particular group or demographic; however, they may not be exclusionary under Federal civil rights laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices, artist selection processes, and audience engagement. For additional information, refer to this archived webinar: Things to Know Before You Apply: Federal Civil Rights and Your Grants Application.