GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS: Program Description

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

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

Grants for Arts Projects is our 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 art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.

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 project types and application deadlines.

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.

Applications from a variety of eligible organizations are encouraged, including those with small, medium, or large budgets; and ranging from rural to urban communities. Similarly, 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. 

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 $10,000 to $150,000 for subgrating programs in the Local Arts Agencies discipline.

We Encourage

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 use the arts to unite and heal, as well as address any of the following:

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

Nondiscrimination Policies

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