Limited funds are available for national services that are provided by membership organizations of state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. Funds are to be used for projects that provide leadership, training, planning, coordination, and information services that increase accountability and transparency. Support for National Services will come out of funds designated by the Congress for the state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.

In line with its strategic plan, the National Endowment for the Arts has determined that all National Services projects will address our objective to promote public knowledge and understanding about the contributions of the arts.

Activities may include, but are not limited to: recognition and promotion of artistic achievement throughout the nation; research and dissemination of reports that demonstrate efforts by SAAs and RAOs to increase public knowledge and understanding about the arts’ contributions to social, civic, economic and/or other objectives; impact analyses of arts and cultural programming; recognition of  professional arts workers as a key sector of American industry; efforts by the SAAs and RAOs to nurture and promote innovation; collaborations with other state, regional, or national entities to explore or enhance the role the arts can play in their programming; activities promoting cultural diplomacy with other countries; and the hosting or sponsorship of related convenings, information exchanges, and reports.

Deadline Dates

All applicants must submit their applications electronically through, the federal government’s online application system. The system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on September 30, 2020. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Awards will support activities that are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2021, or any time thereafter.

By December 1, 2020, on-year applicants have the option of submitting an update (up to one page) on any significant developments affecting the organization subsequent to submitting the application. Updates should focus only on information relevant to application review, such as changes to the organization’s operating environment, budget, key leadership/staff, strategic planning, and notable accomplishments. Email updates to:

Following the notification of funding offers (generally April 2021), all applicants must complete and submit a Partnership Agreement Budget for Arts Endowment review. Instructions and deadlines will be provided with the notification of funding.

le="text-align:left;">We reserve the right to limit support of a project to a particular portion(s) or cost(s).

All costs included in your Project Budget must be expended during your period of performance. Costs associated with other federal funds, whether direct or indirect cannot be included in your Project Budget. Costs incurred before the earliest project start date of July 1, 2021, cannot be included in your budget or cost share/match.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements for National Service Organizations

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:

  • Meet the National Endowment for the Arts’ "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed. See more information on fiscal sponsors/agents.)
  • Prior to the application deadline, have a three-year history of arts programming as a membership organization serving state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. For the purpose of defining eligibility, "three-year history" refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
  • Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts grant(s) previously received.

An organization whose primary purpose is to channel resources (financial, human, or other) to an affiliated organization is not eligible to apply if the affiliated organization submits its own application. This prohibition applies even if each organization has its own 501(c)(3) status. For example, the "Friends of ABC Museum" may not apply if the ABC Museum applies.

All applicants must have a DUNS number ( and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award. See here for important information about upcoming changes for federal applicants and awardees.