Federal regulations require that all NEA-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Funded activities must be held in an 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 information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities:

  • Buildings and facilities (including projects held in historic facilities), should be physically accessible. This includes, but is not limited to: ground-level entry, ramped access, and/or elevators to the venue; integrated and dispersed wheelchair seating in assembly areas; wheelchair-accessible box office, stage, and dressing rooms; wheelchair-accessible display cases, exhibit areas, and counters; wheelchair-accessible restrooms and water fountains; and accessible workspaces for employees.
  • The programmatic offering should be accessible either as part of the funded activity or upon request, where relevant. This can include, but is not limited to providing:
    • Public contact information for requesting accommodations.
    • Accessible and screen reader-compatible electronic materials, documents, websites, virtual platforms, and inclusion of alternative text for images.
    • Print materials in alternative formats, such as large-print brochures/labels, Braille, audio guides, and electronic/digital formats.
    • Accommodations for performances, tours, virtual streamed events, conferences, and lectures, such as audio description, tactile opportunities, sign language interpretation, real-time captioning, and assistive listening devices.
    • Tactile art, signage, sculpture, and representation of two-dimensional artwork.
    • Closed/open captioning of videos, television broadcasts, films, and virtual streamed events.
    • Transcripts of radio programs and podcasts.
    • Sensory-friendly programming, spaces, and approaches for people with sensory-processing issues and other neurological conditions.

See the "Nondiscrimination Statutes" in our "Assurance of Compliance" for additional information. For technical assistance on how to make your project accessible, contact the Accessibility Office at or 202-682-5532, or the Civil Rights Office at 202-682-5454 or, or see our online Accessibility Resources.

See “Accessibility Requirements for Research Award Products” below for additional requirements specific to the Research Awards programs.

Civil Rights

The Office of Civil Rights at 202-682-5454 or is available to investigate complaints about compliance with accessibility standards as well as other federal civil rights statutes. For inquiries about limited English proficiency, go to, the FOIA Reading Room, or contact the Office of Civil Rights.

Changes in Projects

Applicants must notify the NEA immediately of any significant changes in their project that occur after they have submitted their application. If the project or the organization's capacity changes significantly before an award is made, any funding recommendation may be revised or withdrawn.

Awardees are expected to carry out a project that is consistent with the proposal that was approved for funding by the NEA. If changes in the project are believed to be necessary, the awardee must submit a request through a proper REACH account for the award, with justification, for review by the Office of Grants Management. Approval is not guaranteed. Detailed information is included in the NEA General Terms & Conditions for Grants and Cooperative Agreements.

Project Reporting and Evaluation

We ask all applicants to define what they would like to achieve, how they will evaluate the degree to which it is achieved, and, upon completion of the project, what they have learned from their experiences. Such feedback need not entail large-scale or expensive evaluation efforts. You should do what is feasible and appropriate for your organization and project. When an award is completed, you must submit a final report and answer questions on your accomplishments, who benefited, and the resulting impact as well as list the involvement of key partners, funders, and artists. We recognize that some projects involve risk, and we want to hear about both your successes and failures. Failures can provide valuable learning experiences, and reporting them will have no effect on your ability to receive NEA funds in the future. Through Research awards, we intend to achieve the following objective: Understanding: Evidence of the value and/or impact of the arts is expanded and promoted. If an award is received, the awardee also will be asked to provide evidence of those results. Before applying, review the reporting requirements.

Final Reporting Requirement

Prior to being awarded a grant, applicants must have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all NEA award(s) previously received.

Implementation of Title 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

This guidance from the federal government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) establishes clarity and consistency regarding the pre- and post-award requirements applicable to federal grantees and cooperative agreement awardees.

Under the authority listed above, the NEA adopts the OMB Guidance in 2 CFR part 200 under §3255.1 Adoption of 2 CFR Part 200. This part gives regulatory effect to the OMB guidance and supplements the guidance as needed for the NEA.

Crediting Requirement

Awardees must clearly acknowledge support from the NEA in their programs and related promotional material including publications and websites.

In publications of the data and the findings, acknowledgment of the NEA must be prominently displayed, including the Research Grants in the Arts or NEA Research Labs award number. In all other places (including but not limited to presentations concerning the project and material created for social media), the awardee must clearly acknowledge support from the NEA, regardless of the medium of the material, except as noted in the section titled “Responsible Conduct of Research.” Include appropriate disclaimers, depending on the nature of the product. The NEA Research Labs program has an additional requirement: to the extent possible, include the NEA Research Labs visual identifier in all materials.

Additional acknowledgment requirements, including template language, are provided under the Manage Your Award page, and also may be provided later.

Ownership and Use of Materials

Any materials resulting from a Research Grant in the Arts or NEA Research Lab award, including but not limited to products, training materials, research, and data, whether tangible or intangible (the “Work Product”), are deemed to be owned by the awardee. The awardee agrees to only make use of the Work Product in a manner consistent with the award terms and conditions (including but not limited to crediting requirements) in perpetuity, and agrees that such restrictions shall inure to any of the awardee’s successors in interest, including any such successors not yet known to the awardee. The NEA reserves a perpetual, royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish or otherwise use the products submitted by the awardee under the terms of any resulting award for federal purposes and to authorize others to do so (2 CFR 200.315).

Consultants or vendors engaged by the NEA Research Lab as part of the NEA-funded project will be required to agree that any information gathered will be used only for the purposes described in the award.

Accessibility Requirements for Research Award Products

Ensure that your products are developed in a format that is Section 508 compliant and is readable by screen reading software so that it is accessible to individuals with vision disabilities. Use the built-in accessibility features of your software to create content in an accessible format. Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element, such as tables, charts, and photos by tagging them with alternate text descriptions (alt text) and captions. Do not use color-coding as the only method of conveying information. More resources regarding Accessibility are located at

Product Requirement for Research Grants in the Arts and NEA Research Labs:

At the end of the grant period, both Research Grants in the Arts and NEA Research Labs awardees will be required to submit, at minimum, a 20-50-page research paper of that, at a minimum, includes two separate components: an abstract/executive summary and a full research paper for each award:

  • The abstract/executive summary of the project should consist of a 1-5-page summary of the study’s research goals, methods, findings, conclusions, and implications for research and policy and/or practice.

Abstracts/executive summaries must be targeted toward both technical and non-technical audiences.

In addition, full research papers (excluding the abstract and executive summary) typically are comprehensive accounts of the project. The exact format and organization of the full research papers may vary depending on the project scope and distribution plans; see Research Grants in the Arts Study Findings page for examples of previous grantees' final research products. These include but are not limited to academic research articles; white or grey papers; and books, handbooks, or book chapters.

Full research papers usually contain the following components:

  • An explanation of why the research topic and related question(s) are important.
  • A review of existing literature or previous work on the topic, if any, including a description of the theory being tested and hypotheses, if appropriate.
  • A description of the methods, such as the descriptions of the research participants, sample characteristics and/or data source characteristics, procedures, measures and assessments, and the data analysis plan.
  • A summary of the analysis conducted, and related findings.
  • A conclusions section, including interpretations of the findings and discussion of whether the results supported or did not support any research hypotheses as appropriate; strengths and limitations of the research; future directions; and research and/or policy recommendations, based on the findings.
  • A works cited or references list.
  • Tables and figures, as appropriate (these can be included in the body of the paper if desired, rather than at the end).
  • Any appendices or supplementary material.
  • Contact information of the corresponding author (name and email at minimum) and websites for where the papers, products, and data of the project may be available beyond the NEA website, if applicable. This section should also include whether raw-data and/or meta-data will be accessible or shared, and procedures to obtain that information if it is, in the case that the NEA, other researchers, or non-researchers are interested in obtaining updated papers, data, or other resources (these details can be included in the title page of the paper).

For translational research projects, grantees are encouraged, but not required, to also submit a research product that can be used easily by practitioners or researchers who might be interested in developing a similar program, model, or tool.

The NEA Research Labs program requires additional products beyond the mandatory paper described above, and those expectations will be included in the terms and conditions of an NEA Research Lab award.

It is our intention to publish grantees’ research papers on our website. We also understand that some of our grantees may desire to publish their work in other venues, such as peer-review research journals, in books, or in other types of publications. With this possibility in mind, we intend to post final research papers as "working papers;" if the papers are copyrighted or become copyrighted, then we will replace any working papers with the copyrighted versions. However, you may request a one-year embargo (a restriction) on electronic access to your final research papers through the Research Grants in the Arts Study Findings page or through the NEA Research Labs page. Should we agree to restrict access to your final paper, then your name, the title of your work, a description of your research, and the abstract will be available via our website, but the full text version will not be available for viewing or download until the embargo period has passed.

Please make sure to contact the NEA if you are contacted by the press or if you proactively engage the press about your award through such outlets as commercial newspapers (and their websites), radio, and TV; public broadcasting stations; community and alternative newspapers and newsletters; college and high school papers and stations; noncommercial and community access stations; listservs; news websites; membership websites (if relevant); and blogs. You may notify us of your media engagement and publications by emailing

Administrative Requirements

Any project that extends beyond one year is required to submit an annual progress report.

Award Notices

Award decisions for Research Grants in the Arts and NEA Research Labs are expected to be announced in November 2022.

Note that an "announcement" is likely to take the form of a preliminary congratulatory note, a request for revisions, or a rejection notification. Official grant award notification (i.e., a notice of action authorized by the NEA Office of Grants Management) is the only legal and valid confirmation of award. This can take several months to reach you depending on a number of factors such as reviewing changes to the project budget, the number of awards to be processed, whether the agency has its appropriation from Congress, etc.

General Terms & Conditions

Federal and agency requirements that relate to grants and cooperative agreements awarded by the NEA are highlighted in our General Terms & Conditions (GTC). The GTC incorporates the adoption of 2 CFR Part 200 by reference. The document also explicitly identifies where the NEA has selected options offered in the regulation, such as budget waivers and requirements for use of program income. It also includes agency requirements for cost share/matching funds reporting requirements, amendment processes, and termination actions.

Awardees must review, understand, and comply with these requirements.

Standards for Service

The NEA has set the following standards for serving applicants. We pledge to:

  • Treat you with courtesy and efficiency.
  • Respond to inquiries and correspondence promptly.
  • Provide clear and accurate information about our policies and procedures.
  • Provide timely information about funding opportunities and make guidelines available promptly.
  • Promptly acknowledge the receipt of your application.
  • Ensure that all eligible applications are reviewed thoughtfully and fairly.

We welcome your comments on how we are meeting these standards. Email:, attention: Standards for Service. For questions about these guidelines or your application, email In addition, applicants may receive an invitation to participate in a voluntary survey to provide feedback on the application guidelines on our website and any experiences consulting with our staff.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at an average of 27 hours per response. This includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. We welcome any suggestions that you might have on improving the guidelines and making them as easy to use as possible. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:, attention: Reporting Burden. Note: Applicants are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

Legal Requirements:

NOTE: This list highlights some of the significant legal requirements that may apply to an applicant or grantee or cooperator however, it is not exhaustive. More information regarding these and other legal requirements may be found at Appendix A of our General Terms & Conditions which sets forth the National Policy and Other Legal Requirements, Statutes, and Regulations that Govern Your Award.  Note that there may be other applicable legal requirements that are not listed here.

  1. By law, the National Endowment for the Arts may support only those organizations that:

    • Are tax-exempt. Organizations qualifying for this status must meet the following criteria:

      1. No part of net earnings may benefit a private stockholder or individual.

      2. Donations to the organization must be allowable as a charitable contribution under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.

      For further information, go to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website.

      Note that organizations who have had their IRS status revoked are not eligible for National Endowment for the Arts support. It is your responsibility to ensure that your status is current at the time of the application and throughout the life of your award.

    • Compensate all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel on National Endowment for the Arts-supported projects at no less than the prevailing minimum compensation. (This requirement is in accordance with regulations that have been issued by the Secretary of Labor in 29 C.F.R. Part 505. This part does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)

    • Ensure that no part of any National Endowment for the Arts-supported project will be performed or engaged in under working conditions which are unsanitary or hazardous or dangerous to the health and safety of the employees involved.

  2. Some legal requirements apply to every applicant, for example:
    • Compliance with the federal requirements that are outlined in the "Assurance of Compliance" below.

    • Debarment and Suspension procedures. The applicant must comply with the record keeping and other requirements set forth in Subpart C of 2 CFR 180, as adopted by the Arts Endowment in 2 CFR Part 3254. Failure to comply may result in the debarment or suspension of the awardee and the Arts Endowment suspending, terminating and/or recovering funds.

    • Federal Debt Status (OMB Circular A-129). Processing of applications will be suspended when applicants are delinquent on federal tax or non-tax debts, including judgment liens against property for a debt to the federal government. An organization's debt status is displayed in the System for Award Management (SAM). New awards will not be made if an applicant is still in debt status as of September 1.

    • Labor Standards (29 C.F.R. pt 505). If a grant or cooperative agreement is awarded, the awardee must comply with the standards set out in Labor Standards on Projects or Productions Assisted by Grants from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

    • The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701 et seq. and 2 C.F.R. Part 3256). The awardee is required to publish a statement regarding its drug-free workplace program as well as comply with other requirements.

  3. Some legal requirements apply depending upon what the grant or cooperative agreement is funding, for example:
    • If your project activities have the potential to impact any structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, adjacent to a structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, or located in an historic district, you will be asked to provide additional information about your project or take additional action so that the agency can review and comply with the National Historic Preservation Act  (NHPA). NHPA also applies to any planning activities that may affect historic properties or districts. The additional agency review must be completed prior to any agency funds being released.

    • If your project activities have the potential to impact the environment or environmentally sensitive resources, you will be required to provide information in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The additional agency review must be completed prior to any agency funds being released.

    • If your contract is over $2,000 and involves the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works, it must contain a clause setting forth the minimum wages to be paid to laborers and mechanics employed under the contract in accordance with The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA).

  4. Some legal requirements apply depending upon who the Applicant is, for example:

    The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.) – which applies to any organization that controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and receives Federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act (25 USC 3001 et seq.).

Assurance of Compliance

By signing and submitting its application form on, the Applicant certifies that it is in compliance with the statutes outlined below and all related National Endowment for the Arts regulations and will maintain records and submit the reports that are necessary to determine compliance.

We may conduct a review of your organization to ensure that it is in compliance. If the National Endowment for the Arts determines that an awardee has failed to comply with these statutes, it may suspend, terminate, and/or recover funds. This assurance is subject to judicial enforcement.

The Applicant certifies that it does not discriminate:

  • On the grounds of race, color, or national origin, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 U.S.C.1110.
  • On the grounds of disability, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; ("ADA"), as amended, (42 U.S.C. 12101-12213), implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 U.S.C. 1151. The ADA's requirements apply regardless of whether you receive federal funds.
  • On the basis of age, in accordance with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 U.S.C.1156.
  • On the basis of sex, in any education program or activity, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).

Applicant will inform the public that persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age may file a complaint with the Director of Civil Rights at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Applicant will forward all complaints for investigation and any finding issued by a Federal or state court or by a Federal or state administrative agency to:

Director, Office of Civil Rights
National Endowment for the Arts
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

Applicant shall maintain records of its compliance and submission for three (3) years. The Applicant will compile, maintain, and permit access to records as required by applicable regulations, guidelines, or other directives.

The Applicant must also certify that it will obtain assurances of compliance from all subrecipients and will require all subrecipients of National Endowment for the Arts funds to comply with these requirements.

The United States has the right to seek judicial or administrative enforcement of this assurance.

For further information and copies of the nondiscrimination regulations identified above, contact the Office of Civil Rights at 202-682-5454 or For inquiries about limited English proficiency, go to, the FOIA Reading Room, or contact the Office of Civil Rights.