Actors stretched across the stage


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

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


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.

“Artful lives” is an inclusive concept encompassing everything from the creation, presentation, and consumption of art, to active arts engagement by all people through making, teaching, and learning in our everyday lives. The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives.

Arts and cultural activities are supported by a vast ecosystem that includes artists, arts workers, audiences, learners, communities, foundations, and organizations at the local, state-wide, regional, and national level. As a federal agency, the NEA holds a unique place within this ecosystem: we are the only arts funder in the United States—public or private—that provides access to the arts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions.

In addition to providing critical grant funding, we are also a national resource in our roles as thought leader and convener of the arts sector, connector of artists and arts organizations with new opportunities, and amplifier of the important work you are doing.

Whether you are a first-time or returning applicant, we welcome the opportunity to connect with you. Our staff strives to ensure that all applicants receive the support they need to understand every step of the process. Here are some resources to help orient you to our grantmaking process:

Please carefully read the guidelines located below to better understand each program’s intent, as well as the types of projects we are particularly interested in funding as we aim to strengthen the nation’s arts and cultural ecosystem.

We know that applying for and managing a federal grant can be time-consuming and the process is competitive. Our grant programs are not the only way to access funding within the nation’s arts and culture ecosystem. In some cases, you may wish to consider applying to local, state, regional, or philanthropic funders if their resources are better aligned with your work.

Find out more about funding opportunities available through your state arts agency and regional arts organization.

Actors in a wide array of colorful outfits dance onstage

Performance of Twelfth Night at Yale Repertory Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus

Grants for Organizations

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Challenge America grants are awarded at $10,000 each to reach historically underserved communities with rich and dynamic cultural identities. This program may be a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding. Grants are awarded in all artistic disciplines for a wide variety of arts projects.
* Deadline has passed. New application guidelines anticipated in December 2024.
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Grants for Arts Projects provides expansive funding opportunities to strengthen the nation’s arts and culture ecosystem. Grants are available for arts projects in a wide variety of artistic disciplines. To leverage the greatest opportunities for federal support and to strengthen the ecosystem, each artistic discipline has identified the types of projects that are of greatest interest within this program as well as the characteristics of competitive applications.
* Deadlines: February 15, 2024 and July 11, 2024.
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Our Town is our creative placemaking grants program, using arts, culture, and design to strengthen communities and advance local priorities such as health, community development, environment/climate, and public safety, among other community issues and aspirations.
* Deadline: August 1, 2024.
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Grants are awarded to the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs), and the six regional arts organizations (RAOs) whose members comprise SAAs. Partnership support is also available to the national service organization for the state arts agencies.
* Deadline : October 10, 2024.
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The National Endowment for the Arts invites applicants to engage with its five-year research agenda (as part of the NEA FY2022-2026 Strategic Plan, Objective 3.2) through the agency’s Research Grants in the Arts program.
* Deadline has passed. New application guidelines anticipated in January 2025.

Recent Grants

Information about NEA grants awarded since 1998.