Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces the Latest National Endowment for the Arts Grants

NEA to invest more than $88 million to support arts projects nationwide

Washington, D.C. -- National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman today announced the latest round of NEA funding for Fiscal Year 2011 totaling more than $88 million awarded through 1,145 grants to not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide. 

Chairman Landesman said, "NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts."

This round of funding is provided through four grant programs: Access to Artistic Excellence, Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth, Arts on Radio and Television, and Partnership Agreements (State and Regional).

Access to Artistic Excellence grants foster and preserve excellence in the arts and provide access to the arts for all Americans. Grants in this round focus on two primary themes: access to the arts and preservation activities. A broad range of activities are funded in the disciplines of dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts. Projects include outreach, touring, artists' workshops and residencies, technology, preservation, recordings, and conferences and symposia. In addition, this round of funding includes grants to local arts agencies. Through the Access to Artistic Excellence category, 789 grants out of 1,415 eligible applications are recommended for funding for a total of $24.9 million.

Examples of projects supported by Access to Artistic Excellence grants include:

  • Southwest Chamber Music Society (Pasadena, CA) is recommended for a $35,000 grant to support Ten Freedom Summers, a recording and national performance tour of a new work by composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith inspired by the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1964.
  • Missouri Historical Society (aka Missouri History Museum) (St. Louis, MO) is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support the preservation of costumes from the Katherine Dunham Dance Company's collection, primarily those created by scenic and costume designer John Pratt. Once conserved, these pieces will be photographed, catalogued in museum records, digitized on the museum's online database, and made available for exhibition.
  • Public Art Fund, Inc. (New York, NY) is recommended for a $40,000 grant to support In the Public Realm. The program provides emerging visual artists (selected through an open call) with opportunities to create temporary art projects for non-traditional public exhibition spaces in New York City.
  • National Constitution Center (Philadelphia, PA) is recommended for a $25,000 grant to support the Fighting for Democracy Theater Exhibition Project. The hybrid theater exhibition will integrate an interactive theater production incorporating live performance, multimedia installation, and online educational tools for audience members with the Fighting for Democracy exhibit in the National Constitution Center's exhibition gallery.
  • University of Arkansas Main Campus (Fayetteville, AR) is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support a revitalization plan for the Pettaway neighborhood. To be created in partnership with the Downtown Little Rock Community Development Company, the revitalization plan will use affordable housing and transportation principles to link existing and new neighborhoods to create liveable places within the turn-of-the-century Pettaway neighborhood.

Use Recent Grants Search to see complete listing of projects receiving Access to Artistic Excellence grant support in this round of fiscal year 2011 funding.

Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth grants strengthen American educational opportunities by providing children with focused arts instruction, exposing them to legendary artists, and introducing children to artworks of the highest quality. The recommended projects require educators to give students in-depth, challenging learning experiences. Through the Learning in the Arts category, 229 grants out of 706 eligible applications are recommended for funding for a total of $7.4 million.

Examples of projects supported by Learning in the Arts grants include:

  • Regional Arts & Culture Council (Portland, OR) is recommended for a $25,000 grant to support Right Brain Initiative, a professional development seminar that brings together school administrators, teachers, and teaching artists to integrate the arts into Portland-area schools' curricula. The project will provide hands-on training for teachers and artists to integrate and assess arts learning across the curriculum, leading to classroom collaborations in theater, music, dance, and visual arts.
  • New School University (New York, NY) is recommended for a $50,000 grant to support PetLab, a professional development project based on the principles of game design. In partnership with the Institute of Play, participants will engage in and instruct others in design-based processes, including problem-solving, sketching, prototyping, testing, and modifying.
  • InsideOut Literary Arts Project (Detroit, MI) is recommended for an $80,000 grant to support the Voices High School Literary Expansion program, in which teams of writers-in-residence will visit Detroit public high schools to present a literature program to enhance the schools' curriculum throughout the school year. Services will include year-long creative writing residencies in selected classes; creative writing teaching units developed with classroom teachers; guest poets; one-on-one mentoring in a writing center;; publication in literary journals; and public performances.
  • SAY Sí (aka San Antonio Youth YES!) (San Antonio, TX) is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support Project Say Sí, a multidisciplinary "open studio" visual arts program. High school students will conceptualize, produce, refine, and eventually exhibit and sell their own artwork in a manner that parallels the working process of professional artist.

Use Recent Grants Search to see complete listing of projects receiving Learning in the Arts grant support in this round of fiscal year 2011 funding.

Arts on Radio and Television grants support the development, production, and national distribution of radio and television programs on the arts. The recommended projects will support the creation and presentation of more than 3,100 hours of arts programming, including television and radio programming, as well as projects that stream on the Internet, and mobile phone and tablet applications. Through the Arts on Radio and Television category, 64 grants out of 145 eligible applications are recommended for funding for a total of $4 million.

Examples of projects supported by Arts on Radio and Television grants include:

  • Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. (Boston, MA) is recommended for a $50,000 grant to support the second phase of Makers Quest 2.0 (MQ2), a national collaboration among independent producers, public radio and television stations, and communities. There will be 10 separate media production teams "assigned" to invent new approaches to storytelling and distribution that blends traditional broadcast with digital platforms and tools.
  • Public Radio International (Minneapolis, MN) is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support the production of The Global Hit segments on the weekday news and information radio program The World. The daily feature showcases world music for American audiences, offering listeners a unique perspective on other cultures through the medium of music.
  • Independent Television Service, Inc. (aka ITVS) (San Francisco, CA) is recommended for a $170,000 grant to support the selection, acquisition, and packaging of films for the public television series Independent Lens. This weekly PBS series provides the public with access to innovative, dramatic, animated, and documentary works by independent filmmakers.

Use Recent Grants Search to see the complete listing of projects receiving Arts on Radio and Television grant support in this round of fiscal year 2011 funding.

Partnership grants provide support to 55 state, jurisdictional, and territorial arts agencies, six regional arts organizations, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. In total, more than $52 million was awarded through this category. 

Use Recent Grants Search to see the complete listing of Partnership grants.

state-by-state listing of all the grants announced in this release is also available.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.  To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


Liz Stark