National Endowment for the Arts Awards 832 Art Works Grants Totaling $23.3 million

Plus, 40 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling $1 million awarded to poets

Washington, DC -- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that the NEA will award 832 grants totaling $23.3 million through its Art Works funding category. Not-for-profit arts organizations in 47 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive funding. The supported projects span 13 artistic disciplines and fields and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. In addition, the NEA will award Creative Writing Fellowships to 40 outstanding poets for a total of $1 million. This grant announcement is the first of several for fiscal year 2013.

"Through a rigorous peer-review panel process, the NEA ensures that projects recommended for funding are among the most creative, the most effective, and will make a real impact," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "I am proud to announce these 832 Art Works grants and 40 Creative Writing Fellowships and I look forward to seeing the projects come to fruition for the benefit of both the grantees and their communities across the country."

Art Works

Art Works is the NEA's largest funding category. These grants emerged from applications submitted to the March 2012 deadline. (Grants from the August 2012 deadline will be announced in Spring 2013.) Art Works encourages and supports the following four outcomes:

  • Creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence,
  • Public engagement with diverse and excellent art,
  • Lifelong learning in the arts, and
  • Strengthening of communities through the arts.

Funded Art Works projects include:

  • 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support InLight Richmond, an annual one-night community festival and public exhibition of light-based art. InLightexhibitions feature a range of light-based works including video projections, interactive environments, multimedia projects, performance, and installation.
  • Calista Elders Council in Anchorage, Alaska is recommended for a $45,000 grant to help support a three-day Yup'ik dance festival in Chavak, Alaska, (population 938) featuring 24 dance groups from 23 remote villages. Families in the village will host and provide food for the 312 dancers for a weekend of dancing, ceremonials, and socializing.
  • Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota is recommended for a $100,000 grant to support production of two new works: a play by Caridad Svich, based on Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies, and an oral history piece about veterans with disabilities created in partnership with Footprints Collective. Also, Mixed Blood will tour Minnecanos, an original musical about four generations of Minnesota Mexicans and The Deaf Ducklingabout a deaf child born to a hearing family.
  • Ojai Festivals in Ojai, California, is recommended for a $15,000 grant to support the 67th annual Ojai Festival. Programming will focus on American artists and music, including the works of Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives, and John Luther Adams. Additional featured artists include Mark Morris Music Ensemble, the Mark Morris Dance Group, pianist Emanuel Ax, the American String Quartet, and jazz trio The Bad Plus with Ethan Iverson.

Search Recent Grants for the complete list of recommended projects under the Art Works category.

Art Work by the numbers  Applications and Grants

  • Number of eligible applications received for the March 2012 deadline: 1,509
  • Number of grants recommended from pool of applications: 832
  • Total dollars requested from eligible applications: $74 million
  • Total dollars to be awarded for grants: $23.3 million
  • Average success rate of applications to grants: 55%
  • Average funding rate of amount requested in application: 50%
  • Average success rate of amount requested in application in Fall 2009: 41%
  • Average funding rate of amount requested in application in Fall 2009: 58%

Panels and Panelists

  • Number of panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff to review applications: 28
  • Number of individual panelists from those panels: 140
  • Estimated review time per application in advance of a panel: 30 minutes
  • Estimated number of hours a panelist spends in preparation and in panel: 40 hours

Geography and States

  • Number of states represented by applicants: 50 plus DC, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands
  • Number of states represented by grantees in this funding round: 47 plus DC and Puerto Rico
  • Number of states represented by panelists in this funding round: 37

Of Special Note

  • Among the 832 Art Works grants, 178 will have multi-state impact. This means that through touring, collaborative projects, TV and radio broadcasts, and other means, these projects extend their reach and leverage NEA support beyond the grantees' home states.
  • Also, among these grants, six will support projects inspired by the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring: four grants in dance, one in music, and one in theater. Those grantees are:
    • Ballet West, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
    • Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois
    • Houston Ballet, Houston, Texas
    • Mark Morris Dance Group, New York, New York
    • Saratoga International Theatre Institute, New York, New York
  • As part of its commitment to fund organizations across the country, the NEA conducts grant workshops to help potential applicants understand the agency's grant-making process and offer tips for submitting strong proposals. Since October 2011, the NEA has held 35 grant workshops in 19 states plus the District of Columbia. Together with 10 training webinars offered through the NEA's website, the agency has reached more than 4,700 new and/or prospective applicants.

Creative Writing Fellowships

The NEA has awarded creative writing fellowships since 1967, providing writers with the time and freedom to pursue their writing.

Among this year's recipients are the first married couple to individually receive a fellowship at the same time, Suzanne Buffman and Srikanth Reddy. Other fellowship poets include Ken Chen (Brooklyn, NY), Sy Hoahwah (Benton, AR), Reginald L. Flood (Quaker Hill, CT), Meg Day (Salt Lake City ,UT), and Solmaz Sharif (Los Angeles, CA).

Creative Writing Fellowships by the numbers

  • Number of eligible applications received for this funding round: 1,137
  • Total number of pages submitted in applications: 46,200
  • Number of reviewers who read through applications: 22
  • Number of pages each reviewer read: 2,100
  • Number of applications selected by reviewers to receive further review by a panel: 110
  • Number of fellowships awarded: 40
  • Average success rate for fellowships awarded: 3.5%

Please see the complete listing of poets recommended for Creative Writing fellowships.


Victoria Hutter