NEA Chairman Landesman Announces Challenge America Fast-Track Grants

153 projects will be supported in 41 states, Washington, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Washington, DC --  Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that 153 Challenge America Fast-Track grants totaling $1.53 million will be awarded to organizations in 41 states, Washington, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These include 49 first-time Arts Endowment grantees. The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

"The NEA was founded on the principle that the arts belong to all the people of the United States," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "We're proud that Challenge America Fast-Track grants bring more opportunities for arts engagement to underserved communities."

Challenge America Fast-Track grants support two major outcomes: public engagement with diverse and excellent art and livability, or the strengthening of communities through the arts. These grants focus on high-quality, local projects including festivals, exhibits, performances, public murals and sculptures, environmental art, and cultural tourism. All Challenge America Fast-Track grants involve professionally trained, experienced artists and arts professionals. The review process for Challenge America Fast Track applications is expedited and all grants in this category are for the amount of $10,000. The NEA encourages applications from organizations with operating budgets of less than $50,000 and those that have not previously applied for public funds. In this FY 2013 funding round, the NEA received 393 eligible Challenge America Fast-Track applications, requesting a total of $3,930,000.

Examples of projects supported in this round of Challenge American Fast-Track are:

  • Street Symphony Project in Los Angeles, California, to support the Street Symphony Los Angeles Veterans Concert Series, a series of free performances at clinics and not-for-profits serving low-income and homeless veterans.
  • VSA Vermont in Winooski, Vermont, to support Engage, a juried exhibition showcasing visual artists with disabilities, along with a public panel in which artists discuss working with mainstream arts organizations.
  • Downtown Bryan Association, in Bryan, Texas, to support ArtFill, a partnership with the City of Bryan to select an artist to lead the creation of a semi-permanent community art installation for the north end of downtown.

Search Recent Grants for Challenge America Fast-Track grants.


Sally Gifford