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National Endowment for the Arts Announces More than $27 Million in Grants Reaching All 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico

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A young girl participates in a glass blowing demonstration with an artist helping.

A National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant to Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky, will support a multidisciplinary arts festival. Photo by Kelly Morgan, courtesy of Josephine Sculpture Park

Washington, DC— With today’s announcement of more than $27 million in grants, the National Endowment for the Arts is continuing its efforts to provide all Americans with the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts. These fiscal year 2019 grants will reach all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This is the first of two major grant announcements in fiscal year 2019 and includes three of the agency’s funding categories: Art Works and Challenge America to support projects by nonprofit organizations, and Creative Writing Fellowships. Through these grants, the National Endowment for the Arts supports local economies and preserves American heritage while embracing new forms of creative expression.

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Click here for a list of all the recommended grants in this announcement sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grants separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field), Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships in poetry.
  • Click here to use the online Grant Search to find additional project details for National Endowment for the Arts grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists who reviewed the applications for funding.

Art Works
Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grantmaking program. The Arts Endowment convened panels to review 1,605 eligible applications for funding and the agency will award 972 grants ranging from $10,000-$100,000 totaling more than $25 million. Projects include:

  • An arts education grant of $10,000 to Mauro, Inc. in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to support therapeutic arts programs including in- and after-school dance and theater residencies for children affected by Hurricane Maria.
  • A theater grant of $30,000 to Theatre Squared in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to support the Arkansas New Play Festival. The festival will serve as a laboratory for new play development and present the work of emerging playwrights to audiences in Bentonville and Fayetteville.
  • A folk and traditional arts grant of $30,000 to Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in Olympia to support a series of presentations to showcase cultural and occupational communities in the state, increasing participation in the parks, while also strengthening cultural identities and fostering cross-cultural respect between the various ethnic communities.
  • A design grant of $45,000 to Design Museum Boston to support the publication Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics, which will include a 500-year history of prosthetics, case studies of how prosthetics design changes the lives of people with limb loss, and guest essays addressing global impact, athletic performance, and bionics.

Challenge America
The Challenge America category primarily supports small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

For fiscal year 2019, expert readers reviewed 221 eligible applications and the agency will award 138 grants of $10,000 each for a total of $1.38 million. Projects include:

  • A grant to Josephine Sculpture Park Inc. in Frankfort, Kentucky, to support a multidisciplinary arts festival featuring outdoor sculptures and associated outreach events. A guest artist will be in residence before the festival to create and install a new sculptural work with the help of local students.
  • A grant to Maplewood Housing for the Visually Impaired in Chicago, Illinois, to support a collaboration between a sound artist and blind weavers to create a woven art piece for exhibition. The guest artist will help incorporate technology and sound elements into the artwork.
  • A grant to Eastport Arts Center in Eastport, Maine, to support a community-based musical theater work produced in partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The development of performing arts programming intended to serve residents of the Pleasant Point Reservation is in alignment with tribal strategies to combat poverty, unemployment, and opioid use.

Creative Writing Fellowships
In fiscal year 2019, the National Endowment for the Arts will award 35 Creative Writing Fellowships in poetry. Each fellowship is $25,000 for a total of $875,000. Nearly 1,700 eligible applications were received and reviewed anonymously by a panel, resulting in a group of recipients from across the country, diverse in ethnicity and background. None of the 2019 recipients have previously received an NEA fellowship.

Visit the Arts Endowment’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows and recipients of Literature Fellowships for translation projects.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.