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National Endowment for Arts Announces Second Round of Fiscal Year 2020 Funding

Arts2Work Saki and Camera.jpg

A young woman stands on the left side of the photo holding a video camera out in front of her

The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture’s Arts2Work is the first federally-registered national apprenticeship program in media arts and creative technologies. Saki Bowman, pictured above, is the first Arts2Work Apprentice. The Alliance is one of the current Art Works grantees in Media Arts. Photo by Wide Angle Youth Media, with Sakinah Bowman (https://www.selestialdrip.com/)

As a part of its regular grantmaking, separate from grants related to CARES Act funding, the National Endowment for the Arts announces over $84 million for 1,144 new awards to organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and each of the five U.S. territories. Grants will be awarded in 13 artistic disciplines, arts research, and partnership agreements with all U.S. state and regional arts agencies.

Applications for these recommended grants were submitted to the Arts Endowment last summer and reflected the wide range of performances, exhibitions, and activities that the agency has traditionally funded. At the end of March 2020, the listed projects were approved, followed by two months of extensive technical assistance in which agency staff worked one-on-one with hundreds of organizations to adjust their projects to meet the new reality created by the pandemic. Changes include postponing activities and taking activities virtual as the examples below illustrate. As a result of this, plus additional work related to the CARES Act, project descriptions are not being included in the grant lists accompanying this announcement. The most current information for all projects will be available on the agency’s grant search tool.

"These awards demonstrate the continued creativity and excellence of arts projects across America and the nimbleness of our nation’s arts organizations in the face of a national crisis that shuttered their doors for months," said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By funding arts projects in every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia, the National Endowment for the Arts again celebrates the opportunity to make the arts available to every corner of the country and to see how the arts can heal and unite us.”

Grants this round support a range of activities, including:

  • Arhoolie Foundation in El Cerrito, California, is recommended for a $25,000 award to support enhancements of the organization’s website which will serve as a publicly available virtual museum honoring America’s diverse musical roots.
  • Miami Dade College will use their $25,000 grant to support Generation Genius, a literacy and learning initiative designed to engage youth of all ages in learning through reading and writing. Miami Book Fair will conduct fall 2020 activities virtually and are investing in significant new technology infrastructure to build online programming.
  • Art Mobile of Montana in Dillon is recommended for a $20,000 award to support a traveling exhibition and visual arts education program featuring original works by Montana artists. The program will provide resources for teachers in schools throughout the state with a focus on rural locations, including Native American reservations.
  • Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia, will use their $65,000 award to support professional training programs for singers and opera performances. The summer residency will include career development seminars, voice lesson, language coaching, and more. Young artists will perform for virtual audiences in summer 2020.
  • Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas, is recommended for a $20,000 award to support their festival celebrating the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Rather than moving to a virtual platform, the festival is postponed until summer 2021.
  • Alliance for Media Arts + Culture in Spokane, Washington, is recommended for a $30,000 award to support the development of a suite of online professional resources as part of Arts2Work, an apprenticeship and workforce development program for media artists.
  • Transart & Cultural Services in New Paltz, New York, is recommended for a $50,000 Our Town award to support the Kingston Pinkster Festival, a virtual festival celebrating African-American history, arts, and culture in the Hudson Valley region. The festival will engage residents by integrating arts and culture into strategies for addressing challenging local issues.
  • Polk County Iowa in Des Moines is recommended for a $125,000 Our Town award to support Shoreline Signals, a series of public art installations along the Central Iowa Water Trails System at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. The initiative will engage residents of Des Moines in flood resiliency as well as water safety and access issues.

Grants in four funding categories are recommended this round, including Art Works, Our Town, Research Grants in the Arts, and State and Regional Partnerships.

All current grants and project details can be viewed through the Arts Endowment’s recent grant search.

Art Works II: 1,015 awards totaling $25,334,900

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged applications that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial. Matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Our Town: 51 awards totaling $3,643,000

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. This year marks the tenth year of support for Our Town projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000.

The National Endowment for the Arts advances creative placemaking efforts through publications and resource development in addition to funding. Visit the Arts Endowment’s Creative Placemaking Resources page for details.

Research Grants in the Arts: 14 awards totaling $780,000

Research Grants in the Arts support research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life. Matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000.

State and Regional Partnership Agreements: 64 awards totaling $54,296,000

Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts designates 40 percent of its grant-making budget to the state and regional arts organization through partnership agreements. Grants are awarded to the nation’s 56 state and territorial arts agencies and the six regional arts organizations. This funding enables these agencies and organizations to respond to priorities identified through public planning undertaken with their constituents, partners, and stakeholders as well as Arts Endowment objectives.

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.