$27 Million Awarded for Arts Projects

First Round of FY 2016 Funding Inaugurates Next 50 Years of National Endowment for the Arts Support
dancer leaping in the air in the desert
Jason Garcia Ignacio in Thirst, a film made in the protected desert of Wadi Rum in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The NEA's Imagine Your Parks projects announced today also combine art and nature. Photo by Paul Gordon Emerson.
Washington, DCIn its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. To inaugurate the next 50 years of funding, the NEA will award $27.7 million to support 1,126 projects in 49 states plus American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and Guam in the first round of FY 2016 funding. Supported projects range from an ethnic dance festival in San Francisco, to an international film festival in Camden, Maine; from a livestreamed performance by Texas authors and poets to an orchestra residency in South Dakota’s Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation. In addition and new this funding round are 33 awards made through the 50th anniversary grant type, Imagine Your Parks. “These projects, from all over the nation, will make a difference in their communities,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu. "We know from experience as well as through hard evidence that the arts matter and these projects will provide more opportunities for people to learn, create, and experience the value of the arts in so many different ways.”
  • Click here for a list of the 1,126 awardees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of Art Works grants by arts discipline or field including artist communities, arts education, dance, folk and traditional arts, local arts agencies, literature, media, museums, music, opera, presenting and multidisciplinary works, theater and musical theater, and visual arts. Challenge America grants are included on this list as well.
  • Click here for a list of the 237 panelists that collectively reviewed 1,855 applications for funding.
ANNOUNCEMENT HIGHLIGHTS NEA's major funding category, Art Works, features more than $26 million in awards Art Works grants focus on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. In this first round of fiscal year 2016, the NEA will award 996 grants totaling $26,401,500 to organizations in 48 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and Guam.
  • Imagine Your Parks. The 50th anniversary of the NEA coincides with the centennial of the National Park Service. To celebrate both milestones, the NEA invited applications to its Art Works category for projects taking place in national parks. The initiative acknowledges what the NEA has observed and funded for some time – that national parks host an array of arts activities. The 33 Imagine Your Parks projects total $797,500 and take place in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

For the complete list of Art Works Imagine Your Parks projects, click here.

Challenge America continues to extend its reach to rural communities Included in this funding round are 130 recommended Challenge America grants totaling $1.3 million. The Challenge America category offers $10,000 matching grants to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. NEA staff provide significant technical assistance to these applicants to mentor them in project development and the grant application process.            For the complete list of Challenge America grants, click here. Please follow the conversation about these projects on Twitter at #NEAFall15. About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA 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 NEA 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. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline.  
Strengthening Our Creative Capacity and America's Future: An NEA motion graphic The United States of Arts: Stories from across the country on what the arts mean to people What It Takes To Be A Working Woman: Art Works blog post


Victoria Hutter, hutterv@arts.gov, 202-682-5692