$82.3 Million in Grants Will Support Art Projects Nationwide

National Endowment for the Arts Makes Second Grant Announcement of its 50th Anniversary
Infographic showing distribution of NEA grants
Washington, DC—As the only funder in the country that supports the arts in all 50 states and five U.S. jurisdictions, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will award $82,357,050 in grants to fund 1,148 projects in the second major grant announcement of its 50th anniversary year. Grants will be awarded in 13 artistic disciplines or fields plus arts research, along with partnership agreements to U.S. states, jurisdictions, and regions. Grants will support a wide range of activities from an arts education project led by the Regional Arts & Culture Council of Portland Oregon to support The Right Brain Initiative: Systemic Change Through the Arts, to a visual arts project led by STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise in Star, North Carolina to support an arts exhibition down the town’s main street. All of these recommended grants represent a federal investment in the quality and quantity of and public access to art works and activities, furthering learning, creativity, and engagement for people nationwide. NEA Chairman Jane Chu noted, “Approximately 85 percent of NEA grantees are small to medium-sized organizations serving millions of people each year. The arts are all around us and the NEA helps them thrive.” Four funding categories are represented in this announcement; Art Works, Research: Art Works, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships. A list of all 1,148 projects organized by state/jurisdiction and city is available here. A list of all 1,148 projects organized by category and artistic discipline is available here. ART WORKS: 1,002 awards totaling $26,019,500 The NEA’s flagship grant category, Art Works funds projects designed to achieve one of four outcomes; creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. In this round of Art Works funding,
  • The NEA and the review panels it convened examined 1,763 eligible applications
  • Grants will be made to 57 percent of those applicants
  • Amounts range from $10,000 to $120,000 with a median grant amount of $20,000
As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, the agency is partnering with the National Park Service, as it celebrates its centennial, on Imagine Your Parks, to fund a spectrum of arts projects in national parks. Included in the Art Works category, 51 Imagine Your Parks projects in 27 states will receive $1,092,500 in funding. A list of Imagine Your Park awards is available in Related Content. Through Research: Art Works, the NEA funds research that investigates the impact of the arts on individuals and groups. In its sixth year of support, the NEA will award $320,000 to support 18 projects. The majority of projects in this round focus on collecting primary data to study the cognitive and emotional outcomes of arts participation. Others use secondary data analyses from fields such as labor, education, and sociology.  STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: 63 awards     Total Dollar Amount: $50,496,800 States and U.S. jurisdictions have an arts agency that can receive NEA funding to support programs. In addition to these 55 agencies, six regional arts organizations cultivate resources for managing programs across state, national, and international borders and across all arts disciplines. Forty percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds go to the state and regional arts organizations. In addition, awards are made to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies to support national leadership services and to Pacific Resources in Education and Learning for delivery of arts education services and technical assistance to the jurisdictional arts agencies of the Pacific territories. Through partnership agreements, the NEA extends its reach to every community in America, translating national leadership into local and regional benefit. Arts Midwest will also receive a grant to manage the NEA’s Shakespeare in American Communities national initiative. OUR TOWN: 64 awards totaling $4,300,000 The NEA’s signature program for creative placemaking, or art-based community development, Our Town awards grants to projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. The NEA announced on May 9 that it will award $4.3 million to 64 Our Town projects in 36 states ranging from Los Angeles, California to Lewiston, Maine. To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. 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. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.


For Media Inquiries: Victoria Hutter, hutterv@arts.gov, 202-682-5692