$25 Million in Grants Support Art Projects Nationwide

National Endowment for the Arts Announces First Round of FY 2018 Funding to Nonprofit Organizations
Two young boys play an accordion in front of a large picture of someone playing an accordion
Children explore the Musical Instrument Museum's Experience Gallery, an interactive space where visitors are free to play many of the instruments displayed around the museum. Photo courtesy of the Musical Instrument Museum
Washington, DC—Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the United States benefit from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2018, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies. “It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees in this announcement sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the NEA’s Grant Search to find additional project details for NEA grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for funding.
Other fiscal year 2018 grant announcements made to date include the NEA’s Literature Fellowships in Creative Writing and for Translation Projects. Art Works Art Works is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts. The NEA will award 936 Art Works grants totaling more than $24 million to organizations in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Supported projects include:
  • A grant of $10,000 to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in Indiana for their Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, designed to serve K-12 students in the most impoverished neighborhoods in Marion County, Indiana. As part of this project, a group of adults will learn to play an instrument alongside their children, providing them with shared skills and experiences.
  • A grant of $40,000 to the Toe River Arts Council in Burnsville, North Carolina, to support the second phase of the Burnsville Art Vision Plan, integrating designs by local artists into transit infrastructure. Artist-designed images and patterns inspired by local flora and fauna will be fabricated as steel traffic light pole wraps.
  • A grant of $10,000 to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) in Amherst, Virginia, to support artist residencies for military veterans. VCCA will partner with three Virginia galleries to present exhibitions of the work the artists produce during their residencies.
  • A grant of $12,500 to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, to support a program for foster children and foster families that offers access to the Musical Instrument Museum along with attendance at musical performances and participation in workshops and other educational activities. 
Challenge America The Challenge America category features NEA support 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. A number of these grantees have a history of support in both the Challenge America and Art Works categories. For fiscal year 2018, the NEA will award 138 Challenge America grants of $10,000 each for a total of $1.38 million to organizations in 42 states. Supported projects include:
  • A grant to Ozark Foothills Filmfest in Locust Grove, Arkansas, to support their annual festival showcasing independent, narrative, and documentary films. The festival will focus on films that provide authentic portrayals of the people, places, and practices unique to rural America.
  • A grant to VSA Florida in Tampa to support dance performances and outreach activities by artists with disabilities who will conduct public performances, master classes, and events for students with and without disabilities in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami, Florida.
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. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.


Liz Auclair, auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744