National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grants to Support the Arts and Innovation Across the Country

children at art fair play with clay
Among the recommended grantees in this announcement is Centro Cultural Aztlan in San Antonio, Texas. Pictured here is a pottery demonstration during the center's El Gran Dia de los Artistas Festival. Photo courtesy of Centro Cultural Aztlan.
Washington, DC—In pursuit of its commitment to advance the creative capacity of people and communities across the nation, the National Endowment for the Arts announces its second round of funding for FY 2018. This funding round includes annual partnerships with state, jurisdictional, and regional arts agencies as well as the categories of Art Works, Creativity Connects, Our Town, and Research: Art Works. The NEA will award 1,071 grants totaling $81.76 million to support programs that provide jobs to artists, administrators, and other creative workers and arts experiences for millions of people. “The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “From Atlanta, Georgia to Sparks, Nevada, NEA funding reaches thousands of communities, assisting local organizations and providing access to the arts to all.” Grants recommended in this round are listed below in two ways: •    State/jurisdiction and then by city/town and by •    Funding category (Art Works II, Creativity Connects, Our Town, Research: Art Works, and state and regional partnerships) and then artistic discipline/field, ranging from arts education to visual arts Awarding grants and supporting partnerships constitutes a significant portion of the NEA’s budget. In 2017, the agency made awards totaling $128 million or 85 percent of its annual budget appropriation. The first round of grants for fiscal year 2018 were announced in February 2018 and totaled $25 million. Other awards will be made in the coming months. All current grants can be viewed through the NEA’s grants search. To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring18. ART WORKS II: 902 awards totaling $23,434,000  Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts. Examples of Art Works-supported projects are: •    A $25,000 grant to the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society in St. Louis, Missouri to support a classical guitar education program for elementary and middle school students. •    A $15,000 grant to the Jamestown Arts Center in Jamestown, Rhode Island to support production, outreach, and educational activities in conjunction with the film Cunningham which traces the artistic evolution of choreographer Merce Cunningham. •    A $35,000 grant to Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, Oregon to support a printmaking residency program for Native American artists.  CREATIVITY CONNECTS: 35 awards totaling $2 million Creativity Connects advances the role of the arts in the nation’s creative ecosystem by supporting projects featuring partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors. The 35 recommended projects involve the fields of nutrition, juvenile justice, science, technology, the military, and healthcare, among many others. For example; •    A $27,000 grant to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans to support Soul Strings, a music-informed therapy program hosted collaboratively with the Arc of Greater New Orleans. OUR TOWN: 60 awards totaling $4.1 million Our Town is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. This practice places arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges. Creative placemaking highlights the distinctiveness of a place, encouraging residents to identify and build upon their local creative assets. Examples of Our Town-supported projects are: •    A $100,000 grant to the Deputy Sheriff's Activities League in San Leandro, California to support the creation of art by young adult artists that promotes economic development in Ashland, California. •    A $150,000 grant to the IDEAS xLab to support Project HEAL, a program to increase public engagement in local public issues through the arts in rural Jackson, Kentucky In addition to funding, the NEA advances creative placemaking through publications and resource development. Those resources are available on the creative placemaking page. RESEARCH: ART WORKS: 10 awards totaling $550,000 Research: Art Works supports 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. Final reports for previously-awarded Research: Art Works grants are posted on the study findings page of the NEA website.  An example of this year’s awardees is: •    Colorado State University in Fort Collins will receive a $90,000 grant to support a series of cross-disciplinary, mixed-method studies examining the cognitive, physiological, and social benefits of live performing arts attendance for older adults with cognitive impairment and for their caregivers. STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS:63 awards totaling $50.4 million Through partnership agreements, the NEA translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. States and U.S. jurisdictions have their own arts agency that together receive 40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds each year to support their programs and leverage state funding. Also, six regional arts organizations are funded to manage programs across state, national, and international borders and across all arts disciplines. In addition to the state and regional organizations, 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 delivering arts education services and technical assistance to arts agencies of the Pacific territories. 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


Victoria Hutter,, 202-682-5692