National Endowment for Arts Announces Second Round of Grants for FY 2021

More than $88 Million Distributed to Organizations in All States and Jurisdictions
Students stand around a table with art work while a teacher holds up another piece of art work for them to see

Studio in a School Association is recommended for an FY 2021 Grants for Arts Projects award to create a new visual arts instruction model framed in culturally relevant and multicultural approaches. In this photo, Studio NYC Artist Instructor Leigh Ruple leads a class of second grade students through a reflection on the day’s painting lesson. Photo by Mindy Best

Washington, DC—For its second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2021, the National Endowment for the Arts announces more than $88 million in recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and jurisdictions. 

Grants to organizations in three funding categories are included in this round: Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships.

  • Click here for a list of grant recipients organized by state/territory and city/town
  • Click here for a list of grant recipients organized by funding category and artistic discipline/field
  • All current grants and project details can be viewed through the Arts Endowment’s recent grant search

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “While the arts, whether through books, movies, or online performances and programs, have been a sustaining force for many throughout the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.” 

Grants for Arts Projects
Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) is the principal grant category of the National Endowment for the Arts, supporting public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of excellent art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. 

Matching grants in this category range from $10,000 to $100,000, cover 13 artistic disciplines, and are for organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. In July 2020, the agency received 1,924 eligible GAP applications. Approved for funding are 1,172 projects totaling more than $27 million. 

Recommended grants this round support a range of activities, including:

  • The creation of a new visual arts instruction model framed in culturally relevant and multicultural approaches by Studio in a School Association (New York, New York)—Through year-long residencies with teaching artists and professional development for educators, Studio in a School will develop, implement, and test instructional resources focused on historical and contemporary artists and artworks, as well as units of instruction influenced by student insights into their community and cultural heritage. 
  • A community public arts project by Pueblo of Acoma (Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico)—A contemporary artist and an archeologist/historian will work with Acoma youth and young adults to paint as many as five mural-sized panels with works of art expressing their feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest. 
  • The River City Jazz Masters series with music performances and related outreach activities by Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)—The series will be curated in partnership with the River City Jazz Coalition, with outreach activities such as artist residencies at Southern University Baton Rouge, a historically Black university; a series of reduced ticket price performances by emerging musicians; and educational programming.
  • A collaborative arts project by Regents of the University of Minnesota on behalf Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, Minnesota) at Stillwater Prison—Through video, poetry, installation, and performance, the project will support the development of original artworks created in collaboration between incarcerated artists and Twin Cities artists. 

The next deadline for organizations interested in applying for Grants for Arts Projects is July 8, 2021; visit for more information.

Our Town
Our Town is the Arts Endowment’s creative placemaking grants program, supporting projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. 

Matching grants in this category range from $25,000 to $150,000 and support projects that will take place in 28 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Northern Mariana Islands, including rural or tribal communities across the country, from the Alaska's North Slope to Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. In August 2020, the agency received 370 eligible applications. Approved for funding are 63 projects totaling more than $4 million. 

Explore more about the recommended Our Town awards. Visit the Creative Placemaking section of to learn how these projects help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.

The next deadline for organizations interested in applying for Our Town is August 5, 2021. Guidelines will be available in the coming weeks; visit for more information.

Please note, this year, to aid the arts community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress is allowing the National Endowment for the Arts to change certain awards issued in fiscal years 2019-2021 from approved project-based support to general operating support. If an organization applies for and is approved for a waiver, it is noted in their project description in grant search. This applies to the Grants for Arts Projects and Our Town grants above.

State and Regional Partnership Agreements
In partnership with the state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and regional arts organizations (RAOs), the National Endowment for the Arts provides federal support for projects that benefit local communities. 

The Partnership Agreements for the state arts agencies provide funds to address priorities identified at the state level and help to cultivate a strong statewide arts infrastructure and position the arts in a broad range of areas such as cultural tourism, community revitalization, economic development, education, and health and human services. 

The regional arts organizations, each representing a geographic grouping of states, assist the Arts Endowment in distributing funds and programs nationally through touring and other activities that are responsive to the needs of the region.

Each year, 40 percent of the agency’s grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. A total of $56.7 million is recommended for these partners in FY 2021, with $45.7 million of that total designated for the state arts agencies. Each SAA and RAO matches its Arts Endowment funding on at least a 1:1 basis. 

In FY 2021, all of the SAAs will receive Folk Arts Partnership support for programs and activities such as apprenticeships, fieldwork, and strategic partnerships with the goal of strengthening living traditions, awareness of and engagement with diverse cultural communities, and extending the agency's reach into underserved communities. Previously this support had been an optional and competitive element of the award. 

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 to learn more. 


NEA Public Affairs,