President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposes $201 Million for the National Endowment for the Arts

Proposed Budget Provides for Historic Investment in Cultural Sector and Creative Economy

Washington, DC--Today, President Biden submitted his Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget, which includes $201 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As the administration continues to make progress in combatting the pandemic and getting the economy back on track, the budget makes historic investments that will help the country rebuild and lay the foundation for shared growth and prosperity for decades to come.

The FY 2022 budget also provides for a significant and historic increase to the NEA’s budget, demonstrating the president’s trust and belief in the agency's mission to provide equitable access to the arts in all communities throughout the country, as well as its ability to strengthen the arts and culture sectors in a time of great need.

“President Biden’s budget represents a significant commitment to the arts and cultural sector and reflects the continued importance of arts organizations and cultural workers to the health and vitality of the country,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “The $201 million request for the National Endowment for the Arts reflects the importance of the creative workforce in rebuilding the national economy, especially after a time of unprecedented disruption. I look forward to working with members of Congress on the administration’s budget request.”

The budget also includes the two historic plans the president has already put forward—the Americans Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan—and reinvests in education, research, public health, and other foundations of our country’s strength. At the NEA, the budget would:

Rebuild the Creative Economy—The arts and cultural industries remain among the hardest hit by the economic crises inflicted by COVID-19 with 2020 third quarter unemployment rates over 50 percent in some sectors. In addition to grant funding provided by the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, an increased investment in the agency will allow it to provide critical support to the arts sector as it struggles to reopen, rehire workers, and generate arts activities that will help fuel the economy. As the only funder, public or private, whose reach provides access to the arts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, NEA grant funding will have significant impact.

Forty percent of the NEA’s grantmaking budget is awarded directly to states through their state and regional arts agencies, reaching millions of people in thousands of communities. The remaining 60 percent are awards made directly to organizations and individuals that apply through the Arts Endowment's funding categories. Finally, NEA grants provide a significant return on investment of federal dollars with $1 of NEA direct funding leveraging up to $9 in private and other public funds, an exceptional use of taxpayer dollars.

Heal the Nation—In January 2021, the Arts Endowment issued The Art of Reopening; A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19, which identified common practices among arts groups that successfully have reopened their doors to audiences or visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arts Endowment continues to develop Creative Forces: NEA Healing Arts Network, its partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma. Additionally, the agency is committed to continuing to provide technical assistance to the arts field to assist in the recovery from impacts of the pandemic.

Advance Racial Equity, Access, and Climate Justice—In 2022, the Arts Endowment will continue to pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing racial equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity by extended outreach and continuing to promote engagement with underserved communities, including those in rural America, in our grant programs, and special initiatives. This includes the agency’s support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Native arts and culture, and to make the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people living in institutions.

Serve the Arts Field and Enhance the Agency’s Operations & Ability to Support the Field—The Arts Endowment is committed to improving the agency’s ability to implement its mission, providing excellent services to constituents, and being effective stewards of taxpayer dollars. This includes conducting workshops, forums, and convenings to address important and emerging issues in the arts. The agency also celebrates and promotes the arts through commissioning and disseminating arts-based research and presenting stories about artists, arts organizations, and arts events all over the country through our blog, weekly podcast interviews, videos, and magazine.

Enacting the budget policies into law this year would strengthen our nation’s economy and lay the foundation for shared prosperity, while also improving our nation’s long-term fiscal health.

For more information on the President’s FY 2022 budget, please visit:

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.


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