Promotion of the Arts_Grants to Organizations and Individuals

To support excellence in the arts, both new and established; bring the arts to all Americans; and provide leadership in arts education.

credit: Flickr

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Grant listings are posted at

Examples include: (1) the creation and performance of a dance theater work; (2) an after-school artist residency program; (3) a creative writing fellowship in poetry; (4) an initiative that spotlights jazz masters; (5) a program that brings mayors together with design professionals to enhance the livability of communities; (6) a festival featuring American choral music including new work; (7) the publication of a museum exhibition catalogue; (8) an initiative that provides citizens within a community the opportunity to read and discuss a single book; (9) a nationwide tour of Shakespeare plays including performances, workshops, symposia, and school programs.

Agency - National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts; bringing the arts to all Americans and providing leadership in arts education. The Endowment is the largest national source of funds for the arts.

Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

As a result of projects supported in FY 2007: an estimated 70 million people across the nation, including 6.5 million youth, are being provided access to the arts exclusive of broadcasting; 3,700 different communities are benefitting from direct Arts Endowment support; 34,000 concerts, performances, and readings and 4,000 exhibitions in the visual and media arts are occuring; 10,000 artist residencies are taking place in schools and other locations; and thousands of artists and teachers/administrators are participating in agency-supported projects. FY 07: 5,169 applications, 2,158 grants; FY 08 est: 5,300 applications, 2,250 grants; FY 09 est: 5,200 applications, 2,200 grants.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants support projects that include opportunities for artists to create, refine, perform, and exhibit their work; the presentation of artistic works of all cultures and periods; the preservation of significant works of art and cultural traditions; opportunities for arts organizations and artists to expand and diversify their audiences; opportunities for individuals to experience and participate in a wide range of art forms and activities; opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of arts organizations and artists; the strengthening of communities through the arts; the recognition of artists for their contributions to our nation's cultural heritage; nationally distributed television and radio programs on the arts; the acquisition by children and youth of knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts consistent with national or state arts education standards; partnerships with other federal agencies to carry out quality projects or initiatives of mutual interest; activities, carried out in partnership with foundations or other government agencies, which provide increased opportunities for international cultural exchange; activities that acquaint foreign artists and cultural officials with the best of American culture; a limited number of leadership projects intended to advance the arts significantly and demonstrate national or field-wide importance; and national initiative projects and activities of outstanding artistic quality that benefit Americans in communities throughout the country.

Consult the current funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements for the area of interest for complete information.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Tax-exempt organizations meeting the following conditions may apply: (1) No part of any earnings may benefit a private stockholder or individual, and (2) donations to the organization are allowable as charitable deductions under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Examples of eligible organizations are arts institutions, arts service organizations, local arts agencies, official units of state and local governments, federally recognized tribal communities and Indian tribes.

Generally, an organization may submit only one application for a single project under one of the category deadlines; must have a three-year history of programming prior to the application deadline; and must have submitted acceptable final reports by the due date for all Arts Endowment grants previously received.

Individuals must be U.S.

citizens or permanent residents and, according to 20 U.S.C.

954 (c ), must demonstrate exceptional talent.

Currently, the only individuals eligible to apply directly are published creative writers.

Master artists in the folk & traditional arts and in jazz are eligible for honorary fellowships awarded on the basis of nominations.

See respective funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements for further information.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, local arts agencies, local education agencies (school districts), federally recognized tribal communities and Indian tribes, literary artists, and master artists in the folk & traditional arts and in jazz. Through activities and services supported, beneficiaries include artists and the general public.


For institutions of higher education, allowable costs will be determined according to OMB Circular No. A-21; for other nonprofit organizations making application, allowable costs will be determined according to OMB Circular No. A-122. For local and state governments, costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87. Awards to individuals: Literature fellowship applicants must be published writers. Nominators of candidates for NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships or NEA National Heritage Fellowships must document the candidate's contribution to the art form. See respective funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements for additional requirements.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Applicants should consult current funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements for the funding area under which they intend to apply.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs."

Application Procedures

Applicants must obtain current Arts Endowment funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements (available at Applicants must adhere to instructions, and should submit their applications through As applicable, this program is subject to provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations" and OMB Circular No. A-102, "Grants and Cooperative Agreements with State and Local Governments."

Award Procedures

Applications generally receive three independent levels of review. First, they are reviewed by independent, national panels of artists and other arts experts. Panel recommendations are forwarded to the National Council on the Arts, which then makes recommendations to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Chairman reviews the Council's recommendations and makes the final decision on all grant awards.


See the Arts Endowment Web site at for information about application deadlines.


National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, Public Law 89-209, 20 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Dependent on meetings of the National Council on the Arts.


Information on requests for reconsideration may be obtained from the headquarters office.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Awards to organizations generally must be matched at least 1:1 with nonfederal funds. Awards to individuals do not require a match.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Length of assistance period and timing of funds disbursement will vary according to project or grant category. Many grants cover a period of support of up to two years. Generally, requests for payment to cover immediate allowable project expenses may be submitted at any time during the period of support.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress reports are required for all grants and must be submitted at the time the cumulative amount of grant funds requested exceeds two-thirds of the grant amount.

Final reports are required for all grants within 90 days after the end of the grant period.

No reports are required from recipients of NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships or NEA National Heritage Fellowships.


Awards to organizations: All awardees must comply with audit requirements mandated by OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations." Nonprofit institutions expending $500,000 or more a year in Federal awards shall have an audit made in accordance with A-133's provisions. State and local governments expending $500,000 or more in Federal awards within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made for that year in accordance with A-133's provisions. Awards to individuals: No audits required.


Award-related records must be retained by grantee for three years following submission of the final financial status report.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $60,384,000; FY 08 est $71,762,000; and FY 09 est $60,979,000. (All figures include funds for the Challenge America: Reaching Every Community and American Masterpieces initiatives.)

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Fiscal year 2008: Most grants range from $5,000 to $100,000. Grants of $100,000 or more are made only in rare instances, and only for projects that the Arts Endowment determines demonstrate exceptional national or regional significance and impact. In the past few years, well over half of the agency's grants have been for amounts less than $25,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Visit the Arts Endowment's Web site at for funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

National Endowment for the Arts, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20506-0001. Telephone: (202) 682-5400. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing should call: (202) 682-5496 (Voice/T.T.Y.). Individuals unable to use conventional print may access funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements on the Web site or contact the Arts Endowment's Office for AccessAbility (202) 682-5532 for help.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Primary criteria by which all applications are assessed are artistic excellence and artistic merit. For additional criteria, consult respective funding opportunities, guidelines, or program announcements.

Social Entrepreneurship

Philanthropy: Fortifying American Democracy

Robert Gallucci, President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, writes that philanthropy should at least bolster America’s democracy.

More Federal Domestic Assistance Programs

Supervised Visitation, Safe Havens for Children | Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) | Depository Libraries for Government Publications | Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program | National Institute of Justice W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship Program |  Site Style by YAML | | Grants | Grants News | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

Edited by: Michael Saunders

© 2004-2024 Copyright Michael Saunders