Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines that extend the reach of the arts to groups/communities with rich and dynamic artistic and cultural contributions to share that are underserved.
The program is rooted in principles that include,
but are not limited to, our recognition that:
• Some groups/communities and some geographic areas with rich cultural identities have limited grant funding opportunities, and/or have been historically underserved by national arts funding; • Some small organizations may face barriers to accessing grant funding; and • Some applicants to the NEA may benefit from enhanced technical assistance resources.
Challenge America seeks to address these potential barriers for organizations seeking funding.
The program features an abbreviated application, a standardized $10,000 grant amount, and a robust structure of technical assistance to facilitate entry to NEA funding opportunities.
This category may be a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding.
First-time applicants to the NEA, as well as previous NEA applicants who have not been recommended for funding in any of the three most recent Fiscal Years (FYs 2021, 2022, or 2023) in any of the following grant programs, are eligible to apply:
• Grants for Arts Projects, • Research Grants in the Arts, or • Our Town.
Previous NEA applicants recommended for funding in Grants for Arts Projects, Research Grants in the Arts, or Our Town FY 2021, FY 2022, or FY 2023 are not eligible to apply.
Previous Challenge America, American Rescue Plan (ARP), and CARES Act applicants and grantees are eligible to apply, as long as they were not recommended for FY 2021, FY 2022, or FY 2023 funding in Grants for Arts Projects, Research Grants in the Arts, or Our Town.