“The Arts . . . belong to all the people of the United States.” *
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is proud to support the nation’s arts sector with grant opportunities so that together we can help everyone live more artful lives. The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. They are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for the future.
Grants for Arts Projects
Grants for Arts Projects is our largest grants program for organizations, providing comprehensive and expansive funding opportunities for communities. Through project-based funding, the program supports opportunities for public engagement with art and arts education. This will integrate art with strategies promoting the health and well-being of people and communities, and for the improvement of overall capacity and capabilities within the arts sector.
We welcome applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; from organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and from organizations with small, medium, or large operating budgets.
We fund art projects in the following disciplines: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Art, Literary Art, Local Arts Agencies, Media Art, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Art, Theater, and Visual Art.
Go to Artistic Disciplines for detailed information about each discipline’s project types and application deadlines.
Projects may be small, medium, or large; existing or new; and may take place in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions. A project may consist of one or more specific events or activities; it may be a new initiative or part of your organization’s regular season or activities. Organizations that undertake a single short-term program in a year could apply for that event, or they could identify certain components (such as the presentation of a particular artist and the associated activities) as their project. Organizations may apply for any or all phases of a project, from its planning through its implementation. A project should not encompass all of an organization’s activities or costs in a given year.
Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. All grants require a nonfederal cost share or match of at least 1 to 1. In the past few years, a majority of the agency’s grants have been for amounts less than $25,000. In addition, designated local art agencies eligible to subgrant may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 for subgranting programs in the Local Arts Agencies discipline.
Areas of Particular Interest
The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. We encourage projects that address any of the following:
- Elevate artists as integral and essential to a healthy and vibrant society.
- Celebrate the nation’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
- Facilitate cross-sector collaborations that center the arts at the intersection of other disciplines, sectors, and industries.
- Contribute to healthy and thriving local, regional, state-wide, and national arts ecosystems and arts infrastructures.
- Invest in organizational capacity-building and leadership development for art organizations, art workers, and artists.
- Build arts organizations’ capacity to serve a broad public through digital or emergent technology and/or support tech-centered creative practices across all artistic disciplines and forms.
- Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
- Tribal Colleges and Universities,
- American Indian and Alaska Native tribes,
- Predominantly Black Institutions,
- Hispanic Serving Institutions,
- Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and
- Organizations that support the independence and lifelong inclusion of people with disabilities.
In recognition of the United States of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026, we also welcome arts projects that educate and engage communities in dialogue about the past, present, and future of our nation.
*1965 Enabling Legislation for the National Endowment for the Arts in the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965
Who Can Apply
The following are eligible to apply:
- Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations;
- Units of state or local government; or
- Federally recognized tribal communities or tribes.
Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and other organizations that can help advance the NEA’s goals.
To be eligible, the applicant organization must:
- Meet the NEA’s “Legal Requirements” including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application.
- Have completed a three-year history of arts programming prior to the application deadline.
- For the purpose of defining eligibility, “three-year history” refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
- You will be asked to provide examples of previous programming in the application. For applicants to the February 2023 deadline, programming must have started in or before February 2020; for applicants to the July 2023 deadline, programming must have started in or before July 2020.
- Programming is not required to have taken place during consecutive years.
- Organizations that previously operated as a program of another institution may include arts programming it carried out while part of that institution for its three- year history.
The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Projects may focus on reaching a particular group or demographic; however, they may not be exclusionary under Federal civil rights laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices, artist selection processes, and audience engagement. For additional information, refer to this archived webinar: Things to Know Before You Apply: Federal Civil Rights and Your Grants Application.