National Endowment for the Arts: Grants for Arts Projects 2020

Sponsor Name: 
National Endowment for the Arts
Description of the Award: 

Grants for Arts Projects (formerly ArtWorks) is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program. Through project-based funding, we support public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Projects may be large or small, existing or new, and may take place in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.

While we welcome applications for a variety of artistically excellent projects, we encourage projects that address any of the following activities below:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.

Discipline guideline links:


Limits on number of submissions: 

An organization may submit only one application under these FY 2021 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines, with the exception of the Media Arts discipline. An organization may submit more than one application in the Grants for Arts Projects category through the Media Arts discipline at the July 9, 2020, deadline. See information regarding Parent and Related Organizations below.

Award Information:

Grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000. No grants will be made below $10,000. Grants of $100,000 or more will be made only in rare instances, and only for projects that we determine 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.

Grants for Arts Projects Fund:

We fund nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes.

We fund projects only.

  • A project may consist of one or more specific events or activities; it may be a part of an applicant's regular season or activities. Organizations that undertake a single short-term project in a year -- a ten-day jazz festival, for example -- could apply for that event, or they could identify certain components (such as the presentation of a key artist and the associated activities) as their project. Describe the activities for which our support is requested, and provide specific information on the artists, productions, venues, distribution plans, etc., that will be involved.
  • Organizations may apply for any or all phases of a project, from its planning through its implementation.
  • A project does not have to be new. Excellent existing projects can be just as competitive as new activities.
  • Projects do not need to be large. We welcome small projects that can make a difference in a community or field.
  • Projects may be in any of the Arts Endowment’s artistic disciplines.

Grant Amounts, Cost Share, and Matching Funds

Our grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal cost share/match of at least 1 to 1. For example, if an organization receives a $10,000 grant, the total eligible project costs must be at least $20,000 and the organization must provide at least $10,000 toward the project from nonfederal sources.

Grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000. No grant will be made below $10,000. Grants of $100,000 or more will be made only in rare instances, and only for projects that we determine demonstrate exceptional national or regional significance and impact.

In developing an application, we urge all applicants to consider the level of recent awards and to request a realistic grant amount. Applicants should review the lists of grants on our website to see recent grant award levels and project types. In the past few years, well over half of the agency's grants have been for amounts less than $25,000.

Applicants whose grants are recommended for less than the amount that is requested will have the opportunity to revise the project budget to reflect any necessary changes to the project, based on the recommended funding amount. We reserve the right to limit support of a project to a particular portion(s) or cost(s).

Application Limits

An organization may submit only one application under these FY 2021 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines, with few exceptions as listed below.

For this category, exceptions to the one-application rule are made only for:

Parent (and Related) Organizations

A parent organization that comprises separately identifiable and independent components (e.g., a university campus that has a presenting organization and a radio station) may submit an application for each such component. In addition, a parent organization also may submit one application on its own behalf for a project that is different from any project submitted in an application by its independent component(s).

The parent organization must meet the eligibility requirements for all applicants. NOTE: A related organization that performs grant administration duties for a parent organization (e.g., a college foundation that administers grants awarded to a college and its components) may submit applications for components and the parent organization in lieu of such applications being submitted by the parent. The related organization must meet the eligibility requirements for all applicants.

An independent component must be a unit that is both programmatically and administratively distinct from the parent organization, have its own staff and budget, and generally have an independent board that has substantial responsibility for oversight and management. To qualify as independent, a component should be equivalent to a stand-alone institution with a separate mission.

The following do not qualify as independent components:

  • Academic departments of colleges and universities.
  • Programs and projects of organizations.

Applicants to the Media Arts discipline at the July 9, 2020, deadline

An organization may submit more than one application in the Grants for Arts Projects category through the Media Arts discipline at the July 9, 2020, deadline.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
1
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Jul 09, 2020
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jul 21, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_GrantsInArts_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Principal Investigator’s (PI's) names and departmental affiliation
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • A list of possible participating organizations (if applicable)
  • Department Head approval/agreement to match funds
  • Discipline Topic
  • Project Description (no more than two pages) and identify:

    • the artistic excellence of the project, which includes:

      • Quality of the artists, arts organizations, arts education providers, works of art, or services that the project will involve, as appropriate.
      • Artistic significance of the project.
    • the artistic merit of the project, which includes the potential to:

      • Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage,
      • Invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, or
      • Enrich humanity.
    • Extent to which the project serves the organization’s community or constituency.
    • Potential impact on artists (including evidence of direct payment) and the artistic field.
    • Appropriateness of the project to the organization's mission, audience, community, and/or constituency.
    • Appropriateness of any proposed performance measurements. This includes, where relevant, measures to assess student and/or teacher learning in arts education.
    • Plans for documentation and dissemination of the project results, as appropriate.
    • Ability to carry out the project based on such factors as the appropriateness of the budget, the quality and clarity of the project goals and design, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project's personnel.
    • Where appropriate, potential to reach underserved populations such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited.
  • 2-page current Bio-sketch for all PIs and Co-PIs.

Formatting Guidelines and Page Limit:

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
  • Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 4:00pm