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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Nonprofit Art Organizations: Grants available from the National Endowment for the Arts


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognizes that the nonprofit arts industry is an important sector of America’s economy. The CARES Act appropriated $75 million to the National Endowment for the Arts, 40% of which will go directly to state and regional arts agencies by April 30 to distribute through their funding programs. 60% of the funds are designated for direct grants to nonprofit arts organizations all across the United States and will be announced by June 30.

As part of this important investment, the Arts Endowment has designed a plan to expedite the distribution of critical funds to the national, regional, state and local levels to help retain as many jobs as possible, as quickly as possible. These funds are intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities.

This program will be carried out through one-time grants to eligible nonprofit organizations including arts organizations, local arts agencies, statewide assemblies of local arts agencies, arts service organizations, units of state or local government, federally recognized tribal communities or tribes, and a wide range of other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment and this program. Grants will be made either to organizations for their own operations, or to designated local arts agencies, eligible to subgrant.

Support is limited to any or all of the following:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more positions that are critical to an organization’s artistic mission.
  • Fees for artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.
  • Facilities costs such as rent and utilities.

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:

  • Have received an Arts Endowment award within the past four years (beginning with awards that were made in FY 2017 as indicated by an award letter that is dated on or after October 1, 2016, and an award number that begins with "17 - "). When using FY 2020 as the basis for eligibility, an organization's application must have been approved by the National Council on the Arts and the Arts Endowment Chairman no later than the March 2020 meeting of the National Council on the Arts.
  • Meet the National Endowment for the Arts’ legal requirements including having nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed.)
  • Have submitted acceptable final report packages by the due date(s) for all Arts Endowment award(s) previously received.

Each organization is limited to one application. Exceptions to this one-application rule are made only for parent organizations applying on behalf of separately identifiable and independent components. To be eligible, an independent component must have received Arts Endowment support during the period outlined above.


How to Apply

Submitting an application is a multi-step process:

  • Part 1: Submit the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form to Grants.gov by April 22 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • Part 2: Complete the Grant Application Form through the Arts Endowment’s Applicant Portal between April 27 and May 4, no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

For the latest regulatory changes and other information on keeping your organization running through disruption, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.

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