NEA opens org grants to help others lead ‘artful lives’

Challenge America and Grants for Arts Projects open for FY25 funding

Grant guidelines and application materials are now available to organizations for two of the National Endowment for the Arts’ project grant opportunities.

The NEA uses these grants to support that nation’s arts sector with grant opportunities to help everyone live more artful lives.

“Artful lives” is an inclusive concept encompassing everything from the creation, presentation, and consumption of art, to active arts engagement by all people through making, teaching, and learning in our everyday lives. The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts help us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives, and thus the NEA heralds its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.

About the grants

The NEA welcomes applications from first-time and returning applicants for FY25 funding. Eligible applicants include nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations, units of state or local government, and 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.

Challenge America

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, April 25, 2024 (for projects taking place beginning in 2025)

Challenge America grants offers support primarily to small organizations for projects to reach historically underserved communities with rich and dynamic cultural identities. This program may be a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding. Grants are awarded in all artistic disciplines for a wide variety of arts projects.

Challenge America features an abbreviated application, a robust structure of technical assistance, and grants for a set amount of $10,000. Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be at least $20,000 or greater.

Sign up for a guidelines webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at 3 p.m. ET. (All webinars are free to attend; however, registration is required. Webinar recordings will be posted shortly after the presentations.) Challenge America webinar registration is available here.

NEA staff will also offer informal “office hours” style Q&A Zoom sessions to answer questions about the FY 2025 Challenge America guidelines, application process, and deadlines. For more details and to register for office hours, visit the NEA website with this link.

Grants for Arts Projects

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: varies by discipline*

Grants for Arts Projects provides expansive funding opportunities to strengthen the nation’s arts and culture ecosystem. Grants are available for arts projects in a wide variety of artistic disciplines and range from $10,000 to $100,000. All grants require a nonfederal cost share or match of at least 1 to 1. In addition, designated local arts 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.

We encourage projects that seek to accomplish any of the following:

  • Contribute to a healthy and thriving local, regional, state-wide, and national arts and culture ecosystem.
  • 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.
  • Support arts projects with a focus on advancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities.
  • Invest in organizational capacity-building and leadership development for arts organizations, arts workers, and artists.
  • Support existing and new technology-centered creative practices across all artistic disciplines and forms, as well as build arts organizations’ capacity to serve a broad public by providing access, training, and other resources to engage with digital technologies.
  • Address, develop creative work exploring, or reflect on the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI), in a way that is consistent with valuing human artistry. Projects may include artistic work, from across all artistic disciplines, that improves the public’s awareness or understanding of the responsible use of AI in the field of arts.
  • Originate from or are in collaboration with the following constituencies encouraged by White House Executive Orders:
  • To mark the semiquincentennial of the United States of America, the NEA also seeks arts projects furthering its mission of fostering and sustaining an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. The NEA is partnering with America250 to encourage arts projects that educate and engage communities in dialogue about the past, present, and future of our nation. Project examples may include public art recognizing the milestone, collaborative community arts projects exploring the nation’s identity, or retrospectives of celebrated or overlooked American artists. Projects are welcome in all artistic disciplines.

*Visit the artistic disciplines webpage for each discipline’s project types and accompanying application deadlines. Each discipline has identified the types of projects that are of greatest interest within this program as well as the characteristics of competitive proposals that provide the greatest opportunities for federal support to strengthen the nation’s arts and cultural ecosystem.

Sign up for a GAP guidelines webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 3 p.m. ET. (All webinars are free to attend; however, registration is required. Webinar recordings will be posted shortly after the presentations.) GAP webinar registration is available here.

Additional discipline-specific webinars and informal “office hours” style Q&A sessions will also be available; visit for more details and to register.