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National Endowment for the Arts: Challenge America

Deadline: April 11, 2019

Challenge America offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Note that age alone (e.g., youth, seniors) does not qualify a group as underserved; at least one of the underserved characteristics noted above also must be present.

Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development. The involvement of artists and arts professionals is essential. Applicants must present a project that reflects only one of the three project types below:

Guest Artist Projects, which refers to an arts event or events that will feature one or more guest artists. Allowable guest artist public event activities are broad, and may include a festival; exhibition; literary reading; musical, theatrical, or multi-media performance; media screening; broadcast; or lecture. The public event(s) may take place in an arts venue or a non-traditional arts venue, but it must be in a location that is accessible to the public. In addition to guest artist fees, there can be a range of other costs associated with the project, including supplies, venue costs, marketing, professional documentation of the project, and program enhancements specific to this grant project. Examples of program enhancements include interpretive material, transportation, program accommodations (e.g., sign language interpretation, audio description, Braille, tactile exhibit tours), catalogues, brochures, or publications. Other enhancements such as specific lecture-demonstrations, pre- or post-event talks, or workshops relevant to the proposed arts event are also eligible. Note: Projects that involve K-12 standards-based arts instruction are not eligible. Other classes and workshops are eligible expenses but must include a public event with active involvement by the participating guest artist.

Collaborative Marketing Campaigns, which may include unified promotion projects and/or cultural tourism projects incorporating the offerings of multiple institutions. Unified promotion is defined as the professional assessment, design, and/or distribution of public relations and marketing tools (calendars, websites, radio and television, brochures, rack cards, signage, wayfinding, etc.) designed to benefit several local organizations in a community. Cultural tourism projects will market and promote cultural assets to enhance public engagement with arts and culture in communities and to populations that have been historically underserved. Note that campaigns should involve a partnership promoting the work of several organizations to extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations, not a promotional project for a single organization.

Public Art Projects, community-based and professionally directed. This project type is intended to support primarily visual arts projects, which may be temporary or permanent, such as murals, sculptures, multi-media, or environmental art, developed through a meaningful community engagement process. Note: The following are not eligible for support: conservation, restoration, or repair of existing public art; or the development of a public art master plan.

Amount: Grants of $10,000 will be made and require a $10,000 match.

Eligibility: Nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. Organizations must have a three-year history of programming prior to the application deadline.

Link: http://arts.gov/grants-organizations/challenge-america/grant-program-description

Note: The April 11 deadline is for submission to Grants.gov. Applicants must submit additional information to NEA-GO by April 23.

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