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National Endowment for the Arts: Challenge America

Deadline: April 22, 2021

The Challenge America program promotes equal access to the arts in communities across America. The program offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines that extend the reach of the arts to populations that are underserved. The program is rooted in a recognition that:

  • Some populations and some geographic areas have limited grant funding opportunities, and/or have been historically underserved by national arts funding;
  • Some small organizations may face barriers to accessing grant funding; and
  • Some applicants to the Arts Endowment may benefit from enhanced technical assistance resources.

Challenge America seeks to address these potential barriers for organizations seeking funding. Possible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Arts programming, including commissioning or presentation of artists or artwork
  • Marketing and promotional activities
  • Organizational planning

Projects may consist of one or more specific events or activities, and should not cover an entire season of programming. Projects may be large or small, existing or new. The program does not fund general operating or seasonal support.

Arts Education projects: Projects for youth where the focus is exposure to or appreciation of the arts (either in school, after school, summer, or in community) are welcome. However, projects for youth with a pre-K-12, standards-based arts education focus should not apply. See solicitation for definitions.

Amount: All awards are made for the amount of $10,000 for a period of performance of up to two years. The two-year period is intended to allow an applicant sufficient time to plan, execute, and close out its project, not to repeat a one-year project for a second year.

Note: Awardees must provide a non-federal match of at least $10,000 cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be $20,000 or greater.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations; units of state or local government; Tribal communities or Tribes. Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and others.

Note: Applicants also must be first-time National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) applicants, as well as previous NEA applicants who have not been awarded funding in any of the three most recent fiscal years (2019 – 2021) in any of the following grant programs: Grants for Arts Projects (formerly Art Works), Research Grants in the Arts, or Our Town. Previous Challenge America applicants and grantees are eligible to apply, as long as they were not awarded for fiscal years 2019 – 2021.

Link: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america

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