The National Endowment for the Arts has released guidelines and application materials for two programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. These programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, regardless of whether they have received NEA funding in the past. This is a change from previous emergency funding requirements at the NEA and significantly expands access to federal funds for the arts and culture sector. Local arts agency applications are due July 22, 2021. Nonprofit arts and culture organization applications are due August 12.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Rescue Plan”) is designed to fuel the nation’s recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts (“Arts Endowment”) in this historic legislation represent a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery.
The Arts Endowment will competitively award Rescue Plan funds to eligible organizations nationwide. These funds are intended to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike other Arts Endowment funding programs that offer project-based support, Rescue Plan funds are intended to support specific operating costs only. Cost share/matching funds are not required.
The Arts Endowment intends to make awards that will impact a broad constituency. We encourage applications from a variety of eligible organizations including: organizations that serve populations that are underserved, such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics, geography, or disability; organizations with small and medium-sized budgets; organizations from rural to urban communities; and organizations that may be applying for federal support through the Arts Endowment for the first time.
Rescue Plan funding is available through two separate competitive opportunities:
NOTE: Eligible local arts agencies may apply to the Grants to Organizations program for general operating support OR to the Grants to Local Arts Agencies for Subgranting program.
Rescue Plan funds will also be awarded by the Arts Endowment to the nation’s designated state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs) to distribute around the country. Contact your SAA or RAO for more information.
We understand that applying for federal funding and managing a grant can be a significant undertaking. Our staff strives to ensure that all applicants receive the support they need to understand every step of the process. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about this program. Contact us with your questions.