Application Deadlines

**The National Endowment for the Arts has posted answers to Frequently Asked Questions relating to COVID-19. On April 1st, the NEA announced it would be canceling the Challenge America application deadline for FY21 in order to prepare for distribution of CARES Act funding. Applicants who had planned to apply for Challenge America are encouraged to apply for Grants for Arts Projects with a deadline of July 9, 2020 and may contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

The NEA has set the deadlines for FY21 Grants for Arts Projects, the Endowment's major support category for organizations for projects anticipated to take place beginning in 2021. Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category.   

  • Grants for Arts Projects, Part 1: February 13, 2020
  • Grants for Arts Projects, Part 2: July 9, 2020
  • Challenge America Fast-Track: April 9, 2020

The NEA has released guidelines and application materials in the Apply for a Grant section of its website. The League offers guidance specific to orchestras on our Tips for your application page and the NEA has posted complete guidelines online.

Orchestras can also explore funding via the NEA's Our Town program, which supports projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities. Matching grants for creative placemaking projects range from $25,000 to $200,000. The application deadline is August 9, 2019 for projects that start on or after July 1, 2020. Check out the new guidelines online

NEA Research Awards grants support research that engage with the agency’s five-year research agenda through two funding opportunities for research projects:

  • Research Grants in the Arts funds research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life. Matching/cost share grants of $10,000 to $100,000 will be awarded.
  • NEA Research Labs funds transdisciplinary research teams grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, yielding empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike. Matching/cost share cooperative agreements of up to $150,000 will be awarded.

New guidelines will be posted in January. The deadline to submit Part 1 to is March 30, 2020. Please direct any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .