Grant Information, Mayor's Plan, Imagine Nation, and Form 990 (2/01/08)

NEA FY09 Guidelines Now Available
The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) FY09 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines are now available on the NEA website. To assist orchestras with the application process, the League attends the public sessions of NEA review panels throughout the year and outlines helpful tips for preparing your application, including an overview of guideline changes. Orchestras may also contact an NEA specialist to talk through the application.  Take note of the application deadlines and plan ahead as all applications must now be filed electronically:

  • Access to Artistic Excellence Part I: March 10, 2008
  • Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track Review Grants: June 2, 2008
  • Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth: June 9, 2008
  • Access to Artistic Excellence Part II: August 11, 2008

Read the League's Tips for NEA Grant Applications

IRS Revises Form 990
The form used by nonprofits to annually report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has undergone significant revisions.  The new Form 990 will be phased in based on the size of the reporting organization.  Beginning in May 2009, organizations with gross annual receipts over $1 million or total assets over $2.5 million will be required to file the new Form 990 to report on FY08 activity.  The transition for smaller-budget organizations will be phased in more gradually.  The League filed comments to the IRS as the Form 990 was re-designed.  The final Form 990 reflects some improvements over previous drafts, eliminating potentially misleading percentage-based summaries and gradually increasing the threshold for organizations that can file the Form 990N e-postcard. 

See the New Form 990

New Round of Education Grants
The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced application deadlines for two highly competitive Arts in Education grant programs.

The Professional Development for Arts Educators Program supports the implementation of high-quality professional development model programs in K-12 education for music, dance, drama, media arts, or visual arts educators.  The deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply is February 11, 2008 and the deadline for transmittal of applications is February 29, 2008.

The Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program is designed to enable schools and organizations to develop and disseminate comprehensive approaches for integrating the arts into elementary and middle school curricula, strengthening arts instruction in these grade levels, and improving students' academic performance.  The deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply is February 13, 2008 and the deadline for transmittal of applications is March 14, 2008.

Learn more about USED Funding

Voters Value the Imagination
The public considers the arts essential to preparing students for future success.  A new national poll of 1,000 likely voters finds that, "30% of American voters are not only dissatisfied with public education's narrow focus on the ‘so-called' basics but that they also believe developing the imagination is a critical, but missing, ingredient to student success in 21st century schools and moving students beyond average."

  • 69% of American voters believe that, when compared to other nations, America devotes less attention to developing the imagination and innovation.
  • 86% of voters believe that encouraging children to be creative and develop their imagination is necessary to maintain our competitive edge and ensure we do not fall behind other countries.
  • 83% of voters believe that a greater focus on the arts - alongside science, technology, and math - would better prepare students to address the demands of the 21st century.

The pollsters say that this voting cohort - which is being called the "Imagine Nation" - is of a scale rivaling "soccer moms."  This powerful affirmation of public support for arts education can be leveraged as orchestras act to strengthen the presence of music education in the schools.

Mayors Rank Arts as Priority

Mayors have named the arts as a priority, alongside other major concerns including climate protection, homeland security, and fighting crime. Just one week ago, the U.S. Conference of Mayors convened many of the nation's civic leaders in Washington, D.C. to discuss their priorities for strengthening American communities.  The Mayors have launched their newest 10-point plan, titled "Strong Cities, Strong Families, for a Strong America."  One of these 10 points calls for nationals policies that support tourism and the arts.  To find out how this national statement translates in your community, consider meeting with your mayor and asking - how can our orchestra help address your civic priorities?

View the Mayors' 10-Point Plan

Please direct any related questions to Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Najean Lee, Government Affairs & Education Advocacy Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


The League is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts service organizations dedicated to advocating for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.