May 12, 2016, Washington, D.C.

Orchestras Support Innovative Programming and Community Engagement with FY16 NEA Grant Support

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded 112 grants to orchestras through the Grants for Arts Projects categories in FY2016, totaling $2,800,500. In FY16 orchestras directly received NEA grant support through Challenge America and Art Works in the discipline categories of music, arts education, and media arts. Awards to all arts disciplines through the NEA’s largest grant categories – Art Works and Challenge America – numbered 2,128 and totaled $53,721,000 million.

  • In addition to the grants awarded through the Grants for Arts Projects categories, FY2016 funding supports the following:
  • Congress requires that 40% of NEA grant funds be made available directly to the states; $50,496,800 has been awarded through Partnership Grants to state and regional arts agencies.  Orchestras, in turn, benefit from grants at the state and local level.
  • The NEA awarded $320,000 in Research Grants in FY2016, including an $18,000 grant to Duke University to support a nationwide evaluation of the organizational characteristics and social networks of El Sistema USA (ESUSA) orchestral training programs.
  • Additional FY2016 grants include awards for National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards and the NEA also allocates funds to national initiatives, including but not limited to the NEA/ Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership, the Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, literature fellowships, and Our Town – which awarded a $50,000 grant to the Dallas Chamber Symphony to support its Taking it to the Streets program, which will be assessed by the Southern Methodist University Music Therapy Program and the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. Complete information about NEA national initiatives is available on the NEA website.

Below is a list of major grants to orchestras and programs related to the orchestra field. Complete lists of grant amounts and project descriptions for awards in all disciplines and categories may be found on the NEA website, www.arts.gov.

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