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  The Arts and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: State Arts Agencies and Regional Arts Organizations    Share
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CFDA No. 45.024

Grant Program Description

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 ("Recovery Act") recognizes that the nonprofit arts industry is an important sector of the economy. The National Endowment for the Arts is uniquely positioned to fund arts projects and activities that preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn. As part of this important investment, the Arts Endowment has designed a plan to expedite distribution of critical funds for the national, regional, state, and local levels for projects that focus on the preservation of jobs in the arts.

This program will be carried out through one-time grants to eligible nonprofit organizations including arts organizations, local arts agencies, statewide assemblies of local arts agencies, arts service organizations, units of state or local government, and a wide range of other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment and this program. Grants will be made either to organizations for their own job preservation projects, or to designated local arts agencies, eligible to subgrant, for subgranting programs to eligible nonprofit organizations (see "Subgranting Funds" below).

All applicants must be previous NEA award recipients from the past four years (see "Applicant Eligibility" for more information). In addition, organizations are limited to receiving NEA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through only one source – from the Arts Endowment directly, or directly through an entity eligible to subgrant NEA funds including a state arts agency, a regional arts organization of state arts agencies, or a designated local arts agency that is eligible to subgrant or regrant funds.

Projects are limited to:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more positions that are critical to an organization's artistic mission and that are in jeopardy or have been eliminated as a result of the current economic climate.


  • Fees for previously engaged artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.

Grantees will be required to report on funding received through the Recovery Act (see "Administrative Requirements" for more information).

Subgranting Funds

Congress has prohibited the Arts Endowment from making grants for the purpose of subgranting, with exceptions only for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, and local arts agencies designated to operate on behalf of local governments.

Under these guidelines, funds for subgranting or regranting will be provided only to local arts agencies that are designated to operate on behalf of their local governments or are operating units of city or county government. These designated local arts agencies generally are arts councils, departments of cultural affairs, or arts commissions.

If a designated local arts agency eligible to subgrant proposes a subgranting program, the subgranting program must be consistent with the purposes of the program outlined above.

See "Award Information" for more information.

Award Information

Grant Amounts and Matching Funds

Direct Funds:

All grants are non-matching and will be awarded for the amount requested.

Organizations may request a grant amount of $25,000 or $50,000.

Subgranting Funds:

For designated local arts agencies which are eligible to subgrant:

All grants are non-matching and will be awarded for the amount requested.

Organizations may request $100,000 or $250,000 for subgranting programs. Of these amounts, up to $50,000 of the NEA grant funds may be used for their own jobs and/or the administration of subgranting programs. Priority will be given to cost-effective programs that maximize the amount of funds distributed.

When using funds for subgranting programs, most of the funds should directly impact a broad constituency, and reach the full geographic range represented by that constituency. As appropriate, efforts should be made to reach organizations that serve underserved populations such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

Period of Support

The Arts Endowment's support of a project may start on or after July 1, 2009. Generally, a grant period of up to one year is allowed.

No pre-award costs are allowable in the Project Budget. Project costs that are incurred before July 1, 2009, will be removed from the Project Budget.

Applicant Eligibility

Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes may apply. To be eligible, the applicant organization must:

  • Have received a NEA award within the past four years (beginning with awards that were made in FY 2006 as indicated by an award letter that is dated on or after October 1, 2005, and an award number that begins with "06 - "). When using FY 2009 as the basis for eligibility, an organization's application must have been approved by the National Council on the Arts and the NEA Chairman no later than the October 2008 meeting of the National Council on the Arts.
  • Meet the Arts Endowment's "Legal Requirements," including nonprofit, tax-exempt status, as detailed in the FY 2010 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines, at the time of application.
  • Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all Arts Endowment award(s) previously received.

Each organization is limited to one application. Exceptions to this one-application rule are made only for parent organizations applying on behalf of separately identifiable and independent components. To be eligible, an independent component must have received NEA support during the period outlined above. For a definition of an eligible independent component see "Parent (and Related) Organizations" in the Grants for Arts Projects guidelines.

An application in response to this announcement does not preclude an organization from applying under other Arts Endowment funding opportunities including Grants for Arts Projects. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project. A grantee may not receive more than one Arts Endowment grant for the same project during the same or an overlapping period of support. For example, an orchestra could request support for an arts education coordinator through this program (one project). That same arts education coordinator could work on programs related to another NEA grant (a second project), as long as the same time is not charged to both projects.

The designated fifty state and six jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs) are not eligible to apply under these guidelines. SAAs and RAOs are eligible to apply for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through separate guidelines.

How to Prepare and Submit an Application

Organizations are required to submit their applications electronically through, the federal government's online application system. The system must receive your application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on April 2, 2009. We strongly recommend that you submit at least 10 days in advance of the deadline to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter.

All applicants must be registered with in order to submit their application. If you have already registered with, renew/verify your registration with and make sure that all of your information is current before you apply. Organizations that are not already registered should allow at least two weeks to complete this multi-step process. See the step-by-step instructions for registering at Get Registered.

If you have problems with registration, call the help desk at 1-800-518-4726, e-mail, or consult the information posted on the Web site at Applicant Help. The Customer Service hours are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday to Friday.

See "How to Prepare and Submit an Application" for further instructions.

Application Review

The following criteria are considered during the review of applications:

The artistic excellence and artistic merit of the project, which includes the:

  • Quality of the organization.
  • Potential of the project to have a significant and immediate impact on the arts work force.
  • Significance of the project and position(s) to the mission and core work of the organization.
  • Likelihood that the project will achieve the identified outcome(s) and the feasibility of the proposed performance measurements. *
  • Ability to carry out the project including the appropriateness of the budget, the quality and clarity of the project goals and design, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project's personnel.
  • For subgranting programs:
    • Appropriateness of the program to the organization's mission, audience, community, and/or constituency.
    • Potential to reach a broad geographic range of constituents.
    • As appropriate, potential to reach organizations that serve underserved populations such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

* The Arts Endowment, along with other federal agencies, collects information on the projects it funds in order to track the results -- or outcomes -- of its activities. This information is compiled and reported to Congress and the public. The outcome the Arts Endowment intends to achieve through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is: Organizations enhance their ability to realize their artistic and public service goals. Within the context of this outcome, we ask all applicants to define what they would like to achieve, how they will assess the degree to which it is achieved, and, upon completion of the project, what they have learned from their successes and failures.

All applications are reviewed by an advisory panel. Panel recommendations are forwarded to the National Council on the Arts, which then makes recommendations to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Chairman reviews the Council's recommendations and makes the final decision on all grant awards. Pending the availability of funding, it is anticipated that applicants will be notified of award or rejection in July 2009.

Award Administration

Crediting Requirement

Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from the National Endowment for the Arts in their programs and related promotional material including publications and Web sites. Organizations that receive grants may be provided with specific requirements for acknowledgment of this initiative. In addition, the NEA will provide detailed crediting language for designated local arts agencies that subgrant to use with their own grantees.

Administrative Requirements

Before submitting an application, organizations should review the Grants for Arts Projects guidelines and General Terms & Conditions for detailed information on legal requirements, financial reviews and audits, and other administrative matters that pertain to this announcement.

Grantees will be required to:

  • Report on the use of NEA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds as outlined in Section 1512 (c) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 ("Recovery Act"). This will include quarterly reports to the NEA in a pre-determined format.

  • As applicable, maintain personnel activity ("Time & Effort") reports for any employee whose salary is charged, in whole or in part, to the award. See an example.

  • For grants for projects that engage artists and/or contractual personnel to whom you propose to pay fees, maintain written contracts that outline the employment terms.

  • For designated local arts agencies that will subgrant, report on each subgrant to the NEA in a pre-determined format.

In addition, designated local arts agencies that will subgrant should work with their subgrantees to help these organizations obtain DUNS numbers ( and register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR,, as these may be requirements.

A "Recovery" section has been added to the NEA web site at to serve as the central information portal for the agency's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 ("Recovery Act"). Additional reporting requirements can be found here as they become available. is the federal portal that allows the taxpayer to track how money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being spent.

Agency Contacts

If you have questions, please contact the discipline staff that is appropriate to your project (see "Agency Contacts").

Reporting Burden

The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at an average of 8 hours per response including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The Arts Endowment welcomes any suggestions that you might have on improving the guidelines and making them as easy to use as possible. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Office of Guidelines & Panel Operations, Room 620, National Endowment for the Arts, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20506-0001. Note: Applicants are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.


March 2009

OMB No. 3135-0125 Expires 08/31/2009

National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency
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Washington, DC 20506





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