(WASHINGTON, DC) -- A new initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced on November 15, 2023 aims to expand access to arts participation in our country. A partnership with South Arts and in collaboration with the other five U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, ArtsHERE will provide non-matching grant support for organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to equity within their practices and programming. Grants will fund specific projects that will strengthen grantees’ capacity to sustain meaningful community engagement and increase arts participation for underserved groups/communities.
ArtsHERE is also a knowledge-sharing endeavor, with peer-learning and technical assistance opportunities for grantees. Working with grantees throughout the projects, the NEA also plans to report on lessons learned from this pilot initiative, which may inform the future of ArtsHERE and other similar funding programs and practices. The deadline to submit a statement of interest is Friday, January 19, 2024. Visit ArtsHERE.org for full guidelines and to apply.
Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring everyone in this nation has opportunities to live an artful life. ArtsHERE will make strides toward this goal with grants that will strengthen organizations’ efforts to advance inclusion and access to the arts. The program will make impacts in communities nationwide and will help us learn about how to best support work that is inclusive and accessible for all people in our nation.”
The NEA awards thousands of grants each year throughout the nation to provide diverse opportunities for arts participation. However, historically underserved groups/communities (those whose opportunities to experience the arts have been limited by factors such as geography, race/ethnicity, economics, and/or disability) frequently report participating in various arts activities at lower rates than other groups. To address these disparities and better understand these dynamics, the NEA, in partnership with South Arts and in collaboration with the other five U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs), is launching the ArtsHERE pilot grant program.
Managed by South Arts, ArtsHERE will award approximately 95 nonprofit organizations with non-matching grants of $65,000 to $130,000. Applicants should propose a specific project that will strengthen and sustain the organization’s capacity for robust community engagement, as well as support strategies to increase arts participation for underserved groups/communities. Grants are also intended to help organizations better serve their communities and to approach their operations and programming in ways that will expand their reach.
President and CEO of South Arts, Susie Surkamer, said, “South Arts is excited to partner with the National Endowment for the Arts and work in collaboration with our five fellow regional arts organizations. We recognize that arts and culture are powerful tools for bringing together communities and people. Through ArtsHERE, organizations that are part of the arts and cultural ecosystem will be funded for projects that increase arts participation for underserved groups/communities. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this work, then celebrating the important contributions of the arts to our nation’s rich culture.”
Juan Souki, Executive Director of Mid Atlantic Arts added, "We are excited to join the National Endowment for the Arts and our regional partners for ArtsHERE, to celebrate and acknowledge the work of organizations that have demonstrated a continuous commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in their programming goals. We look forward to collaborating with them, and learning about their work and communities, as we move together towards a more equitable arts scene across the country."
Applications are welcome from organizations that are diverse in terms of geography, scale of operations, and focus of arts programming; as well as organizations that work at the intersection of the arts and other domains, such as community development, health/well-being, climate/environment, or economic development.
ArtsHERE grantees will also participate in peer-learning and technical assistance opportunities designed to share knowledge and build networks. As a pilot program, ArtsHERE will be documented and evaluated by the National Endowment for the Arts to better understand the project activities supported through this program and how grantees approached the work and may inform the future of ArtsHERE and similar funding programs in the future.
ArtsHERE is also supported by the Wallace Foundation through matching funds to the Regional Arts Organizations in support of this program.
A webinar for potential applicants will take place on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 2:00pm ET. Register in advance. This webinar will be archived.
In addition, program staff are available at each Regional Arts Organization to answer questions and will be offering office hours. Visit ArtsHERE.org for more details.
How to Apply
Full program guidelines and eligibility are available at ArtsHERE.org. All applicants must submit a statement of interest, due Friday, January 19, 2024. Following review to determine if an application is eligible, complete, and aligns with the goals and objectives of the ArtsHERE program, a select number of applicants will be invited to submit a full application, due Friday, April 19, 2024.
Established by Congress in 1965 the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States.
South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South.
The United States Regional Arts Organizations (USRAOs) are a collective of six nonprofit arts service organizations committed to strengthening America’s infrastructure by increasing access to creativity for all Americans. We serve the nation’s artists, arts and culture organizations, and creative communities with programs that reflect and celebrate the diversity of the field in which we work. We partner with the National Endowment for the Arts, state arts agencies, individuals, and other public and private funders to develop and deliver programs, services, and products that advance arts and creativity. Together, the USRAOs work to activate and operate national arts initiatives, encourage, and support collaboration across regions, states, and communities, and maximize the coordination of public and private resources invested in arts programs. In Fiscal Year 2023, they invested over $18.4 million across the United States and Jurisdictions, through nearly 2,400 grants that reached more than 1,000 communities.
Mid Atlantic Arts supports artists, presenters, and organizations through unique programming, grant support, partnerships, and information sharing. Created in 1979, Mid Atlantic Arts is aligned with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. We combine state and federal funding with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to nurture diverse artistic expression while connecting people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond.