Posts Tagged ‘NEA’


Grant Funding

February 23, 2019

NEA announces grants

National Endowment for the Arts Announces More than $27 Million in Grants Reaching All 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico

Washington, DC— With today’s announcement of more than $27 million in grants, the National Endowment for the Arts is continuing its efforts to provide all Americans with the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts. These fiscal year 2019 grants will reach all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This is the first of two major grant announcements in fiscal year 2019 and includes three of the agency’s funding categories: Art Works and Challenge America to support projects by nonprofit organizations, and Creative Writing Fellowships. Through these grants, the National Endowment for the Arts supports local economies and preserves American heritage while embracing new forms of creative expression.

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Click here for a list of all the recommended grants in this announcement sorted by city and state.

  • Click here for a list of recommended grants separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field), Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships in poetry.
  • Click here to use the online Grant Search to find additional project details for National Endowment for the Arts grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists who reviewed the applications for funding.

Art Works

Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grantmaking program. The Arts Endowment convened panels to review 1,605 eligible applications for funding and the agency will award 972 grants ranging from $10,000-$100,000 totaling more than $25 million. Projects include:

  • An arts education grant of $10,000 to Mauro, Inc. in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to support therapeutic arts programs including in- and after-school dance and theater residencies for children affected by Hurricane Maria.
  • A theater grant of $30,000 to Theatre Squared in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to support the Arkansas New Play Festival. The festival will serve as a laboratory for new play development and present the work of emerging playwrights to audiences in Bentonville and Fayetteville.
  • A folk and traditional arts grant of $30,000 to Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in Olympia to support a series of presentations to showcase cultural and occupational communities in the state, increasing participation in the parks, while also strengthening cultural identities and fostering cross-cultural respect between the various ethnic communities.
  • A design grant of $45,000 to Design Museum Boston to support the publication Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics, which will include a 500-year history of prosthetics, case studies of how prosthetics design changes the lives of people with limb loss, and guest essays addressing global impact, athletic performance, and bionics.

Challenge America

The Challenge America category primarily supports small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

For fiscal year 2019, expert readers reviewed 221 eligible applications and the agency will award 138 grants of $10,000 each for a total of $1.38 million. Projects include:

  • A grant to Josephine Sculpture Park Inc. in Frankfort, Kentucky, to support a multidisciplinary arts festival featuring outdoor sculptures and associated outreach events. A guest artist will be in residence before the festival to create and install a new sculptural work with the help of local students.
  • A grant to Maplewood Housing for the Visually Impaired in Chicago, Illinois, to support a collaboration between a sound artist and blind weavers to create a woven art piece for exhibition. The guest artist will help incorporate technology and sound elements into the artwork.
  • A grant to Eastport Arts Center in Eastport, Maine, to support a community-based musical theater work produced in partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The development of performing arts programming intended to serve residents of the Pleasant Point Reservation is in alignment with tribal strategies to combat poverty, unemployment, and opioid use.

Creative Writing Fellowships

In fiscal year 2019, the National Endowment for the Arts will award 35 Creative Writing Fellowships in poetry. Each fellowship is $25,000 for a total of $875,000. Nearly 1,700 eligible applications were received and reviewed anonymously by a panel, resulting in a group of recipients from across the country, diverse in ethnicity and background. None of the 2019 recipients have previously received an NEA fellowship.

Visit the Arts Endowment’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows and recipients of Literature Fellowships for translation projects.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

Contact: Liz Auclair,, 202-682-5744


Musical Theater

February 22, 2019

Songwriting challenge #IWriteMuscials

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts is supporting the next generation of American songwriters. For the second year and in collaboration with the American Theatre Wing, the Arts Endowment is calling for applications from high school students to the agency’s Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. This national program is for students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musical theater including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more.

Application is simple and can be completed online beginning today, February 12 with a deadline of April 30, 2019 at midnight ET. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #IWriteMusicals.

This year’s competition follows a successful inaugural year in 2018 that featured finalists from across the country. For this second year, the Songwriting Challenge will again pair six finalist songwriters (either single songwriters or duos) with professional musical theater artists to develop the students’ original song into a Broadway-stage-ready composition. The Arts Endowment and the Wing welcome back Disney Theatrical Productions and Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals company, as Songwriting Challenge partners.

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge National Champions: Angel Rodriguez, 2016 (Photo by NEA Staff) and David Volpini, 2018 (Photo by Natalie Powers).

“The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is part of the Arts Endowment’s commitment to nurture the creative talents of our nation’s young people,” said Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “By assisting these student songwriters, the Songwriting Challenge contributes to the ongoing vitality of the American art form of musical theater.”

“Cultivating young talent is crucial for our industry and for our world,” said Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing. “I am thrilled to once again be partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts, Disney Theatrical Productions, and Samuel French on the Songwriting Challenge, which furthers our commitment to the next generation.”

After the application deadline of April 30, 2019, the Arts Endowment and the Wing will convene panels in different regions of the country to review all of the applications. Per last year, each panel will consist of experienced songwriters and musicians who will select one finalist or finalist duo from its region. Those finalists will be announced at the end of June 2019.

Each finalist will be paired with a musical theater mentor and music director to form a coaching team that will work directly with the student to hone all parts of their song. Initially, each coaching team will work with their finalist remotely using Skype/video conferencing software. This will be followed by an in-person coaching weekend when the mentor and music director travel to the finalists’ home community to work together. This extended coaching period allows for a deeper experience for the student finalists.

After the mentorship weekend, each finalist’s song will be transcribed, performed by Broadway singers and musicians, and recorded. Students will be able to watch rehearsals either via Skype/video conferencing or in person, depending on their schedules. As in 2018, Samuel French has generously agreed to publish a songbook containing each of the finalists’ song in their transcribed form.

There are also plans to convene a video conference for the finalists, mentors, and music directors to meet each other and discuss their unique songs and the perspectives they’ve gained by participating in the program.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more about NEA.

About the American Theatre Wing
The American Theatre Wing champions bravery, with a focus on developing the next generation of brave artists. We envision an American Theatre that is as vital, multi-faceted, and diverse as the American people. The Wing’s programs span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American theatre.

We provide theatre education opportunities for underserved students through the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, develop the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC, Theatre Intern Network, and SwingSeats programs, incubate innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, support emerging musical theatre songwriters through the Jonathan Larson® Grants in addition to the Songwriting Challenge, and illuminate the creative process through the Emmy-nominated “Working in the Theatre” documentary series. In addition to founding the Tony Awards®, which are co-presented with The Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing co-presents the Obie Awards®, Off Broadway’s Highest Honor, with The Village Voice.


NEA Funding

September 1, 2018

Student Achievement Grants

Fact: Sometimes educators need outside funding for classroom resources. The National Education Association (NEA) has Student Achievement grants available for NEA members. This grant program has provided funding to thousands of educators to enable them to take the lead on a wide range of projects to improve student learning. LEARN MORE.

Two levels of funding are available: $2,000 and $5,000. Grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the award.

Grant application instructions.


Congratulations Theresa!

October 27, 2016


Theresa at the Maine International Conference on the Arts

Theresa at the Maine International Conference on the Arts. Photo Arthur Fink

In September Maine basket-maker Theresa Secord was recognized in Washington, D.C. as a 2016 National Heritage Fellow. Theresa is one of nine artists who received the nation’s highest honor in traditional arts from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Secord received the award because of her skills using ash and sweetgrass to make Indian baskets, as well as for her role in raising the awareness of the Indian basketmaking tradition within her community and the larger world, said Cliff Murphy, the NEA’s director of folk and traditional arts. “She has been a selfless advocate for other people for a long time,” Murphy said.

Read the entire article from the Portland Press Herald by CLICKING HERE. And, listen to Theresa discuss bringing an ancient art form into the 21st century on this podcast.

Theresa is a long-time friend of the Maine Arts Commission and we are very proud of her accomplishments!



Poetry Out Loud

September 23, 2016

Registration for high schools is open



Poetry Out Loud is organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation; it is administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. Begun in high schools nationwide in 2006, this dynamic program encourages our nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Students have the opportunity to choose from among 900+ poems in the official Poetry Out Loud anthology and then bring their selected poems to life. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. In addition to providing a meaningful educational experience of poetry in written and spoken form, over $100,000 in awards is given to successful students and schools at the state and national level, including $20,000 awarded to the National Champion.

Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School, 2016 Maine State Champion

Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School, 2016 Maine State Champion

Poetry Out Loud offers high school teachers an easy-to-use, standards-based program to help students discover a range of poets from Emily Dickinson to Richard Blanco to Gwendolyn Brooks. Participating teachers receive free materials including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, and access to audio-visual materials on the art of recitation.

The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce that schools can now find online all information about Poetry Out Loud 2016-2017 and register quickly and easily. Schools must register with the Maine Arts Commission by November 7, 2016. Immediately following registration, your school’s identified contact teacher will be sent this year’s program materials and teacher toolkits, which include the newly revised Poetry Out Loud 2016-2017 Teacher’s Guide.

We are thrilled that almost 10,000 students and 220 teachers from 45 high schools across Maine participated in Poetry Out Loud in 2015-2016. We anticipate that this school year will be just as exciting and we encourage all teachers to consider giving their students throughout your school the opportunity to shine in this nationwide celebration of poetry!

Please take a few minutes to view and share the promotional national videos entitled “Get involved in POL!” and “Why Poetry Out Loud?” Also, the Maine Arts Commission has produced a short video highlighting the 2015 Maine State Finals. Lastly, we recommend that you share a short article from The Atlantic entitled “Why Teaching Poetry Is So Important” (April 2014) with students, teaching colleagues, administrators and parents. It is our hope that these resources may help you publicize Poetry Out Loud in your school and support your school’s participation in the program this year.

Please note that Poetry Out Loud can take place in your school anytime between now and January 9, 2017, as the program does not require full class periods and can be completed in just two to three weeks; however, teachers are encouraged to consider making Poetry Out Loud a larger part of their school’s curriculum. Specific lesson plans are available at In addition, an explanation of the alignment with both the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Standards and Common Core State Standards is available at

Please review the following timeline as you consider registering your school

September – November 2016                   School Registration (ongoing)
November 7, 2016                                       Last day to register for Poetry Out Loud
January 9, 2016                                           Last day for school-wide competitions
January 17, 2017                                          Last day for Regional Finals Registration
January 26, 2017                                         Northern Regional Workshop (4-6 p.m.) (Hampden Academy)
January 31, 2017                                          Snow date for Northern Regional Workshop
February 7, 2017                                          Southern Regional Workshop (4-6 p.m.)  (Portland Public Library)
February 10, 2017                                        Snow date for Southern Regional Workshop
February 13, 2017                                        Northern Maine Regional Finals (Performing Arts Center, Hampden Academy)
February 14, 2017                                        Snow date for Northern Maine Regional Finals
February 28, 2017                                       Southern Maine Regional Finals (Garland Auditorium, Thornton Academy)
March 2, 2017                                              Snow date for Southern Maine Regional Finals
March 13, 2017                                            Maine State Finals (Waterville Opera House)
March 14, 2017                                            Snow date for Maine State Finals
April 24-26, 2017                                        Poetry Out Loud National Finals (Washington, DC)

The Maine Arts Commission believes that the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education. Through our Arts Education program, we create and support innovative arts learning opportunities that engage both students and teachers in creative thinking, arts participation and the building of vibrant learning communities. Please visit to find more information about the benefits of Poetry Out Loud, as well as information on all educational programming offered by the Maine Arts Commission.

If we can provide any assistance with registration or program planning for your school’s Poetry Out Loud program, please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at


Facts on Arts Participation

August 31, 2016

New Research

New Research Reveals National, State, and Regional Facts about Arts Participation
Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 5.46.09 PMWashington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts is releasing new research that for the first time offers a complete state-by-state perspective on how Americans participate in the arts. In addition, the data reveal that despite decades of declining arts attendance by U.S. adults in the performing and visual arts, more recent rates are holding steady. The new research comes in the form of two “arts data profiles,” NEA collections of statistics, graphics, and summary results from data-mining about the arts. The latest additions are Results from the Annual Arts Basic Survey (2013-2015) and State‐Level Estimates of Arts Participation Patterns.

“The information in these two research profiles adds significantly to our understanding of how adults in this country engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It is encouraging that participation rates for the performing and visual arts are holding steady while a deeper dive into state participation highlights interesting regional variations that speak to the diversity of our nation.”

Since 1982, the NEA has periodically issued results from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), a comprehensive survey that has shown significant declines in attendance at performing arts events and at art museums/galleries over long timeframes, particularly between 2002 and 2012.
In addition to referencing the SPPA, the two new profiles include data from the newer Annual Arts Basic Survey (AABS), only in its third year. Although the AABS affords a less detailed perspective than the SPPA, its results are issued more frequently, allowing for more accurate trend-tracking. Trend analysis is useful not only for researchers and the general public to enhance their understanding of how Americans engage with the arts, but also for arts workers who can use the findings to inform their presentation of art to the public.

Arts Data Profile 10: Results from the Annual Arts Basic Survey (2013-2015) includes five research briefs or summary findings from the dataset:
·         Visual and Performing Arts Attendance; Movie-Going; Literary Reading; and Learning through Arts Classes or Lessons
·         Personal Performance or Creation of Artworks
·         Urban/Rural Patterns of Arts Participation
·         Gender, Race and Ethnicity, and Age of Arts Participants
·         Job Analysis of Arts Participants

Among the key findings from these research briefs are:

Overall Numbers
·         In 2015, nearly 32 percent of U.S. adults totaling 76 million people attended a live music, theater, or dance performance over a 12-month period, while 19 percent of adults or 45 million attended an art exhibit. Both of these rates are similar to the share of adults who attended in 2013.
·         Despite the rates given above, the AABS shows a drop in the share of adults reading literature. From 47 percent in 2012, literary-reading rates fell to 45 percent in 2013, and to 43.1 percent in 2015.
·         Movie-going is the most popular arts activity, with 141 million adults or 58 percent of adults going out to see at least one movie in a year.
·         Young adults, ages 18 to 24, tend to participate in the arts at higher rates than adults in general, with 37 percent of young adults attending live performing arts events versus 32 percent of all adults. Relative to their share of the US population, young adults were overrepresented among performing arts attendees by 17 percent.

Personal Creation
·         The share of adults who personally perform or create artworks (e.g., play a musical instrument, create visual art, or do creative writing) has remained stable—45 percent in recent years.
·         In 2015, just under 3 percent of adults took visual arts classes (e.g., classes in drawing, painting, pottery, or design) while 2.4 percent took classes in music or music appreciation.
·         Differences in arts participation rates between adults in urban and in rural communities vary considerably given the concentration of arts venues in cities. However, differences between urban and rural participation rates were negligible when it came to art-making.

Metro Area Analysis
·         In an analysis of 11 large metros, Greater Detroit residents were found to attend art exhibitions at a rate of 27 percent, far exceeding the national rate of 19 percent.
·         Above-average movie-going is reported in both Chicago and Dallas, while adults performing or practicing dance is popular in the San Francisco and New York metro areas.
·         Creative writing is a popular arts pastime in the Greater Boston area. The share of adults writing was 10 percent—about 4 percentage points greater than the national rate.

·         Visual and performing arts attendees are highly represented by workers in management and professional occupations.
·         Among adults who personally perform or create artworks, job categories are distributed in the same pattern as they appear in the U.S. workforce in general.

Arts Data Profile 11: State‐Level Estimates of Arts Participation Patterns features two issue briefs: “Highlights of Arts Participation by State (2012‐2015)” and “Why Some States Exhibit Higher (or Lower) Rates of Arts Participation.”
Among the key findings from the research briefs are:
·         Although adults’ state-level rates of arts participation are close to the national average, there are some broad differences.
o   Western states tend to have participation rates above average
o   Eastern states such as Maryland and Vermont also have above-average rates
o   Rates are below average in southern states such as Mississippi, West Virginia and Florida.
o   Kansas is one of the few states in the country with an above-average share of adults who use TV, radio, and/or the Internet to consume art or arts programming. In 2012, 71.5 percent of the state’s adults engaged in the arts through media.
·         This data profile examines the strength of the relationships among arts participation, education, poverty, and access to arts orgs.
o   For the performing arts, the greatest correlations are with education (positive) and poverty (negative). Access to the arts is less of a factor when examining state-level participation.
o   The correlation of participation with individuals’ education levels is stronger for visiting art exhibits than for attending the performing arts.


Report on Creativity and Aging

January 24, 2016

NEA webinar showcases report

Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 2:24 PM
Subject: Advisory: Feb. 3 NEA webinar on creativity and aging

For immediate release                                            Contact: Sally Gifford, NEA Public Affairs
January 20, 2016                                                      202-682-5606 |

Live, public webinar on Wednesday, February 3, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST

More than 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day, and the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is women over age 85. What role can the arts play in ensuring healthy aging for this growing population?  Learn more at the February 3 webinar, which introduces a white paper of recommendations from the May 2015 Summit on Creativity and Aging in America, a convening of more than 70 experts hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging.  An archived version will be available at

The paper highlights recommendations on healthy aging, lifelong learning in the arts, and age-friendly community design.  The summit was a precursor to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, which addressed four major issues: retirement security, long-term services and supports, healthy aging, and elder abuse. The webinar will cover the main findings from the summit, including opportunities to use the arts to help develop vibrant, healthy communities and services for older adults.

·         Beth Bienvenu, Accessibility Director, National Endowment for the Arts, will moderate the webinar
·         Gay Hanna, Executive Director, National Center for Creative Aging
·         Nora Super, Director, 2015 White House Conference on Aging

To join the webinar
The webinar takes place on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST. It is free and open to the public. Please register in advance. Media may RSVP to Sally Gifford, NEA Public Affairs Specialist at You may listen using your computer’s speakers or dial-in to 1-877-685-5350 and use participant code: 739587. Attendees will be muted but able to type in questions and comments through a text Q&A box. An archive of the webinar will be available at

Follow the conversation @NEAarts and @CreativityAging with the hashtag #CreativeAgeSummit.

Check out the Maine Arts Commission webpage on Creative Aging at


Happy Anniversary!

September 30, 2015

Join us to help celebrate the anniversaries of the Maine Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts – November 5, 5 P.M, Point Lookout!

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.55.14 AMPLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.58.12 AM


NEA Art Works Grants

January 11, 2015

Funding available
Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 8.34.30 AM
Available amount: $10,000 to $100,000

NEA Art Works

February 19, 2015 or July 23, 2015 depending on field/discipline.

$10,000 to $100,000

Not specified

Link to RFP:

This National Endowment for the Arts program supports the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

Arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment.



Teacher Evaluation in Non-Tested Areas

July 28, 2013


My national organization, SEADAE, provided a webinar on July 25 with Adrienne Dorrington, from the National Education Association to learn about Teacher Effectiveness. You can access the archive with the information below.

Streaming recording link:

Download recording link:


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