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Challenge America

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs, and Tribes
for Arts Activities in Underserved Communities

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Conf. Date:

03/10/21

LOI Date:

04/22/21

Deadline Date:

05/04/21 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants of $10,000 to USA nonprofit organizations, agencies, IHEs, and tribal entities to increase the availability of arts opportunities for underrepresented communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations and the first part of the application must be completed prior to submitting the Arts Endowment application.

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines that extend the reach of the arts to populations that are underserved. The program is rooted in principles that include, but are not limited to, the recognition that:

  • Some populations and some geographic areas have limited grant funding opportunities, and/or have been historically underserved by national arts funding;
  • Some small organizations may face barriers to accessing grant funding; and
  • Some applicants to the Arts Endowment may benefit from enhanced technical assistance resources.

Challenge America seeks to address these potential barriers for organizations seeking funding.

Challenge America supports arts projects in all artistic disciplines. Projects must extend the reach of the arts to populations that are underserved. Possible projects include, but are not limited to: arts programming, including commissioning or presentation of artists or artwork; marketing and promotional activities; and organizational planning. Projects may consist of one or more specific events or activities, and should not cover an entire season of programming.

Applicants proposing Arts Education projects: Projects for youth where the focus is exposure to or appreciation of the arts—whether activities take place in school, after school, during the summer, or in community settings are welcome in Challenge America. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178794

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants for a set amount of $10,000

Term of Contract:

Earliest Beginning Date for Proposed Project: January 1, 2022. Grants awarded under these guidelines generally may cover a period of performance of up to two years. The two-year period is intended to allow an applicant sufficient time to plan, execute, and close out its project, not to repeat a one-year project for a second year.

Eligibility:

  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes may apply. Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the National Endowment for the Arts.

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:
- Be a first-time applicant to the Arts Endowment or be a previous Arts Endowment applicant that was not recommended for funding in any of the three most recent Fiscal Years (FYs 2019, 2020, or 2021) in any of the following grant programs:
(i) Grants for Arts Projects, formerly known as Art Works (application deadlines in February and July 2018, 2019, and 2020);
(ii) Research Grants in the Arts (application deadlines in October 2018, October 2019, and April 2020); or
(iii) Our Town (application deadlines in August 2018, 2019, and 2020).
- Meet the National Endowment for the Arts’ "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed.
- Have completed a three-year history of arts programming prior to the application deadline.
- Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts grant(s) previously received.

For ineligible applicants and costs, see https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/we-do-not-fund.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Calendar:
- Finalize SAM.gov registrations: No later than March 30, 2021
- Finalize Grants.gov resgistrations: No later than April 13, 2021
- Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov: April 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
- Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal: April 27 - May 4, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
- Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection: October 2021
- Earliest Beginning Date for Proposed Project: January 1, 2022

Submitting an application is a multi-step process:
- Part 1: Submit to Grants.gov the “Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form.”
- Part 2: Complete the “Grant Application Form (GAF)” and upload items through the Arts Endowment’s Applicant Portal.

All applicants must have a DUNS number (https://www.dnb.com/) and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, https://www.sam.gov/). Registration in SAM.gov and Grants.gov can take several weeks. Finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registrations and submit early to Grants.gov to allow time to resolve any issues you might encounter during the submission process.

An organization may submit only one application at the Challenge America April 22, 2021, deadline

Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?dpp=1&oppId=331446
Program Description: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/program-description
Application Calendar: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/application-calendar
Award Information: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/award-information
Eligibility: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/eligibility
How to Apply: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/how-to-apply
FAQs: https://www.arts.gov/grants/challenge-america/frequently-asked-questions

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Contact challengeamerica@arts.gov or 202-682-5700.

National Endowment for the Arts
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

CFDA Number:

45.024

Funding or Pin Number:

2021NEA01CA

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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