The arts and culture in our communities are a vital part of our economic recovery. This past year, the arts have guided and inspired our nation during the global pandemic. It came at a cost as venues and programs were the first to shutter or pivot to online and will be one of the last industries to fully reopen.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is the federal response to help ignite our country to move forward economically. The law creates an unprecedented funding opportunity for art organizations to apply for operating support through the National Endowment for the Arts. The new funding creates competitively awarded grants for eligible organizations across the country, including those based in Fairfax County.
On June 23, 2021, the National Endowment for the Arts released guidelines and application materials for two separate competitive programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds:
The programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, regardless of whether they have received NEA funding in the past. Potential applicants should note that this is a change from previous emergency funding requirements at the NEA and significantly expands access to federal funds for the arts and culture sector.
The NEA encourages applications from first-time applicants and will offer workshops, question and answer sessions, and other resources for those new to federal funding. Before applying for Arts Endowment funding, you will need to obtain a DUNS number and register at SAM.gov and grants.gov. Registration in SAM.gov and grants.gov can take several weeks, so you should begin the process as soon as possible.
Additional guidelines, application materials, and applicant resources can be found at arts.gov/arp-grants.