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Applications are now open for NEA grants to fund the arts in underserved communities

A new grant-making initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) — "ArtsHERE" — will help 95 regional cultural groups across the U.S. increase arts participation in underserved communities.

The NEA is partnering with six major regional arts nonprofits for the ArtsHERE pilot in 2024 to award project-based grants to cultural groups that can demonstrate a strong commitment to equity in their programming and operations. South Arts, a major regional arts organization based in Atlanta, Ga. will manage the pilot.

The grants will range in size from $65,000 to $130,000.

Cultural nonprofits of all types and sizes based anywhere in the country can apply for ArtsHERE. Applications are open through mid-January and the NEA said it plans to announce recipients next spring.

The initiative stems from NEA research showing lower arts participation in underserved communities than other groups. And arts access is a key component of the Executive Order on Promoting the Arts, the Humanities and Museum and Library Services signed by U.S. President Joe Biden last September.

"I believe the ability for all people to live artful lives is a key element of equity, justice, just a healthy existence," said NEA chair Maria Rosario Jackson in a statement to NPR.

In the 2023 financial year, the NEA awarded $160.10 million in grants. That level is expected to remain the same in 2024.

"The NEA also will undertake efforts to better understand how grantees approach their work and what they need to succeed," said Jackson. "And in the future, the NEA and other funders will will know how to best serve these organizations."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Chloe Veltman
Chloe Veltman is a correspondent on NPR's Culture Desk.