Fill out and submit to NEA-GO the NEA Grant Application Form and Upload Items
You will use the NEA GrantsOnline™ System (NEA-GO), which is being administered for the NEA by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). This will proceed as follows:
You will complete the Grants.gov SF-424 process by the deadline of record as detailed in Step 1.
Log in to Grants.gov. On the left of the screen under Applicant Actions, click on Check My Application Status. Click the Search button, and all of your submitted applications will appear. In the column for Agency Tracking # and Notes, click on the number. There you will see information about how to access NEA-GO. There will be a notes box with a link to NEA-GO and information about when it will be open. Your User Name for NEA-GO will be your Grants.gov Tracking Number and your Agency Tracking #/NEA Application Number will be your password. You can begin accessing this information on Grants.gov 1-2 business days after you submit your SF-424, but no earlier than 10 days before the application deadline.
If you apply to the February 20, 2014, application deadline (all disciplines except Design):
NEA-GO will be open for you to submit application material and work samples beginning on March 6, 2014. You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on March 20, 2014, to upload, preview/check, and submit your application material and work samples electronically.
If you apply to the July 24, 2014, application deadline (all disciplines except Artist Communities):
NEA-GO will be open for you to submit application material and work samples beginning on August 7, 2014. You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on August 21, 2014, to upload, preview/check, and submit your application material and work samples electronically.
For specific help on how to complete your application, please review the instructions in these guidelines including the Frequently Asked Questions, or contact the discipline staff that is appropriate to your project (see "Agency Contacts").
Grant Application Form
The Grant Application Form and the information that it collects can be seen here. You will not have access to the Grant Application Form until NEA-GO opens for you to submit your application material (March 6, 2014 for the February 20, 2014 deadline; August 7, 2014 for the July 24, 2014 deadline).
You will submit a substantial part of your application through the Grant Application Form, including:
Answers to narrative questions about your organization and project.
Financial information about your organization and project.
Bios of key individuals.
You should prepare your responses and material well in advance of the deadline and have them fully ready to upload once NEA-GO opens for you. The version of the form that you can link to now will let you know what is required and any specifications about your material (e.g., character limits for narrative responses).
See the instructions below for the following items (instructions for narrative and financial information are provided on the form itself).
Part 1. Organizational Information
Provide the requested information for your organization for the most recently completed fiscal year, the previous fiscal year, and two years prior. If you are a parent organization, provide this information for the independent component on whose behalf you are applying (e.g., for a university project, provide the information for the independent component, not the entire university). For independent components, you may use the space to discuss the fiscal health of your organization to explain the relationship that the independent component has with the larger entity (e.g., "museum guards and utilities paid for by university"). If your organization is a smaller entity that exists within a larger organization (such as literary organization housed at a college or university), submit information for the smaller entity and follow the instructions for parent organizations and independent components.
This is intended to show your organization's fiscal activity as it relates to operations. Do not include activity related to a capital campaign (such as raising money for a new facility, an endowment fund, or a cash reserve fund). The Arts Endowment may request additional information to clarify an organization's financial position.
Use the following definitions when completing this form. Unaudited figures are acceptable.
Earned: Revenues that are received through the sale of goods, services performed, or from investments. Examples: ticket sales, subscription revenue, contractual fees, interest income.
Contributed: Gifts that are received which are available to support operations. Examples: annual fund donations, grants for general operating or project support, in-kind contributions.
Artistic Salaries: Costs that are directly related to the creation, production, and presentation of art work. Examples: fees for dancers, choreographers, actors, curators, artistic directors, contributors to literary publications. Include arts personnel that are on your staff as well as those that are paid on a contract or fee basis.
Production/exhibition/service expenses: All program or service delivery costs, excluding artistic salaries and fees that are listed above. Examples: presentation costs; costs of sets, costumes, and lighting; publication costs of catalogues or literary magazines.
Administrative expenses: All other costs that are incurred during the normal course of business. Examples: outside professional non-artistic services, space rental, travel, marketing, administrative salaries, utilities, insurance, postage.
NOTE: The figures are subject to verification by the Arts Endowment.
NEA Office/Discipline: Choose the one discipline that is most relevant to your project. This selection will aid the Arts Endowment's application review. If you have questions, refer to "Agency Contacts."
If you are proposing a pre-K through 12 curriculum-based project that aligns with either national or state arts education standards, choose Arts Education. If you choose Arts Education, a second Project Field/Discipline menu will appear. From that menu, select the discipline that is most relevant to your project.
For other education projects, or if you are not proposing a pre-K through 12 curriculum-based project that aligns with either national or state arts education standards, select the relevant field/discipline below:
- Artist Communities
- Dance (including dance presentation)
- Design (including architecture, communications and graphic design, fashion design, historic preservation, industrial and product design, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, universal design, rural design, and urban design)
- Folk & Traditional Arts (including folk & traditional arts projects in any art form)
- Local Arts Agencies (including projects in any discipline that are submitted by a local arts agency or LAA. Local arts agencies generally are referred to as arts councils, departments of cultural affairs, or arts commissions. LAAs can be private entities or public municipal, county, or regional agencies that operate in cooperation with mayors and city managers. Local arts agencies generally make grant awards directly to both artists and arts organizations, present programming to the public, manage cultural facilities, provide services to artists and arts organizations, and facilitate community cultural planning. Statewide assemblies and cultural service organizations that work specifically with local arts agencies also are eligible, but only for projects that will predominantly serve local arts agencies.)
- Media Arts
- Museums (including projects in any discipline that are submitted by a museum)
- Music (including music presentation)
- Opera (including opera presentation)
- Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works (projects that involve multiple arts disciplines including multidisciplinary arts presenting and other types of multidisciplinary activities)
- Theater & Musical Theater (including theater and musical theater presentation)
- Visual Arts
Choose your field/discipline carefully. In limited cases, Arts Endowment staff may transfer an application to a field/discipline other than the one that was selected by the applicant to ensure appropriate panel review.
Part 3: Project Budget:
NOTE: Organizations may not receive more than one Arts Endowment grant for the same expenses. This budget cannot include project costs that are supported by any other federal funds or their match.
Your Project Budget should reflect only those costs that will be incurred during the "Period of Support" that you have indicated for your project. Any costs incurred before or after those dates will be removed. Round all numbers to the nearest $100.
Combine like costs if necessary to make rounding more realistic. Applicants whose grants are recommended for less than the amount that is requested may be asked to revise the project budget.
While the Project Budget on the Grant Application Form will allow unlimited characters in the line items descriptions, please use the character maximums listed in the instructions below. If you go beyond the character maximums, your expanded information will not be seen by NEA staff or reviewers.
AMOUNT REQUESTED FROM THE ARTS ENDOWMENT: For Challenge America Fast-Track, all grants are for $10,000. For Art Works, grants will generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. Do not request an amount below $10,000. Be realistic in your request.
TOTAL MATCH FOR THIS PROJECT: The Arts Endowment requires each applicant to obtain at least half the total cost of each project from nonfederal sources. For example, if you receive a $10,000 grant, your total project costs must be at least $20,000 and you must provide at least $10,000 toward the project from nonfederal sources. Matches of more than dollar for dollar are encouraged. These matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions as detailed below. Be as specific as possible. For projects that include additional partners, indicate on the form the portion of the match that is being contributed by each participant. Asterisk (*) those funds that are committed or secured.
Cash match refers to the cash donations (including items or services that are provided by the applicant organization), grants, and revenues that are expected or received for this project. Limit your descriptions to 100 characters maximum. Do not include any Arts Endowment or other federal grants that are anticipated or received. Identify sources. The Arts Endowment allows the use of unrecovered indirect costs as part of the cash match or cost sharing. Your organization must have a federal negotiated indirect cost rate agreement to include unrecovered indirect costs.
In-kind: Donated space, supplies, volunteer services are goods and services that are donated by individuals or organizations other than the applicant (third-party). Limit your descriptions to 100 characters maximum. To qualify as matching resources, these same items also must be listed in the project budget as direct costs. The dollar value of these non-cash donations should be calculated at their verifiable fair-market value. Identify sources. Reminder: Proper documentation must be maintained for all items noted as "in-kind."
TOTAL PROJECT INCOME is the total of "1. Amount requested from the Arts Endowment" and 2. Total match for this project."
DIRECT COSTS are those that are identified specifically with the project. Be as specific as possible (e.g., show costs that relate to festival programming if your project is for a festival). For projects that include additional partners, indicate on the form the portion attributed to each participant.
DIRECT COSTS: Salaries and wages cover compensation for personnel, administrative and artistic, who are paid on a salary basis. (Funds for contractual personnel and compensation for artists who are paid on a fee basis should be included in "3. Other expenses" on Page 2 of the Project Budget form, and not here.) Indicate the title and/or type of personnel (40 characters maximum), the number of personnel (30 characters maximum), the annual or average salary range (40 characters maximum), and the percentage of time that will be devoted to the project annually (30 characters maximum). List key staff positions, and combine similar functions. Where appropriate, use ranges. If the costs for evaluation and assessment are part of staff salary and/or time, separately identify those costs.
Title and/or type of personnel
Number of personnel
Annual or average salary range
% of time devoted to this project
Executive Director (most of project)
$40,000 per yr.
Executive Director (evaluation only)
$40,000 per yr.
$20-25,000 per yr.
$15-20,000 per yr.
Salaries and wages for performers and related or supporting personnel must be estimated at rates no less than the prevailing minimum compensation as required by the Department of Labor Regulations. (See "Legal Requirements" for details.) Salaries and wages that are incurred in connection with fund raising are not allowable project expenses; do not include them in your budget.
Fringe benefits are those costs other than wages or salary that are attributable to an employee, as in the form of pension, insurance, vacation and sick leave, etc. They may be included here only if they are not included as indirect costs.
DIRECT COSTS: Travel must be estimated according to the applicant's established travel practice, providing that the travel cost is reasonable and does not exceed the cost of air coach accommodations. Limit your descriptions to these character maximums: # of Travelers = 20 characters; From = 50 characters; To = 50 characters. Include subsistence costs (e.g., hotels, meals) as part of the "Amount" listed for each trip, as appropriate. Foreign travel, if any is intended, must be specified in this section and must conform with government regulations, including those of the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control. If Arts Endowment funds are used for foreign travel, such travel must be booked on a U.S. air-carrier when this service is available.
DIRECT COSTS: Other expenses include consultant and artist fees, contractual services, promotion, acquisition fees, rights, evaluation and assessment fees, access accommodations (e.g., audio description, sign-language interpretation, closed or open captioning, large-print brochures/labeling), telephone, photocopying, postage, supplies and materials, publication, distribution, translation, transportation of items other than personnel, rental of space or equipment, and other project-specific costs. List artist compensation here if artists are paid on a fee basis. Limit your descriptions to 100 characters maximum.
Television broadcast projects and educational/interpretive videos must be closed or open captioned. Applicants should check with captioning organizations for an estimate.
If you intend to purchase any equipment that costs $5,000 or more per item and that has an estimated useful life of more than one year, you must identify that item here. Provide a justification for this expenditure either in this section of the Project Budget form or in your Details of the Project narrative.
Group similar items together on a single line, with only one total cost. List consultant and artist fees or contracts for professional services on consecutive lines; do not scatter them throughout the list. Specify the number of persons and the applicable fee, rate, or amount of each. For other types of line items, provide details of what is included in each item. See the “Administration” example below.
Artists (5 @ $300-500 per week/30 weeks)
Consultants (2 @ $150 per 1/2 day/1 day per mo./10 mos.)
Access accommodations (sign-language interpretation and audio description)
Administration (rent -- $4,500, telephone -- $300, copying -- $200)
Do not include fund raising, entertainment or hospitality activities, concessions (e.g., food, T-shirts), fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction, cash reserves or endowments, lobbying, marketing expenses that are not directly related to the project, audit costs that are not directly related to an A-133 audit, contingencies, miscellaneous, land purchase costs, construction, or costs incurred before the beginning of the official period of support.
TOTAL DIRECT COSTS is the total of all direct cost items listed in "1. Salaries and wages" (from Page 1 of the Project Budget form), "2. Travel," and "3. Other expenses."
INDIRECT COSTS are overhead or administrative expenses that are not readily identifiable with a specific project. (The costs of operating and maintaining facilities and equipment, depreciation or use allowances, and administrative salaries and supplies are typical examples of indirect costs.) Indirect costs are prorated or charged to a project through a rate negotiated with the Arts Endowment or another federal agency (limit your description of Federal Agency to 50 characters). NOTE: Colleges and universities may not apply a "research" indirect cost rate to Arts Endowment grants. If you do not have or intend to negotiate an indirect cost rate, leave this section blank. You may claim administrative costs or overhead as direct costs under "3. Other expenses." If you have a negotiated rate and would like to include indirect costs, complete the information requested in this section. For additional information, see "Indirect Cost Guide for NEA Grantees."
TOTAL PROJECT COSTS is the total of "4. Total direct costs," and, if applicable, "5. Indirect costs." NOTE: "3. Total project income" (from Page 1 of the Project Budget form) must equal the "Total project costs." Your project budget should not equal your organization's entire operating budget.
Items to Upload
There are four types of required items:
4. Work samples
You will access NEA-GO for detailed instructions and to upload your items. You should prepare your items well in advance of the deadline and have them fully ready to upload once NEA-GO becomes available to you.
Below are the required items to uploads to NEA-GO. These are a critical part of your application and are considered carefully during application review.
Submit a representative list of your Programmatic Activities for the past three years.
Submit up to three pages of a selective representative list, in chronological order, of your organization's programming or activities for the following years: 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use programming for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.
This list should demonstrate eligibility (i.e., your organization's three-year history of programming) and the artistic excellence and merit of your organization. For the purpose of defining eligibility, "three-year history" refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status. Where available, include arts or cultural programming that has a relationship to the project for which you are requesting support (e.g., examples of your previous work with youth). Use the bullets below as a guide to possible column headings for your list; adjust them as appropriate for your organization.
- Year: 2011-12, 2012-13, or 2013-14. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use 2011, 2012, or 2013.
- The titles of the program or project.
- Project director.
- Key Artist(s)/Personnel. This may include arts specialists, teachers, participating artists, curriculum developers, assessment/evaluation specialists, youth/community development specialists, etc.
- The location of the activity.
- Dates of the activity and the number of classes/performances/events/exhibitions.
- Number of participants/attendance.
An after-school visual arts learning program might fill out its selective representative list as follows:
|Project Head||Participating Artist(s)||Dates/#
School Arts/ Sweeney Elementary
|Jan Smith||Lois Jones
|125 3rd & 4th grade students|
|2012-13||The Arts at ABC Jr. High||Bill Miller||Susan Johnson||Oct. 12- April 13; two days every week||60 students|
|2013-14||Teen Studio/ Austin Fine Arts||Bob Doe||Ray Ward
|2 hours weekly/year-round||80 students|
You must submit at least one statement of support that is directly related to the proposed project. Submit a maximum of three one-page statements of support that demonstrate commitment from any combination of key artists, organizations, or communities that you wish to highlight. Statements of support are used by reviewers to assess the level of commitment of project participants and the impact of project activities. Do not provide general statements of support for your organization. Each statement should include the name, affiliation, phone number, and e-mail address of the individual who provided it.
Submit a single PDF file that includes any items specified below that are relevant to your particular project.
- Copyright Information: If your project is based on copyrighted material, a statement that documents the clearance of rights for this particular project or publication. You must have the rights secured by the application deadline.
- Authority to Operate as the Local Education Agency: If you are a single school that is applying as the local education agency (school district), documentation that assigns your organization the authority to operate as the local education agency.
NOTE: The Arts Endowment does not make awards directly to individual elementary or secondary schools -- charter, private, or public. Local education agencies and school districts are eligible. If a single school also is the local education agency, as is the case with some charter schools, the school may apply with documentation that supports its status as the local education agency.
- For projects that may be impacted by the National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act (e.g., an arts festival in a park, the commissioning and installation of an outdoor sculpture or mural, or certain types of Livability projects), provide documentation that the project is in compliance. The Arts Endowment may conduct a review of your organization to ensure that it is in compliance.
Applicants should submit no more than five work samples.
- Samples should not be more than three years old.
- They should be as relevant to the project as possible and reflect the project type you have chosen: Direct Learning, Professional Development, or Collective Impact. They should concisely communicate the exemplary quality of your project.
Video samples are an especially effective way to convey a project’s artistic excellence and merit.
Work samples may include:
- Student work. Where appropriate, work samples should show student work and convey the actions or reactions of the youth to the arts learning engagement. It is important to demonstrate the process of learning as well as the finished product.
In your work sample description, identify the age or grade of the youth; whether they are beginning, intermediate, or advanced students, or a combination thereof; and the context for the work including the chronological point in the project that is represented (e.g., start-of-year class, mid-session workshop, year-end program).
- Artist/teaching artist work. Wherever possible, work samples should demonstrate the experience and skills of the proposed artists/teachers who will be working with the participants in the proposed project. Submit work samples that demonstrate the quality of the instruction.
- Curriculum units or lesson plans. Include an explanation of their relevance to the project and to the other work samples submitted.
- Assessment/evaluation documentation. Include any assessment tools you may use in the project, e.g., rubrics, surveys, evaluation forms, student journal samples, final evaluation reports, or other relevant documentation. Arts Education grantees who apply for a Direct Learning Grant will be required to describe the methods used to assess learning, and they will be required to submit any tools used to assess learning with their Final Report.
- Other work that is relevant to the project.
For an existing project, submit work samples that show the same project in the past. If the project is new, work samples should demonstrate past experience with related activities.
You will be able to upload samples in the formats described below. There is a limit of 250 MB for all of your work samples combined.
Use the format(s) below that are best suited to your project.
Submit no more than three selections; with a combined viewing time of no longer than ten minutes.
You may submit a link to a video sample, or upload a video sample directly to NEA-GO. If you are submitting more than one video sample, you will upload each individually, in a separate file
If you submit a link:
Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, submit no more than three and list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary information on required plug-ins, passwords, or navigation paths. Do not submit links to sites that require work samples to be downloaded (e.g., Dropbox).
If you upload directly to NEA-GO:
Acceptable file types are avi, flv, mov, mp4, mpeg, rm, and wmv. Your video sample must be in one of these acceptable file types. File types such as VIDEO_TS.BUP, VIDEO_TS.IFO, and VIDEO_TS.VOB will not work.
In order to be uploaded, videos must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Resolution: At least 480 x 360
- Frames per second (fps): At least 12
You can often check the resolution of a video as follows. In Windows environments, find the file on your computer, right click it, and select "Properties." On a Mac, hold the Control key, and click on the file name. Select "Get Info" and the information should display. Most videos are a standard 29 frames per second.
While the above requirements are the minimum, submitting your video in the mp4 (H.264) format at 640 x 480 with mp3 audio will allow for efficient uploading while showing your clips to best advantage. There is a file size limit of 250 MB. (Note, however, that there is a limit of 250 MB for all of your work samples combined so choose your video samples carefully.)
If your video doesn't meet the minimum resolution requirements above, there are a number of software programs you can use to convert your video.
Submit documents that directly relate to the proposed project. Upload each document individually, in a separate file. Each file has a size limit of 5 MB and 12 pages. All documents should be submitted as PDF files.
Examples of documents or excerpts of documents may include sample lesson plans, teachers' guides, sample curricula, syllabi, program evaluation or student assessment methods, or documentation of past evaluation or assessment efforts, and publications.
If you have to scan material, please follow the guidance below:
- Scan images at a resolution of 300 dpi. Resolutions over 300 dpi will result in unnecessarily large files.
- Experiment with the JPEG quality settings. Saving the document as a "medium quality" or "low quality" JPEG will reduce the file size, and is not likely to reduce readability.
- When you have scanned the images, combine them into a single PDF file. Submit a single file for each document; do not submit a separate file for each scanned page.
Submit up to 12 images. A set of up to 12 images is considered one work sample. We recommend that you combine all of your images into a single PDF file. Image size should be consistent; 800 x 600 pixels is suggested. Each image/file has a size limit of 5 MB. Acceptable file types are jpeg, gif, bmp, png, and tif.
Submit no more than three selections; with a combined listening time of no more than ten minutes. You will upload each selection in a separate file. Each file has a size limit of 5 MB. Acceptable file types are mp3, wma, wav, aac, mid, midi, mpa, and ra.
- Do not submit your organization's general website. Only submit a website that is an essential part of the proposed project.
- Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, submit no more than five and list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary information on required plug-ins or passwords.
- Provide navigation instructions to locate relevant information on the site.
- Do not submit links to sites that require work samples to be downloaded (e.g., Dropbox).
- NOTE: If you provide links to works samples -- video samples, documents, digital images, or audio samples – the same limits on work samples uploaded directly to NEA-GO apply to those provided via links.
Information About Uploaded Items
For each item that you upload, you will find a descriptive field into which you will enter the following information, as appropriate:
This title must not contain an apostrophe (if you use one your item will not upload). Title each item with a unique name.
- For your programmatic activities list, statements of support, and special items, simply state the type of item.
- For video/audio/digital image/website/document work samples, state the title of the work or organization represented by the work sample.
For your programmatic activities list, statements of support, and special items, simply state the type of item.
For video/audio/digital image/website/document work samples:
- Description of the work or activity, including artists and titles of work where relevant.
- Date of the work or activity.
- Relevance of the work sample to the project for which you are requesting support. Identify the age or grade of the youth; whether they are beginning, intermediate, or advanced students, or a combination thereof; and the context for the work including the chronological point in the project that is represented (e.g., start-of-year class, mid-session workshop, year-end program).
- For audio and video samples, length of the sample. (Five minutes is the maximum.)
Applicants submitting multiple websites or multiple images on a PDF should include the relevant information from above with each website or image in the PDF. The descriptive field for the file should provide a brief overview of the group of images or websites as a whole.
If new information that significantly affects your application (including changes in artists or confirmed funding commitments) becomes available after your application is submitted, please send that information immediately to the specialist for the field/discipline of your project. Include your organization's name and application number on any such submission. No changes in or revisions to your application can be made through Grants.gov.