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). You first must have successfully completed the Grants.gov SF-424 process by the deadline of record in Step 1.
To gain access to NEA-GO, proceed as follows:
Log in to NEA-GO at: http://nea.cloud.culturegrants.org/index/login.
Your User Name for NEA-GO will be your Grants.gov Tracking Number (example: GRANT12345678) and your Agency Tracking #/NEA Application Number will be your password (example: 15-123456). NOTE: Your registration for NEA-GO will be created for you. Do not create your own registration. If you do, it will prevent you from accessing NEA-GO when it opens for you to submit your application material and work samples.
Your Agency Tracking #/NEA Application Number can be found by logging on to Check My Application through Grants.gov. 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.
After you have logged in to NEA-GO, select the "Link to Formset" icon on the My Forms page to access the Grant Application Form.
If you apply to the February 19, 2015, application deadline (all disciplines except Design):
NEA-GO will be open for you to submit application material and work samples beginning on March 5, 2015. You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on March 12, 2015, to upload, preview/check, and submit your application material and work samples electronically.
If you apply to the July 23, 2015, application deadline (all disciplines except Artist Communities):
NEA-GO will be open for you to submit application material and work samples beginning on August 6, 2015. You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on August 13, 2015, to upload, preview/check, and submit your application material and work samples electronically.
- The NEA-GO system is optimized for use with the following web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. Internet Explorer will also work, but you must have at least version IE 8.
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").
A sample version of 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 5, 2015 for the February 19, 2015 deadline; August 6, 2015 for the July 23, 2015 deadline).
You will submit a substantial part of your application through the Grant Application Form, including:
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).
Provide the requested information for your organization for the most recently completed fiscal year, the previous fiscal year, and two fiscal years prior to the most recent year. 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 Collective Impact, or a pre-K through 12 curriculum-based Direct Learning or Professional Development 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, social impact/public interest/human centered design, and urban design)
- Folk & Traditional Arts (including folk & traditional arts projects in any art form)
- Local Arts Agencies (Local arts agencies generally are referred to as arts councils, departments of cultural affairs, or arts commissions. LAAs can be nonprofit entities or public sector municipal, county, or regional agencies that operate in cooperation with mayors and city managers. LAAs may present and/or produce arts programming, commission and manage public art, administer grant programs, provide technical assistance to artists and arts organizations, and guide cultural planning efforts. Still others may own, manage, and/or operate cultural facilities and be actively engaged in community development, and partner with entities in tourism, social services, public education, housing, economic development, and public safety. All strive to enhance the quality of life in their communities by working to increase public access to the arts. You will also find national and statewide arts service organizations in the LAA portfolio that work primarily with a network of LAAs. LAAs should submit applications through Local Arts Agencies regardless of project discipline. There are two exceptions: curriculum-based Arts Education or Collective Impact projects and Folk and Traditional arts projects.)
- 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.
NOTE: Organizations cannot 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, including costs that may be included in applications submitted, or grants received, by partner organizations or presenters.
Your Project Budget should reflect only those activities and associated costs that will be incurred during the "Period of Performance" that you have indicated for your project.
All items in your budget, whether supported by NEA funds or by the matching funds, must be reasonable, necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable in terms of the applicable federal cost principles, and auditable.
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 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 as long as they meet federal and NEA grant requirements. 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 -- including grants from the NEH, ED, NPS, etc. -- that are anticipated or received. If you include grants from your state arts agency or regional arts organization as part of your match, you must ensure that the funds do not include subgranted federal funds. 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 identified in the project budget as direct costs to ensure their allowability. In-kind items not reflected as direct costs will be removed from your budget. 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 during the period of performance, and are allowable. Be as specific as possible .
- 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 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.) NEW: Awards that the NEA makes after December 26, 2014, now allow the following: Salaries/wages/fringe benefits incurred in connection with fundraising. These costs must be incurred during the NEA project period of performance, and be approved as allowable project expenses by the agency.
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 by country of origin or destination and relate to activity outlined in your narrative. Foreign travel also 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. List all trips -- both domestic and foreign -- individually.
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. For procurement requirements related to contracts and consultants, please review 2 CFR Part 200.317-.326. 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.
Clearly identify the rental of equipment versus the purchase of equipment. 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 narrative. Computing devices are considered supplies if less than $5,000 per item regardless of the length of useful life.
If you engage in contracts of more than $15,000, identify the item or service and its relation to the project.
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, the service being provided, 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)
The following costs are unallowable and cannot be supported with either NEA funds or matching funds:
- Alcoholic beverages and activities/events where alcohol is served.
- Gifts and prizes, including cash prizes as well as other items (e.g., iPads, gift certificates) with monetary value.
- Cash reserves or endowments.
- Concessions (e.g., food, T-shirts, other items for resale).
- Contingencies or general miscellaneous costs.
- Contributions and donations to other entities.
- Fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction.
- Hospitality or social activities such as receptions, parties, galas.
- Land purchase costs, construction, or renovation.
- Marketing expenses that are not directly related to the project.
- Audit costs that are not directly related to a single audit (formerly known as an A-133 audit).
- Rental costs for home office workspace owned by individuals or entities affiliated with the applicant organization.
- Visa costs paid directly to the U.S. government.
- Costs incurred before the beginning of the official period of performance.
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). You are not required to have an indirect cost/facilities and administration rate to apply for or receive a grant. You may claim administrative costs or overhead as direct costs under "3. Other expenses." Alternatively, a non-federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). For more information see 2 CFR Part 200.414.f. However, you cannot claim both Indirect Costs and Administrative costs; you must choose one method or the other. If you have a negotiated rate and would like to include indirect costs, complete the information requested in this section. If you do not have or intend to negotiate an indirect cost rate, or do not plan to charge a de minimis 10% rate leave this section blank. Applicants may only apply a Research IDC for applications to the Research: Artworks program. 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.
There are four types of required items:
3. Special items (For certain projects only)
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.
Please arrange the items in the following order when uploading to NEA-GO:
- Programmatic Activities List
- Statements of Support
- Special Items
- Video Work Samples
- Audio Work Samples
- Image Work Samples
- Other Types of Work Samples
Below are the required items to upload to NEA-GO. These are a critical part of your application and are considered carefully during application review. Submit items in the format and within the space limitations described below. Only upload materials that we request. Other items that you include will not be reviewed.
Submit a representative list of your Programmatic Activities for the past three years.
Submit a selective representative list, in chronological order, of your organization's programming or activities for the following years: 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use programming for 2012, 2013, and 2014. You may submit up to three pages as a PDF file.
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., show examples of previous festival programming if your project is for a festival). For most applicants, this list should show selected artists/projects/exhibitions/works that your organization has or will have presented/produced/exhibited/performed. Use the bullets below as a guide to possible column headings for your list; adjust them as appropriate for your organization.
- Year: 2012-13, 2013-14, or 2014-15. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use 2012, 2013, or 2014.
- The titles of the works/productions/exhibitions or of the program or project.
- Key Artist(s)/Personnel. This may include a creator or project head such as a choreographer, composer, playwright, performing artist, arts specialist, teacher, etc. Also list any key personnel such as director, conductor, etc.
- The location of the activity.
- Dates of the activity and the number of performances/classes/events/exhibitions.
- Attendance and, where available, percent of capacity figures.
- Fees paid to artists/companies. (Use average or aggregate fees where appropriate.)
A performing arts group might fill out its representative list as follows:
|2012-13||Lecture||James Miller||ABC Museum||February 15, 2013||30/75%||$$|
|John Smith, Jane Doe||Civic Theater||Jan 27-31, 2014
|Civic Theater||April 17-21, 2015/7 perfs.||1,050/88%||$$|
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 all statements of support together as a single PDF file. Excess pages will be removed.
Submit a single PDF file that includes any items specified below that are relevant to your particular project.
- For projects that include catalogues/monographs/commissioned essays, a list of proposed articles and committed writers.
- For exhibitions, a working checklist with an indication of lenders' commitment if possible.
- For residencies, a description of the designer's selection process.
- For commissions and competitions, a description of the selection process, a list of jury members, and a statement of commitment regarding permission to use the site or location, from the site's owner/manager.
- For conservation, a condition report and treatment proposal for each object.
- 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.
Work samples should demonstrate the artistic excellence and artistic merit of your project.
Visual documentation is a critical component of your application and will be considered carefully during the review process. You must submit up to 20 attachments (that include digital images). Samples should be recent, of high quality, and as relevant to the project as possible. Please submit samples that show the designers' previous work, proposed sites, existing conditions, past exhibitions by the organization, examples or case studies of similar projects, a sampling of items to be included in the exhibition, or imagery that otherwise demonstrate the artistic excellence of the project.
You will be able to upload items in the formats described below. There is a limit of 250 MB for all of your items combined.
We will accept the following types of items:
Documents (Publications, Periodicals, Catalogues/Monographs/Commissioned Essays)
Each file has a size limit of 5 MB and 12 pages, and must be submitted as a PDF file. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.
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 of your scans. Saving the scanned file 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 20 images total. Digital images can be combined in a single PDF file or uploaded as individual JPEG files. Image size should be consistent; 800 x 600 pixels is suggested. Each image/file has a size limit of 5 MB
For images, you have two options:
- Combine all of your images into a single PDF and upload. The PDF should not exceed 20 pages with no more than one image per page. Do not submit an individual PDF for each image. Please include any captions that correspond to the images on each page of the PDF.
- Upload no more than 20 individual images in JPEG format. Upload images as individual JPEG files and add captions so that the images may be reviewed in the NEA-GO viewer.
If you believe you cannot represent your project with digital images, please contact the Design staff to discuss an alternative work sample, including websites, video, or other digital media.
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:
- Designer(s) name.
- Date of work/activity.
- A two-sentence description of the work including how this image relates to the project for which you are requesting support.
Applicants submitting multiple images in a PDF should include the relevant information from above with each image in the PDF. The descriptive field for the file should provide a brief overview of the group of images 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.