ART WORKS Guidelines: Media Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts offers grants to support the development, production, and distribution of innovative projects that demonstrate media as art and media about the arts (e.g., visual arts, music, dance, literature, design, theater, musical theater, opera, folk & traditional arts, and media arts including animation and digital art).

Media arts, as defined by the National Endowment for the Arts, includes screen-based  projects presented via film, television, radio, audio, video, the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, video games, transmedia storytelling, and satellite as well as media-related printed books, catalogues, and journals.


Art Works applications will be accepted under two deadlines: February 19, 2015, and July 23, 2015. Apply under the deadline with the NEA objective (in bold below) and project example that most closely corresponds to the primary focus of your proposed project. You will be asked to indicate the objective that is most relevant to your project in your application and on the application form.

An organization may submit more than one application under the Art Works category through the Media Arts discipline under the July 23, 2015, deadline. Organizations that are considering more than one Media Arts Art Works project under the July deadline must consult the Media Arts staff ( before applying. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor are not allowed.)

February 19, 2015, Application Deadline
January 1, 2016, Earliest Beginning Date for Arts Endowment Period of Performance


  • Film/video/audio/multimedia festivals that include media artists, critics, and/or scholars, and are open to the general public.
  • Curated exhibition and/or touring programs of media art including the production of program notes and commentary by visiting artists, scholars, and critics.
  • Regional, national, or international distribution of media as art.
  • Preservation, restoration, or archiving of media art works, and services that support preservation, restoration, or archiving efforts.
  • Festivals and other events in a national park or adjacent community.
  • Projects linking the arts and natural and cultural resources with a focus on one or more national park areas.


  • Media arts exhibitions, festivals, and other activities in public spaces that are intended to foster community interaction and/or enhance the unique characteristics of a community.

If you are considering Livability as an objective, please review the Livability reporting requirements in order to help ensure that your project is aligned with the intent of this objective. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Media Arts staff at

July 23, 2015, Application Deadline
June 1, 2016, Earliest Beginning Date for Arts Endowment Period of Performance


  • Media art productions: Projects may include high-profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); experimental, animated, transmedia, or interactive work; performance programs; arts-related segments for use within an existing series; apps for mobile or tablets (projects must be developed and made available for both iOS and Android devices); multi-part webisodes; installations; and video games. Productions must demonstrate the creative use of media, fulfilling, and when possible, extending their artistic possibilities. All phases of a project are eligible for support including research and development, production, and completion costs. Productions where the primary purpose is instructional, journalistic (except arts journalism), or promotional will not be considered.
  • Creation, commissioning, and presentation of new work in a national park or in an adjacent community.


  • Services to the field including activities that provide media artists and organizations with resources that are essential for artistic growth and development.
  • Facilities access that makes production and post-production equipment available to media artists.
  • Publications on issues pertinent to the media arts field, both practical and aesthetic, and both digital and in print.
  • The development of web portals, hubs, mobile and tablet apps (developed and made available for both iOS and Android devices), or other innovative uses of technology or new models to provide audiences with access to media artists and art works.


  • Programs for the media field including workshops/residencies/conferences that are designed for media artists, critics, scholars, and are open to the general public.
  • Education and related activities, including arts/science/technology collaborations, for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)

Project Reporting and Evaluation

We ask all applicants to define what they would like to achieve, how they will evaluate the degree to which it is achieved, and, upon completion of the project, what they have learned from their experiences. Such feedback need not entail large-scale or expensive evaluation efforts. You should do what is feasible and appropriate for your organization and project. When a grant is completed, you must submit a final report and answer questions on your achievements and how these were determined. Arts Education grantees who apply for a Direct Learning Grant will be required to describe the assessment methods used to assess learning, and they may submit tools used to assess learning with their Final Report. (Please note that assessment tools may be shared publicly. If your tools are proprietary and have copyrights or trademarks attached, you will be asked to note that in your application and Final Report.) Before applying, please review the reporting requirements for the objective that will be selected for the proposed project: Creation, Engagement, Learning, or Livability.

Beyond the reporting requirements for all grantees, selected Art Works grantees will be asked to assist in the collection of additional information that can help the NEA determine the degree to which agency objectives were achieved. You may be required to provide evidence of project accomplishments including, but not limited to, work samples, community action plans, cultural asset studies, programs, reviews, relevant news clippings, and playbills. Please remember that you are required to maintain project documentation for three years following submission of your final reports.

Application Review

This category uses the agency's traditional method of application review. Applications are submitted to the Media Arts staff and are reviewed by a diverse group of experts in the media arts field.

Applications are reviewed on the basis of artistic excellence and artistic merit. For more detailed information on how artistic excellence and artistic merit will be evaluated, see the "Review Criteria." You can find additional information in the "Application Review" section of the "Frequently Asked Questions." See the "Application Calendar" for information on when we expect to announce grant awards and rejections.


Media Arts Specialist: Sarah Metz, or 202-682-5511; Sarah Burford, or 202-682-5591