ART WORKS Guidelines: Step 2: Submit Materials to NEA-GO

Grant Application Form | Part 1 Organizational Information | Part 2 Project Information

Part 3 Project Budget | Items to Upload (including work samples)

Fill out and submit to NEA-GO the NEA Grant Application Form and Upload Items


  1. Submit your materials to NEA-GO prior to the deadline to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter. You take a significant risk by waiting until the day of the deadline to submit.

    • Most problems can be solved by changing your browser. If that doesn't work, change devices.
    • NEA staff will not be available to help you after 5:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on the day of the deadline.
  2. Don't forget to hit the "Submit" button when you are ready to submit your application. If you do not hit the "Submit" button, your application will not be received.

  3. NEA-GO closes at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on the day of the deadline. Be sure you have finished uploading your materials and hit the "Submit" button prior to that time.

  4. You will receive confirmation of your successful submission in two ways: 1) a pop up on your screen, and 2) an email from Maintain documentation of your successful submission. If you modify your application after you submit, you will not receive additional confirmations.

  5. After submitting your application, you may log back into NEA-GO and make modifications to your submission up until the system closes on the day of the deadline. Remember to hit the "Save" and "Submit" button again prior the deadline.

  6. You may print a copy of your application at any time, whether in draft or final form, for your records. The print icon is located on the My Forms page.

  7. Some special characters (such as ampersands, quotation marks, apostrophes, and angle brackets) take up more character counts than others in webforms, including the Grant Application Form. This is because certain characters are translated into HTML code which takes up more than one character space. If you notice a higher than expected character count when you enter information directly into the Grant Application Form or copy and paste from your word processing program, here are a few tips:

    • Transfer your text into a text-only utility like Notepad before pasting it into the Grant Application Form. This will delete hidden HTML code to ensure the proper capture of your text. However, any formatting you had will be deleted.
    • Use a solution other than special characters. For example, instead of using quotation marks for titles of works, put them in italics and that won't affect character count.
    • Use only one space after the end of sentences. Single spaces after punctuation marks (periods, commas, colons, etc.) only reduce the character counter by one character. If you enter two spaces after a period, HTML coding adds extra spaces.

    Also, save character space by limiting the use of tabs.

  8. You will receive one confirmation email from noreply @ after you have submitted the Grant Application Form. You will not receive additional emails if you modify your submission before the NEA-GO system closes.

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 SF-424 process by the deadline of record in Step 1.

To gain access to NEA-GO, proceed as follows:

  1. Log in to NEA-GO at:

  2. Your User Name for NEA-GO will be your 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.

  3. Your Agency Tracking #/NEA Application Number can be found by logging on to Check My Application through You can begin accessing this information on 1-2 business days after you submit your SF-424, but no earlier than 10 days before the application deadline.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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").

Grant Application Form

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:

  • 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

Organization Budget

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.

Part 2. Project Information

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)
  • Literature
  • 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

Part 3: Project Budget:

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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."

  3. 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.

  1. 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.



    Support Staff


    $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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)


    Costumes, props


    Project supplies


    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.
    • Lobbying.
    • 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.
  4. 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."

  5. 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."

  6. 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:

1.  Programmatic activities list

2.  Statements of support

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.

Programmatic Activities List

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:

Year Title/
Location Dates/#
of perfs.
% Capacity
2012-13 Lecture James Miller ABC Museum February 15, 2013 30/75% $$
2013-14 Work A/
Creator A
John Smith, Jane Doe Civic Theater Jan 27-31, 2014
6 perfs.
850/71% $$
2014-15 Work B/
Creator B
Richard Jones,
Robert Hall
Civic Theater April 17-21, 2015/7 perfs. 1,050/88% $$

Statements of Support

New requirement! 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. Label this "Statement of Support." Excess pages will be removed. Statements of support sent directly to the NEA will not be considered during the review process.

Special Items

Submit a PDF file  for any items specified below that are relevant to your particular project.

  • For all projects, a one-page Artistic Statement. This statement must be written by the Artistic Director or other person who has responsibility for the project. It should discuss the reasons for the project's selection and its relationship to the artistic vision of the organization. Label this "Artistic Statement."
  • For projects that involve the creation of work (label this "Creative Statement"):
    • A one-page statement written by the primary creative artists (e.g., the composer and librettist) with responsibility for the project.
    • The required (in-progress) sample score and libretto for the project. This can be the complete score and complete libretto.
    • If your project is based on copyrighted material, a statement that documents the clearance of rights for this particular project. For example, if you are commissioning a new work that will be using copyrighted text, submit documentation to prove that you have permission for its use. Rights to copyrighted material must be secured by the application deadline.
  • For recording projects (label this "Distribution Plan"):
    • A one-page distribution plan
  • For professional development activities:
    • A three-page curriculum plan that outlines both the training activities and the performance opportunities offered. Label this "Professional Development Curriculum Plan." This information should outline the training such as vocal coaching, diction, language, acting, movement, and theatrical training.
    • A three-page representative list of the names and current professional affiliations of participants from the past two years. Label this "Representative List of Artists/Affiliations."
  • For educational and outreach programs:
    • A three-page curriculum plan that outlines both the training activities and the performance opportunities offered. Label this "Education and Outreach Curriculum Plan."
    • Curriculum material such as teachers' guides also may be submitted. Label this "Teacher Guide" (up to 10 pages).
  • For projects that involve touring, following the instructions provided for Programmatic Activities, provide a three-page representative list of your touring activities for the past three seasons. Label this "Touring Activities."
  • 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: Video/audio/digital image/website/documents

Work samples should relate as directly as possible to your proposed project. Your work samples should demonstrate the artistic excellence and artistic merit of your project. For example, if you are proposing to create a work, submit an example of work by the proposed artist. If your project to complete a work, submit a sample of the work in progress. For collaborations, submit samples that feature the various artists and/or organizations involved. For educational and outreach activities, your sample(s) should demonstrate both the skills of the artists who will be working with the participants as well as the artists/teachers working with students or others.

All performing and presenting organizations must submit three video samples of contrasting operatic works (performed live within the past two years) that demonstrate a range of styles, and are relevant to the project for which you are requesting support. Select and identify specific arias, duets, ensembles, etc. Each segment must be between 5 to 15 minutes in duration.

Of these three samples, you must include at least one ensemble selection, e.g., chorus, quartet, quintet.

Of these three samples, you must include a sampling of your organization's mainstage work, even if you are not requesting support for a mainstage production.

For projects that involve commissions, premieres, or recordings, you may submit more than three video samples.

Work samples should demonstrate the artistic quality of your organization and should relate as directly as possible to your proposed project. Therefore:

  • If you are applying to create a new work, submit examples of recent work by both the composer and the librettist (e.g., scores, librettos, and recordings). Samples of creative artists' work are critical components of your application and will be considered carefully during the review process. This may include recordings from another organization that has already recorded the work (e.g., from a workshop production).
  • If you are applying to complete a work, submit a sample of the work in progress.
  • If you are applying to mount a new production, submit examples of recent work by the artistic team (e.g., images or artists' renderings of sets, costumes).
  • If you are applying for a collaborative project, submit samples that feature the various artists and/or organizations involved.
  • For professional development and training of artists, submit samples that demonstrate the training activities and performance opportunities provided to young artists.
  • For educational and outreach activities, submit samples that demonstrate the skills of the artists and teachers working with students and other participants. Curriculum material such as teacher's guides may be submitted. Label this "Teacher Guide" and limit it to 10 pages.
  • If you are applying for a recording project, include samples of the work(s) to be recorded or, if not available, representative work(s) by the proposed composer(s) or artist(s).
  • Service organizations should submit brief selections from publications or other documents that demonstrate their ability to carry out the proposed project.

Acceptable Formats

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 (Scores, Librettos, Teacher Guides, News Clips, Articles, Reviews, Publications, Periodicals)

Each file has a size limit of 5 MB  and must be submitted as a PDF file. Page limits for each type of file are specified below. Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Use only 8.5 x 11 inch size pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Within each PDF, number pages sequentially; place numbers on the bottom right hand corner of each page. Excess pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.

Page Limits:

  • Programmatic Activities List: three pages (required)
  • Statements of Support: one page each, total of three are permitted (required)
  • Special Items: submit the following as ONE PDF:
    • For all projects, Artistic Statement: one page (required)
    • For projects to create/develop a new opera,
      • Creative Statement(s): one page for composer, one page for librettist
      • For copyrighted work, Clearance of Rights Statement: one page
    • For recording projects, Distribution Plan: one page
    • For professional development training of artists projects,
      • curriculum plan: three pages, label it "Professional Development Curriculum Plan."
      • representative list of participants: three pages, label it "Representative List of Artists/Affiliations."
    • For educational and outreach projects,
      • curriculum plan: three pages, label it "Education and Outreach Curriculum Plan."
      • Curriculum material: up to 12 pages, label it "Teacher Guide"
    • For projects that involve touring,
      • representative list of touring activities: three pages, label it "Touring Activities"
  • Scores: for development/premiere projects, complete score
  • Librettos: for development/premiere projects, complete libretto
  • Reviews: up to 12 pages
  • Publications: up to 12 pages
  • Periodicals: up to 12 pages

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.

Video Samples

Video samples are required for performing and presenting organizations. Submit three video samples. For projects that involve commissions or recordings, you may submit more than three samples.

The recorded performance and recording itself should be of the highest quality. Do not send dark work samples or samples with poor visibility. Do not submit promotional material.

You may upload a video sample directly to NEA-GO, or you may submit a web link to a video sample.

Uploading to NEA-GO is strongly recommended.

If you upload directly to NEA-GO:

When submitting multiple video samples, you will upload each individually, in a separate file.

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.

If you submit a link:

Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary navigation paths and any information on required plug-ins. Do not submit websites that require passwords. Do not submit links to sites that require work samples to be downloaded (e.g., Dropbox).

The work samples below may be submitted in addition to video samples, if relevant to your project.

Audio Samples

Submit up to three samples. For projects that involve commissions or recordings, you may submit additional samples. 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.

Digital Images

Include still images only as needed. Submit up to 12 images. Combine all of your images into a single PDF file. Image size should be consistent; 800 x 600 pixels is suggested. Each file has a size limit of 5 MB. Acceptable file types are jpeg, gif, bmp, png, and tif.


Do not submit your organization's general website. Only submit a website that is an essential part of the project.

Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any navigation paths and any necessary information on required plug-ins. Do not submit websites that require passwords. Do not submit links to sites that require work samples to be downloaded (e.g., Dropbox).

NOTE: If you provide links to works samples -- audio samples, digital images, video samples, or documents – the same limits on work samples uploaded directly to NEA-GO apply to those provided via links:

  • Video samples: No more than three selections.
  • Audio samples: No more than three selections.
  • Digital images: Up to 12 images, submitted in one PDF.
  • Documents: Refer to the page limits outlined under the "Documents" section above.

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:

Title box:

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 composer name and title of the operatic work represented by the work sample (and if different than the applicant organization, the name of the performing artist/ensemble represented by the work sample).

Description box:

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:

  • Name of organization (if different from applicant).
  • Title of work/image/activity (if different from first bullet).
  • Title of selection.
  • Composer/librettist.
  • Singer(s), conductor, director, set designer, costume designer, lighting designer (artistic team) represented in the work sample.
  • Date the work was performed.
  • Brief description of the relationship of the work to the project for which you are requesting support.
  • For audio and video samples, length of the sample.
  • For audio and video samples, viewing/listening cue for each sample.

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.