CHALLENGE AMERICA: Application Review

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

The artistic excellence of the project, which includes the:

  • Quality of the artists, arts organizations, works of art, or technical services that the project will involve, as appropriate.

The artistic merit of the project, which includes the:

  • Potential of the project to reach underserved populations -- those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
  • Potential to achieve results consistent with the NEA objective selected from the following:
    • Engaging the public with diverse and excellent art.
    • Strengthening communities through the arts.
  • Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements and their ability to demonstrate that the selected NEA objective was achieved.
  • Potential to make quality arts or cultural resources more widely available.
  • Appropriateness of the project to the organization's mission, audience, community, and/or constituency.
  • Ability to carry out the project based on such factors as the appropriateness of the budget, the quality and clarity of the project goals and design, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project's personnel.

What Happens to Your Application

Applications are evaluated according to the "Review Criteria." After initial staff processing, applications are reviewed by a diverse group of arts experts and other individuals with broad knowledge of the specific types of projects in this funding area. Following further staff review, these recommendations are forwarded to the Arts Endowment Chairman.

The Chairman reviews the recommendations for grants in all funding categories and makes the final decision on all grant awards. Applicants are then notified of funding decisions.

NOTE: All recommended applications undergo a review to evaluate risk posed by the applicant prior to making a federal award. This may include past performance on grants, meeting reporting deadlines, compliance with terms and conditions, audit findings, etc.

After notification, applicants with questions may contact the Arts Endowment staff. Any applicant whose request has not been recommended may ask for an explanation of the basis for denial. In such instances, the Arts Endowment must be contacted no later than 30 calendar days after the official notification.

See the "Application Calendar" for information on when we expect to announce grant awards and rejections, and the earliest dates by which projects may begin.