Application Instructions

These are expired guidelines, available for information purposes only. The application deadlines and process have changed. The new guidelines will be available in January. See here for more information.

For a complete application, follow Steps 1-6 below

A complete application consists of:         

Step 1: Fill out the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424)

NOTE: All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on this form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit the form. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the form. Enter information directly into the form. Do not copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the form.

1. Name of Federal Agency: Pre-populated.

2. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: Pre-populated.

3. Date Received: This will be filled automatically
with the date that you submit your application; leave blank.

4. Funding Opportunity Number: Pre-populated.

5. Applicant Information:

a. Legal Name: The name provided here must be the applicant's legal name as it appears in the current IRS 501(c)(3) status letter or in the official document that identifies the organization as a unit of state or local government, or as a federally recognized tribal community or tribe. (Do not use your organization's popular name, if different.)

If you are a parent organization that is applying on behalf of an eligible component, do not list the name of the component here. You will be asked for that information later.

b. Address:

Use Street 1 for your street address or post office box number, whichever is used for your U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street 2 is not a required field and should be used only when a Suite or Room Number or other similar information is a necessary part of your address. Do not use Street 2 to give a second address for your organization.

In the Zip/Postal Code box, organizations in the United States should enter the full 9-digit zip code that was assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not know your full zip code, you may look it up at
www.usps.com/zip4/

d. Type of Applicant: Select the item that best characterizes your organization from the menu in the first drop down box. Additional choices are optional.

e. Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN): Enter the 9-digit number that was assigned by the Internal Revenue Service; do not use a Social Security Number.

f. Organizational DUNS: All organizational applicants for federal funds must have a DUNS number, which is recognized as the universal standard for identifying organizations worldwide. The number that you enter here must agree with the number (either 9 or 13 digits) that you used with the SAM (System for Award Management) as part of the Grants.gov registration. Otherwise, your application will not be validated by Grants.gov and will be rejected.

g. Congressional District: Enter the number of the Congressional District where the applicant organization is located. Use the following format: 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number. For example, if your organization is located in the 5th Congressional District of California, enter "CA-005." If your state has a single At-Large Representative or your territory has a single Delegate, enter your 2 character state/territory abbreviation and "-000." If you need help determining your district, go to www.house.gov and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

6. Project Information:

a. Project Title: Provide a brief descriptive title for your proposed project. For example:  “An Exhibition of the Works of Georgia O’Keeffe.”

b. Project Description: For all projects except those to the Arts Education discipline: In two or three brief sentences, clearly describe your specific project, not your organization. Begin the first sentence with "To support" and include the name of the project. Follow this with up to two more sentences that describe the type of project, the target population that will be served, and where the project will take place. For examples, see Recent Grants.

For Arts Education discipline projects: In two or three brief sentences, clearly describe your specific project, not your organization. Begin the first sentence with "To support" and include the name of the project. Follow this with up to two more sentences that describe the type of project, the instructors, the age and number of students/adults who will be served, and where the project will take place.

For example:

To support Creative Arts Program, a weekly string instruction program for 200 8th grade students in two middle schools in Monroe, LA. Professional musicians provide master classes and one-on-one instruction, and help academic teachers learn to integrate music into the classroom. The program culminates in a year-end student performance.

Please note:

This field on the form has a character limit of 1,000. Even if you have less than 1,000 characters, Grants.gov may translate special characters (e.g., apostrophes) in a way that will cause your application to be rejected. This can happen if you copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the form.  We strongly encourage you to write a succinct project description and double check the number of characters.

c. Proposed Project Start Date/End Date: Enter the beginning and ending dates for your requested period of support, i.e., the span of time necessary to plan, execute, and close out your proposed project. The start date should be the first day of the month, and the end date should be the last day of the month. The Arts Endowment's support of a project may start on or after: 1) For applicants under the March 7 deadline, January 1, 2014; or 2) For applicants under the August 8 deadline, June 1, 2014. Generally, a period of support of up to two years is allowed. The two-year period is intended to allow an applicant sufficient time to plan, execute, and close out its project, not to repeat a one-year project for a second year.

7. Project Director:

Provide the requested information for the Project Director. Select a Prefix (e.g., Ms., Mr.) even though this is not a required field.

Provide contact information, including an e-mail address, that will be valid through the announcement date for your category.

8. Primary Contact/Grant Administrator:

Provide the requested information for the individual who should be contacted on all matters involving this application and the administration of any grant that may be awarded. The Primary Contact/Grant Administrator identified here will be the person who will receive information for accessing NEA-GO to upload your electronic work samples. For colleges and universities, this person is often a Sponsored Research, Sponsored Programs, or Contracts and Grants Officer. Select a Prefix even though this is not a required field. For the Telephone number field, use the following format: 000-000-0000.

In some organizations, particularly smaller ones, this individual may be the same as the Project Director. If this is the case, you may check the "Same as Project Director" box and not repeat information that you have already provided in Item 7. (If the Primary Contact/Grant Administrator is the same as the Authorizing Official, please complete all items under both 8 and 9 even though there will be some repetition.)

9. Authorized Representative:

Enter the requested information for the AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) who will be submitting this application to Grants.gov. Select a Prefix even though this is not a required field. The AOR must have the legal authority to obligate your organization. By clicking the "I Agree" box at the top of Item 9, this individual will be certifying compliance with relevant federal requirements on your organization's behalf. (These requirements can be found in the "Assurance of Compliance" section of these guidelines.) The "Signature of Authorized Representative" and "Date Signed" boxes will be populated by Grants.gov upon submission of the application.

Step 2: Fill out the Project/Performance Site Location(s) Form

NOTE: All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on this form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit the form. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the form. Enter information directly into the form. Do not copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the form.

This form collects information about the primary site, as well as additional sites, where project activity will take place. In most -- but not all -- cases, the primary site will be the address of the applicant organization. If a portion of the project will be performed at any other site(s), identify the site location(s) in the additional block(s) provided. Use up to 29 additional blocks as required (one for each site). Your responses will not be a factor in the review of your application.

For the Organization Name:

Enter the name of the organization where the activity will take place. This may be the applicant organization or another organization. The remaining fields in a block (e.g., DUNS number) are associated with the organization where the activity will take place.

For the Project/Performance Site Congressional District:

Use the following format: 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number. For example, if the organization is located in the 5th Congressional District of California, enter "CA-005." If the project directly impacts all districts in a state, enter "all" for the district number. For example: "MD-all" for all Congressional districts in Maryland. If nationwide (all districts in all states), enter "US-all." If the state has a single At-Large Representative or the territory has a single Delegate, enter your 2 character state/territory abbreviation and "-000." If the project is outside the U.S., enter "00-000." If you need help determining a district, go to www.house.gov and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

Step 3: Fill out the NEA Organization & Project Profile Form

NOTE: All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on this form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit the form. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the form. Enter information directly into the form. Do not copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the form.

See the instructions below for the following items (other instructions are provided on the form itself).

Part 1. Applicant

For this application, the applicant is serving as: If you are a parent organization that is applying on behalf of an eligible separate component, choose the "Parent of a Component" box from the drop-down menu and enter the name of the component in the space provided. Otherwise, choose "Not Applicable."

Part 2. Project

Project Field/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 to the right. 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, 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)
  • Literature
  • 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.

Intended Outcome:

Select the outcome that best describes the primary intent of your project. You may also select a secondary outcome if a significant portion of your project is aligned with a second NEA outcome. Please ensure that your selection(s) match your narrative (Attachment 2) for the question about Outcome(s) and Measurements.

Choose from the following outcomes:

E: Creation: The Portfolio of American Art is Expanded
F: Engagement: Americans Throughout the Nation Experience Art
G: Learning: Americans of All Ages Acquire Knowledge or Skills in the Arts
H: Livability: American Communities are Strengthened Through the Arts

Project Budget Summary: The dollar amounts entered in these fields must agree with the corresponding dollar amounts on your Project Budget Form (Attachment 3).

Step 4: Complete and Attach Required Items to the Attachments Form

The "Attachments Form" is not a form in the conventional sense. Rather, it is a place to attach documents that you have completed and saved elsewhere on your computer.

Several important points:

  1. Attachments 3 and 4 are fillable forms; you will find links to them. These forms can be filled in, saved to your computer, and attached without the need for special software or conversion to PDF.Please be sure you are using Adobe Reader (version 9 or higher) when filling out our PDF forms.Note to Mac users:  Your computer may be set to open PDF files using Preview (you can tell which program is being used to view a PDF file by looking at the left-most item in the menu bar).  Please verify that you are using Adobe Reader and not Preview.  If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed, you can download it here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
  2. All other attachments are documents (e.g., narratives, lists) that you will develop in accordance with the instructions provided. These items must be submitted as PDF (portable document format) files.These non-form documents can be created using any word processing software. When you have completed the document, save it to your computer and convert it to PDF before attaching. If you don't already have software to convert files to PDF, there are many low-cost and free software packages that can do this. To learn more, go to PDF Conversion Programs.Please make sure to convert your documents into PDF format in line with the guidance above. Do not create PDFs of your electronic documents by scanning. In the past, some applicants have printed their electronic documents and then scanned them, saving the scan in PDF format. PDFs created this way are much larger, and of lower quality, than PDFs created by the methods we recommend. Do not embed non-printable media files (video and/or sound) in your PDF documents. Static images (e.g., pictures) are acceptable. Please do not enable any document security settings or password-protect any PDF file you submit to us.No attachment should be more than 2 MB.
  3. For non-form documents, label pages clearly with the name of the item (e.g., Organizational Background) and your organization's legal name. Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Do not type in all capital letters. Within each attachment, number pages sequentially; place numbers on the bottom right hand corner of each page. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.
  4. Name your files as indicated below and attach them in the proper order. Limit file names to 50  or fewer characters and use only the following characters when naming your attachments: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, and period. If you do not follow this rule, your application may be rejected. Please note that you cannot change the name of a file on the Attachments Form. Therefore make certain that each file is named correctly before you attach it.

When you open the Grants.gov Attachments Form, you will find 15 attachment buttons. By clicking on a button, you will be able to choose the PDF file from your computer that you wish to attach. Please attach the proper file to the proper button as listed below.

The Attachments

 

ATTACHMENT 1: ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND STATEMENT (One-page limit)

To this button, attach a one-page Organizational Background statement. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "OrgBackground.pdf" (e.g., "ABCDanceCoOrgBackground.pdf" or "StateUnivPerfArtsCenterOrgBackground.pdf").

This statement should cover the points below; use the following headings and letters to organize your response. If you are a parent organization that is applying on behalf of a component, this information should refer to the component.

  • Date organization was incorporated. If not applicable, omit.
  • Mission/purpose of your organization: Briefly summarize the mission and purpose of your organization. For organizations whose work extends beyond the cultural sphere (e.g., universities, human service agencies), summarize your mission as it pertains to your public cultural programs or services.
  • Organization overview: Address the following:
    1. An overview of your organization's activities.
    2. Some specific examples of previous activities that demonstrate your organization's ability to carry out the project for which you are requesting support.
    3. The size and general demographics (e.g., ethnicity, income, age) of the community/region/audience that you serve. If you are a membership organization, indicate the number of individuals or organizations that you serve.
    4. A description of any special efforts that your organization is making to reach a broad segment of the community.

 

ATTACHMENT 2: DETAILS OF THE PROJECT NARRATIVE (Three-page limit)

To this button, attach your Details of the Project narrative. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "DetailsofProject.pdf."

Your narrative can be a maximum of three pages, but keep in mind that the Arts Endowment and its panelists prefer succinct descriptions. Organize your response a), b), c), etc., and use the boldfaced language below as headings for each item. For example, "a) Major project activities. The ABC Performing Arts Center plans to..."

The information that you provide will be reviewed in accordance with the "Review Criteria" for the Art Works category. Your narrative should address each of these "Review Criteria" and include information on the following, as relevant to your project.

Ensure that your descriptions are consistent with the information that you provide on the NEA Organization & Project Profile form.

  1. Major project activities. Be as specific as possible about the activities that will take place during the project period. Include information on the location(s) of the proposed activity and any special resources that will be used. For projects that will tour, provide a list of venues with dates and indicate the degree of commitment. For projects that involve publication, provide details on items such as projected sales figures, print runs, distribution plans, contributors' fees, payment policies, etc. Where relevant, include information on any educational component or activities of the project. Do not describe organizational programming unrelated to the proposed project.
  2. Outcome(s) and Measurements. Discuss how your project directly addresses at least one of the NEA outcomes below. You must identify one outcome as most relevant to your project; you may address a secondary outcome as well.
      • Creation: Creating art that meets the highest standards of excellence.
      • Engagement: Engaging the public with diverse and excellent art.
      • Learning: Enabling participants to acquire knowledge or skills in the arts.
      • Livability: Strengthening communities through the arts. If you identify the Livability outcome, include, as relevant, information on project strategies; the target community; community sector involvement; anticipated long-term impact; and/or expected arts- or design-focused changes in policies, laws, and/or regulations.

    Ensure that the outcome(s) you address here is the one you select on the NEA Organization & Project Profile form

    You also may discuss any additional outcomes of your own that you have established for the project.

    Detail the performance measurements that you will use to provide evidence that the NEA outcome was achieved. Refer to the Art Works category description for information on the evidence that is required for each outcome. If this is an ongoing project, state the results to date and the rationale for continuing the project.

  3. Schedule of key project dates. If you include activities that occur before the earliest allowable project start date, make sure you note that those activities and costs are not included in the project request on the Project Budget form.
  4. Key individuals, organizations, and works of art that will be involved in the project. (Bios of key project personnel are requested as a separate item.) Indicate whether the artists, other individuals, and organizations that are cited are committed to or merely proposed for the project. Where relevant, describe their involvement in the development of the project to date. Describe the process and criteria for the selection of artists, organizations, and, where relevant, art works. Where key individuals or organizations remain to be selected, describe the procedures that you plan to follow and the qualifications that you seek. For projects that include multiple partners, discuss each partner's participation.
  5. The target population(i.e., the intended audience and/or other beneficiaries to whom the project is directed). If actual figures or reasonable estimates can be secured, indicate the number of people the project will reach. Have you worked with this target population before? Has the target population been involved in the planning for and implementation of the project? Describe any underserved groups or areas that will benefit.
  6. Plans for promoting, publicizing, and/or disseminating the project, as relevant.
  7. Plans for documenting, evaluating, and disseminating the project results, as appropriate.
  8. Accessibility. Will the project be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with federal law and regulations? Explain how you will make your project accessible through access accommodations for both facilities and programs, such as audio description, sign-language interpretation, closed or open captioning, large-print brochures/labeling, etc. See the Nondiscrimination Statutes in "Assurance of Compliance" for more information. (For technical assistance on how to make your project fully accessible, contact the Arts Endowment's Accessibility Office at accessibility@arts.gov, 202/682-5532, or 202/682-5496 Voice/T.T.Y. or the Civil Rights Office at 202/682-5454 or 202/682-5695 Voice/T.T.Y.)
  9. Budget. If this project is being undertaken over and above your normal operations, what resources will be applied to cover these costs? If you were to receive less than your requested amount, what would be your project activity priorities?

 

ATTACHMENT 3: PROJECT BUDGET FORM, PAGES 1 and 2      CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: [ Budget Form] [INSTRUCTIONS]

To this button, attach the Project Budget form, Pages 1 and 2. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "ProjectBudget.pdf." (If you wish to submit a copy of your own project budget, you may do so; see Attachment 7. Your own project budget may not be submitted in lieu of the required form.)

 

ATTACHMENT 4: FINANCIAL INFORMATION FORM      CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: [ Financial Information Form] [INSTRUCTIONS]

To this button, attach the Financial Information form. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "FinancialInfo.pdf."

 

ATTACHMENT 5: BIOGRAPHIES OF KEY PROJECT PERSONNEL (Two-page limit)

To this button, attach a single file that includes all of the items below that are relevant to your application. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Bios.pdf." Label clearly each item.

  • For all applicants: Brief, current biographies of the key project personnel [e.g., the proposed primary artist(s), project director, artistic director, executive director, teachers, curator, editor, folklorist, conductor]. Send no more than two pages of bios; group several on each page.
  • For parent organizations applying on behalf of an eligible component: A list of key staff of the component unit. Describe any overlaps in staffing with the parent organization. This documentation is required to demonstrate your eligibility.

 

ATTACHMENT 6: LIST OF CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS (Two-page limit)

To this button, attach a single file that includes all of the items below that are relevant to your application. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "BoardList.pdf." Label clearly each item.

  • For all applicants: A list of current board members including professional affiliations.
  • For parent organizations applying on behalf of an eligible component: A list of board/advisory group members for the component as well as the parent organization. Note how long each board/advisory group has been in existence. This documentation is required to demonstrate your eligibility.

Do not include private information such as home addresses, phone numbers, etc.

ATTACHMENT 7: OPTIONAL PROJECT BUDGET (Three-page limit)

If you wish to submit a copy of a differently formatted budget (e.g., one created for your own planning purposes), attach it to this button. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "SepBudget.pdf." Limit this to a maximum of three pages.

ATTACHMENT 8: PROGRAMMATIC ACTIVITIES LIST (Three-page limit)

To this button, attach a representative list of your Programmatic Activities for the past three seasons. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "ProgActivities.pdf."

Submit a selective representative list, in chronological order, of your organization's programming or activities for the following years: 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use programming for 2010, 2011, and 2012. You may submit up to three pages.

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: 2010-11, 2011-12, or 2012-13. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use 2010, 2011, or 2012.
  • 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.)

Example:
A performing arts group might fill out its representative list as follows:

   

Year Title/
Creator
Key
Artist(s)
Location Dates/#
of perfs.
Attendance/
% Capacity
Fees
2010-11 Lecture James Miller ABC Museum February 15, 2011 30/75% $$
2011-12 Work A/
Creator A
John Smith, Jane Doe Civic Theater Jan 27-31, 2012
6 perfs.
850/71% $$
2012-13 Work B/
Creator B
Richard Jones,
Robert Hall
Civic Theater April 17-21, 2013/7 perfs. 1,050/88% $$

ATTACHMENT 9: SPECIAL ITEMS

To this button, attach a single file that includes any items
specified below
that
are relevant to your particular project. The file name should indicate
the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "SpecReqs.pdf."

  • 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.
  • For projects that involve the creation of work, a one-page statement written by the primary creative artists (e.g., the composer and librettist) with responsibility for the project, as well as the required sample score and libretto.
  • For recording projects:
    • A one-page statement of commitment from the proposed recording company.
    • 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). This item should be submitted to NEA-GO as a work sample, and not to Grants.gov as a "Special Requirements" attachment
  • For projects that involve touring, following the instructions provided for Attachment 8 ("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 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.

Documents such as scores, librettos, teacher guides, news clips, articles, reviews, publications, and periodicals should be submitted through NEA-GO as work samples, and should not be submitted to Grants.gov as "Special Items."

Step 5: Submit Items in Steps 1-4 above electronically through Grants.gov

Follow the detailed instructions under "Submit your electronic application" above.

Step 6: Prepare and submit work samples electronically

Please see the archive of the NEA/WESTAF joint training webinar for applicants on using the NEA-GO system to upload work samples electronically.

In addition to the material that you submit through Grants.gov, you must submit work samples as detailed below. Your application package will not be considered complete without these items. Do not submit work samples through Grants.gov.

Electronic Submission of Work Samples

You will upload your work samples electronically. This will eliminate the need for you to mail work samples to the NEA after completing the Grants.gov application process.

To upload work samples, 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:

  1. You will complete the Grants.gov application process as detailed through Step 5 of the instructions above.
  2. If you apply to the March 7, 2013, application deadline:On March 25, 2013, WESTAF will e-mail the Primary Contact/Grant Administrator identified on your Grants.gov application with the login information (URL, User name, and Password) for accessing NEA-GO. If your organization has submitted more than one application (e.g., one on its own behalf and one as the parent of a component), you will receive a separate e-mail, with separate login information, for each application.You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on April 5, 2013, to upload, preview/check, and submit your work samples electronically.If you apply to the August 8, 2013, application deadline:

    On August 26, 2013, WESTAF will e-mail the Primary Contact/Grant Administrator identified on your Grants.gov application with the login information (URL, User name, and Password) for accessing NEA-GO. If your organization has submitted more than one application (e.g., one on its own behalf and one as the parent of a component), you will receive a separate e-mail, with separate login information, for each application.

    You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on September 9, 2013, to upload, preview/check, and submit your work samples electronically

    To ensure that you receive WESTAF's login information promptly, we recommend that you add the following e-mail address to your list of safe senders: noreply@culturegrants.org.

  3. You will access NEA-GO for detailed instructions and to upload your work samples.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.

NEA staff will be available to answer any questions that you have.

You should prepare your work samples well in advance of the deadline and have them fully ready to upload once NEA-GO becomes available to you.

Work Sample Preparation

Work samples are a required part of all Opera applications and are considered carefully during application review. Video recordings are required for performing and presenting organizations and are a critical component of your application. Submit only recent performances (not more than two years old).

Consistency and clarity of work samples is essential. The performance recorded and the recording itself should both be of the highest quality. Do not send dark work samples or samples with poor visibility. Do not submit promotional material. Please be selective in what you submit, as panel review time is limited.

For projects that do not involve commissions or recordings, submit no more than three samples.

All performing and presenting organizations must submit three samples of at least three 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.

In addition, your 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 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 and submit this as a work sample through NEA-GO. (This should NOT be included with your Grants.gov application, but rather should be included with your NEA-GO work samples.)
  • 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 samples in the formats described below. There is a limit of 250 MB for all of your work samples combined.

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 additional samples.

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, such as the free MPEG Streamclip; DV Kitchen for Mac, which has a free trial; and www.mediaconverter.org, which allows for five free conversions.

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.

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.

Websites

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.

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: Up to 3 pages each.  Exceptions:  scores and librettos for new work which should be submitted in full; and teacher's guides which may be up to 10 pages.

Documents

Documents such as  scores, librettos, teacher guides, news clips, articles, reviews, publications, and periodicals should be submitted to NEA-GO as work samples, and should not be submitted to Grants.gov as "Special Items."

If you have to upload documents, please follow the guidance below:

  • Submit a very limited sample that is directly related to the proposed project.
  • Upload each document individually, in a separate file.
  • All documents should be submitted as PDF files.
  • Each file has a size limit of 5 MB and 3 pages (except for scores and librettos for new work which should be submitted in full and teacher's guides which may be up to 10 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.

Work Sample Information

For each work sample that you upload electronically, you will find a descriptive field into which you will enter the following information, as appropriate:

Title box:

  • 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). Title each work sample with a unique name. This title must not contain an apostrophe.

Description box:

  • 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.]

For previous applicants: There is no longer a separate Work Sample Index.

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.