CHALLENGE AMERICA: Award Administration

Award Notices

The "Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection" date for your category on the Application Calendar tells you when the Arts Endowment expects to announce grant decisions.

Note that "announcement" is likely to take the form of a preliminary congratulatory message, a request for revisions, or a rejection notification. Official grant award notification (i.e., the grant award letter that is signed by the Arts Endowment Chairman) is the only legal and valid confirmation of award. This can take several months to reach you depending on a number of factors such as whether a revised budget is needed for your project, the number of awards to be processed, whether the agency has its appropriation from Congress, etc.

Changes in Projects

Applicants must notify the Arts Endowment immediately of any significant changes in their project that occur after they have submitted their application. If the project or the organization's capacity changes significantly before an award is made, any funding recommendation may be revised or withdrawn.

Grantees are expected to carry out a project that is consistent with the proposal that was approved for funding by the Arts Endowment. If changes in the project are believed to be necessary, the grantee must send a written request, with justification, to the Arts Endowment's Grants & Contracts Office prior to the expenditure of grant funds. Approval is not guaranteed.

General Terms & Conditions

Federal and agency requirements that relate to grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts are highlighted in our General Terms & Conditions. Included is information on U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements, matching funds, lobbying prohibitions, and reporting requirements. To see the reporting requirements, choose the outcome that you will select for your project: Creation, Engagement, Learning, or Livability.

Legal Requirements

By law, the National Endowment for the Arts may support only those organizations that:

For further information, go to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website.

  • Are tax-exempt. Organizations qualifying for this status must meet the following criteria:

    1. No part of net earnings may benefit a private stockholder or individual.

    2. Donations to the organization must be allowable as a charitable contribution under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.

  • Compensate all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel on Arts Endowment-supported projects at no less than the prevailing minimum compensation. (This requirement is in accordance with regulations that have been issued by the Secretary
    of Labor in part 505 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 505 does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)

  • Assure that no part of any Arts Endowment-supported project will be performed or engaged in under working conditions which are unsanitary or hazardous or dangerous to the health and safety of the employees involved.

  • Comply with the federal requirements that are outlined in the "Assurance of Compliance" below.

Assurance of Compliance

By signing the application form, the Applicant certifies that it is in compliance with the statutes outlined below and all related Arts Endowment regulations and will maintain records and submit the reports that are necessary to determine compliance. The Applicant further certifies that it will obtain assurances of compliance from all subrecipients and will require all subrecipients of Arts Endowment funds to comply with these requirements. The Arts Endowment may conduct a review of your organization to ensure that it is in compliance. If the Arts Endowment determines that a grantee has failed to comply with these statutes, it may suspend, terminate, and/or recover funds. This assurance is subject to judicial enforcement.

  1. Nondiscrimination StatutesThe Applicant certifies that it does not discriminate:

    For further information and copies of the nondiscrimination regulations identified above, contact the Arts Endowment's Office of Civil Rights at 202/682-5454 or 202/682-5695 Voice/T.T.Y. For inquiries about limited English proficiency, please go to, the FOIA Reading Room, or contact the Office of General Counsel at or 202/682-5418.

  2. Regulations relating to Debarment and Suspension (2 C.F.R. pt. 3254) in which the Applicant certifies that neither it nor its principals is presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in covered transactions by any federal department or agency, nor has, within the three years preceding the submission of this application, been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with a public (federal, state, or local) transaction or a contract under a public transaction; for violation of federal or state antitrust statutes; for commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property; had any public transactions terminated for cause or default; or is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity with any of the preceding offenses.

  3. Federal Debt Status (OMB Circular A-129). The applicant certifies that it is not delinquent in the repayment of any federal debt. Examples of relevant debt include delinquent payroll or other taxes, audit disallowances, and benefit overpayments.

  4. Labor Standards (29 C.F.R. pt 505). The applicant certifies that, if awarded a grant, it will comply with the labor standards set out in Labor Standards on Projects or Productions Assisted by Grants from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

  5. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701 et seq. and 45 C.F.R. pt. 1154) requires grantee organizations, within 30 days of receiving a grant, to make a continuing, good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace through implementation of the following:

    • Publish a statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the grantee's workplace, and specifying the actions that will be taken against employees for violation of the prohibition. (For the purposes of this Act, alcohol is not considered a controlled substance.) The grantee shall give a copy of the statement to each employee who will be involved in grant-supported activities and notify those employees that they are expected to abide by the statement. For the purposes of this law, "employees" include consultants and temporary personnel (but not volunteers), who are directly engaged in work under the grant and who are on the grantee's payroll. The grantee should maintain on file the address of each site where work is performed under the grant.

    • Establish a drug-free awareness program that will inform employees about the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace, the grantee's policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace, any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs, and the penalties that might be imposed for workplace drug abuse violations. Employees should be informed that any conviction for a violation of a criminal drug statute that occurs in the workplace must be reported to the employer, in writing, no later than five calendar days after such a conviction. The grantee, in turn, must notify the Arts Endowment's Grants & Contracts Officer, in writing, within ten calendar days of receiving such notice from its employee. The grantee's notice to the Arts Endowment must include the convicted individual's position title and the number(s) of each affected grant.

    • Within 30 calendar days of receiving notice of an employee's criminal drug conviction a grantee should take appropriate personnel action against the convicted employee, up to and including termination, consistent with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; or require the employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program that has been approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.

  1. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.) which applies to any organization which controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects, and which receives federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act.


If your project, including the planning stage, has environmental implications (e.g., an arts festival in a park or the commissioning and installation of an outdoor sculpture), you may be requested to provide information to the Arts Endowment in response to specific questions in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

If your project includes the planning for major renovation of any structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, you may be asked to provide additional information on your project to ensure compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. This law also applies to planning for new construction that would affect historic properties. If a structure for your proposed project is more than fifty years old, contact your state historic preservation office for more information.