First round of FY18 NEA grants support orchestral concerts and community programming

February 9, 2018

Orchestras will present concerts, provide instrumental music instruction to young students, commission new works, and engage in community partnership programs this year with the support of 52 Art Works (Part 1) and Challenge America grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Direct grants from the NEA are a critical form of support for community-based arts organizations, not only in recognizing artistic excellence, but as a means of leveraging additional financial support from state, local, and private sources that value the rigorous and competitive NEA grant process.

Thirty-nine Art Works grants totaling $1,215,000 have been awarded to orchestra projects directly, which will create and present new and existing work, support lifelong learning in the arts, and increase public access to and engagement with live orchestral experiences. In addition to these direct grants, numerous grants have been awarded for related orchestral projects, music festivals, and training programs.

The NEA also awarded $130,000 in FY18 Challenge America support to thirteen orchestras extending the reach of their orchestral music, educational programming, and community engagement activities to youth and adults whose access to the arts are otherwise limited due to geography, economics, or disability.

The League has compiled the project descriptions for grants to orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field. Complete lists of grant amounts and project descriptions for awards in all disciplines may be found on the NEA web site.

Upcoming NEA grant deadlines
Mark your calendar with the following deadlines for NEA FY19 Grants for Arts Projects, the Endowment's major support category for organizations for projects anticipated to take place beginning in 2018.  
  • Art Works, Part 1: February 15, 2018
  • Art Works, Part 2: July 12, 2018
  • Challenge America Fast-Track: April 12, 2018
The NEA has released guidelines and application materials in the Apply for a Grant section of its website. The League offers guidance specific to orchestras on our Tips for your application page and the NEA has posted complete guidelines online.