October 29, 2014

NEA Announces New Director of Music & Opera, Upcoming Convening on Transforming Place         

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will have a new Director of Music and Opera beginning January 15. Ann Meier Baker, currently President and CEO of Chorus America, formerly worked at the League of American Orchestras and the National Association for Music Education, in addition to having been founding director of the National School Boards Association Foundation. Baker will replace former music and opera director Wayne Brown, recipient of the League's 2014 Gold Baton Award for distinguished service to America's orchestras. In Baker's role at the NEA, she will lead grant making in music and opera awards as well as the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships.                                                                

In other agency news, the NEA will host a full-day convening on November 3rd on the role of the performing arts in transforming communities. With support from ArtPlace America, this gathering is designed to cultivate a better understanding of how performance-based organizations, along with the artists they engage, transform places through their artistic practices. To view the agenda, see list of participants (including the League President and CEO Jesse Rosen), and register for the webcast, please visit the event page.

July 15, 2014

NEA Budget Restored in House Committee!

Following last week’s House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee recommendation to cut $8 million from the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), this morning the full Appropriations Committee reversed the cut, restoring NEA funding in the bill to the current level of $146 million.  Interior Subcommittee chairman Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) offered a manager’s amendment – a set of amendments that already have bipartisan support – which restored the FY15 recommendation for the NEA to matching last year’s allocation. Committee members Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) also showed strong leadership in support of restoring NEA funding.

The manager’s amendment was unanimously accepted, which demonstrates the strong bi-partisan support for the NEA among policymakers, and represents a major departure from last summer’s attempt to slash the NEA’s budget nearly in half. The Appropriations Committee has passed the overall bill, so the next step will be floor consideration by the full House of Representatives.

Many thanks to orchestra advocates for speaking up and telling Congress how important NEA funding is to communities nationwide!

July 10, 2014

House Subcommittee Advances $8M Cut for NEA FY15 Budget

The House Interior Subcommittee on Appropriations approved its funding bill yesterday, which includes an $8 million decrease in the FY15 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This proposed cut, while not the drastic 49% reduction that the Subcommittee recommended last year, would be the lowest budget for the NEA since FY08.

Tell your elected officials how important NEA funding is to communities. Direct grants from the NEA to orchestras, as well as support to state arts agencies, enable public access to performances, preserve great classical works, bolster arts education for children and adults, and support the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors.

The full House Appropriations committee will consider the bill on the morning of Tuesday, July 15, at which point amendments are likely to be offered on a range of budgetary items. If approved by the committee, the entire Interior funding bill will then advance to the full House for a vote. The House and Senate would each need to complete their respective bills before the fiscal year ends on September 30, so this is an opportune moment to speak up in support of public funding for the arts to your Representative and Senators. 

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support the NEA Today!

July 1, 2014

Jane Chu is New Chairman; Grant Deadline Quickly Approaching

Dr. Jane Chu was confirmed by the Senate last month as the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She served since 2006 as President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts—the performance home of the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Dr. Chu made her first public appearance as NEA Chairman at the June 27th convening of the National Council on the Arts in Washington, D.C., and describes in an NEA podcast how the study of music, visual art, philanthropy, and business strategy has shaped her approach to her new role.

Grants awarded to orchestras by the NEA provide critical funding for programs that increase public access to music in communities nationwide, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors. Orchestras interested in applying for the 2nd round of Art Works grant funding should take note of the earlier deadline this year of July 24, 2014.Grant tips for your application are available on the League’s website.

May 14, 2014

NEA Chair Nominee Clears First Step

The first step in the confirmation process of Dr. Jane Chu as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was cleared today, with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions voting to approve the President’s nomination. The next step is floor consideration by the full Senate, to be scheduled by majority leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). Dr. Chu’s confirmation is eagerly anticipated due to her deep knowledge and experience in community engagement and revitalization through the arts. Her approval would fill a vacancy that has lasted for more than one year. Operating under an interim chair, the agency has continued to disburse grants, release impactful research, and most recently, move to a new office location.

The League has been a long-time advocate for increased funding for the NEA, submitting written testimony each year, and regularly communicates grant opportunities and key updates to orchestras throughout the year. For any organization that received an NEA grant this year, we encourage you to reach out to your Members of Congress to let them know how the agency’s support is strengthening your community at home!

April 23, 2014

NEA Announces Second Round of FY14 Grants

Orchestras in 51 communities will offer a variety of engaging, educational and innovative programming, as well as bring music to underserved regions and populations thanks to $1,237,500 in Art Works, Part 2 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This essential support will enable orchestras to present live music experiences, make recordings and broadcasts, and provide valuable music education programs. NEA funding increases access to music in communities of all sizes nationwide, and in addition to providing direct support for local projects, the award of an NEA grant also enhances the ability of grantees to pursue support from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients, and on average, each NEA grantee far exceeds that requirement and generates at least nine dollars for every one dollar the NEA gives.

The League submits written testimony to Congress in support of NEA funding every year, provides orchestras with customized tips for applying for an NEA grant, and complies the project descriptions for grants awarded to orchestras and projects related to the orchestra field. Complete lists of grant amounts and project descriptions for awards in all disciplines may be found on the NEA website in a state-by-state listing or a discipline/field listing. In addition, the NEA maintains an online grant search system which allows members of the public to search all of the NEA's grants since 2000 using a variety of attributes to customize search results.

View Complete Orchestra Project Descriptions

FY15 NEA Grant Application Deadlines

The NEA’s next FY15 Application deadlines are May 8, 2014 for Challenge America Fast-Track and July 24, 2014 for Art Works, Part 2.

Members attending the League’s national Conference this June may schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss the NEA grant process with an NEA music specialist. Both Court Burns and Anya Nykyforiak will be at the League’s Conference in Seattle this year, so please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read the League’s Tips for Orchestras Preparing an FY15 Application

February 12, 2014

NEA Chair Nominated

President Obama has nominated Dr. Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, to serve as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. The nomination now moves to the Senate for confirmation. In a statement, the President said of Chu, "She knows firsthand how art can open minds, transform lives and revitalize communities, and believes deeply in the importance of the arts to our national culture." In addition to experience in arts management and philanthropy, Dr. Chu holds degrees in visual arts, piano performance, and music education.

Federal Funding Intact for NEA, Arts Ed

Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and for the Arts in Education program at the U.S.Department of Education survived the roller coaster ride that was the Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations process, navigating drastic proposals to slash and eliminate funding, the government shutdown, and final budget negotiations to ultimately be restored to their pre-sequester funding levels. Last year, 100 orchestras across the country served their communities with support from direct NEA grants, in addition to NEA funding awarded through state arts agencies. The Arts in Education program – the only dedicated form of support for arts learning at the U.S. Department of Education – will continue the important work of funding model learning programs and professional development for arts educators, with new application opportunities to be announced soon. Your ongoing advocacy will be key in the coming year as Congress considers FY15 funding levels.

January 15, 2014

NEA and Arts Education Win Support in Spending Deal

Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Arts in Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education is restored to 2012 levels in a spending package negotiated by House and Senate leaders! Three and a half months after the 2014 fiscal year began, Congress is close to settling on a massive spending bill that includes $146.021 million in support for the NEA and $25 million to fund national models that improve arts learning in schools.

Both areas of support for the arts and creativity have weathered extreme challenges throughout the troubled FY14 funding battles on the Hill. House funding leaders recommended a 49% cut to the NEA and complete elimination of the Arts in Education program. Thanks to your advocacy efforts, and the proven impact of the federal investment in the arts in communities large and small nationwide, the large-scale bundle of spending bills that fund the federal government preserves funding and restores the 5% cut the NEA and Arts in Education programs suffered under sequestration in FY13.

The League is a leading advocate for federal support for the arts among a broad network of national advocacy partners, and we will keep you posted as the FY14 funding process is finalized in the days ahead. Congress will then immediately turn attention to next year’s spending priorities, and your voice in support of the arts and arts education will once again be essential!

December 16, 2013

FY14 NEA Grants to Orchestras Support Innovative Programming and Community Engagement

More than 60 orchestras will serve their communities, and regions beyond, in innovative ways with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA’s Art Works grants to orchestras encourage and increase access to music in communities throughout the country. In addition to providing direct funding, NEA awards, which require a minimum one-to-one match of federal funds, stimulate on average a return of at least seven dollars to one from other state, local, and private sources.

The NEA’s first round of FY14 Art Works grants include 46 awards totaling $1,450,000 directly to orchestras, as well as numerous grants supporting related efforts. These projects include new commissions, premieres, residencies, instrument training programs for young musicians, pre-concert lectures, workshops, and collaborations with cultural organizations, social service organizations, and schools. Several grants will aid in the production of programs that juxtapose traditional and contemporary works, mix artistic genres, and draw inspiration from various cultural experiences.

The NEA also awarded $190,000 in FY14 Challenge America Fast-Track grants to 19 orchestras, which will strengthen their work in bringing music, educational programming, and lecture-demonstrations to underserved youth and adults. Supported projects include concerts and programming for students and adults with disabilities, senior citizens, geographically isolated communities.

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 website.

View Complete Orchestra Project Descriptions

October 1, 2013

Impact: From Showdown to Shutdown

In what has felt like an extended game of high-stakes chicken, the Senate and the House of Representatives have failed to fund the federal government, resulting in a long-feared shutdown beginning today – the first since 1996. Congress must break the stalemate as quickly as possible in order to minimize the fall-out. If the shutdown is brief, here’s what to expect:

  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): For all intent and purpose, the agency will be considered closed, with approximately half a dozen staff approved to hold down the fort. All other employees will be furloughed and most contractors must stop working while a shutdown continues. In most cases, current grantees can continue to expend funds they have already received but should not expect to receive payments during a shutdown. In the very unlikely event that a specific grantee's work must be disrupted, grantees will be notified and given specific guidance by the NEA’s Grants Office. For more information, see the plan published by the NEA.  

August 1, 2013

House Committee Defers NEA Funding Decision Until September

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee held an impassioned first day of debate on an FY14 funding bill that would advance to the full House of Representatives, among other recommendations, a severe 49% cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Interior bill faces an overall 19% reduction, and the proposal to disproportionately slash the NEA’s budget currently remains in the bill despite an attempt by Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) and David Price (D-NC-4) to restore funding to the President’s requested level of $154.5 million. The amendment was defeated by a party line vote of 19-27, and Committee leadership again referred to programs that are slated for elimination and reduction as “nice to do,” rather than “must do” programs. The Committee’s work on the hotly-debated funding bill is unfinished, and members will resume discussion and consideration of more amendments after returning from their August recess.

With the fiscal year ending on September 30, time is running out for the Interior bill to be completed and agreed upon by both chambers. Congress will likely need to negotiate on all remaining FY14 funding decisions as a bundle, and the timing of that action is unpredictable.

Your advocacy on this issue is greatly appreciated! Thanks to the many orchestra advocates who have written to their elected officials in support of protecting the NEA. If youhave not yet spoken up, now is the time to reach out and tell Congress about the public value of the arts. With Members at home for the next five weeks, use this opportunity to reinforce your message by inviting them to witness your orchestra at work in your local community!

Tell Your Members of Congress the Value of the NEA Today!

July 23, 2013

Speak Up Now in Support of the Arts

This morning, a 49% cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was approved by a vote of 7-4 by the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee, beginning action on FY14 funding. This proposed reduction is dramatically disproportionate to the overall 19% reduction in funding to the entire Interior bill. House Committee leadership has said, “In order to do more with less, the legislation seeks to protect vital programs that directly affect the safety and well-being of Americans, while dramatically scaling back lower-priority, or ‘nice-to-have’ programs.”

Speak up now to tell your elected officials how important NEA funding is to communities, and defend the public value of the arts.  NEA direct grants to orchestras and NEA support to state arts agencies provide public access to performances, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors.

What’s Next:  With members of Congress on both sides of the aisle unhappy with the broad Interior funding package, the bill may undergo significant changes when considered by the full House Appropriations committee as early as next week. From there, further action on the entire Interior bill is highly unpredictable. Time is quickly running out for the House and Senate to complete appropriations bills before the fiscal year ends on September 30. Even if the Interior bill doesn’t ultimately see its way to completion, both the House and Senate will soon begin negotiating on all final FY14 funding decisions. This is a critical moment to speak up in support of public funding for the arts!  Go on record urging your members of Congress to support the NEA.

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support the NEA Today!

July 19, 2013

Act Now to Support NEA Funding!

Washington, D.C. - The House Interior subcommittee, will meet on Tuesday, July 23 to set the FY14 funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). We’re asking orchestras in the districts of all full Appropriations committee members to contact their elected official in support of NEA funding. The budget climate is particularly intense this year, as the Interior committee has 18% fewer funds to distribute to programs than in the last fiscal year.

Please call, fax, or use our e-advocacy tool to reach your member of Congress and convey how critical NEA support is in your community. NEA direct grants to arts organizations and NEA support to state arts agencies increase the capacity of orchestras to provide public access to performances, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of any responses you might hear, and thank you for your ongoing advocacy!

Contact Your Representative Today!

April 25, 2013

NEA Announces Second Round of FY13 Grants

Orchestras will serve communities through tours to underserved regions, free concerts, recordings, broadcasts, and music education programs, with the assistance of 34 grants totaling $1,051,500 in essential support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This is the second major round of FY13 grants awarded through the NEA's Art Works program. NEA funding increases access to music in communities of all sizes nationwide, and in addition to providing direct support for local projects, the award of a notably competitive NEA grant also enables grantees to pursue support from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients, and on average, each NEA grant far exceeds that requirement and magnifies the impact of the federal investment by generating at least eight dollars from other state, local, and private sources.

The League submits written testimony to Congress in support of NEA funding every year, provides orchestras with customized tips for applying for an NEA grant, and complies the project descriptions for grants awarded to orchestras and projects 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 in a new state-by-state listing or a discipline/field listing. In addition, the NEA recently launched an online grant search system which allows members of the public to search all of the NEA's grants since 2000 using a variety of attributes to customize search results.

View Complete Orchestra Project Descriptions

April 12, 2013

NEA Up in White House Budget

NEA Funding: The President's FY14 budget proposes $154.466 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which would nearly restore the agency to FY11 funding levels. Congressional action on the budget process will begin in the coming weeks, and the League of American Orchestras will submit testimony to both the House and Senate explaining the public value of grants to orchestras. Funding debates in D.C. promise to be intense, and orchestras are joining other arts advocates in asking Congress to provide $155 million in NEA funding in FY14.

March 12, 2013

Sequestration and the Arts

What do the messy debates in Washington over spending limits and across-the-board 5% cuts to domestic spending mean for your orchestra? 

If your orchestra is an NEA grant applicant, please stay tuned for further details. There is one more major round of NEA grant announcements anticipated this coming spring, and the agency is required to make reductions in core grant-making funds as a result of the sequester. The 5% cut to the NEA’s overall FY13 budget also means advocacy to protect and restore funding in the next budget year – FY14 – is particularly important.

January 17, 2013

Join NEA Webinar for Music Applicants on 1/30/13

On Wednesday, January 30, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will present a webinar for Art Works music applicants. The webinar will provide an overview of the Art Works funding category, discipline-specific information about how prepare a strong application, and answers to your questions from NEA staff. To join the webinar, which will be held from 1-2pm EST on January 30, please go to this page. Orchestras may also be interested in joining a webinar for arts education applicants that will be held on February 12 from 1-2pm. All webinars will be archived two days after they are conducted. Please mark your calendars with the newly announced application deadlines for FY14 Grant for Arts Projects, and be sure to download the League’s updated guidance specific to orchestra applicants from our Tips for your application page.

December 6, 2012

NEA Announces First Round of FY13 Grants

Orchestras in 42 communities will support education and training of young musicians, artist residencies, commissions and premieres of new works, free concerts, community engagement programming, and the celebration of regional and indigenous culture thanks to $1,450,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA’s first round of Art Works grants, announced November 27th, supports projects that encourage and increase access to music in communities nationwide. On December 4th, the NEA also announced that Challenge America grants totaling $240,000 will support 24 orchestra projects that will extend the reach of music, performance discussions, workshops, and master classes to populations whose arts engagement abilities are otherwise limited due to geography, economics, or disability. In addition to providing direct funding, NEA awards, which require a minimum one-to-one match of federal funds, stimulate on average a return of at least seven dollars to one from other state, local, and private sources.

Future FY13 grants will be announced for Art Works (Part Two) in 2013.

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.

View Complete Orchestra Project Descriptions

July 9, 2012

Bracing for NEA and Arts Ed Funding Outcomes

The upcoming elections and debates over automatic spending cuts have thrown the federal funding process into a tailspin. While certain steps of the budget process have begun, ongoing advocacy to protect arts resources from cuts will likely be needed through November and beyond.

The U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee voted in June to reduce National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding from its current level of $146.3 million to an allocation of $132 million. As the NEA has already seen declining funding in the past two years, further decreases would threaten the agency’s capacity to make grants in communities nationwide. The League, along with its national arts partners, is rallying advocates to contact Congress in support of preserving NEA funding.

Stay tuned to the League for the latest funding news and alerts .

Upcoming NEA Grant Deadline: August 9, 2012

Mark your calendars for the next NEA grant deadline of August 9 for Art Works: Arts Education. The NEA welcomes arts education projects that are school-based, have the required one-to-one grant match, and are submitted by organizations that have at least a three year history of programming. The Arts Endowment does not support activities that are designed to supplant existing in-school arts instruction or work toward academic degrees.

All applicants are required to submit applications through the federal government’s online system called Grants.gov, are advised to take care of registration well before an application deadline to ensure all the proper steps are completed, and submit an application at least 10 days prior to the deadline to allow ample time to resolve any problems that might arise.

Please visit the NEA’s website for general information about grant opportunities. Additional helpful links include:

You’ll see some new project types listed in which the agency is “particularly interested.”

*HINT: Once you’re on this page, scroll almost to the bottom of the page until you see a box with the headings:“Step One Please Read First” and “Step Two To Apply.” Click on the red text. When you are ready to apply, click on “How to Prepare and Submit an Application.”

June 21, 2012

Tell Congress to Protect the NEA!

Washington, D.C. - The Congressional funding process for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has begun on a sour note.  Yesterday, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee voted in favor of a proposal to reduce funding for the NEA from its current funding level of $146.3 million to an FY13 allocation of $132 million.  The NEA's budget has already been cut in the past two budget cycles.  The further reduction proposed by the Interior committee will threaten the NEA's capacity to make grants in communities nationwide.

It is extremely important that all members of Congress hear from constituents across the country about the NEA's work to broaden access to artistic excellence, foster lifelong learning, and conduct research of national significance.  NEA funding increases the capacity of orchestras to provide public access to performances, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors.

Congress will continue the budget process throughout this summer, and likely into the fall - every vote will count, so ensure today that your Representative and Senators know the value of NEA funding for your community!

Contact Congress Today!

April 26, 2012

NEA Announces Second Round of FY12 Grants

Washington, D.C. – Orchestras will serve communities through a variety of educational programs for children and adults, free concerts, tours to underserved regions and populations, radio broadcasts, residencies, youth mentorships, and community engagement activities thanks to 40 grants totaling $1,035,500 in essential Art Works support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). NEA funding encourages and increases access to music in communities nationwide. In addition to providing direct support for local projects, NEA funding also spurs critical giving from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients and on average, each NEA grant generates at least eight dollars from other state, local, and private sources, magnifying the impact of the federal investment..

View Orchestra Project Descriptions

March 27, 2012

NEA's FY13 Budget Process Begins - Weigh in with Congress 

Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a non-binding budget resolution, signaling the beginning of the Congressional budgetary process for the 2013 fiscal year. The resolution that is up for vote includes inflammatory language about cultural agencies such the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), asserting that the activities funded by these agencies "are generally enjoyed by people of higher income levels, making them a wealth transfer from poorer to wealthier citizens."

It is important to begin communicating with your Members of Congress in both the House and Senate to remind them just how effectively NEA grants enable organizations to reach otherwise underserved communities. Let your Members know, as well, how critical a role an NEA grant plays in the ability to raise additional funding.

Although budget resolutions are non-binding, which means the ultimate decisions about the federal budget are made by the Appropriations Committee, the statements in the House Budget Resolution regarding cultural agencies set a negative benchmark for Congressional priorities moving forward. The League, together with the Performing Arts Alliance, urges arts advocates to stay alert and engaged as the appropriations process transpires so that all Representatives and Senators remain well informed about their orchestras at home and the value of federal support for the arts.

Contact Your Members of Congress Today!

February 14, 2012

The Year Ahead and the President’s New Budget Proposal

Washington, D.C. -Yesterday the President announced his newest budget plan, which seeks to meet the mandate of deficit reduction through a combination of strategic revenue measures and funding allocations. Below are the highlights of the tax and spending policies that impact orchestras and the broader arts and nonprofit communities. While the many distractions of the election cycle will slow - if not altogether thwart – progress on major budget decisions and tax reform, the President’s budget request sets the tone for the Congressional action to come. 

  • NEA Funding: After a tumultuous funding cycle last year, Congress ultimately agreed to cut NEA funding to the same amount requested by the President in his FY12 budget – resulting in an $8.8 million decrease for the NEA to its present level of $146 million. The President's FY13 budget, however, would partially restore the decrease he recommended last year, providing for an FY13 funding level of $154.255 million. Orchestras are asking Congress to provide $155 million in NEA funding in FY13.

As the coming months unfold, Congress will take action on numerous policies impacting orchestras – your advocacy will be essential! Whether it’s wireless microphone policies, artist visa issues, or major tax and spending decisions, the League has prepared advocacy materials to make it easy for you to make your voice heard, in partnership with the extended arts and nonprofit communities. Please visit our advocacy center and weigh in on the full range of policy issues that impact your orchestra. Now is the time to develop a dialogue with your members of Congress. As always, we will keep you posted about key policy developments.

January 23, 2012

League's NEA FY13 Grant Tips Now Available

Download Today: The League’s Tips for Orchestras Applying for NEA FY13 Grants

In addition to advocating for federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the League of American Orchestras compiles and reports the agency’s yearly grants to orchestras, advises orchestras of upcoming grant opportunities, and provides unique tips for orchestras applying for NEA support.

The NEA recently posted its FY13 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines. To assist orchestras, specifically, with the application process, the League attends the public sessions of NEA review panels, attends the National Council on the Arts public meetings, and confers with NEA program staff to outline helpful tips for preparing your application. Our Tips for NEA Grant Applications (.pdf) is updated each year to compile the links you’ll need, gather expert advice from panelists and program staff, and call special attention to important changes all applicants should know.

  • As first reported in November, the NEA has confirmed that it will no longer be accepting consortium applications for FY13 grants. In the past, an organization could apply up to two times - once on its own, and a second time in partnership with other organizations. The new single-application rule means that applicants must choose to apply either for an Art Works or Challenge America grant, with the additional important change that Arts in Media (formerly known as the Arts on Radio and Television) is now incorporated into the Art Works: Media Arts category and therefore also subject to the single-application rule.
  • Another important change is that work samples can only be submitted electronically from now on. Detailed information and a breakdown of the schedule for submitting work samples via the new NEA GrantsOnline™ System (NEA-GO) are contained within the League’s Tips resource.
  • Art Works: Arts Education grantees should know that they will need to submit their assessment tools in the final report, and these tools may be shared publically.
  • Lastly, selected grantees involved in the presentation of art will be required to conduct surveys of audience members to gauge the nature and extent of audience response to these art experiences. These selected grantees will receive materials, technical assistance, and up to $1,000 in nonmatching supplemental funding from the NEA.

Find more details, contact information for NEA program specialists, and valuable advice from NEA panelists in our customized Tips for orchestra applicants!

Download the League's Tips for NEA Grant Applications (.pdf)

December 28, 2011

President Signs FY12 Funding Bill

Late last week, the President signed a consolidated bill to finalize FY12 federal funding, including $145.979 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and $24.593 million for the Arts in Education (AIE) program at the U.S. Department of Education.

NEA
After a rollercoaster year, the FY12 NEA budget suffered a decrease of $8.745 million compared to last year’s allocation. The House and Senate proposed budgets ranging from $135 million to $155 million, ultimately compromising to reach the same amount originally requested by the President, a decrease for the agency to a level of $145.979 million. In anticipation of a decrease this year, the NEA, which is halfway through its FY12 grant cycle, has reduced the total amount of grant disbursement, and further changes for FY13 grants and beyond are expected to be announced shortly. Visit our NEA tips for orchestra applications for more information.

Thank you for your ongoing advocacy in support of the arts. The extremely challenging federal budget climate will continue into 2012, and your communication with Congress will be essential. Please continue to stay tuned to League advocacy updates and alerts!

December 12, 2011

More FY12 NEA Grants to Orchestras Announced

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently announced its first round of FY12 grants to organizations in the Art Works category, and on December 6, the NEA announced the grant recipients in the category of Challenge America Fast-Track Review. Funding from the NEA provides vital support to encourage and increase access to music in communities nationwide.

Challenge America Fast-Track grants of $10,000 each will support orchestras in sixteen communities as they provide performances, open rehearsals, high school workshops, master classes, special student presentations, and work with local community partners to serve public schools and assisted-living communities. Challenge America grants help orchestras to bring the experience of the arts to underserved populations limited by geography, demographics, economics, or disability.

The remaining FY12 grants for Art Works (Part Two) will be announced in the spring of 2012.

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.

View Orchestra Project Descriptions

FY13 NEA Grant Deadlines Announced; Updated Guidelines Expected in January

The NEA has set the deadlines for FY13 Grants for Arts Projects, the Endowment's major support category for organizations. As a reminder, the Access to Artistic Excellence and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth categories have been replaced with the funding category called Art Works, with sub-categories of Creation, Engagement, Livability, and Learning.

  • Art Works, Part 1: March 8, 2012
  • Art Works, Part 2: August 9, 2012
  • Challenge America Fast-Track: May 24, 2012

In January, the NEA will release guidelines for applying for FY13 Grants and the League will provide updated guidance specific to orchestras on our Tips for your application page.

Orchestras may also be interested in exploring opportunities for Our Town funding, which supports creative placemaking projects in which communities collaborate with their arts and design organizations and artists to enhance community vibrancy in a variety of ways. Grants will range from $25,000 to $150,000, with applications due Thursday, March 1, 2012. Please visit the NEA website for complete guidelines about Our Town.

Stay Tuned for Updated Tips for Preparing Your FY13 NEA Grant Application 

November 28, 2011

First NEA FY12 Grants to Orchestras Announced

Grants awarded to orchestras by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provide vital funding support for projects that encourage and increase access to music in communities nationwide. The first FY12 NEA grant awards in the agency’s new funding category, Art Works, were announced on November 17. In addition to supporting local projects directly, NEA funding stimulates crucial giving from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors.



Art Works (Part One) grants totaling $1,252,500 will enable 39 distinct orchestra projects to support arts education through student composition training, ensemble learning, specialized coaching, and intensive workshops for inner-city musicians; foster lifelong learning through educational activities, mentorship programs, workshops, master classes, and musician professional development; create new work through commissions and artist residencies; and engage the public through concerts, orchestra tours, and music festivals in communities throughout the country.



Future FY12 grants will be announced for Art Works (Part Two) and Challenge America in the spring of 2012. 



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.

View Orchestra Project Descriptions

November 10, 2011

NEA Ceases Consortium Grants in FY13

Due to budgetary constraints, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will not be awarding consortium grants beginning with the FY13 application process. This means that applicants planning grant submissions to the NEA for FY13 should prepare with the understanding that they can make one and only one application from the NEA: either in the Art Works or Challenge America categories. Previously, organizations could apply up to two times - once on their own, and a second time in partnership with other organizations. The FY13 grant guidelines will be available in January 2012. Another change that will appear in the guidelines will be the incorporation of the Arts in Media into the Art Works category for Media Arts. The types of projects supported in the past in both categories will continue to be offered under Art Works. Media applications will also be subject to the one-application-per-year rule that applies to all applicants.

The sole exception to the one-application limit will be for parent organizations that have separately identifiable and independent components and are submitting a second application in connection with that component organization (i.e., an adult orchestra filing on behalf of an affiliated youth orchestra). Guidance on FY13 grants should be available in January, but to learn more about the current FY12 independent component policy for parent (and related) organizations, please visit the NEA's website.

As soon as the FY13 grant guidelines become available, the League will keep you apprised and update its webpage offering tips for preparing an NEA grant application.

July 29, 2011

Bipartisan Effort Protects NEA from Further Cuts!

Washington, D.C. - Bipartisanship in Washington? Yes! Just yesterday, House Republicans and Democracts acted together to support funding for the arts, defeating an amendment that would have further reduced NEA funding.

  • An amendment offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) would have decreased FY12 NEA funding to $124.4 million, and was defeated yesterday by a vote of 181-240, with 55 Republicans voting in opposition to the amendment.
  • Just five months ago, when Rep. Walberg offered an amendment to decrease FY11 NEA funding to $124.4 million, the amendment passed in the House by a vote of 217-209. The ultimate FY11 bill approved by Congress contained $155 million for the NEA.

WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE?

Several key bipartisan developments combined to influence the outcome of yesterday's vote. Thanks to YOUR ADVOCACY, extraordinary leadership by the Congressional Arts Caucus Co-chairs Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Todd Platts (R-PA), compelling remarks in support of the NEA on the House floor by Interior Appropriations Committee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID), and a White House veto threat opposing the already-lowered funding level, the NEA was spared further cuts yesterday.

HOW DID YOUR MEMBER VOTE?

The FY12 bill will soon move on to the Senate for consideration. Here are two things you can do to to help:

1. Check our pdf House Voting Record to see how your Member of Congress voted, and send a follow-up message to your Representative. We've created a voting record that charts the FY11 and FY12 votes side-by-side so that you can see which members changed their votes to support the arts. It is important that your elected officials know you have paid attention to their vote.

2. Visit with your members of Congress during the upcoming recess , and ask them to support NEA funding. The House FY12 spending bill, unamended, already included a $20 million cut to NEA funding, bringing total funding down to $135 million. The FY12 funding bill will be taken up by the Senate after House consideration is complete. The League will keep you posted on upcoming Senate action, but please start your advocacy now.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED ADVOCACY!     

July 21, 2011

Pivotal NEA Vote - Contact Congress!

Don't Wait! Speak Up for the NEA Today

Washington, DC - As early as next Monday, the full U.S. House of Representatives will vote on FY12 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a $20 million reduction in support for the arts, a 13% reduction from the current funding level of $155 million. This is nearly twice the rate of overall spending cuts for other federal programs in the bill.

The NEA suffered a $12.5 million decrease last year, the cut currently proposed by the House is disproportionate to overall spending reductions, and amendments to even further reduce NEA spending may be offered when this bill comes to a vote.

Use the link to our e-advocacy tool below to tell your Representative to protect the NEA from further spending cuts. The League's advocacy campaign includes a sample letter to Congress and talking points that illustrate the unique value of NEA support in communities across the country.

CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY!

July 7, 2011

Urge the House to Protect the NEA!

Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee voted to cut National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding by $20 million for FY12 from the current funding level of $155 million. Last year the NEA suffered a $12.5 million decrease. Today’s proposal more than doubles the $9 million reduction recommended by President Obama this year. The Subcommittee’s nearly 13% cut is also disproportionate to the 7% cut to the overall spending levels in the entire Interior bill.

The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the FY12 Interior Appropriations bill as early as next Tuesday. In advance, it is extremely important that members of the Appropriations Committee hear from constituents across the country supporting funding for the NEA.

If your Representative serves on the House Appropriations Committee (see chart below), it is particularly critical that you ACT TODAY and ask your Representative to protect funding for the NEA. You can verify who your Representative is here.

Even if your Representative is not on the committee, please consider sending a letter of support for the NEA. Throughout this summer, and into the fall, Congress will continue the budget process and every vote will count. Be sure your Representative knows the value of NEA funding for your community!

CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY!

________________________________________

House Appropriations Committee Members

Republicans

  • Harold Rogers (KY-5), Chairman
  • Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
  • Jo Bonner (AL-1)
  • Jeff Flake (AZ-6)
  • Steve Womack (AR-3)
  • Ken Calvert (CA-44)
  • Jerry Lewis (CA-41)
  • Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-21)
  • C.W. Bill Young (FL-10)
  • Tom Graves (GA-9)
  • Jack Kingston (GA-1)
  • Tom Latham (IA-4)
  • Kevin Yoder (KS-3)
  • Rodney Alexander (LA-5)
  • Alan Nunnelee (MS-1)
  • Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8)
  • Denny Rehberg (MT-AL)
  • Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
  • Steve Austria (OH-7)
  • Steven LaTourette (OH-14)
  • Tom Cole (OK-4)
  • Charles Dent (PA-15)
  • John Carter (TX-31)
  • John Abney Culberson (TX-7)
  • Kay Granger (TX-12)
  • Frank Wolf (VA-10)
  • Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)


Democrats

  • Norman Dicks (WA-6), Ranking Member
  • Ed Pastor (AZ-4)
  • Sam Farr (CA-17)
  • Michael Honda (CA-15)
  • Barbara Lee (CA-9)
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
  • Adam Schiff (CA-29)
  • Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)
  • Sanford Bishop, Jr. (GA-2)
  • Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL-2)
  • Peter Visclosky (IN-1)
  • John Olver (MA-1)
  • Betty McCollum (MN-4)
  • Steven R. Rothman (NJ-9)
  • Nita Lowey (NY-18)
  • Jose Sérrano (NY-16)
  • David Price (NC-4)
  • Marcy Kaptur (OH-9)
  • Chaka Fattah (PA-2)
  • James Moran (VA-8)

May 24, 2011

Second NEA FY11 Grants to Orchestras Announced

Washington, D.C.- Orchestras will implement 38 projects that will provide educational and community activities, music lessons and workshops, residency programs, professional development for teachers and school administrators, tours, concerts, festivals, recording projects, and premieres of new works with the support of $1,265,500 in grants recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The second round of FY11 NEA grant awards was announced on May 17 in the major funding categories of Access to Artistic Excellence Part Two and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth.

In addition to these larger grant categories, Arts on Radio and Television grants will support radio broadcasts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony.

The League has compiled the project descriptions for grants to orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field in the major grant categories. Complete lists of grants to all organizations in all funding areas may be found on the NEA web site.

View Orchestra Project Descriptions

April 12, 2011

The FY11 Budget Deal: What Does it Mean for the Arts?

Washington, D.C. - At the eleventh hour last Friday, Congressional leaders struck an FY11 budget compromise to avoid a government shutdown, which includes $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $25.5 million for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education. The agreement finalizes the rest of FY11 funding, and votes will take place in the House tomorrow, with Senate action to follow before week's end.

Thanks to your advocacy, Congress has restored a portion of the Arts in Education funding and protected the NEA from more drastic cuts.

NEA: In February, the House of Representatives voted to decrease funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $43.1 million (nearly 26%) to a level of $124.4 million for FY11. The Senate did not pass this bill. The $155 million provided for the National Endowment for the Arts in the final funding bill is a $12.5 million cut from the current level of $167.5 million. While any cut to the agency is a set-back to the substantial progress made in re-building the NEA's budget after the deep 40% cut in the mid-90s, the $155 million allocation is higher than both the initial House bill ($124.4 million) and the President's current funding request ($146.3 million).

Please stay tuned! As soon as the final FY11 spending levels are passed, our attention must turn to building support for arts funding in the FY12 budget process.

March 2, 2011

Latest Spending Bill Eliminates Arts in Education Funds; NEA Budget Remains in Jeopardy

Tell Congress that eliminating arts education is a budget cut we simply can't afford. Arts in Education funds at the U.S. Department of Education were eliminated today when Congress passed a short-term spending bill that will keep the federal government open as final negotiations over all FY11 funding continue. The cuts in the short-term spending bill would eliminate Arts in Education funding for the entire 2011 fiscal year if Congress does not restore the fund in future FY11 bills. Today's short-term funding package omitted a number of smaller education programs - part of a "down payment" on further overall federal funding cuts to come.

It's not too late to rescue FY11 funding for Arts in Education and the National Endowment for the Arts! Your advocacy is essential as the House and Senate now use the next two weeks to continue setting their priorities for funding the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Contact Congress today to urge the following:

  • Reinstate the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education, which provides vital federal leadership and funding that improves schools, teaching, and student learning.Cuts to this program will take away funding for multi-year programs that are already in progress!
  • Restore FY11 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which was cut by 26% in the long-term FY11 funding bill passed by the House.

USE OUR EASY E-ADVOCACY TOOL TODAY! >>

February 18, 2011

House Narrowly Passes Amendment to Cut NEA Funding 

Washington, D.C. - Your continued advocacy is needed in support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The House FY11 spending bill already included a $22.5 million cut to NEA funding; yesterday the House approved an amendment taking a second bite out of the NEA's budget for a total decrease of $43.1 million, which represents more than a 25% cut from current funding.
 * The amendment, offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), to decrease NEA funding by $20.6 million, was approved by a vote of 217-209.
 * Two amendments, filed by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) to completely eliminate NEA funding, were not ultimately offered on the House floor.

EVERY VOTE COUNTS: If just five members of Congress had voted differently, yesterday's amendment would have been defeated. The FY11 bill will soon move on to the Senate for consideration. Here are two things you can do to to help:

1. Check our House Voting Record to see how your Member of Congress voted, and send a follow-up message to your Representative. It is important that your elected officials know you have paid attention to their vote, and we will need everyone's support when the House soon takes up FY12 spending decisions.

2. Contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to restore NEA and Arts in Education funding. The FY11 funding bill will be taken up shortly after the Senate returns from the President's Day recess. We are calling on the Senate to restore funding to the NEA and reinstate Arts in Education funding at the U.S. Department of Education. The League will keep you posted on upcoming Senate action, but please start your advocacy now.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED ADVOCACY: Orchestras and their supporters sent more than 1,200 messages to the U.S. House of Representatives in support of arts funding, joining with countless fellow arts advocates across the country to describe how the arts strengthen the economy and improve civic life. Two amendments to eliminate the NEA were dropped altogether. Thank you for taking time to connect with your Representative and keep up the momentum as the U.S. Senate acts next!

February 15, 2011

URGENT! Oppose Amendments to Slash NEA Funding!

Washington, D.C. - Please ACT NOW to urge your member of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose amendments that would slash National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding for the current FY11 fiscal year. The broad federal spending bill under debate on the House floor right now already includes a $22.5 million reduction in NEA funding. Two amendments have been introduced that would decrease NEA funding even further:

Oppose the amendment offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) that would decrease NEA funding by an additional $20.6 million, for a total NEA cut of $43.1 million.

Oppose the amendment offered by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) that would eliminate FY11 NEA funding altogether.

Contact Your Representative Now Via our E-Advocacy Tool


Thanks to all who have already weighed in with Congress in response to the recent League alerts. We need you to continue speaking up! For those of you who have not yet acted, please make your voice heard now. The League will keep you informed of the outcome of these votes and will let you know how you can help with the next step - consideration by the U.S. Senate.

February 10, 2011

Speak Up in Support of the NEA!

Washington, D.C. - As the U.S. House of Representatives votes on final FY11 spending bills early next week, amendments will likely be offered to substantially decrease and/or eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The House Appropriations Committee is discussing a minimum $12.2 million decrease in NEA funding, as part of widespread cuts to discretionary spending. This would reduce the current NEA operating budget to $155.3 million. It is imperative that arts advocates speak up in opposition to further reductions in NEA funding levels when the bill leaves committee and comes up for a vote on the House floor. The FY11 NEA grantmaking process is mid-stream, so cuts would immediately impact the grantmaking process. Tell your Representative exactly what is at stake if this important funding were to be lost!
 
CLICK HERE TO PERSONALIZE AND SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS NOW!
 
The League will keep you up to date as NEA FY11 funding moves through the House and onto the Senate for full consideration. Next up: the President's FY12 budget will be released on Monday, which means your advocacy will be needed to influence the outcome of not one, but two years of NEA funding. Thank you!

January 13, 2011

NEA Launches New FY12 Grant Guidelines
 
Washington, D.C. - The latest grant application guidelines released today by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) include significant changes from prior years. For FY12, the Access to Artistic Excellence and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth categories have been replaced with a new funding category called Art Works, with the sub-categories of Creation, Engagement, Livability, and Learning. The NEA promotes creativity and public access to the arts in communities across the country through direct grants to arts organizations, state funding partnerships, and national initiatives. NEA grants awarded to orchestras provide vital funding for projects that support and increase access to music in communities nationwide.

View the New FY12 NEA Guidelines
 
Free League Webinar: A New Approach to NEA Grants on January 24, 1pm EST
 
Understanding the new NEA grant guidelines is essential to preparing a successful application. To assist orchestras, the League is hosting a live webinar with experts from the NEA. Join NEA Music and Opera Director Wayne Brown and Arts Education Director Sarah Cunningham as they walk orchestras through the guideline changes, and learn everything you need to know about the new application requirements and reporting procedures. The free webinar will take place January 24 at 1pm EST.

Register for the NEA Grants Webinar Today

Note NEA Grant Deadlines and Categories
 
The NEA has set the following deadlines for FY12 Grants for Arts Projects applications, in the new major categories of support for organizations:

  • Art Works: March 10, 2011
  • Art Works: August 11, 2011
  • Challenge America Fast-Track: May 26, 2011

As your orchestra considers the new grant structure and prepares for upcoming deadlines, view the NEA's helpful online overview explaining the changes to the grant categories.

View NEA FY12 Grant Category Overview

December 17, 2010

Sneak Peak at NEA Guideline Changes
 
The guidelines for preparing an FY12 grant application to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will look significantly different when released on January 13, 2011. The largest NEA grant-making categories, Access to Artistic Excellence and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth, will be replaced with a new funding category called Art Works. Please see the League's detailed description of changes to the grant process, and take note of the following FY12 deadlines:

  • Art Works: March 10, 2011
  • Art Works: August 11, 2011
  • Challenge America Fast-Track: May 26, 2011

The NEA has posted a helpful overview of the changes in store for FY12. Take a look and consider what these changes might mean for your orchestra's grant opportunities.

View NEA's Presentation Outlining the FY12 Grant Process

Dworkin Nominated to National Council on the Arts 

On December 8, 2010 President Obama announced his intent to nominate Aaron Dworkin to be appointed as a Member of the National Council on the Arts, an advisory body to the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Dworkin, who is President and Founder of the Sphinx Organization, was a member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee and was named a MacArthur fellow in 2005.

Learn More about the National Council of the Arts

November 30, 2010 

Grants awarded to orchestras by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provide vital funding support for projects that support and increase access to music in communities nationwide. The first FY11 NEA grant awards were announced on November 23 through the Challenge America: Fast Track Review and Access to Artistic Excellence grant categories. In addition to supporting local projects directly, NEA funding stimulates crucial giving from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors.

Orchestras in thirteen communities will provide performances, pre-concert lectures, workshops, enrichment programs, and master classes with the support of $10,000 grants recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Challenge America grants will help orchestras bring the experience of the arts to underserved populations limited by geography, demographics, economics, or disability.

Access to Artistic Excellence (Part One) grants totaling $1,560,000 will allow 37 distinct orchestra projects to provide educational activities, concerts, festivals, master classes, radio broadcasts, orchestra tours, professional development, and residencies in communities across the country.

Future FY11 grants will be announced in the categories of Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth and Access to Artistic Excellence Part Two.

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.

View Orchestra Project Descriptions

FY12 NEA Grant Application Deadlines
 
The NEA will announce deadlines for FY12 Grants for Arts Projects, the Endowment's major support category for organizations in early-mid January. The Access to Artistic Excellence and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth categories have been replaced with a new funding category called Art Works, with the sub categories of Creation, Engagement, Livability, and Learning.

While the full slate of deadlines has yet to be announced, the NEA has announced that the Learning deadlines (previously taking place in June) will now be March 10, 2011 for community-based projects, and August 11, 2011 for school-based projects. The deadline for Challenge America Fast-Track Review Grants will be May 26, 2011

pdf Read More About the Changing Funding Categories for FY12  

November 3, 2010 

NEA Announces Changes for FY12 Grant Process

The guidelines for preparing an FY12 grant application to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will look significantly different when released this coming January.  Last week, the NEA provided highlights of some of the changes applicants can expect.

The largest NEA grant-making categories, Access to Artistic Excellence and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth, will be replaced with a new funding category called Art Works,  supporting four subcategories:

  • Creation: The creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence
  • Engagement: Public engagement with diverse and excellent art
  • Learning: Lifelong learning in the arts
  • Livability: The strengthening of communities through the arts

All types of projects supported in the past under Access to Artistic Excellence will continue to be eligible under the Art Works framework.  

Two additional eligibility changes will apply:  Any applicant applying for an official Consortium project in Art Works must apply for an “innovative” project.  If a grantee has received a Challenge America Fast-Track grant for the past three consecutive years, it is not eligible to apply to the Fast-Track category this year but may apply to other NEA funding opportunities including the new Art Works categories. 

The League has posted a more detailed description of pdf changes to the FY12 NEA grant process and will keep you posted regarding further developments!

January 26, 2010

NEA FY11 Guidelines Now Available 

The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) FY11 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines are now available on the NEA website. To assist orchestras with the application process, the League has again outlined helpful tips for preparing your application, including new information about the Grants.gov process. Orchestras may also contact an NEA specialist to talk through the application.

pdf Read the League's Tips for NEA Grant Applications  

December 21, 2009

Rosen Addresses NEA Research Forum
 
League President and CEO Jesse Rosen was one of three respondents invited to speak at a December 10 forum hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts - and simulcast live online – regarding the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. More than 40 representatives from national and regional arts organizations discussed the nation's largest and most representative study of adults' arts participation habits. The report charts declining attendance rates for ballet, classical music, jazz, and theatre, and increasing participation in the arts through new media. Rosen said, “Our own research confirms that something big is changing in the way Americans participate in all types of activities. That is why orchestras across the country are embracing innovative strategies for bringing classical music to a broader cross-section of the American public."

NEA and Arts Education Funding Increase

Congress has set the FY2010 funding levels for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, including increases in funding for both accounts.
 
An increase of $12.5 million for the NEA brings the agency's funding level to a total of $167.5 million. The newest grant application guidelines will be announced in January. In the meantime, the first round of awards to orchestras for FY10 are available on the League website.

December 15, 2009

First FY10 NEA Grants to Orchestras Announced

Grants awarded to orchestras by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provide critical funding for projects that increase access to music in communities nationwide. The first FY10 NEA grant awards were announced on December 8 through the Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast Track Review and Access to Artistic Excellence grant categories. NEA funding both directly supports local projects and also spurs critical giving from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors.

Orchestras in 14 communities will provide performances, workshops, festivals and master classes with the support of $10,000 grants recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Challenge America grants will help orchestras bring the experience of the arts to underserved populations limited by geography, demographics, economics, or disability.

Access to Artistic Excellence (Part One) grants totaling $1,471,500 will allow 52 distinct orchestra projects to provide educational activities, concerts, premieres, festivals, podcasts, radio broadcasts, orchestra tours, professional development, and residencies in communities across the country.

Future FY10 grants will be announced in the categories of Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth and Access to Artistic Excellence Part Two.

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.

View Orchestra Project Descriptions

October 1, 2009

Support an Increase for the NEA!
 
Washington, D.C. - You are receiving this targeted email because your orchestra is located in the state of a member of Congress who is influential in determining the funding allocation for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Please share this message with others stakeholders in your orchestra.

Congress is nearing its final decision on FY10 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts! The House has recommended a $15 million increase for the NEA, while the Senate endorses $6.3 million over current funding. As the House and Senate meet to determine the final amount allocated to the NEA, please communicate to your members of Congress about the importance and value of NEA funding, and request approval of the House-supported funding level of $170 million for the NEA in FY10.

Read the full story

August 20, 2009

Landesman Confirmed as NEA Chair

Rocco Landesman has begun his role as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts with a call for robust support for arts education and a commitment to the role of the arts in civic renewal. Elizabeth "Deba" Leach has been named as a senior advisor for arts education, and Joan Shigekawa, formerly of the Rockefeller Foundation, will serve as Senior Deputy Chair.

Congress has yet to set next year's NEA funding levels. So far, the House has approved a $15 million increase, while the Senate appropriations committee and President Obama have recommended a $6.3 million increase. Before the bill can advance to the White House to be signed, the two chambers will need to reach consensus on a final appropriations amount. Communities across the country benefits from NEA grants to orchestras. It's not too late to contact your Senators to urge support for increased NEA funding.

July 8, 2009

NEA Support Saves Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Federal grants to 65 orchestras will preserve jobs in communities nationwide, thanks to orchestra awards totaling $2.65 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, announced yesterday by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

"America's orchestras fuel local economies, attract new business development, spark the imaginations of young people, and, through the power of music, unite individuals and cultures in times of challenge as well as celebration," said League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen. "These stimulus funds will enable orchestras to continue making meaningful contributions to community cultural life while helping to stabilize their local economies."
Orchestras across the United States will use federal funds to preserve full and part-time administrative and artistic positions that were in jeopardy of being eliminated due to the struggling economy. A complete list of direct NEA grants to orchestras is listed below.

The NEA acted swiftly upon Congressional and Presidential approval of $50 million in economic stimulus funding in late February. It is one of the first federal agencies to disseminate stimulus funding in support of local economies.

The arts industry generates millions of jobs and is an essential contributor to the economic and cultural vitality of the United States. In response to the stimulus grant opportunity, more than 2,400 applications from arts organizations nationwide poured into the NEA seeking non-matching, one-time grants of $25,000 or $50,000 for projects that focus on job preservation. While the need for support far exceeds available federal resources, 631 arts organizations nationwide received NEA stimulus grants.

Orchestras that did not receive direct NEA stimulus grants may be eligible to apply for support from state and regional arts agencies that have received NEA stimulus funding. The NEA has also announced the list of local arts agencies receiving stimulus funds, some of which will be making them available for re-granting purposes. The League will continue to keep you posted on this and other federal funding opportunities.

The League has compiled a list of orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field, below. Complete lists of grants to all organizations may be found on the NEA web site.

View Economic Recovery Grants to Orchestras

MARCH 13, 2009

NEA Announces 2nd Round FY09 Grants


Orchestras in 50 communities will provide educational activities, workshops, master classes, and concerts with the support of $1,411,500 in grants recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The second round of FY09 NEA grant awards was announced on April 30 in the major funding categories of Access to Artistic Excellence Part Two and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth.

In addition to these larger grant categories, funding through Save America's Treasures will enable the Rosenthal Archives Collection to advance preservation and conservation efforts documenting the history of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Arts on Radio and Television grants will support radio broadcasts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony.

The League has compiled the project descriptions for grants to orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field in the major grant categories. Complete lists of grants to all organizations in all funding areas may be found on the NEA web site.

Read the Full Story

March 3, 2009

NEA Access Deadline Extended!
 
Washington, D.C. - Orchestras now have an extra week to submit applications for the Access to Artistic Excellence, Part One. Due to technical issues with the Grants.gov website beyond the agency's control, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will accept Access, Part I application materials through March 19, 2009.

Review the League's Tips for NEA Grant Applications

Congress Approves FY09 Increase for NEA and Arts Education
 
President Obama signed a catch-all spending bill passed by Congress this week, which allocates $155 million for the NEA, an increase of $10.3 million from last year's funding level. Thank you for contacting Congress in support of the NEA! Advocacy efforts by orchestras in 2008 were closely coordinated with national efforts by the entire arts community, resulting in continued advances in NEA funding.

Learn More about Federal Funding Opportunities  

NEA Stimulus Grants

Orchestras that have received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant within the past four years may be eligible to apply for funding from the NEA to help stabilize local economies.  The NEA has just announced grant guidelines and an application deadline of April 2, 2009 for arts organizations applying for NEA funding provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  These critical funds will be available as non-matching one-time grants of $25,000 or $50,000 for projects that focus on the preservation of jobs in the arts.

Learn More About the FY09 NEA Stimulus Grants

February 27, 2009

NEA FY10 Guidelines Now Available

The National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) FY10 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines are now available on the NEA website. To assist orchestras with the application process, the League outlines helpful tips for preparing your application, including an overview of guideline changes. Orchestras may also contact an NEA specialist to talk through the application. 

Read the League's Tips for NEA Grant Applications
 

December 11, 2008

First FY09 NEA Grants Announced

With the support of grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), orchestras will provide performances, workshops, festivals, and master classes to their communities. Challenge America Fast-Track Review grants to orchestras totaling $140,000 and Access to Artistic Excellence, Part One grants to orchestras totaling $1,430,500 were awarded on December 4. The League has compiled the project descriptions for grants to orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field.

Read the full story

July 15, 2008

House Appropriations Recommends NEA Increase for FY09
On June 11, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee recommended a $15.3 million increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in FY09. If approved by the full House and Senate, NEA funding would total $160 million. However, Congress is deadlocked over how to move ahead with funding for nearly all federal programs. Spending will likely be set at last year's level until a new Congress and President arrive in Washington next year.

Learn More About the FY09 NEA Funding

Upcoming NEA Grant Deadlines
Two opportunities remain for orchestras to apply for FY09 NEA Grants. The deadline for Part Two of the Access to Artistic Excellence program is August 11, 2008.  Applications to the Arts on Radio and Television category are due September 5, 2008.

Review the League's Grant Application Tips

May 22, 2008

Additional NEA FY08 Grants Announced
Orchestras in 50 communities will provide educational activities, workshops, master classes, and concerts with the support of $1,210,300 in grants recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The second round of FY08 NEA grant awards was announced on May 1 in the major funding categories of Access to Artistic Excellence Part Two, and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth.

In addition to these larger grant categories, funding through Save America's Treasures will enable two orchestras to advance preservation and conservation efforts, American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius grants will support two chamber orchestras in bringing unique performances and workshops to their communities, and Arts on Radio and Television grants will support radio broadcasts by four orchestras. The League has compiled the project descriptions for grants to orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field

Read the full story

March 25, 2008 

Congress to Consider NEA Funding
On the heels of last year’s $20.3 million increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, Congress is set to consider the next funding level for the agency.  NEA funding supports the work of orchestras in communities nationwide through direct grants, state allocations, and national initiatives.  On April 1, the U.S. House of Representatives will kick off the NEA appropriations process with a hearing on the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts.  The League has submitted testimony for the record on behalf of orchestras, calling for an increase in the NEA’s funding from $144.7 million to $176 million, which would restore the agency’s budget to its 1992 level.

This year will bring a shorter-than-usual work period for Congress as it races to adjourn for the elections.  Please stay tuned for League alerts notifying orchestras of targeted NEA advocacy opportunities.

Read League NEA Testimony

February 1, 2008 

NEA FY09 Guidelines Now Available

The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) FY09 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines are now available on the NEA website. To assist orchestras with the application process, the League attends the public sessions of NEA review panels throughout the year and outlines helpful tips for preparing your application, including an overview of guideline changes. Orchestras may also contact an NEA specialist to talk through the application. 

Read the League's Tips for NEA Grant Applications

December 19, 2007

Congress Approves Historic NEA Increase

NEA funding will grow by $20.3 million in FY08, the largest single increase for the agency in more than 30 years. In a very lean budget year, Congress approved this major restoration of NEA funds, bringing the total support for the agency to $144.7 million. Thank you for letting Congress know the value of NEA support for orchestras and the communities they serve. Advocacy efforts by orchestras in 2007 were closely coordinated with national efforts by the entire arts community, spurring this major advancement in NEA funding. Following are highlights from this year's efforts:

The NEA funding increase was included in a catch-all spending bill that combined 11 annual federal funding measures. Congressional Arts Caucus co-chairs Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Chris Shays (R-CT) rallied House colleagues in support of the NEA, and Interior Appropriations Committee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) championed NEA funding as a priority issue. Today's advancement of NEA funds reflects years of advocacy since the agency's budget was severely cut in 1995. Orchestras will continue to seek full restoration of NEA funding in 2008. Stay tuned!
 
See How NEA Grants to Orchestras Serve Communities

December 11, 2007

First FY08 NEA Grants Announced 

With the support of grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), orchestras will provide performances, workshops, master classes, and various community engagement programs to their communities. Challenge America Fast Track Review grants to orchestras totaling $110,000 were awarded on November 15, and Access to Artistic Excellence, Part One grants to orchestras totaling $1,502,000 were awarded on December 4. The League has compiled the project descriptions for grants to orchestras and grants related to the orchestra field.

Read the full story

November 20, 2007 

NEA and Education Funding Stalled

Potential historic increases in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Education are in jeopardy as Congress and the White House face off over total spending for the current fiscal year.  On November 13, the President vetoed the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, which included unprecedented support for arts education funding and would have fully funded long-awaited research on the status of arts education in our nation's schools.  Only one of the 12 federal FY08 spending measures - the Defense bill - has been signed into law.  Congress may craft a catch-all spending bill in December, but holding on to the gains in arts funding will be tough as Washington policymakers whittle away at all proposed increases in domestic spending. 

pdf See the Progress on Arts Education

June 28, 2007 

House Approves Major NEA Increase  

A major restoration of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding moved one step closer to enactment yesterday as the House approved a $35 million increase—the largest single increase in NEA history. Thank you for letting Congress know the value of NEA support for orchestras and the communities they serve.   Advocacy efforts by orchestras and the broader arts community contributed to this major advancement in NEA funding, and further advocacy will be crucial as the NEA's bill undergoes final consideration by the full Senate and key congressional  leaders.

Read more...

April 20, 2007

Congress Hears Orchestra Testimony 

Yesterday, the two highest-ranking members of the House subcommittee responsible for funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) heard testimony from Phoenix Symphony violist Karen Bea, who said, "It is time to increase federal support for the vitality of the arts in communities nationwide. The NEA has never fully recovered from a 40% budget cut in 1996."

In a hearing called by the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee, Bea was one of just two public witnesses invited to testify regarding federal arts funding. Actress Kerry Washington also provided eloquent testimony describing how the nonprofit performing arts led her to a successful commercial career. Bea’s testimony highlighted the public value of NEA funding, specifically describing the Phoenix Symphony’s NEA-supported One Nation project, a partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Ranking Member Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), complemented the testimony. Chairman Dicks indicated his ongoing support for the NEA while Rep. Tiahrt recognized the value of NEA grants and his appreciation for a recent Kansas residency by the National Symphony Orchestra.
 
pdf Read Complete Testimony 32.89 Kb