National Endowment for the Arts: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: NEA is an independent government organization that funds art projects that celebrate artistic American excellence.

IP TAKE: These prestigious grants are highly competitive, so grant seekers will want to make sure that they have achieved some name recognition and that their proposed project is “artistically excellent.”

PROFILE: Created in 1965 and based in Washington, DC, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent government agency that partners with nonprofits and state arts organizations to promote artistic excellence in the US. It seeks to give “Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.” NEA supports film through Grants for organizations.

Grants for Organizations support “exemplary projects in artist communities, arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting and multidisciplinary works, theater, and visuals arts.”

These grants fund projects through four programs:

Art Works grants range from $10,000 to $100,000 and requires a cost share/grant match equal to NEA’s grant amount. They prioritize support for projects that champion culture and diversity, and “enrich humanity.”

Challenge America supports projects that bring the arts to underserved populations. Grants are for $10,000 and require a cost share/grant match equal to NEA’s grant amount. Total project costs must exceed $20,000.

Out Town grants support projects that use art to strengthen communities. Grants range from $25,000 to $200,000 and require a cost share/grant match equal to NEA’s grant amount.

Research: Art Works grants support “the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life.” Projects interrogating art’s value and impact range from $10,000 to $30,000, and research projects that use “experimental or quasi-experimental design methods” range from $30,000 to $100,000.

Grant seekers should look over the NEA’s searchable database of past grantees before applying to see the type of projects the organization funds. Apply at


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