- Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts
- Internal Deadline: January 13, 2020
- Sponsor Deadline: April 9, 2020
- Link: https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/challenge-america/grant-program-description
The Challenge America category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Age alone (e.g., youth, seniors) does not qualify a group as underserved; at least one of the underserved characteristics noted above also must be present. Provide details about the underserved audience you select in your application using relevant statistics and anecdotal information. Proposals should detail the efforts made to reach the identified underserved population. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development.
The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.
Challenge America grants:
- Extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations.
- Are limited to the specific types of projects outlined below.
- Are for a fixed amount of $10,000 and require a minimum $10,000 cost share/match.
Partnerships can be valuable to the success of these projects. While not required, applicants are encouraged to consider partnerships among organizations, both in and outside of the arts, as an appropriate way to engage with the identified underserved audience.
To ensure that Challenge America funding reaches new organizations and communities, the National Endowment for the Arts has implemented a policy to limit consecutive-year funding.
Starting with grants that were awarded in FY 2013 (as indicated by a grant letter dated on or after October 1, 2012, and a grant number beginning with “13 – 78” or ending with “78-13”), an organization that receives Challenge America grants for three years in a row is not eligible to apply to the category for the following one-year period. Therefore, an organization that has received grants in FY 2018, 2019, and 2020 may not apply under these FY 2021 guidelines. That organization may apply for FY 2021 support under other National Endowment for the Arts funding opportunities including Grants for Arts Projects.
Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.
- All grants are for $10,000.
- Our grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal cost share/match of at least 1 to 1. For example, if an organization receives a $10,000 grant, the total eligible project costs must be at least $20,000 and the organization must provide at least $10,000 toward the project from nonfederal sources.
Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes may apply. Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the National Endowment for the Arts.
To be eligible, the applicant organization must:
- Meet the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Legal Requirements” including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed. See more information on fiscal sponsors/agents.)
- Have completed a three-year history of arts programming prior to the application deadline. For the purpose of defining eligibility, “three-year history” refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
- Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts grant(s) previously received.
The artistic excellence of the project, which includes the:
- Quality of the artists, arts organizations, works of art, or technical services that the project will involve, as appropriate.
The artistic merit of the project, which includes the:
- Potential of the project to reach underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
- Potential to make quality arts or cultural resources more widely available.
- Appropriateness of the project to the organization’s mission, audience, community, and/or constituency.
- Ability to carry out the project based on such factors as the appropriateness of the budget, the quality and clarity of the project activities and goals, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project’s personnel.
- Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements.
If an organization applies to the Challenge America category, it may not also apply to the Grants for Arts Projects category.
You may apply to other National Endowment for the Arts funding opportunities, including Our Town, in addition to Challenge America. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project or a distinctly different phase of the same project, with a different period of performance and costs.
If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to firstname.lastname@example.org according to the required instructions below.
Internal Applications must include the following:
- A cover page listing
- The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
- Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
- Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
- Indicate whether or not you have submitted to this program in the past. If so, please provide a copy of the review at the end of the internal application.
- A (maximum two-page) proposal summary that addresses the program’s specific selection criteria.
- One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
- A two-page Curriculum vitae
Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals. UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward. Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.
Internal Submission Instructions
The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to email@example.com by the internal deadline listed above.
Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following:
Challenge America Specialists: email@example.com or 202-682-5700
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