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. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development.
This category encourages and supports the following objective: • Engagement: Engaging the public with diverse and excellent art. 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 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 appropriate to their project. To ensure that Challenge America funding reaches new organizations and communities, the NEA has implemented a policy to limit consecutive-year funding.
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Special district governments
City or township governments
Independent school districts
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)