Arts Education: Art Works

Agency: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Arts Education: Art Works

Under the auspices of the Arts Education: Art Works program, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Education Office awards Art Works competitive grants to nonprofit organizations, including arts and cultural organizations, school districts, youth service, and other community groups. Many Art Works grants encourage partnerships in which private schools may participate. Individual schools, whether public or private, do not apply for or receive assistance directly, but they may participate in a collaborative project that is submitted by an eligible organization.

Art Works grants fund in-depth, standards-based arts education for youth (generally between ages 5 and 18) in schools or other community-based settings. Projects must provide opportunities for students to engage with accomplished artists and teachers; align with national or State arts education standards; and include assessments of participant learning. Funding is also available to support professional development opportunities for teachers, teaching artists, and other educators. All projects must include the elements listed below.

  • Experience: Participants will experience exemplary works of art—in live form where possible. Through the guidance of teachers, teaching artists, and cultural organizations, students and/or arts education providers will study works of art in order to understand the cultural and social context from which they come, and to appreciate the technical and/or aesthetic qualities of each work. Participants will gain increased knowledge and skills in the art form.
  • Create: Informed by their experience and engagement in an art form, participants will create or perform art. In the case of museums, the primary creative activities will build visual literacy through observation and/or critique as well as through curatorial tasks related to an exhibition.
  • Assess: Using multiple forms of assessment appropriate to the project, participant learning will be measured and assessed according to national or State arts education standards.


Eligible applicants must be nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of State or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. 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 NEA.

Further Information

For more information on eligibility and getting started, visit the Arts Education: Art Works program website.

Last Modified: 09/03/2019