The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is the only arts funder in the United States—public or private—that provides access to the arts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Through our grantmaking to thousands of organizations each year, we support the creative capacity of communities to provide everyone in the United States with diverse opportunities for arts participation. Since 2001, the Challenge America program has extended the NEA’s reach by promoting equal access to the arts in communities across the country. We are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.
Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines that extend the reach of the arts to populations that are underserved. The program is rooted in principles that include, but are not limited to, our recognition that some populations and some geographic areas have limited grant funding opportunities, and/or have been historically underserved by national arts funding; some small organizations may face barriers to accessing grant funding; and some applicants to the NEA may benefit from enhanced technical assistance resources.
Challenge America seeks to address these potential barriers for organizations seeking funding. The program features an abbreviated application, a standardized $10,000 grant amount, and a robust structure of technical assistance to facilitate entry to NEA funding opportunities. This category is an entry point for organizations seeking NEA funding.