University of Southern California


NEA Grants for Arts 2021

Slots:                                                     1 slot annually, despite having 2 award cycles, unless you qualify as an independent component (see ‘Independent Component’ section below).

Internal Deadline:                            Contact ORIF if interested.

LOI:                                                        February 11, 2021, 8:59pm PT

External Deadline:                            February 24, 2021 at 8:59pm PT

Award Type:                                       Grant

Anticipated Amount:                     Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Process for Limited Submissions: PIs must submit their application through the Office of Research Initiatives & Facilities (ORIF) Application Portal: Any limited submission that is not Camille Dreyfus, NSF-MRI, or the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Inventor Fellows can select the ‘Limited Submission’ up top to submit.

Materials to submit – unless otherwise noted in the Office of Research Initiatives & Facilities (ORIF) write-ups below – include:

(1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.

(2) CV – (5 pages maximum)

This portal requires information about the PIs and Co-PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                      

Who May Serve as PI:                  To be eligible, the applicant organization must:


Grants for Arts Projects is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program for organizations based in the United States. Through project-based funding, the program supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of excellent art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.

Disciplines include: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts (see note below), Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Work, Theater, Visual Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts supports two general project types under Grants for Arts Projects Literary Arts:

Apply under the project type and associated deadline that most closely corresponds to the primary focus of your proposed project. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

Independent Component:            A parent organization that comprises separately identifiable and independent components (e.g., a university campus that has a presenting organization and a radio station) may submit an application for each such component. In addition, a parent organization also may submit one application on its own behalf for a project that is different from any project submitted in an application by its independent component(s).   

An independent component must be a unit that is both programmatically and administratively distinct from the parent organization, have its own staff and budget, and generally have an independent board that has substantial responsibility for oversight and management. To qualify as independent, a component should be equivalent to a stand-alone institution with a separate mission.

The following do not qualify as independent components:

For example:

Budgetary Requirements:              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.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.