Children and Youth Funding Report

CYF Helps Find Arts Funding for Charter School

A Virginia grants consultant asked CYF for help in finding federal arts and culture funding for a Washington, DC, K-12 public school that is starting an arts-integration program.

"I'm working with a start-up charter school in Washington, DC that has a strong arts-integration component," says Wendy Baird, a consultant from Burke, VA. Is there "a source of funding for arts-integration in schools?"

Funding for the types of programs Baird is seeking caught a break this year. Congress made relatively few cuts to these types of federal programs, although significant cuts were made elsewhere. You should be aware, however, that the federal grants competition year has been shortened by about three months. Consequently, the 26 federal grant-making agencies have a much smaller window in which to advertise and award their 2012 discretionary programs.

Here's four competitive federal grant programs with open deadlines:

'Our Town' Grants

Agency: Nat'l Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Program: Our Town (CFDA Number: 45.024) (Funding Opportunity Number: 2011NEAOT); Eligibility: Arts organizations, governments, public and private colleges and universities and nonprofits; Funding: Applicants must request a grant amount at one of the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000 or $150,000 (a 1:1 nonfederal match is required); Deadline: March 1.

The Our Town funds go for creative art projects that help make communities more lively, and attractive, with the arts as their core. Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities work with arts and design organizations and artists to: (1) improve quality of life; (2) encourage creative activity; (3) create community identity and a sense of place; and (4) revitalize local economies. All partnerships must involve at least two organizations, a nonprofit or cultural organization and a government entity.

Info: Questions,; visit

Institute of Museum & Library Services

Program: 21st Century Museum Professionals (CFDA Number: 45.307) (Funding Opportunity Number: 21MP-FY12); Eligibility: Museums, nonprofits and colleges (IMLS encourages partnerships with community, faith-based and youth groups); Funding: $2.5 million for up to 10 awards (a 1:1 match is required); Deadline: March 15.

These 36-month grants support projects to increase the capacity of museums by improving the knowledge and skills of museum professionals in multiple institutions. Applications from eligible museums or other organizations should demonstrate how the proposed project will benefit diverse audiences.

Info:;  Twinet Kimbrough, 202/653-4703, or Mark Isaksen, 202/653-4667, or the Institute of Museum & Library Services

Nat'l Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Program: NEA Grants for Arts Projects Challenge America Fast-Track grants (CFDA Number: 45.024) (Funding Opportunity Number: 2012NEA01CAFT); Eligibility: Governments, schools, tribes, public and private colleges and universities and 501 (c)(3) nonprofits; Funding: Multiple awards up to $10,000 (a dollar-for-dollar match is required); Deadline: May 24.

The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations, such as those who live in rural areas or the economically disadvantaged. Youth groups are eligible to apply as long as they also address problems faced by underserved groups. Evidence of community involvement in the planning, design, or fabrication of the work must be apparent.

Info:;, 202/682-5700 or (website).


Program: NEA Grants for Arts Projects Art Works; Eligibility: Governments, schools, tribes, public and private colleges and universities and 501 (c)(3) nonprofits; CFDA Number: 45.024 (Funding Opportunity Number: 2012NEA01AW1); Funding: Multiple awards ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 each; Deadline: March 8.

Grantees use these funds to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence and public engagement. NEA encourages applications from innovative community-based partnerships that integrate the arts with livability efforts. The agency also encourages applications that provide educational and related activities for children, adults, intergenerational groups and schools.

Info:; Pepper Smith,, 202/682-5790 or (notice).

Baird raised her question after attending a Jan. 26 CD Publications audioconference, titled, "Tapping New Federal Funding for Children, Youth & Family Services." A CD recording with downloadable handouts is available at

Info: Got a question about grants or funding? Contact CYF Editor Frank Klimko, or 301/588-6380 ext. 146.

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