National Endowment for the Arts Announces $3.5 Million in Arts Project Grants in California

Pictured: Harmony Project in Los Angeles will receive an Art Works grant to support teaching artist fees for a free music instruction program for students in underserved communities. The organization also receives support from the California Arts Council.

SACRAMENTO, CA – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today federal funding awards of more than $3 million to California arts organizations in its first round of funding for fiscal year 2020. Overall, 155 grants totaling $3,530,000 will provide California’s residents opportunities for arts participation.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.”

This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.

Click here for the full announcement from the National Endowment for the Arts, including a detailed list of all first round grantees.

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Art Works projects approved for funding this round include:

  • Pablove Shutterbugs, a national program that teaches photography fundamentals to children and teens living with cancer. Professional photographers will train students in the principles and techniques of photography, including composition, lighting, perspective, portraiture, and storytelling. The program includes field trips to local arts venues in Los Angeles and an exhibition of student work.

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. 

Challenge America projects approved for funding include:

  • A collaborative marketing campaign to promote arts activities in Lake County, California. The Lake County Arts Council, Lake County Rural Arts Initiative, and the Middletown Art Center will work together as the Lake County Arts Consortium to promote a broad range of visual and performing arts offerings. Marketing tools such as professional video, audio, social media, a website, and rack cards will be created to advertise the activities to county residents.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Juan Devis, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, and Donn K. Harris. Learn more at

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit

Kimberly Brown

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