Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Art and Music Education

Posted by Lauren Albright on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

Grants for Art and Music Education
Arts Education
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
–Hans Christian Andersen

“A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
-Eugene Ionesco

It is well established that art and music education help students develop and excel in many important physical, mental, and social learning aspects.
Yet these education programs are often the first on the chopping block when federal, state, and school organizations struggle with dwindling education budgets. For those schools and teachers struggling to maintain crucial art and music programs due to financial constraints, grants are one of many great resources for support.


The National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funds new and existing projects that promote the arts. NEA grants are available to non-profit organizations, state or local government agencies, school districts, and federally-recognized tribal communities or tribes; all applicant entities must have at least a three-year prior history of arts programming.

Two of the NEA’s four annual grants are currently open for the 2018 cycle: 

  • Art Works Grant: This grant funds projects that explore how art relates to and enriches various cultures and their beliefs and values. Award amounts are typically between $10,000 and $100,000, and grant awardees must cost share/match the award amount. This grant typically has two deadlines annually: one in late February and one in late July.
  • Challenge America Grant: This grant supports projects that make the arts more available to underprivileged individuals and areas. Award amounts are for up to $10,000, and grant awardees must cost share / match the award amount. The deadline for this grant usually in late April.

The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

In the spirit of its namesake 1995 movie about the inspiring effects of high school music education programs, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation offers instrument grants to low-income or otherwise underprivileged schools. Grants are typically provided either to minimize or eliminate instrument sharing or to replace aging, ineffective instruments. Applications are by invitation only. Please review the Foundation’s website for more information on school eligibility requirements and to contact the Foundation for further information about becoming an invited grant applicant.

Lily Sarah Grace

This organization’s Stepping Stone Grant provides funding to K-5 educators who want to integrate the arts into their existing classroom curricula. All program proposals must follow Lily Sarah Grace’s distinctive “Arts-infused, inquiry-based learning” model (AIIBL), which focuses on five critical aspects or outcomes of art-integration in the classroom: community, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. All K-5, Title I schools / educators are eligible to apply for these small grants of up to $450.  The application deadline is typically at the end of April each year. For more information on the Stepping Stone Grant’s unique requirements, including the grant proposal rubric, please visit the website link above.

The Crewe Foundation

The Crew Foundation provides monetary support for initiatives that help underprivileged children identify and develop their artistic and musical talents. Only non-profit organizations in the state of Maine that have existing, devoted fine arts or music programs may apply. Applications are due December 31st of each year, decisions are made by April 30th of the following year, and funds are subsequently dispersed between June 30th and September 30th.


Need money, supplies, or other resources to help keep the arts and music alive in your school? The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Photo Credit: Pawel Loj


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Grants for Art Education

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 17:12 PM

We consistently receive requests to help teachers and principals improve their arts education programs with grant funding. Below we have outlined four hand-picked grants that may help fund your prog2380333875_57c27a15f8_q.jpgrams as well.

Crayola Creative Leadership Grants

This manufacturer’s foundation provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary/middle schools. Grants must be submitted by a principal who is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). To be eligible, your school must form a collaborative team to create unique ways to infuse creativity in the school. Your team’s plans must then be outlined in the application, which can be submitted anytime between now and June 23, 2017. Applications submitted before June 5, 2017 will receive a free Crayola Classpack. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) will receive $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000. Grant awards are announced at the end of October. A winner in 2016, Monett Intermediate School in Missouri, will use its grant to collaborate with the school district’s regional technology center, the community, and local business partners to meet its needs for future designers and problem solvers. Monett will create coaching videos that show how design thinking and mobile maker spaces can enrich learning.

Mary Lou Anderson Grant

Sponsored by the National PTA, the Mary Lou Anderson Grant is a $1,000 award in matching funds to support local PTA arts projects in a school. Funded projects will increase access to learning opportunities in the literary, media, visual, and/or performing arts for at-risk or underserved audiences. Arts projects must actively engage families and community partners to strengthen family-school partnerships. Eligible applicants must be a PTA in good standing, as determined by the state PTA. Three grants were awarded in 2016. Applications for the 2017 grants are due between Jan. 10, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

Buckley Moss Foundation

For educators who need assistance to further their in-school program goals, the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education has grants available to teachers who integrate visual art into their classroom curricula, for up to $1,000. Only new or evolving programs that integrate the arts into educational programming are eligible. The purpose is to aid and support teachers who wish to establish an effective learning tool using the arts in teaching children who learn differently. Before-school, after-school, day-care, or Saturday arts programs are not eligible. Deadlines for 2017 have not been released yet though this year applications were accepted in May through September. Check back on the website for more information.  A teacher in Mobile, Ala. received a $1,000 award this year to provide art instruction to students who are not currently benefitting from art education and how art relates to other subjects.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

This foundation believes that an effective arts education can nurture a lifelong interest in the arts and reach a broad group of students at an important time in their development. Only California schools and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Art programs in school, after school, and out of school are fundable programs. The foundation also awards grants to raise awareness among parents and educators, develop research to inform policymakers, and help set priorities and standards for arts education in schools. Additionally, grants are also given pre-professional training organizations. In 2016, 29 grants were awarded. One recipient was the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, a winner of $750,000 for general operating support. Grants are accepted throughout the year.

Grants are available for a wide variety of education subjects, not just arts education. We can help you fund bullying programs, technology improvements, safety concerns, and other educational subject matters as well. Contact us today to get started. The first consultation is always free.


Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver

Topics: arts, arts grants, grants for the arts, art grant, art grants, art education, art instruction, art education grant, grants for education, grants for art education, education, education funds, education grant, education grants, education funding, educational grants, education resources, educational funding

Education Grants, Blog Three: Art and Music Grants (Part Two)

Posted by Mary Ross on Thu, Mar 17, 2016 @ 15:03 PM

Many schools have been forced to make cuts to their art and music programs due t15165315148_fc51d7e403_q.jpgo a lack of state funding. Grant funding can help address the funding issue, with several grant opportunities available. Part One of this series listed a few examples. In this, the second part of the art and music grants blog, we will explore more foundations trying to help maintain and enhance the fine arts.

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation supports both in-class and extra-curricular arts programs for students. Their goal is to “nurture the intellectual, artistic and creative abilities of children from low-income households.” The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation supports enrichment programs in several unique ways. Grants of up to $10,000, given for up to three years, and can be used for materials, time, and transportation. These grants are directed at grades pre-K to 12 from low-income households. All non-profits are eligible to apply and should be ready to collaborate with the foundation on the nature of the project and funding. A 2015 grant recipient used the money to fund an Art History Enrichment Club at a school. Apply online by April 15.

The Wallace Foundation

Grants are awarded in five categories: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Expanded LearningArts Education, and Audience Development for the Arts. Details about these categories can be found here. Although the Wallace Foundation prefers to solicit their own grantees, they do accept proposals from organizations who fit their beliefs and guidelines. A letter of inquiry may be submitted by email giving information about the project, organization, and costs associated with the plan. These emails should be directed to: The Wallace Foundation also offers a free newsletter detailing their work and a “Knowledge Center” offering ideas for education and projects.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Primarily concerned with the performing arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded 3,129 grants for a total of $1,221,984,743. The core concern of the foundation is in higher education, arts and cultural heritage, diversity, communication, and international education and projects These grants range in amount and purpose, but a list can be seen at their grant database. Guidelines for five different categories of grants can also be found on their website. If your project is of interest to the foundation, their staff will work with you to refine your proposal into something the foundation supports. Be sure to read the guidelines carefully before submitting your letter of inquiry.      



These are three possible grant opportunities within the arts education arena. When you are ready to move forward on one of these grants, or if you are looking to fund something else, consider We can help you find the grant that fits you best with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.


Photo Credit: lburiedpaul

Topics: education, education funds, education grants, music grants, education grant, grants for music education, grants for the arts, art grant, arts grants, arts

10 Grants in Your Community

Posted by Mary Ross on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 11:05 AM

When looking for grants, you may want to start in your own community.  Many businesses that you frequent regularly have foundations set up to support you.  It is worth your time to shoppingconsider what your own community has to offer.  Here are 10 big businesses that make it their business to give back.

Target and Walmart:

    1. The Target Foundation

      Field trips, public safety, social services, Target supports it all.  Field trip grant applications are accepted in August and September, grant applications for the arts are taken in January, and social services applications are due in April.  Grant amounts typically run between $2,000 and $5,000, but you can set your own amount with some grant applications. If you are within a 100-mile radius of a Target store, find their online application and give it a shot.

        2. Walmart Foundation    

          Walmart Foundation grants range in value from $250 to $250,000. Grants are primarily given to non-profit organizations in the areas of “hunger relief, healthy eating, or career opportunity.” The next deadline is July 31, so start crafting your application now.  

          CVS and Walgreens

            3.CVS Health Foundation               

              CVS awards grants in the areas of health care, the environment, economic growth, and children’s needs.  Depending on your focus and grant amounts, deadlines vary. On April 7 CVS Health Foundation announced 55 new grant recipients as part of a $5 million commitment. Check the website for more details and to apply.    

                4. Walgreens Foundation

                  Walgreens supports programs that provide “access to health and wellness in their community, pharmacy education programs and mentoring initiatives, civic and community outreach, and emergency and disaster relief.” A list of information requested for all grant requests is available on the website.  Smaller gifts of merchandise and gift cards bot exceeding $20 can be obtained by contacting your local Walgreens store.

                  Home Depot and Lowes

                    5. The Home Depot Foundation   

                      The Home Depot Foundation funds product grants of up to $5,000 for organizations using volunteers to improve the “physical health of their community.” These grants are for products sold at Home Depot stores. Projects aimed at helping military veterans and/or low income families are favored.  Applications are currently being accepted and organizations can submit their proposals online. 

                        6. The Lowes Foundation

                          In 2014, The Lowes Foundation gave $28 million in charitable donations. The Lowes Foundation supports K-12 public education programs (including technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations, and safety improvements) and community programs (including building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades as well as safety improvements).  Grants range from $2,000 to $100,000, and applications are available online now. The spring application cycle ends May 29—so act quickly.  


                          State Farm and Nationwide

                            7. State Farm      

                              With 2016 grant award applications only taken from September 1 to Oct 30, it’s important to plan ahead and have this grant application ready and waiting.  Safety grants, education grants, and service grants are all offered.  Grants must be at least $5,000 and youth-led service grants can range from $25,000 to $100,000.  

                                8. The Nationwide Foundation

                                  The Nationwide Foundation is accepting grant applications now through September 1 to aid people in poverty or crisis, and to improve communities.  Start by taking their eligibility quiz online to see if your organization’s ideals align with theirs.  The Nationwide Foundation also partners with many other organizations such as the United Way, Feeding America, and the American Red Cross.  Giving millions each year in grant funding, consider how Nationwide might be on your side.    

                                  McDonalds and Wendy’s

                                    9. The Ronald McDonald Foundation        

                                      Working to improve the health and well-being of children, The Ronald McDonald Foundation provides grants for dental care, literacy training, and much more.  A new grant cycle will open in July, so read up on what they have funded in the past and tailor your project accordingly (see tip below).

                                        10. The Dave Thomas Foundation 

                                          Working on funding adoption programs?  Wendy’s is: “The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption awards grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals who implement proactive, child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on moving America’s longest-waiting children from foster care into adoptive families.” Take the online quiz to see if you qualify for a grant from the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.

                                          When planning your grant proposal, don’t overlook the foundations in your own backyard.  These 10 foundations are giving nationwide and may be a good fit for you. Start your applications today and let us help you with the process.  Contact to see how we can work with you to find grants, write grant proposals, and get the funding you need.  


                                          Photo Credit: Cinzia A. Rizzo

                                          Topics: municipality grants, food program grants, literacy grants, literacy, community development, STEM Education, STEAM grants, education grants, STEM, STEM funding, grants for art education, community engagement, art education grant, art grant, health and wellness funding, health and wellness grants

                                          Grants to Fund Summer Youth Programs

                                          Posted by Mary Ross on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

                                          Summer school, summer camp, summer programs? What summer situation are you in need of funding? With the school year coming to a rapid end, many parents are looking for activities to keep their kids busy for the summer months, and many foundations are looking to support SummerProgram resized 600organizations that can make this happen.  Time is running out on getting grant funding for this summer, so here is a sampling of the grants you should know about.


                                          State Farm Youth Advisory Board: Service-Learning Grants 

                                          State Farm is accepting applications now through May 1st for grants of $25,000 to $100,000 that address one of its chosen key areas.  Access to higher education/closing the achievement gap, environmental responsibility, and arts and culture and just a few of these areas. If your summer program helps struggling students, or is centered on the environment or the arts, give these categories a look.  Each of these is described on the website, and an online application is available now.


                                          The American Honda Foundation

                                          Awarding grants of $25,000 to $75,000 at a time, the American Honda Foundation is accepting online applications from non-profit groups and schools. Generally concerned with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, Honda is specifically looking to fund programs “which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative.” Organizations can submit applications at any time, but only one application can be submitted per 12-month period. This is a national program hoping to achieve long-term benefits.    


                                          The Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation

                                          Will your organization’s summer work have a national impact? Look into an MEAF grant.  The Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation is accepting applications until June 1st.  MEAF prefers to support programs that teach leadership skills and help youth with disabilities. Six to 12 grants of $10,000 to $75,000 are given a year.  "EcoChanges," a program that gives youth with disabilities the chance to participate in outdoor activities, is one that MEAF has funded in the past.  Take the “grant eligibility quiz” on the website to see if your organization should apply.


                                          The Captain Planet Foundation 

                                          The Captain Plant Foundation funds as many small project grants, between $500 and $2,500, as its yearly resources allow.  With rolling deadlines throughout the year, Captain Planet grants are awarded to schools and non-profit organizations for student-led, project-based environmental programs. Organizations can apply online now. Captain Planet funds projects that get kids involved in protecting the earth and using its resources.  In addition to supporting garden programs, The Captain Planet Foundation even puts on its own Earth Day Celebration for kids in its local area of Atlanta.


                                          Where will your organization get its funding this summer? If you’d like to know about more grant opportunities and get help finding grants specifically tailored to your group, contact We have the resources you need, and the first consultation is always free.  


                                          Photo Credit Camp PinewoodBy: Camp Pinewood

                                          Topics: education, education resources, education funds, educational opportunities, art grant art education grant, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, grants for education, enviornmental grants, enviornmental funding, environmental education, grants for art education, art instruction, education grant, environment grant, art education grant, grants for the arts, art grant, environmental grant, art education

                                          More Ways to Find Funding for Dance, Arts

                                          Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 18:10 PM

                                          In the past month, we have received an increased number of requestsdance for grants to help fund dance studios and dance education, both for youth and adults. We are happy to share some grants available to fund these areas. We also want to describe how these subjects can be funded by grants using a variety of themes. It can help to apply for grants that focus on the various different types of outcomes your program provides. This approach works not just for dancing programs, but for most any area.  Examples of various themes applied to dance funding appear below.

                                          Possible dance funding theme: Community Engagement/Culture/Quality of Life

                                          Dance recitals, education, programs, and engagements are not just important to the individual artist or family, but to the community as a whole. The arts have a huge impact on the livability of a community. Dance productions can bring visitors to town that will spend money at local restaurants and gas stations. Towns with a strong cultural presence are also appealing to families looking to take residence. If your project or program aims to have community involvement or be a large presence in the area, apply for grant programs with these goals, even if dance isn’t specifically listed in the grant description. The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program focuses on community culture. This program requires a non-profit organization to partner with a governmental agency to apply. The deadline for this year is December 15.

                                          Possible dance funding theme: Obesity/Health

                                          This current generation of young people, one-third of whom are overweight or obese, may be the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents. Many foundations throughout the United States, as well as federal government agencies, have grant programs that support obesity prevention, especially for youth. Many dance programs are fundable under these programs. Dance helps children become active and exercise. Check out the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for a grant under this category. The foundation supports opportunities that promote wellness and help prevent obesity. Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year.

                                          Possible dance funding theme: Disability Therapy

                                          If you are hoping to start a dance studio or program, consider creating a class that will provide opportunities for disabled people. There are a wide variety of grant opportunities that support disability programs for both youth and adults. This look at funding for your dance program could provide a unique opportunity. The Dr. Scholl Foundation supports these types of programs, provided the applying organization is a non-profit entity. Proposals are accepted from November 1 to March 1 the following year. Grants range from $5,000-$25,000.

                                          Possible dance funding theme: Arts/Humanities

                                          Then, of course, there are always grants for arts that can help fund your dancing program. These programs are the bread and butter of funding for the arts. However, because they are such a natural fit, they are very competitive and may be harder to win. Non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, individuals, as well as for-profit agencies, can apply for grants from ArtPlace America. This program hopes to fund projects led by artists that help a community’s economic development and revitalization efforts that are also able to attract additional support. All applicants must register with the organization by October 31, and letters of inquiry are due by November 3.


                                          Photo Credit: gnuckx

                                          Topics: humanities, disability therapy, grants for disabled people, grants for humanities, community engagement, dance education, dance grants, community livability, dance, grants for dance, obesity grants, grant opportunity, grants for the arts, nutrition for kids, art grant, arts grants

                                          NEH Grants: Media, Libraries, Museums, and More!

                                          Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

                                          NEH GrantsThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the largest funders of humanity programs in the United States. This independent federal agency traditionally has awarded grants to museums, libraries, colleges, universities, media outlets, and more.

                                          In this blog article, highlights four of the NEH’s recently announced grant opportunities for media projects, museums, libraries, and other cultural organizations. For a full description of each grant, including application materials, budget resources, program resources, sample narratives, and more, please click on the name of the grant.

                                          Media Projects: Development Grants

                                          The NEH’s Division of Public Programs supports activities that “engage millions of Americans in understanding significant humanities works and ideas.” The Media Projects: Development Grants encourage projects in humanities scholarship in areas such as history, religion, anthropology, and more. Media projects include film and television or radio projects. Film and television projects may be single programs or a series. Radio projects may be single programs, a limited series, or segments within an ongoing program.

                                          Development grants allow media producers to collaborate with experts to develop content and prepare programs for production. According to the Media Projects: Development Grants webpage, “Grants should result in a script and should also yield a detailed plan or outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations.”

                                          In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 41 applicants and three awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 7%.

                                          DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


                                          Media Projects: Production Grants

                                          This grant supports efforts similar to those of the Media Project: Development Grant program. However, this grant focuses on supporting the production and distribution of media that engage the public.

                                          In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 40 applicants and six awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 15%. 

                                          DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


                                          Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants

                                          The NEH’s Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants support exhibitions at museums, libraries, or other venues; interpretations of historical places, sites, or regions; and book or film discussion programs, living history presentations, and other face-to-face programs at libraries, community centers, and other public venues. Planning grants support project development, refinement of themes, beginning design, testing, and audience evaluation.

                                          In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 64 applicants and six awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 9%.

                                          DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


                                          Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

                                          This grant supports efforts similar to those of the Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grant program. However, this grant focuses on supporting scholarly research and consultation, designing development, and installing a project for public presentation.

                                          In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 46 applicants and nine awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 20%.

                                          DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


                                          If you are interested in learning more about all of the various NEH grants, please visit the NEH Grants website. If you are curious whether or not these grants would be a good fit for your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We have the experts you need to get you on the right track.


                                          Image credit: Prabhu B Doss

                                          Topics: NEH grant, humanities, grants for humanities, cultural grant, grants for the arts, grants for museum, grants for libraries, museum grants, art grant, arts grants, culture grants, library grants

                                          Arts and Culture Grant Opportunities

                                          Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

                                          Municipalities often focus money and time on keeping infrastructure, utilitiartes, and other vital necessities in good working order not only for current citizens, but to also attract new residents. However, towns need to not overlook the “extras” that are integral to bringing in new families. These perks could include arts and culture opportunities, which can be supported by grant money. Below is a hand-picked list of these grant opportunities. If you would like more information about these specific grants, or want to know if there are additional grants available, please contact us. Remember, the first consultation is always free.

                                          Gannett  Foundation

                                          The Gannett Foundation awards grants to organizations in communities served by Gannett Co., Inc. For a list of states/locations, see here. Grants can be used for cultural enrichment programs in communities, including parades and festivals. Grants average between $1,000-5,000.

                                          National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

                                          The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers several grants programs, including this one that specifically supports small and mid-sized institutions. Libraries, museums, historical societies, municipalities, and cultural organizations are eligible to apply for this grant money to help improve their ability to preserve and care for humanities collections. A past recipient of the grant was the City of Ontario for purchase of preservation and storage supplies for the Ontario Library. Institutions that have never received an NEH grant are strongly encouraged to apply.

                                          Challenge America Fast-Track

                                          Local and state governments can apply for these grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. These grants offer support to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that aim to bring the arts to underserved populations – those limited by geography, ethnicity, economy, or disability. Each grant totals $10,000 and requires a dollar-for-dollar match.

                                          Kresge Foundation

                                          This private foundation seeks to award grants to organizations for general operating and project support grants in the area of arts and culture. The foundation states it “seeks to make arts and culture as central to discussions of rebuilding and reinvigorating metropolitan areas as land use, housing, transportation, economic development and other more traditional disciplines.” The two-step application process begins with an inquiry, submitted via an online application system. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

                                          Boeing Foundation

                                          A municipality would need to partner with a non-profit organization to apply for an arts and culture grant from the Boeing Foundation. The Boeing Foundation has two categories in its arts and culture grant program: 1) Arts Engagement and 2) Arts Education. Arts Engagements projects include performances and exhibits that challenge and broaden people’s view of the world through the introduction of different perspectives. Arts Education proposals nurture creativity in students, helping to form creative and critical thinking skills. Deadlines and grant amounts vary state to state.


                                 has a full team of experts, including Municipality Specialist Rebecca Motley to walk you through every step of the grant process. Learn more about our wide array of services here, and let us help you find grants to fund your needs and dreams.


                                          Photo credit: Keith Bloomfield

                                          Topics: municipality grants, grant notification, grant announcement, grant opportunity, municipality grant, municipality, foundation grant money, art grant, arts grants, community grant, culture grants

                                          NEA Our Town Grant Opportunity

                                          Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Tue, Dec 31, 2013 @ 08:12 AM

                                          NEA Our TownThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant deadline is quickly approaching (January 13, 2014), but still worth considering for many municipalities and nonprofits that can pull off a tight deadline. If you need help working under a time crunch, has the experts who can assist you in any or all parts of the grant application process. Simply contact us for more information.

                                          According to the NEA Our Town website, “Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to improve their quality of life, encourage greater creative activity, foster stronger community identity and sense of place, and revitalize economic development.”

                                          Our Town projects may include the following:

                                          • Arts Engagement (e.g., festivals and performances, public art to improve public spaces and reflect character of community, programming that encourages interaction between community and the arts, etc.)
                                          • Cultural Planning (e.g., cultural district planning, development of master plans for public art, etc.)
                                          • Design (e.g., design of rehearsal, studio, or places for artists to live and work; design new of adapted cultural spaces; design of public spaces, including streetscapes created by artists)

                                          Eligibility and Requirements:

                                          • Applicants must be made by two primary partners, including a nonprofit organization and a local governing body. One of the two partners must be a cultural organization. Having more than two partners is encouraged.
                                          • One partner must act as lead applicant and assume full responsibility for the grant.
                                          • Must request a grant amount of $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $150,000, or $200,000.
                                          • All grants require nonfederal matching funds of at least 1 to 1 (may be cash or cash and in-kind contributions).

                                          Again, the deadline for this grant is January 13, 2014. For more information, including full eligibility and requirements, please contact us or visit the NEA’s Our Town website. And remember, is here to help you as much or as little as you need. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can help you throughout any part of the grant process.


                                          Image credit: bablu121

                                          Topics: municipality grants, nonprofit grants, cultural grant, municipal grant, art grant, arts grants, NEA grant, Our Town grant, community grant, community improvement grant

                                          Impact of Arts Education on Student Achievement

                                          Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 20:04 PM

                                          In making the case for funding, it’s hard to overerestimate the importance of first establishing the need for funding. Funders can’t be expected to have a deep understanding of the need in your particular area. While we are not suggesting you write a thesis on the topic, it's important to clearly and authoritatively describe the need for and the benefits of your grant proposal.

                                          With that in mind, we offer you a few data points about the positive impact of arts education on student achievement. These points suggest the types of arguments you could include in a proposal. As always, feel free to contact us if we can help you with wording of a component of your proposal or help you on a larger scale.


                                          Where does the U.S. rank in cognitive skills and educational achievement?

                                          Art EducationIn November 2012, Pearson, an educational firm, published The Learning Curve, a report aimed at bettering our understanding of the economic and social factors that lead to successful educational outcomes. According this report, the United States ranks 17th in the index of cognitive skills and educational achievement, well-behind other developed countries across the world. (The top ten countries were: 1) Finland; 2) South Korea; 3) Hong Kong – China; 4) Japan; 5) Singapore; 6) United Kingdom; 7) Netherlands; 8) New Zealand; 9) Switzerland; and 10) Canada.)

                                          As a result of ongoing budget cuts at the state and federal level, schools are facing difficult decisions about how to stretch their already dwindling budgets. Arts education programs, not considered to be part of the academic core, are among the first to go. While most would agree that cutting any educational programs is a harmful practice, cutting arts education programs might be more devastating than many realize, as there is a clear correlation between the arts and student development and achievement.


                                          How does arts education impact student achievement?

                                          Sir Ken Robinson, an international specialist in creativity, addressed the need for arts education in a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk entitled “Schools Kill Creativity.”  You will find, by watching this address, an entertainingly presented rationale for the importance of maintaining the instrinsic creative skills of children as they face an ever more volitale and uncertain future.  Sir Robinson's reasoning could comfortably be integrated into a proposal's main argument for funding.

                                          In a May 2002 report titled “The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation,”  published by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, it is said that, “The arts provide one alternative for states looking to build the workforce of tomorrow.” It is added that the general student population experienced increase academic performance, reduced absenteeism, and better skill-building when exposed to more arts education opportunities.

                                          The same report claimed, “For at-risk youth,… the arts contribute to lower recidivism rates; increased self-esteem; the acquisition of job skills; and the development of much needed creative thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.”

                                          According to Americans for the Arts, arts education “stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.” Problem-solving, critical thinking, team-building, life skills, and quality of task performance are among the many other areas that are better developed in students and children with more exposure to arts education.

                                          The Americans for the Arts website contributes a substantial list the impact of arts education on social, academic, physical, and sensory indicators including:

                                          • As children describe people and things in their world using pictures, body movements, and mime, they enhance their descriptive, nonverbal, cognitive capabilities
                                          • Drawing, sculpting, and other visual arts develop spatial acuity.
                                          • Group activities, such as learning dance steps or singing songs, build social skills.
                                          • Repeating stories, poems, and songs strengthens memory.
                                          • Dramatic play, rhyming games, and songs are some of the language-rich activities build pre-reading skills.
                                          • Listening to music for an hour a day changes brain organization, allowing greater brain coherence.

                                          Numerous studies over the last two decades have confirmed the positive correlation that arts education has on student achievement. With this knowledge in mind, it is vital to our students’ education and the promotion of a positive and productive future that funding continues for arts education programs across all grade levels.


                                          In our work, we encounter many arts education grants. We have hand-selected a few of our favorites to share with you. Please see our education page to see these select few, and remember there are many, many more. If you need assistance finding more arts education grants, simply ask one of our experts for more information.

                                          Remember that The Grant Helpers are here to help you reach your funding goals. If you have any questions about grants, your fundability, or our services, please do not hesitate to contact one of our grant experts. Our initial consultations are always free. You can also sign up for our Grants Watch List, a complimentary service, in which we will alert you when we find grants that might fit your funding needs.


                                          Image credit: US Department of Education

                                          Topics: educational funding, making case for funding, education grant, grant opportunity, grant strategy, art education grant, grant tips, art grant, art education