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National Endowment for the Arts  
About Us
  Partnership Agreements  
 

State Partnership Grant Program Description

Most of the fifty state and six jurisdictional arts agencies were created in response to the national example and financial incentive provided by the Arts Endowment. For more than 35 years the Arts Endowment’s support for SAAs has helped to attract state funding that for most agencies now far exceeds the federal support. State government support is vital to the arts in America.

As recipients of funding from the Arts Endowment, state arts agencies are responsible for meeting standards of accountability that call for:

  • Inclusive planning.
  • Responsive plans.
  • Evaluation of performance in relation to plans.
  • Fair decision-making.
  • Leadership in learning in the arts, access to artistic excellence, and partnerships for the arts.
  • Reporting on funded activities, in accordance with the National Standard for Arts Information Exchange.

As the partner agencies of the Arts Endowment, state arts agencies greatly extend the Arts Endowment’s reach and impact, translating national leadership into local benefit. As they carry out their state plans, they work cooperatively with the Arts Endowment to carry out a national plan with common goals. The SAAs and the Arts Endowment consult regularly on how they can best work together in addressing these goals.

What Is Included

Through State Partnership Agreements, the Arts Endowment supports state arts agencies in four ways:

  1. Basic State Plan Component

    This component provides funds that agencies can use to address priorities that are identified at the state level. Activities supported with these funds also contribute to the fulfillment of one or more of the Arts Endowment’s goals.

  2. Arts Education Component

    This component provides support for those elements of the plan that address arts education, a part of the school-based area of the Arts Endowment’s Learning in the Arts goal. Funds support efforts to achieve one or more of the following goals:

    • To help ensure that the arts are basic to the education of children and youth in grades pre-K through 12.
    • To expand opportunities for children and youth to participate in and to increase their understanding of or skills in the arts.
    • To provide professional development opportunities for artists, arts professionals, and teachers.

    Each state arts agency should address these goals through strategies and partnerships that are based on national, state, or local arts education standards, as appropriate, and the particular needs, opportunities, and resources of the state. Please see "Additional Information on Arts Education."

  3. Arts in Underserved Communities Component

    This component provides support for those elements of a state’s plan that foster the arts in rural, inner-city, and other underserved communities. Funds may assist in the areas of local cultural development, folk & traditional arts, developing arts organizations, rural initiatives, arts programs for disadvantaged youth, and other programs in communities that are underserved artistically.

    For the purposes of these guidelines, an underserved community is one in which individuals lack access to arts programs due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, or disability. Within this broad definition, SAAs are asked to identify their own underserved constituencies.

  4. State Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Component

    This component provides funds to the state arts agencies in the fifty states and the two jurisdictions with populations of more than 200,000 (the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) for new or expanded program activities that assist the Arts Endowment in its goal to provide access to the arts for all Americans. Funds may support projects that do one or more of the following:

    • Provide opportunities for individuals to experience and participate in a wide range of art forms and activities.
    • Enable arts organizations and artists to expand and diversify their audiences.
    • Extend the arts to underserved populations – those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
    • Expand arts education opportunities for children and youth.
    • Employ the arts in strengthening communities.

    Funds may not be used for administrative or overhead costs.

American Masterpieces Component

For FY 2005, the President's budget for the Arts Endowment requests additional funds for American Masterpieces, an initiative that will celebrate the finest works in our nation's artistic legacy and make them available to the broadest cross-section of America. The Arts Endowment is consulting with its state and regional partners about the initiative and the role that they might play in it. This consultation will help inform plans for the initiative. In the event of funding, the Arts Endowment will convey the necessary information to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations through a separate announcement.

Deadline Date

Applications must be postmarked (or show other proof of mailing) no later than October 1, 2004. Awards will support activities that are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2005, or any time thereafter. SAAs are encouraged to submit their applications electronically through the Arts Endowment’s eGRANT on-line application system. See "How to Prepare and Submit an Application" for details.

Award Information

Matching Requirement

State Partnership Agreement awards must be matched at least 1 to 1.

How Award Amounts Are Determined

A. Basic State Plan Component

Chart 1

  1. Each state arts agency with an approved state plan will be allotted at least $200,000 out of the amount legally designated for awards to the SAAs, exclusive of underserved set-aside funds. If funds are insufficient to make allotments of $200,000 to each state, then those funds which are available will be divided among the states in equal amounts.

  2. After $200,000 has been allotted to each state arts agency, up to one quarter of the legally designated amount will be apportioned by agency policy. Under current policies, part of these funds will be available to states on the basis of population and part will be used for Regional Partnership Agreements and National Services awards.

  3. Any funds that remain from the designated amount will be divided equally among those agencies in the fifty states and two jurisdictions with populations of more than 200,000.

B. Arts Education Component

Chart 2

  1. Approximately fifty percent of the funds that are available to assist the SAAs in achieving their arts education goals will be apportioned among agencies with plans that meet the review criteria as they relate to arts education. Of these funds, half (or 25 percent of the total) will be available in equal shares per state and half (or 25 percent of the total) on the basis of school-age population. Funds apportioned in this way to any state will not exceed $50,000.

  2. The remaining funds will be awarded competitively among those agencies that are found to have the strongest plans and accomplishments in relation to the review criteria.

The maximum arts education funding that any agency can receive (competitive and noncompetitive combined) for a one-year period is $100,000.

C. Arts in Underserved Communities Component

This component utilizes a portion of the funds that are set aside by statute for awards to the state arts agencies for projects in rural, inner-city, or other artistically underserved areas.

Chart 3

  1. Approximately fifty percent of the underserved set-aside funds that are available to be administered through Partnership Agreements will be apportioned among state arts agencies with plans that meet the review criteria. Of these funds, three quarters (or 37.5 percent of the total) will be available in equal shares per state and one-quarter (or 12.5 percent of the total) on the basis of population.

  2. The remaining funds will be awarded competitively among those agencies that are found to have the strongest plans and accomplishments in relation to the review criteria. The maximum competitive funding that any agency can receive for a one-year period is $75,000 or one-twentieth of the funds that are available for competitive distribution, whichever is less.

D. State Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Component

State Challenge America: Reaching Every Community funds will be divided in equal shares among those agencies in the fifty states and two jurisdictions with populations of more than 200,000.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to the designated fifty state and six jurisdictional arts agencies. In order to enter into a Partnership Agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts, a state arts agency must:

  • Meet the the Arts Endowment's "Legal Requirements" at the time of application.
  • Be designated and financially supported by its state government.
  • Maintain sound fiscal and administrative procedures.
  • Base program funding decisions on criteria that take into account artistic excellence and merit.
  • Have its own board, council, or commission.
  • Have completed a comprehensive planning process, including public meetings on its state plan, and compiled a list of responses to recommendations from those meetings.
  • Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all Arts Endowment grant(s) previously received.
 
     
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