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National Endowment for the Arts  
About Us
  Partnership Agreements  

Regional Partnership Grant Program Description

Regional arts organizations were created by state arts leaders, in partnership with the Arts Endowment and the private sector, in order to transcend state boundaries and give the public access to a greater and richer variety of arts experiences. Their status as member organizations of state arts agencies provides the basis for the support that they receive under these guidelines. One of their roles has been to make excellent dance, theater, musical theater, opera, and literature presentations available in underserved communities. They have filled other roles in response to the special needs of each region and in response to opportunities to assist the Arts Endowment and other funders in distributing programs nationally. As private, nonprofit organizations that are supported by the public sector, regional arts organizations have been able to attract corporate and foundation contributions and to generate earned income for arts projects.

What is Included

Through Regional Partnership Agreements, the Arts Endowment supports the regional arts organizations in two ways:

1. Basic Regional Plan Component

This component provides basic support for a regional plan. Inclusive planning, evaluation, cost effective operation, and efforts to strengthen and diversify revenue sources are all required of organizations that receive this support. In addition, the panel gives attention to each organization’s success in developing a clear and realistic mission and in extending its resources through partnerships and other means.

2. NEA Regional Performing Arts Touring Program, a Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Initiative

The purpose of this component is to give all Americans access to excellence in the live performing arts. Support is available for regional programs that:

  • Increase access in underserved communities.
  • Increase benefit through educational activities and community partnerships.
  • Are based on planning with touring artists and community groups.
  • Ensure high quality.
  • Encourage diversity.
  • Are limited to the presentation of out of state* artists and companies.
  • Assist and strengthen a network of arts-presenting organizations in rural and underserved communities.

*Because of the concentration of artists/companies residing in California and New York, some exceptions to this policy are allowed for projects in these states. However, it is expected that most of the artists/companies who are presented or toured in these states will be from out of state.

No more than 15 percent of the NEA Regional Performing Arts Touring funds that are awarded to any regional organization may be used to support the organization’s administrative costs.

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. RAOs 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

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

How Award Amounts Are Determined

A. Basic Regional Plan Component

One-third of the funds available for this component will be distributed in equal base amounts per regional organization and two-thirds in equal shares per state. In the event of a reduction in funds, awards to each organization will be reduced by an equal percentage.

B. NEA Regional Performing Arts Touring Program, a Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Initiative

Up to $1.96 million will be allotted in the same proportions as FY 2000 NEA Regional Performing Arts Touring Program funds. Of any funds in excess of this amount, two thirds will be allotted in equal shares per region and one third will be allotted on the basis of regional population.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements

In order to enter into a Partnership Agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts, a regional arts organization must:

  • Be authorized by two or more state arts agencies to apply for funds on their behalf.
  • Meet the Arts Endowment's "Legal Requirements" at the time of application.
  • Maintain sound fiscal and administrative procedures.
  • Base program funding decisions on criteria that take into account artistic excellence and merit.
  • Engage member SAAs in planning and program development.
  • Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all Arts Endowment grant(s) previously received.

Requirements Concerning State Membership

For the purposes of this category, a state arts agency may participate in a regional arts organization of which it is not a member. However, a state arts agency may not designate more than one regional organization to receive funds on its behalf.

Any shift of a state from one regional organization to another or any proposal for a state to affiliate with or leave a regional organization must be preceded by at least one full year of planning by all of the agencies involved.

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