Challenge America: National Endowment for the Arts offers a “Fast Track” for arts projects reaching underserved populations


If you’re working for or with a small or mid-sized arts organization and you’ve been looking for funding to make your programming more accessible to underserved audiences, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) wants to hear from you.

The NEA’s Challenge America Fast Track (CAFT) program offers $10,000 grants to organizations reaching out to underserved populations: “those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.” The fine print: the grant must be matched with the same amount from other sources.

Examples of projects that have received CAFT grants in the past include “a multidisciplinary piece incorporating South Indian classical (Carnatic) and Chinese music traditions” (API Cultural Center in Oakland, California); “a multidisciplinary series of performances, film screenings, and workshops” (Sociedad Latina in Roxbury, Massachusetts); and the New York Arab and South Asian Film Festival.

More information is available at the NEA’s website; an April 3 webinar is recommended for organizations interested in applying. The application deadline is May 23.