One January 24, 2024, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2024, with more than $32 million in funding to support the arts nationwide. 13 Arizona-based arts organizations/programs and two literary artists are among the grantees. This is the first of the NEA’s two major grant announcements each fiscal year and includes grants to organizations through the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America, Research Grants in the Arts, and Research Labs. The NEA additionally announced grants to individuals for Literature Fellowships, which include Creative Writing Fellowships in prose and fellowships to support translation projects.

“The NEA is pleased to announce these grants, all of which strengthen our nation’s arts sector in different ways,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Whether it’s the creation of new art, opportunities for the public to participate and engage in the arts, or work to better understand the impact of the arts, these grants contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities, help meet the challenges of our time, and build towards a future in which all people can lead artful lives and reach their full potential.”

Grants to Arizona organizations, programs, and artists in this funding round total $392,000.

Challenge America Grants

Challenge America grants are awarded in all artistic disciplines and offer support primarily to small organizations for a wide variety of arts projects that reach historically underserved communities that have limited access to the arts relative to geography, ethnicity, economics, and/or disability.

City of Litchfield Park, Litchfield Park, AZ

Purpose: To support the Litchfield Park Native American Fine Arts Festival.

Harmony Project Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

Purpose: To support a free music education program for youth.

Society for Bevel Intentions, Inc., Tucson, AZ

Purpose: To support an expanded marketing campaign for the Morley Arts District in Nogales, Arizona.

The next Challenge America application deadline is Thursday, April 25, 2024. Visit for guidelines and application resources.

Grants for Arts Projects

Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) provides expansive funding opportunities to strengthen the nation’s arts and cultural ecosystem.

Flagstaff Arts Council (aka Creative Flagstaff), Flagstaff, AZ

Purpose: To support an exhibition of work by Chilean artist Francisco Gonzáles Castro at the Coconino Center for the Arts.

Universal Access Productions (aka Arizona Theatre Matters), Glendale, AZ

Purpose: To support Arizona Theatre Matters’ production of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” featuring performers with disabilities.

Act One, Phoenix, AZ

Purpose: To support arts education opportunities that use virtual reality technology.

Phoenix Theatre, Inc., Phoenix, AZ

Purpose: To support Partners That Heal, a participatory theater program for hospitalized children and their families.

Childsplay, Inc, Phoenix, AZ

Purpose: To support the development of “J. Sonic and the Unknown” by Idris Goodwin.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Purpose: To support a grant program for artists and organizations in Southern Arizona.

Loft Cinema, Inc. (aka The Loft), Tucson, AZ

Purpose: To support the annual Loft Film Fest, a touring film series, and related public programming.

Southwest Folklife Alliance, Inc, Tucson, AZ

Purpose: To support Tucson Meet Yourself, a folk arts festival.

Tucson Children’s Museum, Tucson, AZ

Purpose: To support arts programming for children in partnership with local arts organizations.

This year’s Grants for Arts Projects application deadlines are Thursday, February 15, 2024, and Thursday, July 11, 2024. Each discipline has identified the types of projects that are of greatest interest within this program as well as the characteristics of competitive proposals that provide the greatest opportunities for federal support to strengthen the arts ecosystem. Visit for guidelines and application resources.

Literature Fellowships

Fellowships help writers and translators to create new work and thus expand the portfolio of art available to American audiences. These fellowships allow recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.

This year’s Creative Writing Fellowships are in fiction and creative nonfiction. These fellowships are highly competitive, with more than 2,100 eligible applications received for FY2024. Flagstaff resident Ash Davidson is one of only 35 writers awarded a fellowship this year. (Ash Davidson was previously awarded a Research & Development Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.)

The NEA will award Translation Fellowships to 18 translators ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 totaling $325,000 to translate works from 12 languages and 16 countries into English, including books from Kenya and Greenland, countries not previously supported through an NEA fellowship. Tucson resident Kelsi Vanada was awarded $15,000 in support of her work on an English translation of the poetry collection A Little Pretty Personality by Spanish poet Berta García Faet.

Research Awards

Research Grants in the Arts supports research studies that investigate the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life.

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Research Purpose: To support a study examining the evolving role of technology in visual arts and its potential impacts on artist careers.

Banner photo: Tucson Meet Yourself, 2018. Photo by Steven Meckler, courtesy of Southwest Folklife Alliance ©2018.