With the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition as the 2018 conference host and a focus on community organizations and initiatives, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) proposes a grants workshop to create connections between both rural and urban Appalachian communities and federal funding available for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, units of state or local government (including universities), and federally recognized tribes. The NEA has a deep-rooted investment in the artistic and creative assets of diverse places throughout the country, and the agency is committed to helping communities leverage these assets to improve general livability through the arts and provide everyone with diverse opportunities for arts participation. In this way, the NEA’s mission closely aligns with the Appalachian Studies Association’s work to promote, among other things, creative expression and to foster quality of life and democratic participation and appreciation of Appalachian experiences.
The workshop will include an overview of the NEA, who is eligible to apply, and the application process. The workshop will also highlight specific grant opportunities that may be of interest to organizations and scholars attending the conference, such as Art Works (for general arts projects), Challenge America (for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations), Our Town (for creative placemaking projects that contribute to economic development), and Research: Art Works (for research that investigates the value or impact of the arts in American life). Finally, several successful NEA-funded projects in Appalachia will be spotlighted to educate conference attendees about innovative community work in the region.