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Grants and Initiatives - The Arts

Welcome to the Grants and Initiatives Page for Arts Education! The information contained on this page includes two sections.

  • The first section will contain any short term grant opportunities or special arts education initiatives that are usually time sensitive. There may be times when this section is vacant due to lack of offerings.
  • The second section contains information and a direct link to ongoing arts funding strategies housed within the Arts Education Guidebook. CDE’s Arts eUpdate emails will always include any updates to new grant opportunities but please visit this page at least once a month for additions.

In Colorado, K–12 public schools are primarily funded through a combination of local property taxes and state revenues. Districts also receive federal funds, usually for specific programs. Since the arts are considered a core subject by the No Child Left Behind law, federal funding can be used for arts education as long the outcomes of the funding path are met.

Maintaining adequate funding for arts education programs is a notable challenge. Perhaps the most important key to attracting funding, and for sustaining programs over time, is in developing a long-term strategic plan for arts education. Particularly in times of diminishing resources and competing priorities, a strategic plan can help a school or district establish priorities and use available resources in the most effective ways possible. Additionally, having a strategic plan in place demonstrates to potential donors that you are serious about using resources responsibly.

Funding Opportunities

Art Works Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Office of Research & Analysis announces that grant application guildlines are available for Research: Art Works. This program supports research that investigates the value of the U.S. arts ecosystem and the impact of the arts, either as individual components within the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life.  

The NEA encourages applications from diverse research fields (e.g., sociology, economics, anthropology, psychology, medicine and health, education, communications, and urban and regional planning in addition to projects that address a diverse array of topics concerning the value and/or impact of the arts.

Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes may apply. This may include, but is not limited to, colleges and universities. The NEA anticipates awarding up to 25 grants in the range of $10,000 to $30,000.  

National Art Education Foundation

The National Art Education Foundation (NAEF) annually invites applications for the Ruth Halvorsen Professional Development Grants, Mary McMullan Grants, NAEF Research Grants, SHIP Grants, and Teacher Incentive Grants. Grants range from $500 to $10,000 depending on the grant category. 

The Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation support school leadership, after school, summer and extended learning time, arts education and audience development for the arts. Funding eligibility and grant dates vary. 

The Target Foundation

Each year, Target store grants help K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations bring arts and cultural experiences to students, provide support for educational field trips and fund early childhood reading programs.

The Fund for Teachers

A comprehensive listing of Grants, Professional Development, and Award Opportunities.


For website assistance in the Arts, please contact Karol Gates.

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