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Amplifying Midwestern Creativity

Arts Midwest supports, informs, and celebrates arts organizations and creative communities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, the Native Nations that share this geography, and beyond.

A woman sits on a stage bathed in blue-purple light telling a story.
Photo Credit: Bruce Silcox

Grant Opportunities and Programs

We support efforts that connect people, ideas, and solutions through creativity. Learn more about our grantmaking initiatives and our community programming.

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A group of women participating in a traditional West African drum and dance performance.
Photo Credit: TeMaTe Institute
Intent to Apply Due January 10

NEA Big Read

The NEA Big Read is a reading program that brings communities together around the central theme, “Where We Live,” using one of 50 available NEA Big Read Books as inspiration. Selected organizations receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to support their projects. Arts organizations, universities, libraries, service organizations, museums, school districts, and tribal governments are all encouraged to apply.

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Two women in wheelchairs talking with books.
Photo Credit: Mikki Schaffner
Author Rebekah Taussig meets with an NEA Big Read participant.
Statement of Intent Due January 19


Through grants of $65,000 to $130,000 and peer learning opportunities, this new national initiative invests in organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to equity within their practices and programming. Applications are welcome from organizations that are diverse in terms of geography, scale of operations, and focus of arts programming; as well as organizations that work at the intersection of the arts and other domains, such as community development, health/well-being, climate/environment, or economic development.

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A group of people paint a colorful mural
Intent to Apply Due January 25

Shakespeare in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities is a theater program supporting high-quality productions and educational activities for young audiences. Selected organizations receive grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 to support their projects. 501c3 non-profit professional theater companies with at least two years’ experience providing professional performances and educational activities to middle and/or high schools are encouraged to apply.

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A group of people in masquerade masks dancing on stage, as the stage band plays on an elevated platform above them.
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow
The cast of Much Ado About Nothing at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee, WI.

Best Practices for Federal Grant Applications

Federal funding for the arts is available but not always the most accessible, especially if you’ve never applied for opportunities in the past. This article provides a basic eligibility roadmap for non-profit organizations that are new to seeking federal funding.

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A group of high school students hold script papers in a black box theater.
Photo Credit: West Cliff Creative
Shakespeare Play On leads a Shakespeare and Social Justice Workshop at Los Gatos High School, in Los Gatos, CA.

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