Montana Arts Council

An Agency of State Government

American Rescue Plan Act Funding

The Montana Arts Council (MAC) announces a one-time grant opportunity for professional artists made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), in the form of $754,500 in ARPA funds. We are currently accepting applications for the ARPA Organization grant, which closes May 5th.  The ARPA Artist grant is closed, with funding decisions announced in early June.  



Ceramicist Breena Buettner talks about COVID-19 funding and how a CARES grant helped keep her practice moving during the pandemic.

Our current ARPA grants build on this foundation by supporting artist in creating new work and seeing current projects through to completion. 

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(CLOSED) ARPA Artist Grant Guidelines (PDF) (HTML) 

(May 5th Deadline) ARPA Organization Grant Guidelines (PDF) (HTML)

What sorts of projects are eligible for this grant?

The projects that artists will propose will vary widely by artistic discipline. A few examples of eligible types of projects provided the NEA include "presentations, workshops, research, and/or creation of artwork". The NEA also specifies that funds can support ongoing projects but not previously completed projects. In the grant guidelines, under the "Eligible Projects" section, examples of possible types of projects are provided by discipline. 

One of the most important parts of designing a project for this grant is ensuring a) that it is feasible to complete on a relatively short timeline (June 1 - November 1) and b) that it will have tangible outcomes that can be documented and provided to MAC in the final reporting process. 

Can I get funding for an ongoing project?

Yes. You will need to clearly define a portion of an ongoing project to be the focus of your proposal and have outcomes that will be completed during the grant period.

Example Project: "Mastering and Producing an Album". A musician has already recorded songs but applies for funding to have the album mastered, produced, and released. The major outcome in this case would be a completed album. 

How do you define artist?

The term “artist” applies broadly across disciplines, including music, performing, visual, literary, media, and multi-disciplinary artists who devote a significant portion of their time to the creation of artwork. The professional artist is likely paid for performances, sells their artwork, or shares their body of work with the public on a regular basis. An artist, as defined for this grant, is a practicing professional with a sustained commitment to their art form.

When will the grants be awarded?

The grant award will be disbursed in two payments: one in early June 2022 and one upon completion of the project and approval of the final report, no later than early December 2022. 

What am I required to do for the final report?

The final report will require you to provide a brief description of the project, confirm that grant funds were spent, submit documentation of the complete project, and complete federal statistical fields required by the NEA.

To view a draft of the final report CLICK HERE.  

What can I provide for documentation of the project in the final report?

Examples of documentation of the completed project can be images, video, audio, press articles, marketing or publicity materials, or writing samples. The relevant documentation will vary depending on the discipline of grantee and the specifics of the proposed project.

Can I use this grant for emergency relief for expenses like food and housing?

No. ARPA Artist grants cannot be used to alleviate financial hardship or for “artist relief”. Funds for individuals can only be used to directly support the completion of work.  

Can an individual submit more than one application? 

Individuals are allowed to submit more than one application, but can only receive one award.

The "Artistic Merit" grant criteria includes reaching underserved groups. Will more weight be given to proposals regarding underserved communities?

If the approval process becomes competitive--i.e. there are more qualified proposals than available funds--projects reaching underserved groups as defined by the NEA may be prioritized.  Additionally, awards may be equalized across artistic disciplines. 

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