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Grants for arts education and outreach announced


The West Virginia Commission on the Arts of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has announced applications are being accepted for Challenge America grants available to arts organizations, college and university community outreach programs, schools, and non-profits with proven success in incorporating art in community development, health or social improvement, and economic development programs.

It is anticipated that approximately $124,000 in Challenge America funds will be available through the Commission for projects that demonstrate the benefits the arts bring to families and communities in West Virginia. Approximately $59,000 has been earmarked for NEA Arts in Education projects which had a March 1 application deadline.

The remaining monies will go to funding Challenge America grants. Successful grant applicants will be required to provide a one-to-one match for the funds (i.e., one dollar for every dollar granted). The maximum grant that will be awarded is $15,000. Applications should be for project activities that take place from October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005. Applications to the Commission must be postmarked by July 15. Awards will be announced by October 1.

Challenge America encourages arts organizations to offer outreach programs that will extend programs into adjacent communities. Areas of focus include arts education, access to the arts, community arts development, positive alternatives for youth, and cultural heritage/preservation. All proposals must represent new programs or an expansion of existing arts programming.

For more information about the Challenge America grants, call Richard Ressmeyer, director of arts for the Division at (304) 558-0240, ext. 721. Information and application forms for all available arts grants from the Commission are posted on the Division’s website at

The Commission directs state policy and allocations for arts programs in West Virginia. The Division, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.