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Arts NOW Grant Program

Arts Now Grant Program logo

The Nebraska Department of Education, in partnership with the Nebraska Arts Council, is pleased to provide funding for arts education projects to Nebraska’s school districts.

Arts NOW Grants Awarded to Nebraska Schools

Students across Nebraska will have access to projects in a wide range of arts through special grants awarded this year. The Arts NOW Grants are special one-time grant opportunities that were made possible by funding from the Nebraska Arts Council in partnership with the NDE and will provide $180,000 to 23 school districts impacting 79 schools throughout the state this spring. The projects will serve more than 20,000 students.

“We’re excited to offer support to our Nebraska schools, arts educators, and kids who learn and participate in arts education programs, ” said NDE Fine Arts Education Specialist Cody Talarico. The Arts NOW Grants differ from other arts grants by expanding what projects are available. “This program will allow items to enhance arts instruction that don’t necessarily qualify for our other grant programs,” said NAC program specialist Anne Alston. The Arts NOW Grant program reflects the creativity and innovation of arts educators, as well as the on-going need for arts education funding across the state.

The grant program is flexible and allows for projects in all the arts subjects including media arts, visual arts, dance, music and theatre. Some of the projects include printmaking in the visual arts classroom, world music drumming, learning lightning design and how to run light boards for theatre, the creation and installation of a school-wide public art mural, the study of world musical genres including instruments from various cultures, and the creation of visual art and collaboration into a theatrical performance creation among others.

Grants ranged from $1,341 to $20,000 with the average award of $7,816 and span all grade levels including elementary, middle, and high schools. Some projects are even across school divisions where high school students will work with middle school students to present to the elementary school.

Release date: January 16, 2024

View an interactive map on Google Maps.

Arts NOW Grant Recipient Projects

Learn about the amazing projects that Nebraska’s arts educators and students are involved. Be sure to check out the following lists for project descriptions and locations.

Arts NOW Grant Recipients_Public (MS Word Format)

Arts NOW Grant Recipients_Public_PDF (PDF Format)

Arts NOW Grant Program Information

The following contains information on grant program administration.

Arts NOW Grant Program Description

The Arts NOW Grants are provided to public school districts in Nebraska serving students in grades K through 12 for arts education projects that help them achieve excellence in arts education while implementing the Nebraska Standards in the Fine Arts. These funds are intended solely for project completion of immediate need and must demonstrate the impact on arts learning.

Arts NOW Grant Program Partnership

The Arts NOW Grants are provided to school districts through a partnership with the Nebraska Arts Council. Funding for this grant program has been generously provided by Nebraska Arts Council, whose mission is to promote, cultivate and sustain the arts for the people of Nebraska. Visit the Nebraska Arts Council website to learn more.

What Could An Arts NOW Grant Help Us Do?

Arts NOW Grants focus on arts projects that help Nebraska’s public school districts serving grades K through 12. Arts NOW Grant funds are to be used for projects of artistic excellence that help deliver high quality arts education instruction while implementing Nebraska’s Fine Arts Standards.

Public school districts are invited to consider arts education projects that can be implemented and have demonstrated impact on excellence in arts education instruction. Based on the number of students impacted, public school districts may apply in one of three funding tiers of the Arts NOW Grant. Arts NOW Grants projects may be in a single building or in multiple buildings of the school district. Examples of acceptable grant fund use: arts supplies, new sheet music (scores), updating or fixing equipment (instruments, stereos, sound systems, stage lights, stage curtains), or acquisition of new equipment (Orff instruments, a pottery wheel, or a scrim). Materials purchased for the grant project may be used past the timeframe of the grant.

Arts NOW Grant Acceptable Use

Arts NOW Grants focus on arts projects that help Nebraska’s public school districts serving grades K through 12 who promote excellence in arts education while implementing Nebraska’s Fine Arts Standards.  Arts NOW Grant funds are to be used for projects of artistic excellence that help deliver high quality arts education instruction while implementing Nebraska’s Fine Arts Standards.

Public school districts are invited to consider arts education projects that can be implemented and have demonstrated impact on excellence in arts education instruction. Based on the number of students impacted, public school districts may apply in one of three funding tiers of the Arts NOW grant. Arts NOW Grants projects may be in a single building or in multiple buildings of the school district. Examples of acceptable grant fund use: arts supplies, new sheet music (scores), updating or fixing equipment (instruments, stereos, sound systems, stage lights, stage curtains), or acquisition of new equipment (Orff instruments, a pottery wheel, or a scrim). Materials purchased for the grant project may be used past the timeframe of the grant.

Arts NOW Grants Unacceptable Use

In compliance with § 200.403 Factors affecting allowability of cost. Arts NOW Grant funds cannot be used for general operating support, payment of salaries or stipends, payment of personal services, payment to a contractor, performance of work, public utility service, travel, rental or purchase of real property, rental of real or personal property, attendance at conferences and meetings, food, or trinkets.

If you don’t think the Arts NOW Grant is right for your school district, check out the many grants that are available from the Nebraska Arts Council.

Arts NOW Grant Process

  1. The grant application period has closed.
  2. All eligible applications have been reviewed and rated by NDE staff. Proposals will be scored on a point system found in the Arts NOW Grant Program Application Scoring Rubric. Funds will be equitably distributed among the five NeMTSS regions.
  3. Grant applicants were notified of their status in December 2023.
  4. Arts NOW Grant recipients will submit verification of expenses by Thursday, February 15, 2024. All expenditures must be receipted. Financial documentation reports and the completed budget spreadsheets are due by 11:59 PM CT on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Funds will be released on reimbursement basis.
  5. A narrative report must be submitted by Wednesday, May, 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM CT.

Arts NOW Grant Timeline

  • July 2023 – Grant Program Opens
  • Friday, October 13, 2023 – Application Deadline
  • December 2023 – Grant Award Notifications
  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 – Financial Reports Deadline
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024 – Narrative Report Deadline

Arts NOW Grant Program Documents

Arts NOW Grant Application

Thank you for your interest in the Arts NOW Grant program. The application deadline has passed.

Arts NOW Grant – Scoring Rubric

This document is provided as a resource to assist applicant school districts. Arts NOW Grant applicants are encouraged to self-score their grant application to ensure the grant project meets program specifications. Do not return this document with your application.

Arts NOW Grant Scoring Rubric – MS Word Format

Arts NOW Grant Scoring Rubric – PDF Format

DO NOT RETURN THIS DOCUMENT WITH YOUR GRANT APPLICATION.

Arts NOW Grant Packet

The Arts NOW Grant Packet

  • provides information on the policies governing the Arts NOW Grant awarded by the Nebraska Department of Education,
  • communicates the procedures and guidelines;
  • ensures sound accounting practices; and
  • provides consistency throughout the Department in the administration of all State and Federal grants.

The guidance and requirements are identified as applicable to grants funded by the State where they differ from Federal grants. Since regulations and guidance apply to both the State (the Department of Education) and to the agencies or organizations that receive grants from the State, there are a number of descriptors used that can be confusing (i.e., grantee, subgrantee, recipient and subrecipient, etc.). To maintain some consistency, this guidance will use the term “grant recipient” or “grantee”, whenever possible to mean the agency that receives a grant from the Nebraska Department of Education.

This grant award guidance has been collected specifically for the Arts NOW Grants. For complete grant document guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education please refer to the NDE Grant Management Requirements and Guidance. Complete Information on all NDE Grant administration is available on the NDE Budget and Grants Management website.

Arts NOW Grant Packet – MS Word Format

Arts NOW Grant Packet – PDF Format

Arts NOW Grant Financial Report

Financial Report Deadline: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 11:59 PM CT

This document is provided as a preview copy of the financial report in order to assist you in preparing your report. The fillable report will be sent to you via AdobeSign email. The financial report form that is sent to you will have fillable spaces for your answers and will come pre-loaded to move to your authorized representative for signature. Budget spreadsheets are also due in February and will be emailed to nde.artsedgrants@nebraska.gov.

If you require it the Arts NOW Grant fillable financial report earlier, you may contact nde.artsedgrants@nebraska.gov and request it be sent to you.

Arts NOW Grant Financial Report (Preview Copy) MS Word Format

Arts NOW Grant Financial Report (Preview Copy) PDF Format

DO NOT COMPLETE THIS PREVIEW COPY.

Arts NOW Grant – Narrative Report

Narrative Report Deadline: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM CT

This document is provided as a preview copy of the narrative report in order to assist you in preparing your report. The fillable report will be sent to you via AdobeSign email. If you require it earlier, you may contact nde.artsedgrants@nebraska.gov and request it be sent to you. The narrative report form that is sent to you will have fillable spaces for your answers and will come pre-loaded to move to your authorized representative for signature.

Arts NOW Grant Narrative Report (Preview Copy) MS Word Format

Arts NOW Grant Narrative Report (Preview Copy) PDF Format

DO NOT COMPLETE THIS PREVIEW COPY.

Join the NDE Fine Arts Mailing List

You’ll receive newsletters, invitations to events, and special announcements.

Fine Arts Education Mailing List

For more information contact:

Cody Talarico, Fine Arts Education Specialist

Please use the Arts NOW Grant email (nde.artsedgrants@nebraska.gov) for all communication related to the Arts NOW Grant Program.

Updated January 16, 2024 9:06am