Questions, Comments, or Corrections? Let us know!

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

The Arts NOW Grant Program was a special one-year opportunity for Nebraska school districts. The grant program has closed.

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

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 May 13, 2024 9:56am