Research: Art Works is a National Endowment for the Arts grant program supporting projects that seek to investigate the value and impact of the arts for individuals and communities. The proposed projects may use quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches.

In past years, the Research: Art Works category has invited researchers to propose studies that examine topics related to any area(s) on the How Art Works system map. These projects have used quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches, and have relied on primary and/or secondary data for analysis. Examples of previously funded research can be found via the “Grant Search” engine or by viewing Research: Art Works Grants Study Findings. In December 2016, moreover, the NEA published a new research agenda covering FY 2017-2021, which included other research questions and topics of interest to the Arts Endowment.

Research: Art Works offers support for projects in two areas:

  • Track One: Value and Impact. These are matching grants ranging from $10,000-$30,000 for research projects that aim to examine the value and/or impact of the arts in any topic area(s) by using data and methods appropriate to the proposed research questions. Projects relying primarily on experimental/quasi-experimental design methods should apply to Track Two.
  • Track Two: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs. These are matching grants ranging from $30,000-$100,000 for research projects that aim to test the causal or inferred-causal impact of the arts on individual or cohort outcomes by using experimental or quasi-experimental design methods appropriate to the proposed research questions. This Track is only for projects relying primarily on experimental or quasi-experimental research methods. Projects that do not use experimental or quasi-experimental research methods will considered ineligible if submitted under this track.

NOTE: Applications will not be transferred from one Track to the other after the deadline.

By providing financial support to deserving projects, Research: Art Works will spur growth in the number of people —across diverse fields of inquiry— who are experienced in and knowledgeable about arts-related research. This program also seeks to heighten the relevance and significance of arts-related research to policy and practice.

If you have questions, please contact the staff at

Application guidelines for the present round of funding are now available on the NEA website. The deadline is October 10, 2017.