NEA Announces $350,000 in Grants for Research

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced $350,000 in NEA support for 17 new research grants that measure different characteristics and contributions of the arts, which the NEA has mapped as a complex, dynamic system. This is the second annual round of Arts Works: Research grants, which encourage the public to propose research studies using new or existing data sets to measure the value and/or impact of the arts in the United States.

“There is a universal call for more rigorous research on the arts,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “While there's no universal definition on what should be measured, we hope that the NEA's system map offers a useful starting point. We expect these grants to produce reliable research that can advance public knowledge and understanding about the map's myriad components.”

These projects investigate areas of research that align with parts of the “How Art Works” system map, such as the cognitive and emotional benefits of art for individuals or the role of arts education and training in achieving broader outcomes. Other projects look at arts infrastructure, arts participation and art-making, and the benefits of art for society and communities. Some of the specific questions asked in these studies are: How do the arts work in rural-urban ('rurban') geographies? How does art affect physiological responses to stress in young children? Are there links between arts participation in high school and college enrollment and achievement levels?

Read the full announcement.