Federal Arts Programming

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency established by Congress in 1965. It awards funding to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.  The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.


National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent federal agency that aims to promote excellence in the humanities by awarding grants to cultural institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.


Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal agency established in 1996 that aims to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement through research, policy development, and grant making.


Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

Congress established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1968 as a private, not-for-profit corporation that promotes the growth and development of public media by awarding federal funding to public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, that offers programming that expands the minds of children, documentaries that open up new worlds, non-commercialized news programs that keep citizens informed on world events and cultures and programs that expose America to the worlds of music, theater, dance and art.  It is funded by CPB and member stations.

NPR is a private, nonprofit corporation that works in partnership with Member Stations to create a more informed public by producing, acquiring, and distributing programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression.

In 1988, Congress mandated the creation of a service dedicated to independently produced programming that takes creative risks, sparks public dialogue, and gives voice to underserved communities. The Independent Television Service (ITVS) brings independently-produced, high-quality public broadcast and new media programs to local, national and international audiences.


U.S. Department of Education

The Department of Education is a federal agency dedicated promoting student achievement by establishing federal financial aid policy, collecting data on America's schools, focusing attention on key educational issues and ensuring equal access to education.  The Office of Innovation and Improvement provides a variety of programs to promote art education and integration in school districts, non-profit arts organizations, foundations and other entities.  Key programs include the Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program, the Arts in Education National Program, and Professional Development for Arts Educators.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Art Exhibit Program, in operation since 2004 under the direction of the Office of Communications and Outreach and the Office of Innovation and Improvement, features visual art created by students in U.S. and international schools. The program provides students and teachers an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom in a highly public place that honors their work as an effective path to learning and knowledge for all. The works also provide Department employees and visitors with both a beautiful environment and the means to be in touch with the Department’s principal customers—students.


U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

The National Endowment for the Arts and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have formed the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership to explore how creative arts therapy and arts engagement programs can improve health and well-being in military healthcare settings.


U.S. Department of Transportation

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems.  FTA programs may include funding for public art and design under planning and capital grant programs. This may include art and design in the planning of transportation facilities, graphics on public transportation vehicles, and temporary art commissions that enhance the visible environment of construction projects.


U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to create the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP).


U.S. Department of State

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs creates long-lasting ties between the United States and other countries by providing Americans with access to international artists, while sharing America's rich culture of performing arts with international audiences.

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation supports activities that contribute to the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression (intangible heritage).

AIE was established by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, and formalized as part of the Department of State by the Kennedy Administration in 1963. It is one of the United States' premier public-private partnership arts organizations, with over 20,000 individual and institutional participants, and a presence in some 200 venues in 189 countries worldwide. AIE furthers U.S. diplomacy through the power of the visual arts by expansive, international cultural exchange initiatives.


Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Created in 1982 under President Reagan, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues.  The PCAH works directly with the three primary cultural agencies—National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services—as well as other federal partners and the private sector, to address policy questions in the arts and humanities, to initiate and support key programs in those disciplines and to recognize excellence in the field.   Its core areas of focus are arts and humanities education, cultural exchange, and creative economy.


The Commission of Fine Arts

The Commission of Fine Arts, established in 1910 by Act of Congress, is charged with giving expert advice to the President, Congress and the heads of departments and agencies of the Federal and District of Columbia governments on matters of design and aesthetics, as they affect the Federal interest and preserve the dignity of the nation's capital. The Commission consists of seven "well qualified judges of the fine arts" who are appointed by the President and serve for a term of four years; they may also be reappointed. The Commission of Fine Arts administers the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs (NCACA) program to support artistic and cultural programs in the District of Columbia.


The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

Since opening in 1971, the Kennedy Center has continued its efforts to fulfill his vision of presenting the greatest performers and performances from across America and around the world, nurturing new works and young artists, and serving the nation as a leader in arts education.  The Kennedy Center represents a unique public/private partnership. The maintenance and operation of the federal facility is congressionally funded, however the Center’s artistic programs and education initiatives are paid for almost entirely through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.


The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art was dedicated on March 17, 1941, with Paul Mellon presenting the museum as a gift for the nation.  The mission of the National Gallery of Art is to serve the United States of America in a national role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards.


The Smithsonian

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. It aims to increase and diffuse knowledge shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world


 The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)is the only four-year degree fine arts institution in the nation devoted to contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. It is devoted to the study of contemporary arts, as well as the art of education. IAIA also operates two centers, the Center for Lifelong Education and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Through a concept of art as a traditional path of creativity, IAIA excels at skill building, provoking thought and providing exceptional educational opportunities.


National Park Service (U.S. Department of the Interior)

The Museum Management Program (MMP)  provides national program support functions for park resources. Park Museum Collection Profiles
Teaching with Museums Lesson Plans
Virtual Museum Exhibits