Artistic Innovations

Artistic Innovations grants support the creation of innovative new work by artists working in M-AAA’s region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas). With generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, M-AAA distributes grants of up to $15,000 to underwrite the direct expenses related to the art-making process and the public premiere of work. Designed to encourage experimentation and collaboration, Artistic Innovations grants are available to artists and nonprofits working in all disciplines. Priority is given to new work that can tour or be replicated.

A great Artistic Innovations project is one that has in-person experiences of art, art making, or artists at the heart of the initiative and introduces a new or original idea or product to the applicant’s audience. Engagement through feature presentation and outreach includes but is not limited to performance, publication, lecture/demonstration, exhibition, master class and/or workshop.

Artistic Innovations grants support the creation of new, original works that result in at least two public-facing events, including a premiere feature presentation and an outreach event.

FY20 grants will be for projects taking place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Letters of Intent opened in September 2018 and closed on October 15, 2018. Thank you to the nearly 140 artists and organizations who applied! We are now seeking panelists for the selection process. Learn more.

Projects must meet three criteria:

  1. The project is new and original culminating in two public-facing events including at least one outreach activity and at least one premiere feature presentation in accessible venues in the M-AAA region between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020;
  2. All applicants and artists involved in the project are residents of the six-state M-AAA region; and
  3. The anticipated project budget reflects a 1:1 match for the grant amount requested. The maximum grant request allowed is $15,000.

Artistic Innovations Eligibility

Individuals must:

  • Not be an Artistic Innovations grant recipient in the previous fiscal year;
  • Have a resumé that demonstrates at least three years of professional experience and commitment to an artistic discipline;
  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have a social security number;
  • Have lived in the M-AAA region full-time for at least three years prior to the deadline and remain a regional resident during the entire grant period; and
  • Be in good standing with M-AAA and all other federal agencies, with no delinquent reports and/or grant documents.

Organizations must:

  • Not be an Artistic Innovations grant recipient in the previous fiscal year;
  • Be a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a unit of state or local government, or a federally recognized tribal community;
  • Be registered in the Data Universal Number System (DUNS);
  • Have three consecutive years of operating history prior to the Letter of Intent Form deadline;
  • Be incorporated and located in the M-AAA region; and
  • Be in good standing with M-AAA and all other federal agencies, with no delinquent reports and/or grant documents.

If you have questions or need additional information, please email us at innovations (at)

Projects must not be:

  • Those that engage audiences solely through online streaming
  • Straight adaptations from one medium to another
  • Remounting of past work in a new venue
  • Traditional restaging of classic productions
  • Rereleases of previously published or recorded material
  • Art competitions or fundraisers
  • Projects engaging any artists from outside M-AAA’s six-state region

How to Apply

If you wish to apply, please review the detailed guidelines and application checklists for Individual Artist Applicants and for Organizational Applicants to prepare for the online Artistic Innovations Letter of Intent Form. Data typed in the online form can be saved for editing later by clicking “Save my progress and resume later” at the top or bottom of the form webpage. Each time the form is saved, you should check your email and use the last link sent to you to resume the most recent draft of your form. Limit one Letter of Intent Form per applicant and per project per fiscal year.

The Letter of Intent Form is now closed. Thank you for your interest. 

Individual artist GRANT GUIDELINES.

Organizational GRANT GUIDELINES.

Instructional Video

Watch this webinar to get step-by-step instructions for the Letter of Intent process.