Skip to main content

National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Program selected records, 1969-1989

Historical Note

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts. From its founding, the agency provided grant funding in support of museums and other visual art programs. In 1972 a separate program to support museum funding was established. By 1981 there were as many as fifteen categories of funding in support of public art projects, workshops, artists' residencies, exhibitions, and other visual art programs. Organizations and individuals would submit NEA grant applications including extensive supporting materials. After ca. 1990, the NEA began returning supporting documentation to the applicants, although grants were awarded in the Visual Artists Organizations category until 1995.