United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 01, 2022

§ 954.
National Endowment for the Arts
(a)
Establishment

There is established within the Foundation a National Endowment for the Arts.

(b)
Chairperson of the Endowment; term of office; vacancies
(1)
The Endowment shall be headed by a chairperson, to be known as the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(2)
The term of office of the Chairperson shall be four years and the Chairperson shall be eligible for reappointment. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to any person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of Chairperson. Upon expiration of the Chairperson’s term of office the Chairperson shall serve until the Chairperson’s successor shall have been appointed and shall have qualified.
(c)
Program of contracts, grants-in-aid, or loans to groups and individuals for projects and productions; traditionally underrepresented recipients of financial assistance
The Chairperson, with the advice of the National Council on the Arts, is authorized to establish and carry out a program of contracts with, or grants-in-aid or loans to, groups or, in appropriate cases, individuals of exceptional talent engaged in or concerned with the arts, for the purpose of enabling them to provide or support—
(1)
projects and productions which have substantial national or international artistic and cultural significance, giving emphasis to American creativity and cultural diversity and to the maintenance and encouragement of professional excellence;
(2)
projects and productions, meeting professional standards or standards of authenticity or tradition, irrespective of origin, which are of significant merit and which, without such assistance, would otherwise be unavailable to our citizens for geographic or economic reasons;
(3)
projects and productions that will encourage and assist artists and enable them to achieve wider distribution of their works, to work in residence at an educational or cultural institution, or to achieve standards of professional excellence;
(4)
projects and productions which have substantial artistic and cultural significance and that reach, or reflect the culture of, a minority, inner city, rural, or tribal community;
(5)
projects and productions that will encourage public knowledge, education, understanding, and appreciation of the arts;
(6)
workshops that will encourage and develop the appreciation and enjoyment of the arts by our citizens;
(7)
programs for the arts at the local level;
(8)
projects that enhance managerial and organizational skills and capabilities;
(9)
projects, productions, and workshops of the kinds described in paragraphs (1) through (8) through film, radio, video, and similar media, for the purpose of broadening public access to the arts; and
(10)
other relevant projects, including surveys, research, planning, and publications relating to the purposes of this subsection.
In the case of publications under paragraph (10) of this subsection such publications may be supported without regard for the provisions of section 501 of title 44 only if the Chairperson consults with the Joint Committee on Printing of the Congress and the Chairperson submits to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives a report justifying any exemption from such section 501. Any loans made by the Chairperson under this subsection shall be made in accordance with terms and conditions approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. In selecting individuals and groups of exceptional talent as recipients of financial assistance to be provided under this subsection, the Chairperson shall give particular regard to artists and artistic groups that have traditionally been underrepresented.
(d)
Application for payment; regulations and procedures
No payment shall be made under this section except upon application therefor which is submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts in accordance with regulations issued and procedures established by the Chairperson. In establishing such regulations and procedures, the Chairperson shall ensure that—
(1)
artistic excellence and artistic merit are the criteria by which applications are judged, taking into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public; and
(2)
applications are consistent with the purposes of this section. Such regulations and procedures shall clearly indicate that obscenity is without artistic merit, is not protected speech, and shall not be funded. Projects, productions, workshops, and programs that are determined to be obscene are prohibited from receiving financial assistance under this subchapter from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The disapproval or approval of an application by the Chairperson shall not be construed to mean, and shall not be considered as evidence that, the project, production, workshop, or program for which the applicant requested financial assistance is or is not obscene.
(e)
Limitation on amount of grant to group; grants and contracts of the National Endowment for the Arts

The total amount of any grant to any group pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall not exceed 50 per centum of the total cost of such project or production, except that not more than 20 per centum of the funds allotted by the National Endowment for the Arts for the purposes of subsection (c) for any fiscal year may be available for grants and contracts in that fiscal year without regard to such limitation.

(f)
Eligibility for financial assistance

Any group shall be eligible for financial assistance pursuant to this section only if (1) no part of its net earnings inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or stockholders, or individual or individuals, and (2) donations to such group are allowable as a charitable contribution under the standards of subsection (c) of section 170 of title 26.

(g)
Grants to States for projects and productions; applications; terms and conditions of State plans; minimum allotments; excess appropriations; cost limitations; grants to regional groups; non-Federal funding; definitions
(1)
The Chairperson, with the advice of the National Council on the Arts, is authorized to establish and carry out a program of grants-in-aid to assist the several States in supporting existing projects and productions which meet the standards enumerated in subsection (c) of this section, and in developing projects and productions in the arts in such a manner as will furnish adequate programs, facilities, and services in the arts to al
(2)
In order to receive assistance under this subsection in any fiscal year, a State shall submit an application for such grants at such time as shall be specified by the Chairperson and accompany such application with a plan which the Chairperson finds—
(A)
designates or provides for the establishment of a State agency (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “State agency”) as the sole agency for the administration of the State plan;
(B)
provides that funds paid to the State under this subsection will be expended solely on projects and productions approved by the State agency which carry out one or more of the objectives of subsection (c);
(C)
provides that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Chairperson may from time to time require, including a description of the progress made toward achieving the goals of the State plan;
(D)
provides—
(i)
assurances that the State agency has held, after reasonable notice, public meetings in the State to allow all groups of artists, interested organizations, and the public to present views and make recommendations regarding the State plan; and
(ii)
a summary of such recommendations and the State agency’s response to such recommendations; and
(E)
contains—
(i)
a description of the level of participation during the most recent preceding year for which information is available by artists, artists’ organizations, and arts organizations in projects and productions for which financial assistance is provided under this subsection;
(ii)
for the most recent preceding year for which information is available, a description of the extent projects and productions receiving financial assistance from the State arts agency are available to all people and communities in the State; and
(iii)
a description of projects and productions receiving financial assistance under this subsection that exist or are being developed to secure wider participation of artists, artists’ organizations, and arts organizations identified under clause (i) of this subparagraph or that address the availability of the arts to all people or communities identified under clause (ii) of this subparagraph.
No application may be approved unless the accompanying plan satisfies the requirements specified in this subsection.
(3)
Of the sums available to carry out this subsection for any fiscal year, each State which has a plan approved by the Chairperson shall be allotted at least $200,000. If the sums appropriated are insufficient to make the allotments under the preceding sentence in full, such sums shall be allotted among such States in equal amounts. In any case where the sums available to carry out this subsection for any fiscal year are in excess of the amount required to make the allotments under the first sentence of this paragraph—
(A)
the amount of such excess which is no greater than 25 per centum of the sums available to carry out this subsection for any fiscal year shall be available only to the Chairperson for making grants under this subsection to States and regional groups, and
(B)
the amount of such excess, if any, which remains after reserving in full for the Chairperson the amount required under clause (A) shall be allotted among the States which have plans approved by the Chairperson in equal amounts
but in no event shall any State be allotted less than $200,000.
(4)
(A)
The amount of each allotment to a State for any fiscal year under this subsection shall be available to each State, which has a plan approved by the Chairperson in effect on the first day of such fiscal year, to pay not more than 50 per centum of the total cost of any project or production described in paragraph (1). The amount of any allotment made under paragraph (3) for any fiscal year which exceeds $125,000 shall be available, at the discretion of the Chairperson, to pay up to 100 per centum of such cost of projects and productions if such projects and productions would otherwise be unavailable to the residents of that State: Provided, That the total amount of any such allotment for any fiscal year which is exempted from such 50 per centum limitation shall not exceed 20 per centum of the total of such allotment for such fiscal year. Whenever a State agency requests that the Chairperson exercise such discretion, the Chairperson shall—
(i)
give consideration to the various circumstances the State is encountering at the time of such request; and
(ii)
ensure that such discretion is not exercised with respect to such State in perpetuity.
(B)
Any amount allotted to a State under the first sentence of paragraph (3) for any fiscal year which is not obligated by the State prior to 60 days prior to the end of the fiscal year for which such sums are appropriated shall be available for making grants to regional groups.
(C)
Funds made available under this subsection shall not be used to supplant non-Federal funds. The non-Federal funds required by subparagraph (A) to pay 50 percent of the cost of a program or production shall be provided from funds directly controlled and appropriated by the State involved and directly managed by the State agency of such State.
(D)
For the purpose of paragraph (3) and paragraph (4) of this section the term “regional group” means any multistate group, whether or not representative of contiguous States.
(E)
For purposes of paragraph (3)(B), the term “State” includes, in addition to the several States of the Union, only those special jurisdictions specified in section 952(g) of this title which have a population of 200,000 or more, according to the latest decennial census.
(5)
All amounts allotted or made available under paragraph (3) for a fiscal year which are not granted to a State during such year shall be available at the end of such year to the National Endowment for the Arts for the purpose of carrying out subsection (c).
(h)
Suspension of grants for defaults, noncompliance with provisions and plans, and diversion of funds; repayment of funds
Whenever the Chairperson, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, finds that—
(1)
a group is not complying substantially with the provisions of this section;
(2)
a State agency is not complying substantially with the terms and conditions of its State plan approved under this section; or
(3)
any funds granted to a group or State agency under this section have been diverted from the purposes for which they were allotted or paid,
the Chairperson shall immediately notify the Secretary of the Treasury and the group or State agency with respect to which such finding was made that no further grants will be made under this section to such group or agency until there is no longer any default or failure to comply or the diversion has been corrected, or, if compliance or correction is impossible, until such group or agency repays or arranges the repayment of the Federal funds which have been improperly diverted or expended.
(i)
Application for financial assistance; requirements
It shall be a condition of the receipt of financial assistance provided under this section by the Chairperson or the State agency that the applicant for such assistance include in its application—
(1)
a detailed description of the proposed project, production, workshop, or program for which the applicant requests such assistance;
(2)
a timetable for the completion of such proposed project, production, workshop, or program;
(3)
an assurance that the applicant will submit—
(A)
interim reports describing the applicant’s—
(i)
progress in carrying out such project, production, workshop, or program; and
(ii)
compliance with this subchapter and the conditions of receipt of such assistance;
(B)
if such proposed project, production, workshop, or program will be carried out during a period exceeding 1 year, an annual report describing the applicant’s—
(i)
progress in carrying out such project, production, workshop, or program; and
(ii)
compliance with this subchapter and the conditions of receipt of such assistance; and
(C)
not later than 90 days after—
(i)
the end of the period for which the applicant receives such assistance; or
(ii)
the completion of such project, production, workshop, or program;
whichever occurs earlier, a final report to the Chairperson or the State agency (as the case may be) describing the applicant’s compliance with this subchapter and the conditions of receipt of such assistance; and
(4)
an assurance that the project, production, workshop, or program for which assistance is requested will meet the standards of artistic excellence and artistic merit required by this subchapter.
(j)
Regulations for distribution of financial assistance in installments; implementation
The Chairperson shall issue regulations to provide for the distribution of financial assistance to recipients in installments except in those cases where the Chairperson determines that installments are not practicable. In implementing any such installments, the Chairperson shall ensure that—
(1)
not more than two-thirds of such assistance may be provided at the time such application is approved; and
(2)
the remainder of such assistance may not be provided until the Chairperson finds that the recipient of such assistance is complying substantially with this section and with the conditions under which such assistance is provided to such recipient.
(k)
Reviews to ensure compliance with regulations

The Inspector General of the Endowment shall conduct appropriate reviews to ensure that recipients of financial assistance under this section comply with the regulations under this subchapter that apply with respect to such assistance, including regulations relating to accounting and financial matters.

(l)
Use of financial assistance for obscene project, production, etc.; repayment of assistance; exceptions
(1)
If, after reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record, the Chairperson determines that a recipient of financial assistance provided under this section by the Chairperson or any non-Federal entity, used such financial assistance for a project, production, workshop, or program that is determined to be obscene, then the Chairperson shall require that until such recipient repays such assistance (in such amount, and under such terms and conditions, as the Chairperson determines to be appropriate) to the Endowment; no subsequent financial assistance be provided under this section to such recipient.
(2)
Financial assistance repaid under this section to the Endowment shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States and credited as miscellaneous receipts.
(3)
(A)
This subsection shall not apply with respect to financial assistance provided before the effective date of this subsection.
(B)
This subsection shall not apply with respect to a project, production, workshop, or program after the expiration of the 7-year period beginning on the latest date on which financial assistance is provided under this section for such project, production, workshop, or program.
(m)
Labor standards of professional performers and personnel; healthy and safe working conditions

It shall be a condition of the receipt of any grant under this section that the group or individual of exceptional talent or the State or State agency receiving such grant furnish adequate assurances to the Secretary of Labor that (1) all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel (other than laborers and mechanics with respect to whom labor standards are prescribed in subsection (n) of this section) employed on projects or productions which are financed in whole or in part under this section will be paid, without subsequent deduction or rebate on any account, not less than the minimum compensation as determined by the Secretary of Labor to be the prevailing minimum compensation for persons employed in similar activities; and (2) no part of any project or production which is financed in whole or in part under this section will be performed or engaged in under working conditions which are unsanitary or hazardous or dangerous to the health and safety of the employees engaged in such project or production. Compliance with the safety and sanitary laws of the State in which the performance or part thereof is to take place shall be prima facie evidence of compliance. The Secretary of Labor shall have the authority to prescribe standards, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary of Labor may deem necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this subsection.

(n)
Labor standards of laborers and mechanics

It shall be a condition of the receipt of any grant under this section that the group or individual of exceptional talent or the State or State agency receiving such grant furnish adequate assurances to the Secretary of Labor that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors on construction proj­ects assisted under this section shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with sections 3141–3144, 3146, and 3147 of title 40. The Secretary of Labor shall have with respect to the labor standards specified in this subsection the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 and section 3145 of title 40.

(o)
Correlation and development of endowment programs with other Federal and non-Federal programs; expenditure of appropriations

The Chairperson shall correlate the programs of the National Endowment for the Arts insofar as practicable, with existing Federal programs and with those undertaken by other public agencies or private groups, and shall develop the programs of the Endowment with due regard to the contribution to the objectives of this subchapter which can be made by other Federal agencies under existing programs. The Chairperson may enter into interagency agreements to promote or assist with the arts-related activities of other Federal agencies, on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, and may use funds authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of subsection (c) for the costs of such activities.

(p)
Program of contracts or grants-in-aid to public agencies and private nonprofit organizations; limitation on payments; authority of Chairperson
(1)
The Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, with the advice of the National Council on the Arts, is authorized, in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, to establish and carry out a program of contracts with, or grants-in-aid to, public agencies and private nonprofit organizations, on a national, State, or local level, for the purpose of strengthening quality by—
(A)
enabling cultural organizations and institutions to increase the levels of continuing support and to increase the range of contributors to the programs of such organizations or institutions;
(B)
providing administrative and management improvements for cultural organizations and institutions, particularly in the field of long-range financial planning;
(C)
enabling cultural organizations and institutions to increase audience participation in, and appreciation of, programs sponsored by such organizations and institutions;
(D)
providing additional support for cooperative efforts undertaken by State arts agencies with local arts groups and local arts agencies to promote effective arts activity at the State and local level, including—
(i)
support of professional artists in community based residencies;
(ii)
support of rural arts development;
(iii)
support of and models for regional, statewide, or local organizations to provide technical assistance to cultural organizations and institutions;
(iv)
support of and models for visual and performing arts touring; and
(v)
support of and models for professional staffing of arts organizations and for stabilizing and broadening the financial base for arts organizations;
(E)
stimulating greater cooperation among cultural organizations and institutions especially designed to serve better the communities in which such organizations or institutions are located;
(F)
fostering greater citizen involvement in planning the cultural development of a community; and
(G)
stimulating artistic activity and awareness which are in keeping with the varied cultural traditions of this Nation.
(2)
(A)
The Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, with the advice of the National Council on the Arts, is authorized in accordance with this subsection, to establish and carry out a program of contracts with, or grants to, States for the purposes of—
(i)
raising the artistic capabilities of developing arts organizations by providing for—
(I)
artistic and programmatic development to enhance artistic capabilities, including staff development; and
(II)
technical assistance to improve managerial and organizational skills, financial systems management, and long-range fiscal planning; and
(ii)
stimulating artistic activity and awareness and broadening public access to the arts in rural and innercity areas and other areas that are underserved artistically.
(B)
For purposes of providing financial assistance under this paragraph, the Chairperson shall give priority to the activities described in subparagraph (A)(i).
(C)
The Chairperson may not provide financial assistance under this paragraph to a particular applicant in more than 3 fiscal years for the purpose specified in subparagraph (A)(i).
(3)
(4)
In carrying out the program authorized by this subsection, the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts shall have the same authority as is established in subsection (c) and section 959 of this title.
(q)
National information and data collection system on the arts, artists and art groups, and audiences; development and implementation plan; state of the arts reports

The Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts shall, in ongoing consultation with State and local agencies, relevant organizations, and relevant Federal agencies, continue to develop and implement a practical system of national information and data collection and public dissemination on the arts, artists and arts groups, and their audiences. Such system shall include artistic and financial trends in the various artistic fields, trends in audience participation, and trends in arts education on national, regional, and State levels. Such system shall also include information regarding the availability of the arts to various audience segments, including rural communities. Such system shall be used, along with a summary of the data submitted with State plans under subsection (g), to prepare a periodic report on the state of the arts in the Nation. The state of the arts report shall include a description of the availability of the Endowment’s programs to emerging, rural, and culturally diverse artists, arts organizations, and communities and of the participation by such artists, organizations, and communities in such programs. The state of the arts report shall be submitted to the President and the Congress, and provided to the States, not later than October 1, 1992, and quadrennially thereafter.

(Pub. L. 89–209, § 5, Sept. 29, 1965, 79 Stat. 846; Pub. L. 90–83, § 10(b), Sept. 11, 1967, 81 Stat. 223; Pub. L. 90–348, §§ 2, 3, June 18, 1968, 82 Stat. 185; Pub. L. 91–346, §§ 4, 5(a)(1), (2), 6, 7, July 20, 1970, 84 Stat. 443, 445; Pub. L. 93–133, § 2(a)(3), (4), Oct. 19, 1973, 87 Stat. 462; Pub. L. 94–462, title I, §§ 101, 102, title III, § 301(a), title IV, § 401(a), Oct. 8, 1976, 90 Stat. 1971, 1978, 1980; Pub. L. 96–496, title I, §§ 102, 109(a), (b), Dec. 4, 1980, 94 Stat. 2583, 2591; renumbered title I, § 5, Pub. L. 98–306, § 2, May 31, 1984, 98 Stat. 223; renumbered § 5 and amended Pub. L. 99–194, title I, §§ 101(1), 105, Dec. 20, 1985, 99 Stat. 1332, 1333; Pub. L. 101–512, title III, § 318 [title I, §§ 103(a)–(i)(1), 104], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1960, 1963–1966; Pub. L. 113–76, div. G, title IV, § 416, Jan. 17, 2014, 128 Stat. 341.)
cite as: 20 USC 954