Eligibility Criteria

Prior recipients of a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (formerly, the Coming Up Taller Award) are not eligible for an award in 2017. National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are given to organizations for a specific program or programs. In some cases, the organization and the program may be the same. Programs must meet all of the eligibility requirements below:

  • Operate as a program for children and youth outside of the school day. Preschool, after-school, weekend, and summer programs, however, may have a school-based component or use school space. Multi-site initiatives that meet the criteria also are eligible;
  • Use one or more disciplines of the arts or the humanities as the core content of its program(s);
  • Concentrate on children and youth who live in family and community circumstances that limit their opportunities—underserved children and youth are the primary participants in the program;
  • Involve children and youth as active participants in the arts or humanities experience; cultural programs in which children function only as an audience are not eligible for a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award;
  • Provide participants with ongoing, regularly scheduled sessions; one-time and occasional programs will not be considered;
  • Integrate arts or humanities education programs with youth development goals (e.g., enhanced leadership skills, self-confidence, and peer relations); programs that concentrate only on preparing youth for an artistic or cultural career are not eligible for a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award;
  • Have been operational since January 2013 for a minimum of five years, including 2017; “operational” refers to the operational years of the specific program(s), not the organization’s years of operation, when submitting an application for a program or programs within an organization;
  • Be a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, unit of state or local government, or federally recognized tribal community or tribe; and
  • Be in good standing if a federal grant recipient.