Creation &

Photo: Leyla McCalla, credit: Greg Miles

Photo: Leyla McCalla, credit: Greg Miles

The Creation & Development Fund supports the creation, development and mobility of new artistic work that advances racial and cultural justice and results in live experiential exchange between artists and community.

The fund provides a framework for relationships to develop, over time, among diverse artists, arts organizations, and communities. Through the investment of commissioning funds from arts organizations and NPN direct subsidies, each project is eligible for multi-level support.

Phase I:

Relationships are central to the Creation Fund, which supports new work in early stages.

  • Artists apply for the Creation Fund with a team consisting of at least two arts organizations (co-commissioners) led by a NPN National Partner.

  • Each commissioner contributes a $2,000–$3,000 cash match and agrees to present the work once it has been created.

  • NPN matches these funds so that every Creation Fund artist receives a minimum of $14,000 of project funding.

The structure of the Creation Fund increases organizations’ capacities to commission work, deepens relationships, and is a tool for leveraging other local and national funding.

Continue to Phase II

Phase II:

Twice a year, NPN invites artists who have received Creation Fund support to apply for additional development support. Development Funds are artist-driven:

Artists may apply for up to $10,000 for team-based projects with a commissioner (or other collaborator) of their choosing.


Artists may apply for individual artist support, up to $5,000.

Development Funds can be used for a variety of needs when developing a work for public engagement.

Continue to Phase III

Phase III:

Once a work is developed, co-commissioners are required to support artists through a public engagement of the new work, focused on exchange between artists and communities.

NPN offers access to (but does not guarantee) Artist Engagement Funds for NPN National Partners to support artist fees for Phase III.

The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Doris Duke Foundation
Mellon Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts,
Upcoming Deadlines
Phase I: Creation Fund
Spring 2024 Deadline: May 20, 2024
For projects premiering* between January 1, 2025 and December 31, 2027
Applications will become available December 2023.
*Note: NPN recognizes that timelines may shift and will acknowledge “premieres” as any type of public engagement, whether online, virtual, or hybrid, large or small scale.
Phase II: Development Fund
Spring 2024 Deadline: March 18, 2024
Fall 2024 Deadline: September 20, 2024
For awarded Creation Fund Projects

Fiscal Year 2023


Artist Projects
  • 177 individual artists from 16 cities
  • 100% led by Black, Indigenous, or People of Color
  • 37% of lead artists identify as trans, gender-nonconforming, non-binary or two-spirit


Co-commissioning Organizations

Cultural organizations from 34 cities


Direct Subsidies

$2.4 million

Funds Leveraged