The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to the goal of enabling all Americans to enrich their lives through the arts. The NEA believes that learning in the arts is vital because it invites children to celebrate and participate in a central part of their cultural inheritance, and it is an important contributing factor in the development of social and academic skills. This award offers funding for projects that help children and youth acquire appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of and skills in the arts. Projects must provide participatory learning and engagement of students with skilled artists, teachers, and excellent art. NEA also requires that funded projects ensure the application of national, state, or local arts education standards.