National Endowment for the Arts Recognizes, Offers Funding for Video Game Art

05/09/2011 4:15 PM |

8Bit Last Supper

The National Endowment for the Arts has just changed the terms of its submissions guidelines for the category formerly called “Arts on Television and Radio” and now known as “Arts in Media,” a switch-up accompanied by an expanded field of eligible projects that, among other things, means the NEA will soon be funding video game art projects (their next deadline is September 1).

Following in the footsteps of the Smithsonian Institute (which recently announced the winners of its crowd-sourced video game canonizing project) the NEA’s tweaked terminology means that the U.S. government’s biggest arts organization could be putting grants between $10,000 and $200,000 towards artists’ interactive, multimedia and digital gaming projects. Per the revised guidelines, eligible art platforms now include:

All available media platforms such as the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, digital games, arts content delivered via satellite, as well as on radio and television.

The re-classification also allows for an incredible breadth of work created on new media platforms that could receive funding:

Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more.

Of course, as Hyperallergic’s Kyle Chayka notes, “this isn’t about violent video games or the Farmville obsessions that are keeping kids out of school,” it’s about promoting the exploration of digital platforms’ potential for artistic expression. While waiting for conservatives’ inevitable anger over any and all types of additional arts funding especially for such unconventional media, we can think of at least one shoot-em-up game project that could use some NEA cash.