The Kenyon Review has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Abigail Serfass, managing editor of the Review, said that she began writing the grant application in February of 2020. She explained that, in addition to funding the Review’s print magazine and online journal, the grant money will go towards paying authors featured in the Review as well as freelance editors who select pieces for publication. Serfass stated that the Review will match the grant with its own funds.
The NEA specializes in funding a wide variety of nonprofit arts projects and organizations. Their 2020 grants included an indigenous dance festival and an Appalachian artisan center focusing on the instruction of young women. The grant money itself comes from the federal government, and applicants must match, from their own funds, the money given by the NEA.
“We’re showing them that we can support the whole project on our own, and they’re helping us complete the whole thing,” Serfass said.
Organizations’ applications for NEA grants must be specific, detailing how they will use the funds for projects. According to their website, the NEA’s funding criteria involves judging a project’s “artistic excellence,” based on the quality of the artists involved, and “artistic merit,” which centers around the “importance and appropriateness” of the project in modern society. A group of advisory panelists review applications, which are passed onto the chairman, who makes the final decision to provide the grants.
The Kenyon Review is no stranger to this stringent application process.
“All the time since I’ve been managing editor and before, we generally get one each year,” Serfass said. “They very in amounts, so we’re very fortunate they like to support us. This was not a giant surprise, but it’s always wonderful when we find out for sure that we received the grant.”
The Kenyon Review also receives funding from local arts groups, like the Columbus-based Ohio Arts Council, and are currently in the process of applying for a grant from the Amazon Literary Partnership program, which provides grants to nonprofit literary organizations. If approved, the Amazon Literary Partnership grant will support the Review’s summer workshop program.