National Endowment for the Arts releases funding guidelines for Our Town

Posted on: October 11th, 2012 by Kathy Nothstine

Today, the National Endowment for the Arts (http://www NULL.arts NULL.gov/)(NEA) posted guidelines and application materials for Our Town (http://arts NULL.gov/national/ourtown/index NULL.php), the agency’s primary creative placemaking grants program. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000. NEA is seeking applications for projects in rural communities.

Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to:

  • Improve their quality of life;
  • Encourage greater creative activity;
  • Foster stronger community identity and a sense of place; and
  • Revitalize economic development.

Other key information:

  • Complete Our Town application guidelines are available at arts.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/index.html (http://www NULL.arts NULL.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/index NULL.html)
  • Application deadline is January 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm. This deadline is earlier than last year.
  • Program Inquiries: Email [email protected] (OT null@null arts NULL.gov) to schedule a call with an NEA design program specialist
  • For Our Town FAQs, go to arts.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/FAQ.html (http://www NULL.arts NULL.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/FAQ NULL.html)
  • Webinars to learn more about this funding opportunity will be held on November 6 and 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm EST at arts.gov

Projects may include arts engagement, cultural planning, and design activities. Definitions of these activities can be found in the FY 2012 Our Town grant announcement (http://arts NULL.gov/news/news12/Our-Town-announcement NULL.html).

Now in its third year, Our Town has provided $11.57 million to fund 131 projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Those projects are diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project. As regards population size, in FY 2012 alone, 41 of the 80 grants supported projects in communities with populations under 50,000.

To view a map of these projects along with descriptions and images, visit the Our Town section (http://arts NULL.gov/national/ourtown/index NULL.php) of the NEA website.

Our Town grant examples in rural communities:

The Yadkin/Pee Dee Lakes Project  (Central Park and Star, NC, $50,000)
Central Park NC and the Town of Star partnered again on an Our Town grant related to the creation and promotion of a glass arts community in Star. Project activities include planning and development of a new annual FireFest event, an annual glass public sculpture competition, and development of multimedia promotional materials for the community including video, social media, wayfinding signage, and downloadable print materials.

Wormfarm Institute (Reedsburg, WI, $50,000)
Wormfarm’s Our Town grant will support the planning, pilot, and evaluation of Farm/Art D-Tour. These guided and self-led tours will take place primarily along rural roads in northern Sauk County, Wisconsin, and will feature farm-based ephemeral art installations and performances; mobile farm stands designed and built by artists; and interpretative signage about rural culture and the local arts, food, and farming communities.

Program inquiries: Email [email protected] (OT null@null arts NULL.gov) to schedule a call with an NEA design program specialist.

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