NEA Our Town Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, we support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. These projects require a partnership between a local government entity and nonprofit organization, one of which must be a cultural organization; and should engage in partnership with other sectors (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development). Matching grants range from $25,000 to $200,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

In FY2020, we are looking for projects that reflect a new and catalytic way of working, and demonstrate the potential for sustained support and recognition for arts, design, and cultural strategies as integral to every phase of community development.

Our Town projects must integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 13, 2019

Sponsor Deadline to Submit to August 8, 2019

Sponsor Deadline to Submit to Applicant Portal: August 20, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages): Please describe the artistic excellence and artistic merit of the proposed project. Artistic excellence should include: quality of artists, art/design professionals, arts organizations, works of art, or services that the project will involve as well as a description of the process and criteria to select the aforementioned parties. Artistic merit should address the potential to: (a) advance local economic, physical, and social outcomes, (b) lay the groundwork for systematic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities by engaging partners from other sectors, (c) support artists, design professionals, and arts organizations by integrating the arts and design into the fabric of civic life. Artistic merit should also include information about the level of community engagement in planning for and participating in the project, strength of partnership between the two required partners, and potential to reach underserved populations.
  • PI CV / Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required. Please include the source of required matching funds.

To access the online application, visit:


All applications require partnerships that involve at least two primary partners as defined by these guidelines: a nonprofit organization (with a documented three-year history of programming) and a local governmental entity. One of the two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Additional partners are encouraged.

One of the two primary partners must act as the official applicant (lead applicant).

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may submit as a lead applicant two applications to Our Town.

Award Information

Award Amount: You must request a grant amount at one of the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $150,000, or $200,000. We will award very few grants at the $200,000 level; these will be only for projects of significant scale and impact.

Award Duration: 2 years.

Match Requirement: Our grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1. These matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. You may include in your Project Budget matching funds that are proposed but not yet committed at the time of the application deadline.