Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Note the cost-share requirements in the Award Information section below.
Our Town is the NEA’s creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, the program supports activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities. Our Town projects advance local economic, physical, or social outcomes in communities, ultimately laying the groundwork for systems change and centering equity.
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 (e.g., agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, workforce development). Grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.
Successful Our Town projects lay the groundwork for systems change that sustains the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities over the long term.
A key to the success of creative placemaking is involving the arts in partnership with committed governmental, nonprofit, and private sector leadership. All applications must demonstrate a partnership that will provide leadership for the project. These partnerships must involve two primary partners, as defined by these guidelines:
- Nonprofit organization
- Local government entity
One of these two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization.
CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 20, 2022
Sponsor Deadline: August 4, 2022
Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)
- Project Summary (2 pages maximum): Please provide information on the organizations involved and detail the project objectives, location(s), and participants.
- 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 cost-share/matching funds.
To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6753/home
All applications require partnerships that involve at least two primary partners as defined by these guidelines: a nonprofit organization 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. A partnering organization may serve as a partner on as many applications as they like.
A grant amount at one of the following levels must be requested: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, or $150,000. Very few grants will be awarded at the $150,000 level; these will be only for projects of significant scale and impact.
Award Duration: 2 years.
Grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal cost share/match of at least 1 to 1. These cost share/matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions.
The artistic excellence of the project, which includes the following:
- Quality of the artists, culture bearers, design professionals, organizations, works of art, activities, and/or services that the project will involve; and their relevance to the community in which the project takes place.
- Potential of the project to center artists, culture bearers, and designers in the proposed project activities, and ultimately to center them in long term systems change work.
The artistic merit of the project, which includes the following:
- Potential of the project activities to advance local economic, physical, or social outcomes desired by the community.
- Potential for the project activities to ultimately lay the groundwork for systems changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities over the long term. (Systems changes can include, for example: establishment of new and sustained cross-sector partnerships; shifts in institutional structure, practices or policies; replication or scaling of innovative project models; or establishment of training programs).
- Strength and depth of the proposed partnership between the required local and nonprofit partners, as well as engagement across other sectors (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development).
- Evidence of deep and authentic community engagement in planning for and participating in the project.
- Potential to serve and/or reach individuals or communities whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability, as applicable.
- Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements and their ability to demonstrate that project activities are advancing local physical, economic, or social outcomes, including, as appropriate, plans for documentation and evaluation of the overall project results.
- Ability to carry out the project based on factors such as the appropriateness of the budget, the quality and clarity of the project goals and design, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project’s personnel.