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NEA Announces Deadline and Guidelines for "Our Town" Grants

Wednesday, October 17, 2012   (0 Comments)
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On October 11, 2012, the NEA posted guidelines and application materials for Our Town (, the agency's primary creative place-making grants program. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000.

Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and/or 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:
Program Inquiries: Email to schedule a call with an NEA design program specialist

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 (

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<> of the NEA website.

Our Town project examples involving folk and traditional arts:

City of Miami, FL
: $50,000; With its Our Town grant, the City of Miami, along with the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, will  be expanding the arts programming of the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Proposed new activities include free monthly musical event programming called "Big Night in Little Haiti," an annual day of free arts performances and exhibitions featuring resident visual and performing artists; youth and family dance programming; and a nine-month pilot program to establish a Haitian artisan craft studio.

City of Berea, KY: $67,000; As early as the 1890s, Berea was recognized as a center for traditional Appalachian crafts, and Berea College was renowned for its student crafts industry. The City of Berea and Berea Arts Council, along with six additional local partners, will commission Carol Naughton + Associates to design a wayfinding system to direct visitors and residents to key cultural destinations throughout the city. Project activities include an inventory of existing cultural and artistic assets, a schematic design for wayfinding signage, accompanying technology including quick response (QR) codes and a website, and the installation of signage.

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