National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced a new grant program during the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). The NEA’s Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) will offer up to 15 grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 to “ transform communities through the arts and smart design.”
Chairman Landesman said, “Artists are entrepreneurs, small businessmen all, great place-makers and community builders. Bring artists into the center of town and that town changes profoundly. We know now that people do not migrate to businesses. It is businesses that will move to where they can find a skilled, motivated, educated workforce. And what does that workforce look for? In survey after survey, the answer is education and culture.”
Conference of Mayors President Elizabeth B. Kautz added: ”The nonprofit arts sector alone generates over $166 billion annually in economic activity. An important element to making our cities places to attract and grow businesses, tourism, and jobs is for a community to maintain good urban design.”
The more than 600 cities that have participated in MICD since 1986 are eligible to participate and submit a grant application. According to the NEA, all phases of a project, including planning, development, design, implementation, and “related innovative arts activities,” are eligible for support.