The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) seeks applications for its popular “Our Town” grant program, which awards anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000 to deserving “creative placemaking” projects. Over the past four years, Our Town has given $16 million to 190 projects in all U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The NEA defines what creative placemaking means to them: “In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”
Of interest to landscape architects and other design professionals: through Our Town, the NEA is financing the creation of master plans, cultural district plans, public art, public spaces, and supporting design charrettes, design competitions, and community design workshops.
According to the NEA, previous grant-winners are “diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project.” In 2013 alone, more than half of the grants supported communities with fewer than 100,000 people.
Image credit: Transform/Restore Brownsville, NEA Our Town Grant Winner / NYC-Arts