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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is proud to support the nation’s arts sector with grant opportunities so that together we can help everyone live more artful lives. “Artful lives” is an inclusive concept that holds everything from the creation, presentation, and consumption of professional arts to active arts engagement by all people in our daily experiences through making, teaching, learning, and advancing a broad range of art forms that express our nation’s rich and diverse cultural tapestry. The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. As we emerge from the pandemic and plan for the future, the arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives.
Arts, culture, and design are essential to building strong communities where all people can thrive. Through Our Town, the NEA is proud to support creative placemaking projects that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities over the long-term. The program demonstrates the ways in which artists, culture bearers, and designers can help to:
Our Town projects engage a wide range of local stakeholders in efforts to advance local economic, physical, or social outcomes in communities. Competitive projects are responsive to unique local conditions, authentically engage communities, advance artful lives, and lay the groundwork for long-term systems change. (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).
The program requires applicants to demonstrate committed leadership from the local level and evidence of a diverse group of local stakeholders engaged in the proposed project. Applicants must demonstrate a required partnership in order to be eligible to apply for funding.
We welcome applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; from organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural, urban, and tribal communities; and from organizations with small, medium, or large operating budgets. The Our Town program funds projects that aim to strengthen communities, and activities may engage any artistic discipline(s).
Grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum nonfederal cost share/match equal to the grant amount.
Our Town projects must demonstrate a specific role for arts, culture, and design as part of strategies for strengthening local communities, ultimately centering equity and laying the groundwork for long-term systems change tailored to community needs and opportunities.
Our Town projects are intended to be catalytic. Projects may support new activities, or new phases of a previously funded or ongoing project, as well as establish new or deepen existing cross-sector partnerships. Projects may work to advance a specific local economic, physical, or social change. Or, a project may aim to address systems change directly.
Projects may include activities such as:
For more information, review the list of recently funded Our Town grants.
Visit https://www.arts.gov/grants/our-town/program-description for more information on the Our Town grants.
Visit https://www.arts.gov/grants/our-town/program-description for more information.