Limited Submission: Our Town

Summary           

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities. This program consists of two program areas:

  • Place-Based Projects. Through arts engagement, cultural planning, design, and/or artist/creative industry support, these projects contribute to improved quality of life in local communities. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $200,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.
  • Knowledge Building ProjectsThese projects build and disseminate knowledge about how to leverage arts, culture, and design as mechanisms for strengthening communities. These grants are available to arts service or design service organizations, and/or other national or regional membership, policy, or university-based organizations. These projects require a partnership that will facilitate the knowledge sharing and/or exchange. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $100,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

Please read the full program announcement linked above before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

  • Place-Based Projects
    • You must request a grant amount at one of the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $150,000, or $200,000. We will award very few grants at the $200,000 level; these will be only for projects of significant scale and impact.
    • Our grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1. These matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. You may include in your Project Budget matching funds that are proposed but not yet committed at the time of the application deadline.
  • Knowledge Building Projects
    • You must request a grant amount at one of the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000.
    • Our grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1. These matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. You may include in your Project Budget matching funds that are proposed but not yet committed at the time of the application deadline.

Eligibility

  • Place-Based Projects
    • 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). This lead applicant must meet the eligibility requirements, submit the application, and assume full responsibility for the grant.
  • Knowledge Building Projects
    • Organizations that may apply include:
      • Arts and design organizations that provide services to the field.
      • National and regional organizations or university-based organizations that provide training or assistance to those doing local community development work. This may include professionals that work in local communities across a variety of sectors (such as arts and culture, agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development) who wish to engage in creative placemaking activities.
    • An art-based organization must have a community development knowledge consultant/organization/partner identified at the time of application, or a community development membership organization must have an arts-based knowledge consultant/organization/partner.

Selection Criteria

  • Artistic Excellence: Quality of the arts and non-arts consultants and organizations (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development) that the project will involve. This includes any information provided which shows the depth of expertise and experience of arts and non-arts consultants present in the bios and work samples.
  • Artistic Merit:
    • Potential to incorporate a systemic approach to building knowledge about creative placemaking for the organization and broader sectors.
    • Potential to expand the capacity of artists and arts organizations to work more effectively with community development practitioners.
    • Potential to expand the knowledge base in arts and non-arts industry associations on equitable community development which creates opportunities for all.
    • Strength of the proposed partnership, including the required partners.
    • Involvement of the organization’s membership, as appropriate.
    • Impact and reach of the project.
    • Quality of the systems for the management of new ideas, documentation, the potential for learning, and sharing of capacity building.
    • Effectiveness of the delivery of capacity building
    • Where appropriate, potential to reach underserved populations such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited.
    • Ability to carry out the project based on such factors 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.
    • Appropriateness of the project to the organization’s mission.
    • Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements, including, as appropriate, plans for documentation and evaluation of the overall project results.

Limitation Details

An Institution may submit 2 proposals.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity, program area (Place-Based Project or Knowledge Building Project), and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator government entity, name, and contact info
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary
  • A brief (less than a page) summary of total costs that includes the total amount of and source for any cost share
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • Curriculum vitae

Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by 11:59pm on the internal deadline listed above.

Questions?

Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact NEA staff at OT@arts.gov.


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