Limited Submission: Our Town

Summary

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, NEA supports 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 local strategies for strengthening communities. These projects require a partnership between a local government entity and nonprofit organization, one of which must be a cultural organization; and should engage in partnership with other sectors (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development). 

We encourage applications for artistically excellent projects that:

  • Bring new attention to or elevate key community assets and issues, voices of residents, local history, or cultural infrastructure.
  • Injectnew or additional energy, resources, activity, people, or enthusiasm into a place, community issue, or local economy.
  • Envision new possibilities for a community or place – a new future, a new way of overcoming a challenge, or approaching problem-solving.
  • Connect communities, people, places, and economic opportunity via physical spaces or new relationships.

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

Award Amount
  • Grant amounts are available at the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, or $150,000. 
  • Grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal cost share/match of at least 1 to 1. These cost share/matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. You may include in your Project Budget cost share/matching funds that are proposed but not yet committed at the time of the application deadline.
  • Projects may start on July 1, 2021, or any time thereafter. A grant period of up to two years is allowed.
Eligibility
  • 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.
  • Additional partners are encouraged and may include an appropriate variety of entities such as arts organizations and artists, design professionals and design centers, state level government agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, real estate developers, business leaders, community organizations, council of governments, rural planning organizations, transportation agencies, special districts, educational organizations, as well as public and governmental entities. Federal agencies cannot be monetary partners.
Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

The artistic excellence of the project, which includes the following:

  • Quality of the artists, arts or design professionals, arts organizations, works of art, or services that the project will involve, as appropriate for the community in which the project takes place. Artistic excellence is evaluated based on the material and work samples submitted with the application. This includes a description of the process and criteria for the selection of artists, design professionals, arts organizations, works of art, or services to ensure artistic excellence; and work samples of selected or proposed artists, design professionals, arts organizations, works of art, or services that demonstrate artistic excellence. See “Submit Materials to the Applicant Portal (PDF) [UPDATE] for the material and work samples that are required to ensure and demonstrate artistic excellence.

The artistic merit of the project, which includes the following:

  • Potential to advance local economic, physical, and social outcomes by:
    • Bringing new attention to or elevating key community assets and issues, voices of residents, local history, or cultural infrastructure,
    • Injecting new or additional energy, resources, activity, people, or enthusiasm into a place, community issue, or local economy,
    • Envisioning new possibilities for a community or place – a new future, a new way of overcoming a challenge, or approaching problem-solving, or
    • Connecting communities, people, places, and economic opportunity via physical spaces or new relationships.
  • Potential to ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities by engaging partners from other sectors (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development). Systemic changes can include, for example: establishment of new and lasting cross-sector partnerships; shifts in institutional structure, practices or policies; replication or scaling of innovative project models; establishment of training programs; or dissemination of informational resources to support the creative placemaking field.  
  • Potential to support artists, design professionals, and arts organizations by integrating the arts and design into the fabric of civic life.
  • Level of community engagement in planning for and participating in the project.
  • Strength of the partnership between required local and nonprofit partners, as well as engagement of the private and public sectors.
  • 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 partners’ missions and the community in which the project will take place.
  • Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements and their ability to demonstrate that project activities are advancing local physical, economic, and/or social outcomes, including, as appropriate, plans for documentation and evaluation of the overall project results.
Limitation Details

An Institution may submit two proposals as a lead applicant. A partnering organization may serve as a partner on as many applications as they like.

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

Internal Applications must include the following:
  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
    • Indicate whether or not you have submitted to this program in the past. If so, please provide a copy of the review at the end of the internal application.
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary that addresses the program’s specific selection criteria.
  • A brief (less than a page) summary of total costs that includes the total amount of and source for any costshare
  • 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 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 OT@arts.gov


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