2013 National Endowment for the Arts releases funding guidelines for Our Town

guidelines for the Our Town grants program at the NEA.

Date: October 15, 2012
Program inquiries: Email OT@arts.gov to schedule a call with an NEA design program specialist
Media inquiries: Victoria Hutter, hutterv@arts.gov, 202-682-5692
National Endowment for the Arts releases funding guidelines for Our Town
Our Town staff would be interested in seeing more applications from folk arts organizations and/or from communities that might propose a project with a folk and traditional arts focus.

On October 11, 2012, the NEA posted guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the agency’s primary creative placemaking grants program. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000.
Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and/or design organizations and artists, seek to:
* Improve their quality of life;
* Encourage greater creative activity;
* Foster stronger community identity and a sense of place; and
* Revitalize economic development.
Other key information:
* Complete Our Town application guidelines are available at arts.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/index.html
* Application deadline is January 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm. This deadline is earlier than last year.
* For Our Town FAQs, go to arts.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/FAQ.html
* Webinars to learn more about this funding opportunity will be held on November 6 and 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm EST at arts.gov
* Program Inquiries: Email OT@arts.gov to schedule a call with an NEA design program specialist
Projects may include arts engagement, cultural planning, and design activities. Definitions of these activities can be found in the FY 2012 Our Town grant announcement.
Now in its third year, Our Town has provided $11.57 million to fund 131 projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those projects are diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project. As regards population size, in FY 2012 alone, 41 of the 80 grants supported projects in communities with populations under 50,000.
To view a map of these projects along with descriptions and images, visit the Our Town section of the NEA website.
Our Town project examples involving folk and traditional arts
City of Miami, FL
With its Our Town grant, the City of Miami, along with the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, will be expanding the arts programming of the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Proposed new activities include free monthly musical event programming called “Big Night in Little Haiti,” an annual day of free arts performances and exhibitions featuring resident visual and performing artists; youth and family dance programming; and a nine-month pilot program to establish a Haitian artisan craft studio.
City of Berea, KY
As early as the 1890s, Berea was recognized as a center for traditional Appalachian crafts, and Berea College was renowned for its student crafts industry. The City of Berea and Berea Arts Council, along with six additional local partners, will commission Carol Naughton + Associates to design a wayfinding system to direct visitors and residents to key cultural destinations throughout the city. Project activities include an inventory of existing cultural and artistic assets, a schematic design for wayfinding signage, accompanying technology including quick response (QR) codes and a website, and the installation of signage.