Wyoming Arts Council

NEA releases guidelines for Our Town grants

Evanston - Strand Theater at night 16mm

The Urban Renewal Agency in Evanston used its Our Town grant to transform the Strand Theatre downtown into a cultural center for the community.

The National Endowment for the Arts, the Wyoming Arts Council’s national partner, has just released guidelines for its Our Town grants. Four Wyoming communities — Evanston, Casper, Laramie and Jackson — have received Our Town grants for local creative placemaking projects. Read about those projects here.

Press release from the NEA:

Now available on the NEA website are 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 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.

Projects may focus on:

Arts engagement activities including:

  • innovative arts programming
  • festivals/performances
  • public art that improves public spaces

Cultural planning activities including:

  • creative asset mapping
  • cultural district planning
  • master plans or community-wide strategies for public art
  • creative entrepreneurship.
  • creative industry cluster/hub development

Design activities including:

  • design of rehearsal, studio, or live/work spaces for artists
  • design of cultural spaces
  • design of public spaces
  • design charrettes, design competitions, and community design workshops

Other key information:

  • Complete Our Town application guidelines are available on arts.gov.
  • Application deadline is January 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET.
  • Our Town FAQs provide answers to many questions about the program.
  • webinar to learn more about this funding opportunity will be held on November 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM ET.
  • For program inquiries, please email OT@arts.gov with specific questions and a design specialist will respond.
  • Sample application narratives for these types of projects can be found at arts.gov.

Now in its fourth year, Our Town has provided $16 million to support 190 projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These projects are diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project. In FY 2013 alone, 35 of the 59 grants supported projects in communities with populations under 100,000.

To view a map of all the Our Town projects along with project descriptions and images, visit the Our Town section of arts.gov.

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