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Our Town

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies for Arts and
Cultural Projects that Address Community Issues

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Deadline Date:

08/05/21 11:59 PM ET - deadline; 08/17/21, 11:59 PM ET - Applicant Portal deadline


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Grants to USA and territories government agencies and nonprofit organizations for collaborative arts and cultural projects that address community issues. Applicants are advised that required registrations take several weeks to finalize. Eligible projects are those that utilize 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.

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. 

NEA encourages 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.
  • Inject new 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..

    Projects can include activities such as:

      • Arts Engagement
      • Cultural Planning
      • Design
      • Artist and Creative Industry Support

      Our Town project outcomes may include:

      • Economic Change
      • Physical Change
      • Social Change
      • Systems Change

      For additional information about these activities and outcomes, see the URL for Full Text link below.

      GrantWatch ID#:

      GrantWatch ID#: 172667

      Estimated Size of Grant:

      You must request a grant amount at one of the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, or $150,000.

      Term of Contract:

      NEA support of a project may start on or after July 1, 2022. Generally, a period of performance of up to two years is allowed. The two-year period is intended to allow an applicant sufficient time to plan, execute, and close out its project, not to repeat a one-year project for a second year.

      Additional Eligibility Criteria:

      Eligible lead applicants are:
      - Nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations with a documented completed three-year history of programming. For the purpose of defining eligibility, "three-year history" refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
      - Local governments. For the purposes of these guidelines, local governments are defined as counties, parishes, cities, towns, villages, or federally recognized tribal governments. Local arts agencies or other departments, agencies, or entities within an eligible local government may submit the application on behalf of that local government. The following do not qualify as local governments: state level government agencies, other state-designated entities, state higher education institutions, regional governments and entities, quasi-government organizations, regional planning organizations, city council or aldermen offices, and business improvement districts.
      - For U.S. territories, if no local government exists, the territory government can serve as the local government.

      A key to the success of creative placemaking is involving the arts in partnership with committed governmental, nonprofit, and private sector leadership. All applications must demonstrate a partnership that will provide leadership for the project. These partnerships must involve two primary partners, as defined by these guidelines:
      1. Nonprofit organization
      2. Local government entity

      One of these two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization.

      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, councils of government, rural or regional planning organizations, transportation agencies, special districts, educational organizations, as well as public and governmental entities; 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).

      Pre-proposal Conference:

      Attend a Guidelines Webinar: There will be a live webinar on June 15, 2021, featuring an overview presentation followed by a Q&A session.

      For more information and to register:

      Pre-Application Information:

      Submitting an application is a multi-step process:
      - Part 1: Submit to the “Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form.” August 5, 2021 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
      - Part 2: Complete the “Grant Application Form (GAF)” and upload items through the Arts Endowment’s Applicant Portal. August 10, 2021 at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Time, to August 17, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

      Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your registration by at least July 15, 2021, and submit to by at least July 26, 2021.

      Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection: April 2022

      Before submitting to, your organization must register or renew/verify its current registration with both and the System for Award Management (SAM). Registrations with and SAM must be active for you to be able to submit your application. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in your inability to submit to

      Because the National Endowment for the Arts cannot support more than 50% of a project’s costs, each applicant is required to obtain at least half the total cost of each project from nonfederal sources.

      Applicant Resources:


      View this opportunity on

      Contact Information:

      Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

      Application Portal:

      If you have questions, contact the staff at

      CFDA Number:


      Funding or Pin Number:


      URL for Full Text (RFP):

      Geographic Focus:

      USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

      USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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