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Our Town: Knowledge Building Projects

Grants to USA Nonprofits and IHEs to Increase
Arts and Culture in Social and Civic Engagement

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Conf. Date:

06/27/18

Deadline Date:

08/09/18 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants starting at $25,000 to USA and territories nonprofit and university-based art or design service organizations for the development and dissemination of creative placemaking knowledge through collaborative projects. Applicants are advised to create or verify the necessary registrations by July 19, and a required form is due no later than August 9.

Knowledge Building Projects - Grant Program Description:

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding in this area of Our Town, NEA supports projects that build and disseminate knowledge about how to leverage arts, culture, and design as mechanisms for strengthening communities. Ultimately, these projects are intended to introduce creative placemaking knowledge and strategies to national or regional professional networks with work that impacts 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). Projects should lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities.

Projects can be carried out by arts service or design service organizations, and/or other national or regional membership, policy, or university-based organizations that provide assistance to those doing local community development work. These projects require a partnership that will facilitate the exchange of creative placemaking and community development knowledge and practices between sectors.

In the first four years of funding this area of Our Town, NEA has invested in many partnership projects that facilitate the adoption of creative placemaking practices and strategies by artists, arts organizations, urban planners, rural economic planners, public park managers, local civic leaders, community development practitioners, and downtown managers. In this fifth year of the program, NEA is interested in expanding the types of audiences targeted in projects. This may include, but is not limited to, additional types of cultural organizations and artists, public safety officials, Native American community development leaders, public health practitioners, transportation leaders, etc. NEA is especially interested in projects where the dissemination of creative placemaking strategies and tools ultimately empowers local residents.

Projects:

These projects should introduce creative placemaking knowledge and strategies to national or regional professional networks across a variety of sectors with work that impacts local communities, and must reflect the following:
-Involvement of the organization's membership, audience, or constituency, as appropriate.
-Systemic approach to building knowledge about creative placemaking for the organization and broader field of community development.
-Clearly defined participants and/or audience to receive assistance.
-Partnerships that involve appropriate arts experts and/or experts from other sectors to provide the services included in the project.
-Clearly defined systems that provide for the management of new ideas, documentation, the potential for learning, and sharing of curriculum and knowledge created.
-Artistic excellence of the arts organizations or artists involved with the project.

Project Types:

Projects may include a range of activities for member organizations and individuals to learn about creative placemaking strategies and approaches, including:
-Mentorships.
-Training opportunities and convenings, whether in-person or remote.
-Technical assistance and capacity building for members.
-Pilot programming.
-Research, policy analysis, and decision support tools that help to build a creative placemaking knowledge base.
-Other projects appropriate to the organization's internal system of learning.

Projects may focus on delivering assistance on a wide variety of creative placemaking topics such as those project types covered in 'Exploring Our Town', or under the Place-Based Projects area of Our Town. 

Required Partnerships:

Applications must identify a partnership with either an organization or consultant, and one of the two partners must have creative placemaking expertise. For example, 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.

Additional partners are encouraged and may include an appropriate variety of entities such as colleges and universities, or individuals.

Arts service and design service organizations and other national or regional organizations that provide assistance to those doing local community development work are expected to involve their memberships and constituencies, as appropriate.

Strengthening Communities:

Through Our Town projects, the National Endowment for the Arts intends to achieve the following objective: Strengthening Communities: Provide opportunities for the arts to be integrated into the fabric of community life. Knowledge Building Projects should equip local practitioners (such as artists, community development professionals, economic development professionals, etc.) with arts and cultural strategies that ultimately help to strengthen communities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172667

Estimated Size of Grant:

Matching grants range from $25,000 to $100,000,

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

Term of Contract:

NEA support of a project may start on July 1, 2019, or any time thereafter. A grant period of up to two years is allowed. Allow sufficient time to plan, execute, and close out your project. 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.

Eligibility:

  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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.  

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:
-Meet the Arts Endowment's "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application.
-Have a three-year history of programming prior to the application deadline.
-Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all Arts Endowment awards(s) previously received.

Additional partners are encouraged and may include an appropriate variety of entities such as colleges and universities, or individuals.

The designated state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs) may serve as partners in Our Town projects. NEA funds can’t support any SAA or RAO costs.

Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian Applicants or Projects:

This program provides support for projects featuring Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts across all NEA disciplines.

Application Restrictions:

An organization may submit as a lead applicant two applications to Our Town.

A partnering organization may serve as a partner on as many applications as they like.

If two applications are submitted from a single lead applicant, the capacity of the lead applicant to carry out and sustain two Our Town projects will be considered in the review of applications.

Other National Endowment for the Arts Funding Opportunities:

You may apply to other Arts Endowment funding opportunities, including Art Works and Challenge America, in addition to Our Town. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project, or a distinctly different phase of a project. If you have applied to the NEA in the past and were not recommended for funding, you may apply again to any funding opportunity, including Our Town.

Under these guidelines, funding is not available for:
-Direct grants to individuals. (We encourage applicant organizations to involve individual artists in all possible ways.)
-Awards to individuals or organizations to honor or recognize achievement.
-General operating or seasonal support.
-Cash reserves and endowments.
-Costs for the creation of new organizations.
-Construction, purchase, or renovation of facilities. (Design fees, preparing space for an exhibit, installation or de-installation of art, and community planning are eligible. However, no National Endowment for the Arts or matching funds may be directed to the costs of physical construction or renovation or toward the purchase costs of facilities or land.)
-Commercial (for-profit) enterprises or activities, including concessions, food, T-shirts, or other items for resale.
-Subgranting or regranting, except for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, or local arts agencies that are designated to operate on behalf of their local governments or are operating units of city or county government.
-Costs to bring a project into compliance with federal grant requirements. This includes environmental or historical assessments or reviews and the hiring of individuals to write assessments or reviews or to otherwise comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act.
-Individual elementary or secondary schools -- charter, private, or public -- directly. Schools may participate as partners in projects for which another eligible organization applies. Local education agencies, school districts, and state and regional education agencies are eligible. If a single school also is a local education agency, as is the case with some charter schools, the school may apply with documentation that supports its status as a local education agency.
-Projects that replace arts instruction provided by an arts specialist.
-Generally, courses in degree-granting institutions.
-Literary publishing that does not focus on contemporary literature and/or writers.
-Generally, publication of books, exhibition of works, or other projects by the applicant organization's board members, faculty, or trustees.
-Exhibitions of, and other projects that primarily involve, single, individually-owned, private collections.
-Projects for which the selection of artists or art works is based upon criteria other than artistic excellence and merit. Examples include festivals, exhibitions, or publications for which no jury/editorial judgment has been applied.
-Expenditures related to compensation to foreign nationals and/or travel to or from foreign countries when those expenditures are not in compliance with regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control.
-Project costs supported by any other federal funding. This includes federal funding received either directly from a federal agency (e.g., National Endowment for the Humanities, Housing and Urban Development, National Science Foundation, or an entity that receives federal appropriations such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or Amtrak); or indirectly from a pass-through organization such as a state arts agency, regional arts organization, or a grant made to another entity.
-Social activities such as receptions, parties, galas.
-Alcoholic beverages.
-Gifts and prizes, including cash prizes as well as other items (e.g., electronic devices, gift certificates) with monetary value.
-Contributions and donations to other entities.
-General miscellaneous or contingency costs.
-Fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction.
-Lobbying.
-Marketing expenses that are not directly related to the project.
-Audit costs that are not directly related to a single audit (formerly known as an A-133 audit).
-Rental costs for home office workspace owned by individuals or entities affiliated with the applicant organization.
-Visa costs paid to the U.S. government.
-Costs incurred before the beginning or after the completion of the official period of performance.

Pre-proposal Conference:

How to Apply Webinar:

This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 15:00.

Design & Creative Placemaking Program Specialists will walk through the application process and provide helpful hints for navigating the NEA’s new application portal.

Register for the webinar:
https://conference.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1191951&tp_key=6a918225c9

More information about the webinar may be found here:
https://www.arts.gov/event/2018/our-town-how-apply

Tips & Tricks for a Successful Application Webinar:

This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 15:00.

Design & Creative Placemaking Program Specialists will share tips on how to ensure your Our Town application is clear and compelling. Staff will also walk through the eligibility requirements and other guidelines, and will point you toward additional resources on Creative Placemaking that may be helpful as you put final touches on your application.

Register for the webinar:
https://conference.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1192104&tp_key=dad838c041

More information about the webinar may be found here:
https://www.arts.gov/event/2018/our-town-tips-tricks-successful-application-webinar

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must provide a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount. NEA 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.

All applicants must have a DUNS number (www.dnb.com) and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, www.sam.gov) and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award. Finalize a new or renew an existing registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application. Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register or renew at least two weeks before the deadline.

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, it is strongly recommended that you register/renew your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least July 19, 2018 and submit the SF-424 to Grants.gov by at least July 30, 2018.

Application Calendar:
-Part 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov: August 9, 2018 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
-Part 2 - Submit Materials to Applicant Portal: August 14, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Time, to August 21, 2018 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
-Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection: April 2019
-Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance: July 1, 2019

You will use the NEA’s applicant portal to complete Part 2 of the application process. You must first have successfully completed Part 1 (submitting the SF-424 to Grants.gov) by the application deadline of record.

Our Town Basics:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/introduction

Applicant Eligibility:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/knowledge-building-projects-applicant-eligibility

Award Information:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/knowledge-building-projects-award-information

Funding Restrictions:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/we-do-not-fund

Application Calendar:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/application-calendar

How to prepare and submit an application: https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/how-to-prepare-and-submit-an-application-b

Application Portal Instructions:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/step-2-submit-through-applicant-portal-b

Other Information:
https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/other-information

Online Application Tutorial:
https://www.arts.gov/video/nea-online-tutorial-using-grant-application-form-gaf

View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=2018NEA01OT

Contact Information:

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

Application Portal:
https://applicantportal.arts.gov/

OT@arts.gov

CFDA Number:

45.024

Funding or Pin Number:

2018NEA01OT

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: Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)