OUR TOWN: Knowledge Building Projects - Application Review

These are expired guidelines. New guidelines will be posted in May, 2019.

Review Criteria

Applications are reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

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

  • Quality of the arts and non-arts consultants and organizations (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development) that the project will involve. This includes any information provided which shows the depth of expertise and experience of arts and non-arts consultants present in the bios and work samples.

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

  • Potential to incorporate a systemic approach to building knowledge about creative placemaking for the organization and broader sectors.
  • Potential to expand the capacity of artists and arts organizations to work more effectively with community development practitioners.
  • Potential to expand the knowledge base in arts and non-arts industry associations on equitable community development which creates opportunities for all.
  • Strength of the proposed partnership, including the required partners.
  • Involvement of the organization's membership, as appropriate.
  • Impact and reach of the project.
  • Quality of the systems for the management of new ideas, documentation, the potential for learning, and sharing of capacity building.
  • Effectiveness of the delivery of capacity building
  • 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 organization's mission.
  • Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements, including, as appropriate, plans for documentation and evaluation of the overall project results.

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.

What Happens to Your Application

All applications are reviewed according to the review criteria by an advisory panel comprised of qualified peer experts, including at least one knowledgeable layperson, representing a range of multidisciplinary art, design, and economic and community development fields. Panel recommendations are forwarded to the National Council on the Arts, which then makes recommendations to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Chairman reviews the Council's recommendations and makes the final decision on all grant awards. Pending the availability of funding, it is anticipated that applicants will be notified of award or rejection in April 2019.

NOTE: All recommended applications undergo a review to evaluate risk posed by the applicant prior to making a federal award. This may include past performance on grants, meeting reporting deadlines, compliance with terms and conditions, audit findings, etc.