Grants

OUR TOWN: Place-Based Projects - Applicant Eligibility

All applications require partnerships that involve at least two primary partners as defined by these guidelines: a nonprofit organization and a local governmental entity. One of the two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Additional partners are encouraged.

One of the two primary partners must act as the official applicant (lead applicant). This lead applicant must meet the eligibility requirements, submit the application, and assume full responsibility for the grant.

Eligible lead applicants are:

  • Nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations with a documented three-year history of programming.
  • 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, and business improvement districts.

For U.S. territories, if no local government exists, the territory government can serve as the local government.

To be eligible, the lead applicant organization must:

  • Meet the National Endowment for the Arts "Legal Requirements," including nonprofit, tax-exempt status, at the time of application.
  • Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts award(s) previously received.
  • Have a commitment to the project from the local government, as demonstrated by the required formal statement of support for the project from the highest ranking official of the local government participating in the project.

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, council of governments, rural planning organizations, transportation agencies, special districts, educational organizations, as well as public and governmental entities. Federal agencies cannot be monetary partners.

The designated state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs) may serve as partners, but not primary partners, in projects. National Endowment for the Arts funds can't support any SAA or RAO costs. There is an exception for U.S. territories. The territory's SAA may serve as the local government primary partner. However, all grant funds must be passed on to the other partners.

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.

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

We provide support for projects featuring Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts across all NEA disciplines. (See more information here.)

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, local government, or within the same geographic area, the capacity of the lead applicant, local government, or geographic area to carry out and sustain two Our Town projects will be considered in the review of applications.

Each local government -- whether applying as the lead applicant or as the primary partner with a nonprofit organization -- is limited to two applications. The local government must coordinate internally to ensure that only two applications are submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts, rather than multiple applications through its various offices. The submitted applications must be identified as proposing the chosen projects by formal statements of support from the highest ranking official of the local government. If more than two applications are submitted for a government, we will ask the highest ranking official to select two applications to move forward.

Other National Endowment for the Arts Funding Opportunities

You may apply to other National Endowment for the Arts funding opportunities, including Art Works and Challenge Americain 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.