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Grant Program Summary

Our Town is the NEA’s creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, the program supports activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities over the long term. Our Town projects engage a wide range of local stakeholders in efforts to advance local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes in communities. Competitive projects are responsive to unique local conditions, develop meaningful and substantive engagement in communities, center equity, advance artful lives, and lay the groundwork for long-term systems change.

Applying for a federal grant can be time consuming, we estimate that after registering, the process to draft and submit an application takes approximately 26 hours.

A full grant program description can be found under Grant Program Details below. For detailed instructions on how to apply, see Application Instructions below.


Organizations eligible to apply include:

  • Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations;
  • Nonprofit institutions of higher education;
  • Units of local government; or
  • Federally recognized tribal communities or tribes.

Applicant organizations must have completed at least 3 years of arts programming prior to the application deadline.

All applications are submitted by one organization and require at least one partner organization. The applicant/partner pair must include 1) a nonprofit organization and 2) a local governmental or quasi-governmental entity. If neither of the partners is an arts, design, or cultural entity, then an additional arts, design, or cultural partner is also required. See Grant Program Details below for more information about the required partnership.

Funding is not available in this category for individuals or applications submitted by a fiscal sponsor.

Funding level

Applicants may request an amount between $25,000-$150,000, with a required minimum nonfederal cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

Important Dates

Applications are accepted once per year.

Application Calendar


Guidelines Posted

Late April

Part 1: Grants.gov

August 1, 2024
11:59 pm ET

Part 2: NEA Applicant Portal Opens

August 8, 2024
9:00 am ET

Part 2: NEA Applicant Portal Closes

August 15, 2024
11:59 pm ET

Panel Review

Winter 2024-2025

National Council on the Arts Meeting

Late March 2025


April 2025

Earliest project start date

July 1, 2025

Grant Program Details & Instructions

Grant Program Details: This document includes a detailed description of the grant program, eligibility information, award information, an application calendar, a list of unallowable activities/costs, application review details, FAQs, and federal award administration information. Review this information before you decide to apply.

Application Instructions: This document includes all application questions and requirements, and full instructions on how to complete and submit both parts of the application.

How to Apply

Submitting an application is a multi-step process. Detailed instructions on how to complete and submit both parts of the application can be found in the Application Instructions PDF above.

  1. REGISTER with Login.gov, the System for Award Management (SAM) at SAM.gov, and Grants.gov or renew/verify these registrations. Download the Registration Guidance PDF. Registration can take several weeks.
  2. Submit your application
    1. Application Part 1, Grants.gov: Submit the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form. Clicking the link below will take you directly to the pre-populated application package in Grants.gov.

             Funding Opportunity Number 2024NEA01OT

    2. Application Part 2, NEA Applicant Portal: Complete the Grant Application Form (GAF). The GAF will collect answers to narrative questions about your organization and project, budget information about your organization and project, information about key individuals and partners, and work samples/other supplementary materials. Clicking the link below will take you to the NEA Applicant Portal. Login instructions and step-by-step directions for filling out the GAF are available via the Applicant Instructions PDF linked above.

             NEA Applicant Portal

Webinars, Q&A sessions, and Resources

See the Applicant Resources on the sidebar for information on webinars, Q&A sessions, and other resources.

Manage Your Award

Review reporting requirements and other information related to managing a federal award, including the General Terms and Conditions on our Manage Your Award page.