Program Solicitation: Our Town Technical Assistance Program

Proposal Receipt Deadline: July 21, 2015

The National Endowment for the Arts is creating a pilot program to provide select grantees of the agency's Our Town funding program with targeted technical assistance (TA) to execute their projects and to further inform the Arts Endowment in its understanding of the creative placemaking field. Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community work--placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. The intention of creative placemaking is to foster a positive impact on a place, resulting in a variety of potential outcomes, including improved quality of life, reduction in crime, strengthened social cohesion, and increased economic activity.  

The Arts Endowment strives to assist organizations to effectively incorporate the arts into community development efforts. These activities have primarily been supported through the agency's Our Town grant program. Since the program's inception in 2011, more than $21 million has been awarded through 256 Our Town grants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to support creative placemaking projects. The agency has also created numerous online resources and learning opportunities for the country's practitioners and Our Town grantees, most notably launching the Exploring Our Town storybook and hosting topical webinars and convenings that both inform the field and educate the agency about the needs of its constituents.  

In the course of this work, however, it has become clear that many Our Town grantees would benefit from direct, hands-on technical assistance while executing their projects at the local level. The Arts Endowment staff does not presently have the staffing resources to execute this direct assistance at scale. This pilot program is intended to fill a portion of this gap, and increase the likelihood that grantees' projects are both successful and catalytic, resulting in longer term positive outcomes for their communities. Lessons learned, significant field trends, and other program resources will be shared with the public to inform practitioners and assist the agency in determining whether this type of technical assistance would be beneficial to all Our Town grantees.

The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to implement the Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program. Please click on the "Complete Program Soliciation" link in the sidebar to download the instructions on How to Apply. You will also need the Budget form to complete this application.

You must apply through Grants.gov. Instructions on how to do so are on page 12 of the Program Solicitation.

If you have any questions about this solicitation, please email ot@arts.gov.