Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

MOCA Invites Proposals for National Creative Placemaking Grant

May 22, 2024 -- The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is calling for Houston’s best ideas to endorse for the national Our Town grant program.

Led by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Our Town grant seeks projects that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that ultimately strengthen communities. Successful projects have advanced local, economic, physical, and social outcomes in communities and are laying the groundwork for system changes. Projects require a partnership between a non-profit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $100,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

“Art is not only an economic driver in our city, but it is also an important part of creating a safe and resilient Houston,” said Necole S. Irvin, MOCA Director.  “We seek to endorse the best ideas from the city’s creative sector that will continue to advance the vitality of neighborhoods including their rich cultures.”

Placemaking Grant Graphic

The Our Town grant supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.  Projects can include artists' residencies, arts festivals, community co-creation of art, performances, public art, cultural planning, cultural district planning, creative asset mapping, public art planning, artist/designer-facilitated community planning, design of artist space, design of cultural facilities, public space design, creative business development, and professional artist development.

The National Endowment for the Arts limits the number of Our Town grant applications per city and requires a letter of endorsement from the Mayor. Applications that respond to the City’s Resilience Plan and/or public safety initiatives will be most competitive for an endorsement.

To be considered for endorsement, applicants should submit their concepts with confirmed artists and partners no later than June 20, 2024, to Concepts should include proposed budget size, location of the placemaking and alignment with city goals, if applicable.

Applicants should consult the Our Town grant program website, which has guidance and resources, including case studies for developing successful projects: Successful applicants will receive the required endorsement letter to include with their final submission to the National Endowment for the Arts, due on August 1, 2024.

To learn more about the City’s cultural programs, visit and follow the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.