June 5, 2023 -- The City of Houston is calling for proposals for creative placemaking projects that Mayor Sylvester Turner would endorse for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant program called Our Town.
“The City has been successful in endorsing projects that have been awarded by the NEA in the past and we would like to continue that trend,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are known as an “Arts City” so we are looking for proposals that will further that reputation. I'm looking forward to Houston’s arts organizations presenting us with their best and most compelling projects that the City can support.”
The National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant is interested in projects that support activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities. Successful projects have advanced local economic, physical, or social outcomes in communities, ultimately laying the groundwork for systems change and centering equity. Projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.
The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Projects can include light interventions for public safety, artist 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 applicants per city and requires a letter of endorsement from the mayor. Applications that respond to the City’s Resilience Plan, Climate Action Plan and/or Complete Communities 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 NOON, June 22, 2023 to Cultural.Affairs@houstontx.gov and include “Our Town Grant,” in the subject line.
Applicants should consult the Our Town grant program website, which includes guidance and resources including case studies for developing successful projects: www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town. Successful applicants will receive the required endorsement letter to include with their final submission to the National Endowment for the Arts, due on August 3, 2023.
To learn more about the City’s cultural programs visit, www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs and follow the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.