OUR TOWN: Introduction

Art works to support creative, economically-competitive, healthy, resilient, and opportunity-rich communities. Excellent art is an essential part of building a strong community, as important as land-use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety.  Artists and community development practitioners across our nation --sometimes one and the same, sometimes working together -- are striving to make places more livable with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, a distinct sense of place, and vibrant local economies that together capitalize on their existing assets. The NEA defines these efforts as Creative Placemaking.

Through Our Town, subject to the availability of funding, the National Endowment for the Artswill provide a limited number of grants for creative placemaking projects that contribute towards the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Our Town prioritizes partnerships between arts organizations and government, private, and nonprofit organizations to achieve livability goals for communities.

Our Town offers support for projects in two areas:

  • Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects that represent the distinct character and quality of their communities

  • Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking

Through Our Town projects, the NEA intends to achieve the following outcome: Livability: American communities are strengthened through the arts. See "Intended NEA Outcome" for more details.