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Grant Funding for Community Design Efforts

JULY 24, 2014 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET

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From the National Endowment for the Arts:


The design field encompasses many disciplines including, but not limited to, architecture, communications and graphic design, fashion design, historic preservation, industrial and product design, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, universal design, rural design, and urban design.

The Art Works category provides support for projects that address the following outcomes (in bold below). You will be asked to indicate the outcome that is most relevant to your project in your application and on the application form.


Applications are due July 24, 2014



  • Competitions.
  • Commissions and production of new work.
  • Design or planning for designer live/work spaces, new arts/cultural spaces, districts, neighborhoods, public spaces, or landscapes.
  • Design research or collaboration projects that examine current practice and propose design solutions for pressing problems.
  • Innovative design products or approaches that foster positive social impact/public interest design or employ universal design concepts.
  • Innovative technology projects or new media projects meant to advance the design field or design theory.
  • Workshops or residencies for designers where the primary purpose is to create new work.


  • Charrettes, outreach, or community workshops for new design projects.
  • Conferences, symposia, and other gatherings that promote innovation in design practice, universal design, or the heritage and conservation of design.
  • Exhibitions.
  • Historic and community preservation projects that promote awareness of cultural and historic assets.
  • Innovative festivals or programming that raise awareness of design.
  • Projects that utilize new media, technology, or new models to connect citizens or engage them in design projects.
  • Publications.
  • Documentation and preservation of design work.


  • Community-wide or neighborhood planning and design activities that promote economic and cultural vitality.
  • Design exhibitions, residencies, and other activities in public spaces that are intended to foster community interaction and/or enhance the unique characteristics of a community.
  • Design projects that promote livability, including those which involve community-based partnerships and assist underserved communities or neighborhoods.
  • Design projects that promote the unique assets and characteristics of a community.
  • Design projects that promote the use of universal design to improve community livability.
  • Projects that support emerging fields of design, including social impact/public interest design; universal design; and the application of design thinking to health, education, and economic development.
  • Social impact/public interest design projects that benefit underserved communities or address social issues.
  • The adaptive reuse of historic properties for cultural and arts uses.
  • The development of plans for growth of the design sector in the local community.


(If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)

  • Education, mentorship, apprenticeship, and outreach activities that teach design practices to American communities.
  • Education initiatives that prepare designers for careers in the emerging fields of design.
  • Innovative practices in design learning for Americans of all ages.

Project Reporting and Evaluation

All applicants are asked to define what they would like to achieve, how they will evaluate the degree to which it is achieved, and, upon completion of the project, what they have learned from their experiences. Such feedback need not entail large-scale or expensive evaluation efforts. You should do what is feasible and appropriate for your organization and project. When a grant is completed, you must submit a final report and answer questions on your achievements and how these were determined. Arts Education grantees who apply for a Direct Learning Grant will be required to describe the assessment methods used to assess learning, and they will be required to submit any tools used to assess learning with their Final Report. (Please note that assessment tools may be shared publicly. If your tools are proprietary and have copyrights or trademarks attached, you will be asked to note that in your application and Final Report.) Before applying, please review the reporting requirements for the outcome that will be selected for the proposed project: Creation, Engagement, Learning, or Livability.

Beyond the reporting requirements for all grantees, selected Art Works grantees will be asked to assist in the collection of additional information that can help the NEA determine the degree to which agency objectives were achieved. You may be contacted to provide evidence of project accomplishments including, but not limited to, work samples, community action plans, cultural asset studies, programs, reviews, relevant news clippings, and playbills. You are required to maintain project documentation for three years following submission of your final reports.

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