University of Southern California


NEA: Our Town

Slots:                                        Two as lead organization. An organization may submit as a lead applicant two applications to Our Town. A partnering organization may serve as a partner on as many applications as they like.

Internal Deadline:                      Friday, June 26, 2020, noon PT

LOI:                                          N/A

External Deadline:                     August 6, 2020

Award Information:                   Type: Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: We anticipate awarding a limited number of grants, subject to the availability of funding.

Anticipated Amount: You must request a grant amount at one of the following levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, or $150,000. We will award very few grants at the $150,000 level; these will be only for projects of significant scale and impact.

Process for Limited Submissions: PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit include:

(1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.

(2) CV – (5 pages maximum)


Who May Serve as PI:                    All applications require partnerships that involve at least two primary partners as defined by these guidelines: a nonprofit organization and a local governmental entity. One of the two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Additional partners are encouraged.


Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Through project based funding, we support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. These projects require a partnership between a local government entity and nonprofit organization, one of which must be a cultural organization; and should engage in partnership with other sectors (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development). Cost share/matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.


We encourage applications for artistically excellent projects that:

The National Endowment for the Arts plans to support a variety of projects across the country in urban, rural, and tribal communities of all sizes.

Project Types

Our Town projects must integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Projects may include activities such as:

Arts Engagement:

Cultural Planning: 


Artist and Creative Industry Support:

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.

Budgetary Requirements:           Our grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal cost share/match of at least 1 to 1. These cost share/matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. You may include in your Project Budget cost share/matching funds that are proposed but not yet committed at the time of the application deadline.


Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.