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July 16, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling for Houston's best ideas to endorse for the national Our Town grant program.
The National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town grant is interested in projects that bring arts and culture to impact community priorities such as public safety, health, blight and vacancy, environment, job creation, equity, local business development, education, civic participation, and/or community cohesion. Successful projects will improve the livability of communities, create opportunities for all and empower residents. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.
"Art plays a significant role in the vision for a more resilient Houston" said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "That vision is an equitable, inclusive, and affordable city with access to the arts. I look forward to seeing the best ideas from artists and organizations through the NEA Our Town grant opportunity."
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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: 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 and/or Complete Communities will be most competitive for an endorsement.
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For more about the Resiliency Plan and Complete Communities visit: www.houstontx.gov/mayor/Resilient-Houston-20200402-double-page.pdf and www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities.
To be considered for endorsement, applicants should submit their concepts with confirmed artists and partners no later than July 22, 2021 to Cultural.Affairs@houstontx.gov.
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/introduction.
Successful applicants will receive the required endorsement letter to include with their final submission to the National Endowment for the Arts, due on August 5, 2021.
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.
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