How To Use

There are as many ways to do creative placemaking as there are communities. The universe of federal funding programs that can support such efforts is similarly broad. This guide contains a wide array of federal funding resources that go beyond typical arts grants to encompass various aspects of creative placemaking. Most of them are not directly intended for creative placemaking, but could fund one or more aspects of the overall effort, like business retention or attraction, incorporating artists in planning processes, or construction of community-serving facilities. We encourage you to think about how your work intersects with sectors such as housing, entrepreneurship, environmental conservation, transportation, and others as a method for exploring the opportunities listed in this guide.

For a guided tour of this website and more information on how it can be used, view the Federal Resources for Creative Community Development webinar.

You can search for opportunities by keyword or browse by general category. For each entry, we provide the following information:

  • Funding opportunity title
  • Federal agency and subagency or department
  • Description and purpose of the funding program
  • Role in creative placemaking
    Our attempt to capture how a specific funding opportunity might fit into a placemaking initiative
  • Eligibility: who can apply
    Eligibility is often limited, but in partnership with other entities you may identify an access point, such as subgrant opportunities. This information can help you determine which potential partners in your community might be able to access the funds.
  • Previous projects/grantees
    We provide examples for each program to show how these funds have been used for creative or placemaking endeavors in the past. There is not always an exact correspondence to creative placemaking, nor much available detail about the projects themselves, but these examples show the types of organizations that have successfully accessed the funds and/or the types of activities for which the funds can be used. Many grants are not intrinsically arts- or culture-related, but can be used to fund aspects of a broader creative placemaking effort. E.g., infrastructure grants can support sidewalk and streetscape improvements in a cultural district, even if the grants themselves are not intended as arts funding.
  • Max award
    The maximum funding award can vary from year to year, we have provided the most recent information available. Where information is available, we have also included a median or a range in cases in which the maximum is not typical of an average award.
  • Match or cost sharing requirement
    Most federal programs require some form of cost sharing. This is expressed differently for different agencies and programs. Sometimes a direct 1:1 match is specified. Other times, the application will state the maximum percentage of a project cost that the funding award can cover. We include this information, where available, in order to give you a sense of what to expect when applying for a particular funding program.
  • Compliance burden
    Likewise, we have also attempted to ascertain the grant management and compliance burden associated with particular programs. Most federal funding programs will require financial and progress reports at least annually, along with a final report. We consider this to be a “moderate” compliance burden. Where a higher degree of data collection and reporting is indicated, we convey that information with a “substantial” rating.
  • Application information
    Application information provides more information about where to start with a program you’re interested in. The majority of federal grant proposals require you to download and submit applications through the grants.gov website. We have noted a few exceptions, but unless otherwise stated, grants.gov is the portal for applications listed in this guide. We have also noted in this section when an opportunity may require creative placemakers to seek subgrants or partnership opportunities with eligible organizations in order to access the funding.