Sunday, August 7, 2011

The NEA and the Creative Economy

It is interesting to me how active the National Endowment for the Arts is on furthering our exploration and development of the creative economy in this country. They have truly embraced the concept of 'creative placemaking', and are deeply engaged in, and driving, the dialogue and actualization of true community creative economic development. This bodes well for those in the arts community who need the support of the NEA to change our approach, re-design business models, and take risks. And, it is a great opportunity to connect with the forprofit creative community to share the same community growth purpose.

And so, here is some new information from the NEA.

1) New Our Town Website:  A new part of the NEA website which features the Our Town grants with a map, full description and pictures and videos about the projects. Well worth the read to understand what is happening around the country and what the NEA is funding. They had over 400 applications and gave 51 grants.

 2) Check out the new NEA Arts magazine, which celebrates creative placemaking in rural America. We visit a health clinic turned art gallery on a reservation in Minnesota, heading into the Arizona desert to find an arts oasis, talking crafts with Handmade in America, an interview with Wormfarm co-founder Jay Salinas, a visit to two YourTown communities, and a stunning photo essay on Marfa, Texas.

3) New Grant Opportunity: RESEARCH - Last fall, when the NEA put forward a new strategic plan, the agency identified research as a mission-critical goal. Reflecting that new emphasis, the NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis is announcing the availability of grants to conduct research into the value and impact of the U.S. arts and design sector on the nation, whether on individuals or communities.

·         Grant Guidelines

·         Deadline: November 8, 2011.

·         Eligibility: Eligible applicants are nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. This may include, but is not limited to, colleges and universities.

·         Amounts: Grants generally range from $10,000 to $30,000

·         Questions? Patricia Shaffer, 202-682-5743,

I hope your summer creative season is going very well!

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