Funding and free services available to revitalize local economies and quality of life

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD)TM, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) inviting communities to apply for design assistance. The CIRD program provides rural communities with populations of 50,000 or less the opportunity to address challenges related to economic vitality and quality of life by employing design solutions.

CIRD convenes two-day workshops with design professionals, local leaders, community organizations, and residents to create a plan for tackling issues around three topic areas—multimodal transportation, healthy living by design, and main street revitalization.

Topic areas include challenges such as:

  • Improving bike and pedestrian access in communities;
  • Integrating arts, culture, and design elements to improve the transportation experience;
  • Developing recreational trails for mobility and economic development;
  • Creating public space that supports play and active recreation;
  • Improving access to healthy food and local food eco-systems;
  • Utilizing creative placemaking strategies, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation to enliven main street.

To host these workshops, successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend, and in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance, which are valued at $35,000. Selected communities are required to provide $10,000 in matching funds (cash or in-kind services). The workshops include site visits, panel discussions, and presentations led by professionals who have expertise in a range of rural design topics.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is a design leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Project for Public Spaces, Inc., and the Orton Family Foundation.

Featured photo by Angela Moreno-Long of the Project for Public Spaces shows residents viewing preliminary MacIntyre Park master plan vision and student projects during a tailgate event for 2016 Thomasville, Georgia CIRD Workshop.

Application deadline: February 16, 2018, at 5 pm EST

See RFP on CIRD program website.

See CIRD application guidelines.

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