6 Grants for Placemaking

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The “Placemaking” series of posts concentrate on ideas as well as financial and technical assistance to help revitalize public spaces.

Much like nearly any other project, you want to complete for your community, placemaking can become costly. Once your community has conceived a vision for what they want, the dollar figures are applied. That’s when the heart attack sets in. Your heart skips a beat when you see the cost estimates for the placemaking projects your community has worked so hard to conceive.

But there is help out there for those whose budgets aren’t able to pay the full tab of a placemaking project. Although there are a number of funding sources available, especially locally and regionally, here are six notable grants and programs for placemaking available at a national level.

Our Town Grants – National Endowment for the Arts

Art is a key factor in developing a sense of place. It makes spaces memorable, comfortable, interesting, and lively. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provides grants that promote the use of arts and culture in creative placemaking. One of those is the Our Town Grant program.

The Our Town grant program offers matching grants of $25,000 to $200,000 for arts and culture partnerships between government agencies and nonprofits with the goal of creatively infusing art into places.

Game Tables, Gene Leahy Mall - Omaha, NE

Game Tables, Placemaking in Gene Leahy Mall – Omaha, NE

Community Challenge Grant – AARP

AARP has been awarding Community Challenge grants since 2017 with over $12.7 million awarded through over 1,060 grants. Each year they award at least $1 million in total grant funds to innovative projects. Some examples of these projects include innovative approaches to increasing civic engagement, public space activations, increasing transit use and active transportation, housing affordability, smart cities, and other innovative projects to

Placemaking Grant – National Association of Realtors

Each year the National Association of Realtors awards grant funds for placemaking projects throughout the nation. Awards come in two tiers. The first level is for smaller demonstration-scale projects and public space experiments. The Level 2 projects help to fund larger, more impactful community destinations.

Patronicity “Crowdgranting” Programs

Patronicity tends to think a little outside of the norm when thinking about helping communities. But maybe what they are doing should become the norm. They are combining crowdfunding with grants to make projects work. Through their platform, you can leverage community support to make placemaking projects a reality.

Patronicity coaches your project leaders through the crowdfunding campaign and then matches the funds with the support of a philanthropic organization to fund projects. “Crowdgranting” is different from the norm of writing grants to fund your placemaking project, but it’s a proven project that works.

Placemaking, Town Square Amphitheater - West Union, Iowa

Placemaking, Town Square Amphitheater –
West Union, Iowa


There are other grants and programs for placemaking. But these are the key national ones that can have an impact on your community.