National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2013 Our Town Grant Recipients
Covington Arts one of 59 projects selected nationwide
COVINGTON, KY— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced 59 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.725 million and reaching 34 states in the Our Town program’s third year of funding. Covington Arts is one of those grantees and will receive $50,000 to support CoSign, an initiative to generate artist-designed retail signage in downtown Covington.
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of at least one nonprofit organization and a local government entity.
CoSign was conceived by The American Sign Museum and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation as a means to achieve similar goals to that of OurTown’s mission: to strengthen the integration of the Arts into economic revitalization efforts and create an enriched sense of place and community. CoSign launched its extremely successful pilot program in 2012 and achieved a remarkable outcome for both economic development and arts engagement for the Cincinnati community of Northside, an area of Cincinnati that is currently undergoing significant economic reinvestment and revitalization. Because of this pilot, much of the process has been defined and therefore made easy to replicate and implement here in Covington.
“This is an exciting time to announce the Our Town grants as a national conversation around creative placemaking advances and deepens,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “The NEA leads on this topic not only through our funding but through webinars, publications, and research. With these resources, we will help to ensure that the field of creative placemaking continues to mature, enhancing the quality of life for communities across the country.”
The NEA received 254 applications for Our Town this year. Grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000 with a median grant amount of $50,000.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at www.arts.gov. Project descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and creative placemaking resources are available as well.
CoSign is designed to enhance economic activity in Greater Cincinnati neighborhood business districts by pairing artists, small businesses, and professional sign fabricators to design and install unique handcrafted signage for local retailers; and in the process, create an infrastructure to train the next generation of local signmakers.