Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to this page for details about the National Creative Placemaking Fund application and review process. Be sure to read through this page thoroughly before reaching out to the ArtPlace staff as we are a very small staff attempting to respond to a large number of inquiries.

If you don’t find the answer to your question below, we'll be hosting a number of webinars.  If you have any remaining questions, please let us know at ncpf [at] artplaceamerica.org.

Want to review the information on this page offline? Download it here.

Contents
OPEN CALL APPLICATION QUESTIONS EXPLAINED
Partnership Information
Eligibility

Open Call Application Questions Explained

This section provides deeper insights into what we’re looking for in each question of the open call application and throughout the review process.

CONTACT INFORMATION

We’ll use this information to contact you about your application.

1. Are you applying as an individual or on behalf of an organization or government?

A few application questions are slightly different based on whether you apply as an individual or as an organization. Your answer to this question will make sure we’re asking the appropriate version of those questions.

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2. Primary Contact Information

This information is meant to support us in contacting the correct person with questions and information about next steps from the initial application. In some cases this may be the executive director, development director, program manager, or any other individual. We’re just looking for the best person to talk to about this application.

  • Applicant First Name
  • Applicant Last Name
  • Professional Title
  • Organization
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Address 1
  • Address 2
  • City
  • State
  • Zip

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3. Amount Requested from ArtPlace?

At the open call phase, responses to this question will only be reviewed by staff to gain a better understanding of the proposed project. If invited to submit a full proposal you will be asked to submit a more detailed project budget.

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4. Total Project Budget?

At the open call phase, responses to this question will only be reviewed by staff to gain a better understanding of the proposed project. In general, responses to this question will provide a way for us to quickly understand the financial scale of the request alongside the activities and full financial scale of the project.

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5. Will this project use ArtPlace funds to acquire, build, or renovate a permanent structure?

We have a few additional questions for projects that involve permanent construction or purchasing property. Your answer here makes sure those questions appear later in the application.

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6. We anticipate that selected projects will receive ArtPlace funding in a single payment on or before January 1, 2017. If this project is funded, by when would you fully spend this money? (Please select a date between June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2020)

We know some projects will begin before ArtPlace funding is received and/or end after our resources are used. In your response to this question we want to understand by when you expect to use ArtPlace resources that we expect to disburse on January 1, 2017.

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7. Please provide one address that is central to or representative of the proposed project. The data provided must be either a valid mailing address or intersection of two streets:

 

Site address 1 Site address 2
Site City/Town/Village/CDP Site State
Site Zip  

 

We understand that projects can take place at many scales, ranging from single sites, corridors, or parks, to entire neighborhoods, cities, or regions. At the full proposal stage, applicants will have the opportunity to provide up to ten locations that are central to or representative of the project. At this stage of the application process, however, we ask that applicants provide only one location. The response to this question will support us in determining which resources in our budget this project may be eligible for.

We require a valid mailing address or street intersection for each location so that we can source U.S. Census data about the projects locations in which we invest. If there is no known or associated mailing address or street intersection for a location, provide the nearest approximation in valid mailing address or intersection format.

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GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

Geographic attributes are among the data that ArtPlace tracks in order to better understand how creative placemaking work plays out across different community contexts. Please answer the following questions with this in mind.

8. Will your project take place on a single site or across multiple sites?

If your project is taking place at a single address, then you should select single site. If your project is taking place in a neighborhood, city, county or region; select multi-site.

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9. How would you describe the community where your project will take place?

The options are Urban, Suburban, and Rural. ArtPlace does not have formal criteria or definitions for these terms; we’re interested in knowing how applicants describe their own community. If this project focuses on one type of community, please select the category that most closely represents it. If this project is working across contexts, please select all that apply.

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10. What is the population of the city, town, or village where this project will take place?

The number of people living in the project’s focus area is also of interest to ArtPlace. In this question we’re looking for the population of the census-designated place in which this project will take place that was described in question 8 above.

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NARRATIVE QUESTIONS

Responses to the narrative questions are the most important piece of your application. We encourage your responses to be brief, clear, and to avoid jargon.

Project Title?

Tell us what your project is called? This title should grab someone’s attention and invite them to learn more. Think front page headline in the paper.

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11. Describe the community where this project will take place. Imagine describing the community to someone who knows nothing about it.

ArtPlace defines community as a group of people related by geography. Your description should include things like:

  • geographic boundaries,
  • who the people are in this place (this description could include subjective and objective information like: how do you engage with these people, what is the total population, what is the average age, race, and ethnicity in this place),
  • the primary local employers and industries and a description of the physical (natural and built) environment.

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12. Which community development sector is most closely related to the challenge or opportunity this project will address?

Responses to this question are used to better understand the focus of your project. As ArtPlace explored the world of planning and development, we realized that this field tends to organize itself across ten sectors and five kinds of people or organizations working within those ten sectors. As a result of what we learned, ArtPlace uses this community development matrix to organize the various sectors and community members working in the field of creative placemaking. To learn more about how we define these sectors please review our blog here. ArtPlace is looking for a range of projects across planning and development sectors. In selecting a spread of projects this year, the projects we select for funding will not fall into just one sector. Please match the selection made for this question to the response you provide in question 10.

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13. What is the community planning and development challenge or opportunity this project will address?

We understand that community projects are multidimensional, and may often be working across several community development sectors. However, in order to understand the field, some categorization is useful at times. For our process, the applications that tend to be the most competitive:

  • clearly frame their response within the sector you identified in number 12,
  • and then, clearly describe a single planning and development challenge within it.

The response to this question will need to be referenced when responding to question 16 below.

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14. Please select the primary artistic field in this project.

While many organizations and people have different classifications for the types of artistic practices that exist in arts and culture, ArtPlace has attempted to organize these through ten primary fields in the this arts and culture matrix. We recognize that many projects will use a wide variety of artistic fields in any given project. ArtPlace believes that each artistic field has something to offer planning and development. As such, if you have one primary field that will be used for this project please select it. If you are truly working in a multidisciplinary project, please select other and list the fields that will be used. In a response to Question 15, applicants will have the ability to be more detailed about the many kinds of arts and culture that may be used and how they will be deployed.

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15. How will this project deploy arts and culture to address this planning and development challenge or opportunity?

Please describe the role artists and arts and culture will play in the planning, implementation, and learning and documentation process of this project. In our definition of creative placemaking, the “creative” simply invites artists and arts organizations to join their neighbors in shaping communities’ futures; not necessarily in making places more creative. While building a theater, museum, studio, or workspace is great and necessary in many places, the goal of creative placemaking is not, necessarily, to activate, build, or rehabilitate creative spaces as an end unto itself.

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16. What will be different in this community when this project is completed?

When replying to this question, please reference the response provided in Question 13. Tell us about the benchmarks you will look for, and the things that will be visible, tangible, and/or understood in the community when this project is complete. Visible examples are often something that has changed in the built environment and that people can see. Tangible examples can take the form of plans and deliverables developed as a part of this project. When we mention “understanding” we’re referring to the feelings, conversations, and social dynamics in the community. These are over simplifications, and we still believe it is important to articulate how will the leadership of this project know when they have accomplished what they set out to do?

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Applicant and Project Survey

ArtPlace is always looking to learn more about those working in the creative placemaking field. Answers to these questions will not impact the review of your application.

17. Have you or your organization previously applied to ArtPlace?

Responses to this (these) question(s) provide us with an indication of ongoing demand for resources to support creative placemaking projects.

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18. If so, how many times? [1, 2, 3, 4]

 

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19. If so, have you ever been a finalist? [Yes; No]

 

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20. If so, have you ever received funding from ArtPlace? [Yes; No]

 

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Individual Applicant Questions

21. Are you an artist?

A few application questions are slightly different based on whether you apply as an individual or as an organization. Your answer to this question will make sure we’re asking the appropriate version of those questions.

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21a. If so, please select your artistic field(s) of focus.

ArtPlace wants to learn from the many ways that individual artists lead creative placemaking projects in various contexts. Responses to this question will further support our understanding of these trends.

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Organization Applicant Questions

21. Are you an organization?

A few application questions are slightly different based on whether you apply as an individual or as an organization. Your answer to this question will make sure we’re asking the appropriate version of those questions.

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21a. If so, please select a category that most closely describes your organization.

ArtPlace is incredibly interested in finding out if any trends exist in the types of organizations that initiate creative placemaking projects. Responses to this question will further support our ability to share out with the field the strengths that various types of organizations may have in this work.

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21b. Please select the community development sector most closely related to the applicant.

In some cases, organizations may want to tackle a challenge or opportunity in a sector that is outside of their primary body of work. We’re curious about whether that’s the case for your organization.

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21c. If Arts & Culture: Please select your artistic field(s) of focus.

ArtPlace wants to learn from the many ways that arts organizations can lead creative placemaking projects in various contexts. Responses to this question will further support our understanding of these trends.

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21d. Is the lead applicant an institute of higher education?

ArtPlace is interested in the role of colleges and universities in the creative placemaking field and would like to know whether you’re applying on behalf of one.

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Attachments

These two attachments will help us better understand this project and give you a chance to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

1. Please provide a link to a video to tell us more about this project.

This is a chance to creatively showcase what makes your team, project, and community unique. Staff and external reviewers will be reading at least 100 applications each. Please take 3 minutes to informally tell us about this project, show us the community and please do not repeat the details you have written in this application. ArtPlace is only looking for visual and audio information that enhances our understanding of the project and the community in which it will take place.

ArtPlace will not be evaluating the quality of the video production. Feel free to submit videos shot with a simple camera phone.

 

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2. Please attach a single-page PDF with a map that labels the site(s) of this project, along with concentrations of housing, businesses, industry, and any important natural landmarks in your community.

This map should be a visual depiction of the community described in question 8. Maps may be anywhere along a continuum of hand drawn to printed from geographic information systems. We’re asking for the boundaries to be identified for the geographic community where this project will take place and for labels identifying important locations as they relate to this project. It is also helpful if some labels are provided for important landmarks outside the boundaries so that we can understand the community in a greater context.

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Partnership Information

3. Do I need partners?

We have found that most successful community based projects incorporate a diverse set of partners. Partnerships are required at the full application stage and are required in order to be selected to receive funds from ArtPlace America. Partnerships are not a requirement at the initial application stage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Definitions

Here are a few definitions for terms we often use.

22. Creative placemaking

Projects in which arts and culture play an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development that is human-centric, comprehensive, and locally informed. The “creative” simply invites artists and arts organizations to join their neighbors in shaping communities’ futures; not necessarily in making places more creative.

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23. Place-based Community

A group of people related by geography, whether a block, neighborhood, town, city, or region. Applicants should be able to draw the boundaries around their community on a map. An applicant should draw the boundaries at the scale at which engagement, participation, and change is manageable. If the boundaries are drawn too large, it may be hard to believe that impact is possible for everyone within them. If the boundaries are drawn to small, it may raise questions about the unanticipated impacts a project may have on the people left outside them.

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24. Community planning & development

Community planning and development takes many different forms, and in the spirit of making the world digestible and easier to understand, ArtPlace has developed this 5x10 matrix to map our understanding of how this field traditionally organizes itself.

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25. Arts & culture

Artplace often refers to the National Endowment for the Arts’ working definition, from its How Art Works publication, of art as “an act of creative expression done within the confines of a set of known or emerging practices and precedence that is intended to communicate richly to others.” Culture is often based in tradition, and may manifest in language, food, music, and much more. ArtPlace intentionally uses a broad definition of arts and culture so that we can support all kinds of work, strategies, approaches.

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Eligibility

26. Who is eligible to apply?

Everybody and anybody is eligible to apply. Yes anyone! This includes, and is not limited to, a grandmother, a local mosque, a private developer, a local nonprofit, and a tribal government.

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27. May organizations and projects that previously received funding from ArtPlace apply?

Yes! Anyone can apply! ArtPlace will consider applications from previously funded organizations for new projects. If your organization or project have previously received funding from ArtPlace, you’re only eligible to submit an application once that project is completed and closed.

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28. Are state bodies eligible to submit applications?

Yes, everybody and anybody is eligible to apply. Yes anyone! All local, regional, and state governing bodies are eligible to submit applications.

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29. Are there restrictions in terms of size of organization or years of incorporation?

No, there is no minimum or maximum operating budget requirement. Everyone can apply! ArtPlace does not require a minimum number of years of operations since incorporation.

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30. How many applications can each applicant submit?

Applicants may only submit one application per year.

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31. Can partners submit separate applications?

Yes, an organization may be listed as a partner on one (or multiple) application(s) and submit a separate application for a completely different project.

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32. Do I need to secure a fiscal agent?

ArtPlace is able to structure agreements with individuals, for profits or any other entity. If you work with a fiscal agent, it is because it’s your preference.

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33. Does ArtPlace require matching funds?

There is no required match. Despite not requiring a match, ArtPlace values its investments’ ability to leverage additional federal, regional, and local public/private funding.

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34. Will projects outside of the U.S. be funded?

No, ArtPlace will only fund projects located in the U.S and all U.S. territories.

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35. Are projects located in U.S. territories eligible for funding?

Yes. Projects located in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to receive funding.

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36. Does ArtPlace have geographic priorities?

Applications are encouraged from all 50 states and U.S. territories, and ArtPlace will fund in any community. Several of ArtPlace’s foundation partners have deep commitments to their local and regional communities. Approximately 50% of the $10M to be disbursed in 2016 has been provided by funders with geographic priorities, and as a result, ArtPlace staff will identify strong initial applications that propose projects in the following geographies to be invited to submit a full proposal: the state of Massachusetts; Greater Minneapolis—St. Paul, MN; rural communities throughout: Arizona, Iowa, the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, the cities of Akron, OH; Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI; Macon, GA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; St. Paul, MN. ArtPlace is also particularly interested in projects from states in which it has not yet funded a project including Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming. We continue to expand our funding with the goal of supporting the broadest possible geographic array of communities.

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37. Will ArtPlace fund projects in rural communities?

Yes, communities of all sizes are encouraged to submit applications. In 2015, rural communities represented 11 of the 38 projects (29%), and accounted for 31% of dollars provided to projects.

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38. Can the scope of the project be regional or statewide?

Yes, the scope of a project can be regional or statewide. Statewide or regional projects should be able to demonstrate the effect of their work on everyone inside the boundaries they draw to define their community.

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39. What artistic fields are eligible?

We encourage submissions from ALL artistic fields.

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40. Is the audience of my arts organization (e.g., gallery, museum, theater, hall, etc.) an eligible community?

Audiences tend to be communities that are primarily united by a particular interest (e.g. annual subscribers to the local theater company). Creative Placemaking is focused on people that are distinctly united by geography. While there may be overlap across audience members and community, we’re specifically looking to define community by being able to place boundaries on a map. Most audiences are far broader than these types of geographic limitations and, in those cases, are often not competitive in our process.

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41. Will ArtPlace support projects and organizations that have received funding from its partner foundations?

Yes, they’re eligible! Funding from our partner foundations, federal agencies (including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)), and banks will not impact eligibility to receive funding from ArtPlace.

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42. Can ArtPlace funds be used for programming? Planning? Implementation? Capital?

Yes, ArtPlace funds can be used for all of these types of projects or a combination of these activities.

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43. For capital projects, do I need to own the building?

No. As long as there is a long-term commitment that allows the project to fulfill its strategic goals.

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44. For capital projects, does a 501(c)3 have to own the building or property?

There are no restrictions in terms of property ownership for ArtPlace’s program. Municipally owned buildings, a commercial space, as well as nonprofit ownership are all eligible for funding.

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45. Are capital projects that want to find (or source) a place or location as a part of the activities eligible?

Yes, projects that are working to identify and acquire properties are eligible.

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46. Are artists' and designers’ fees eligible expenses?

Yes, fees for all types of individuals involved in the project are eligible and highly encouraged, such as prevailing/living wages for artists.

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47. Can salaries for administration or additional fundraising be funded?

Salaries for administration, project management, and fundraising are all allowed.

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48. Will ArtPlace support research or publications about creative placemaking projects?

ArtPlace America does not anticipate investments in research through this program. ArtPlace has a set of research strategies and you can click here to learn more about them.

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49. Will ArtPlace support field building activities or the development of tool kits?

Toolkits and field building activities will not be funded through our National Creative Placemaking Fund. ArtPlace has a series of field building strategies and you can click here to learn more about them.

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Selection Criteria

50. What does a great application look like?

As has been mentioned before, and likely comes as no surprise, the four points of our definition for creative placemaking are our criteria. As a reminder, great initial applications clearly and concisely communicate:

  • A description of their geographic community.
  • A community planning and development challenge or opportunity that the community would like to address.
  • How arts and culture will address the specific challenge or opportunity.
  • How will things be visible, tangible, and felt in the community to know that change is happening?

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51. What criteria will be used to score my application?

The following criteria will be used to evaluate each proposal:

  • Provides a clear description of a geographic community.
  • Clearly defines a place based community development challenge or opportunity this project will address.
  • Describes a clear and compelling way that arts and culture will be deployed to address this specific community development challenge/opportunity.
  • Establishes how this community will know change is happening.

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52. What kinds of projects has ArtPlace funded?

A complete listing of ArtPlace-funded projects can be found here. We encourage all applicants to submit unique ideas that are not yet represented in our portfolio of funded projects, rather than replicating a project that has already been funded. Successful applicants clearly express responses to the application question as they relate to their distinctive place.

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53. Are partnerships required to receive funding from ArtPlace?

Partnerships are REQUIRED if an applicant is invited to submit a full proposal in order to receive funding from Artplace. At the open call stage, ArtPlace does not require partnerships to be in place. Partners may include and are not limited to local residents, business owners, a religious or spiritual organization, nonprofits, developers, and/or local government.

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54. What does ArtPlace America look for in partnerships?

ArtPlace is most interested in cross-sector partnerships rooted in shared values and goals for a community. If the partner has a role in the planning and implementation of your project, then it is likely an important partnership.

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55. Is there a preference for programs that are scalable and/or replicable?

There is no preference for programs that are scalable or replicable.

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56. How competitive is the process?

Last year ArtPlace funded approximately 3% of the 1300 LOIs submitted (38 projects).

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Review Process

57. Who will review my application?

Each application will be reviewed by an ArtPlace staff member and up to four (4) external reviewers. The external colleagues will be a combination of individuals with experience in arts and culture, community organizing, planning and development, and creative placemaking. Our foundation partners will also provide insights and support throughout the process. ArtPlace’s Executive Director will ultimately approve the projects invited to submit a full proposal.

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58. Can I request panel comments or feedback after my project has been reviewed?

Given the large number of applications for this program and limited staff capacity, ArtPlace is not able to provide individualized feedback or panel comments for applications.

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59. Can I speak with an ArtPlace staff member about my project prior to applying?

Given the large number of applications we anticipate for this round, ArtPlace staff will respond to inquiries as bandwidth allows.

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60. Should we submit letters of support for our work?

No, we will not accept or review letters of support.

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61. How much will ArtPlace award to a single organization?

Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. The National Creative Placemaking Fund generally provides support between $50,000 and $500,000 for individual projects.

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62. Will award amounts be the same as requested or are they ever reduced?

In previous rounds of funding, ArtPlace awarded some projects the full amount requested and some projects at a level lower than the amount requested. We anticipate the same will apply to this round.

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63. Will ArtPlace make only one award per community?

No, ArtPlace has made (and may continue to make) multiple awards in any given community.

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Technology

64. Will there be a webinar on these new guidelines?

In order to accommodate all applicants, ArtPlace has recorded this video on the guidelines. ArtPlace will also host at least one open webinar where specific questions may be asked during the question and answer period of the session. Please review webinar dates by clicking here.

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65. Can I save my online application prior to submission?

Yes, the online application has an option to save a draft prior to submission. We also strongly encourage applicants to save a copy of their work with the provided worksheet on a work or personal computer.

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66. Do I use the same username and password as last year?

No, the online application is built on a new platform this year. New sign in credentials will need to be created for this new system.

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67. How do I register for the new online application system?

If you have not yet registered in Fluxx, begin your registration by entering: artplaceamerica.fluxx.io into your web browser. When on the landing page, click on “Create an account now.” Enter your organization information on the top of the registration page. Items that are required for registration are in bold. Enter your personal information at the bottom of the page. When the form is completed, please click Submit Request. If you are applying as an individual, please enter your first and last name as the name of your organization and your social security number as your tax id. You will need to allow up to three business days for your registration’s approval before you will have access to the online application in Fluxx.

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68. I have registered but am unable to sign in.

Please allow up to three (3) full business days to receive registration confirmation from the Fluxx system. Once you have received confirmation, you can begin working online.

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69. I’m experiencing technical difficulties and I’m not sure what’s wrong:

The Fluxx system is most compatible with Google Chrome. If you’re experiencing technical difficulties and cannot view your page or are having trouble saving, use the most updated version of Google Chrome.

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70. How can I retrieve a new password?

You can do this yourself in by clicking “reset or create password” on the Fluxx homepage.

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71. I have more questions. Whom do I contact?

You can direct questions not answered by this FAQ page to ncpf(at)artplaceamerica(dot)org.

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