Introducing the 2017 Finalists for the National Creative Placemaking Fund!

June 7, 2017

By: ArtPlace America

Today, ArtPlace America announced the 70 projects that it will consider for its 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund. 

Each of the finalists have proposed an opportunity for arts and culture to help address a community development challenge or opportunity related to agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

These 70 projects represent 7% of the 987 initial applications that ArtPlace reviewed.

As a team, we keep an eye on the composition of the lead applicants for groups and types that are underrepresented in the portfolio. We are happy to note that five of the finalist projects are led by individual artists, four are led by a civic, social, or faith‐based organization, and six are led by performing arts organizations. 

The 70 finalists come from 32 different states and 2 US Territories with 34% coming from rural areas, reflecting ArtPlace’s ongoing commitment to reflecting the full diversity of communities:


Region # % by #


19 27%
Northeast 14 20%
South 17 24%
West 18 26%
Territories 2 3%
Total 70 100%



Community Context # % by #
Rural 24 34%
Suburban 1 1%
Urban 43 61%
Regional 2 3%
Total 70 100%


Included in this year’s recommendations are ten previous NCPF finalists, one Community Development Investments’ (CDI) finalist, and one previous NCPF grantee. 63% of people who applied were first time applicants. We have noticed an increase in regional projects; many working collaboratively across adjacent rural communities. Many of the rural projects included requests for improving or bringing broadband access to communities to increase economic opportunity. There has also been a sustained interest in water projects that, this year, focused on its use and preservation.

ArtPlace worked with 48 external readers who reflected both the demographic diversity of the country, as well as that of the arts and culture and community development sectors. 65% who self‐identified as artists, and 52% either lived in or had significant experience working in rural communities. 

Each finalist will now complete a more extensive application and schedule a site visit with a peer expert and an ArtPlace staff member. These peer experts will come together as an in-person panel to make recommendations this fall for this round of the National Creative Placemaking Fund.

To date, ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund has invested $77 million in 256 projects across 187 communities of all sizes.

The complete list of 2017 finalists can be found here.

A complete list of our National Creative Placemaking Fund investments to date can be found here.

ArtPlace America