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Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design Program

The National Endowment for the Arts

Funding Amount

In-Kind Design Programming

Matching Funds

Funding Cycle

The deadline to submit application was May 1, 2023. Unknown when grant application will re-open.


Program of choice:

Local Design Workshops
- Roughly four (4) communities will be selected to do a deep dive into a pressing design challenge that is impacting their community.
- Up to $6,000 stipend to the host community for workshop staff time and related expenses 
- A  tailored virtual design process working with a dedicated resource team, including goal setting, and online sessions with design experts to assist with project visioning and advancement toward implementation 
- A Design Book and action plan following the workshop, with project-specific design and planning recommendations, created by the CIRD resource team

Design Learning Cohort
- 15-20 communities from the applicant pool will be invited to participate in virtual training in design, planning, community engagement, and facilitation techniques;
- A series of online learning sessions and public webinars led by nationally recognized field experts, tailored to engage cohort members and activate peer learning;
- Technical assistance through office hours, one-on-one coaching, optional in-person convenings, and online resources;
- Additional opportunities to socialize and share best practices and experiences with rural peers from around the country.

Who Can Apply

Applicants must:
- Be part of a rural or tribal community of 50,000 or less, that is rural in character
- Identify a specific design challenge to address through the CIRD program
- Be able to participate in CIRD as indicated in Participation Expectations below 
- Plan a workshop with CIRD staff during the designated period of programming

If you meet all of the criteria above, we invite the following entities to apply:
- Municipal, tribal, or county governments 
- Local nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to Main Street
organizations, art centers, preservation groups, historical societies, or chambers of commerce, working in rural areas 
- Regional planning organizations working in rural areas 
- University community design centers or university agricultural/extension offices with close ties to the community presenting the design challenge
- Partnerships of the entities listed above are encouraged to apply 

Additional Eligibility Requirements

North Carolina

Additional Information

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