Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

Request for Applications Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) – 2023

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC), with To Be Done Studio, are excited to announce the Request for Applications to the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD). Rural communities are invited to submit applications to receive design support and technical assistance to host an on-site Local Design Workshop or participate in the Design Learning Cohort.

About CIRD

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council. Focusing on communities with populations of 50,000 or less, CIRD’s goal is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of rural America through planning, design, and creative placemaking.

The CIRD program goals include:

  • Building design capacity in rural communities to plan comprehensive revitalization strategies;
  • Introducing creative placemaking, arts, culture, and design strategies as drivers of economic development in rural America;
  • Facilitating a network of rural communities for design idea exchanges and peer learning; and
  • Preparing communities to be ready and competitive for arts- and design-related state and federal funding opportunities.

Since 1991, CIRD has provided design assistance to more than 100 rural communities in all regions of the United States, empowering residents to leverage local and regional assets in order to guide the civic development and future design of their own communities.

More information about CIRD is available at

Important Dates

March 2, 2023: CIRD Request for Applications Opens
March 22, 2023: CIRD RFA Information Webinar
April 11, 2023: CIRD RFA Virtual Office Hours
May 1, 2023 CIRD Application Closes at 11:59 pm EST
June 21, 2023: CIRD Program Launch/Kickoff Meeting

If you have any questions about the Request for Applications (RFA), CIRD programs, or other questions related to this application process, please contact us at