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National Endowment for the Arts funds Design Assistance for Twenty-three Rural Communities

Contact:
Office of Public Affairs, publicaffairs@arts.gov, 202-682-5570
Evelyn Immonen, evelyn@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600

Twenty-three Rural Communities Receive Design Assistance From National Endowment for the Arts

Washington DC, September 10, 2019—In its ongoing support of rural communities, the National Endowment for the Arts announces the 2019 communities taking part in its national initiative, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD). New this year, the Arts Endowment is expanding CIRD’s offerings to include a peer-learning component for rural leaders from 23 communities. These leaders will receive training in rural design and creative placemaking as well as support in navigating funding opportunities to make their communities better places to live, work, and play. Along with the peer-learning component, CIRD will conduct its traditional community design workshops in three new places: Millinocket, Maine; Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico; and Athens, Ohio.

This year is the first with initiative partners the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP [bc]. This year also marked a record for the initiative with 85 applications received, the highest in the program’s history.

”It was inspiring to see overwhelming interest in the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design program this year,” said Arts Endowment Director of Design and Creative Placemaking Jen Hughes. “Rural and tribal communities across the country are putting forth ambitious visions for their future and view design and creative placemaking as a way to not only celebrate their cultural history, but also to drive economic development.”

Since 1991, CIRD has worked in communities with populations of 50,000 or less to enhance quality of life and economic viability through planning, design, and creative placemaking. To date, the Arts Endowment has convened more than 80 workshops in all regions of the country, bringing together local residents with teams of design, economic development, and creative placemaking professionals. Together, professionals and citizens leverage local and regional assets to guide the design of their communities.

The multi-day design workshops in the three selected communities will focus on different challenges. Dates for each workshop and members of the resource team are forthcoming.

Millinocket, Maine (population 4,400): The residents of Millinocket, located near Maine’s Mount Katahdin, have mobilized around sustainability, mental health/wellness, and diversifying the town’s economic base after the departure of the paper industry. The goal is to create a design principles guidebook that will inform downtown revitalization plans and be used by local businesses to help create a unified sense of place.

Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico (population 1,241): The Pueblo is developing an ambitious master plan for the Village of Laguna (one of six in the Pueblo) that seeks to address longstanding challenges, including a dearth of affordable housing and the need for both walkability and commercial space that builds on indigenous cultural assets such as artisanship and arid-land farming. The University of New Mexico’s Indigenous Design + Planning Institute will join local institutions to support the workshop.

Athens, Ohio (population 23,832): Mt. Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society wants to preserve and reimagine the use of a century-old church built by free-born and formerly enslaved black artisans. In addition to architectural rehabilitation, the Preservation Society and its partners envision the place as an economic engine and as a hub for black history and culture.

In addition to these three communities, 20 additional communities will form the inaugural peer-learning cohort and will meet for a Rural Design Summit in West Virginia, October 9-11, 2019:

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Organization

City

State

City of Eufaula

Eufaula

AL

Eastern Sierra Artists

Bishop

CA

Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center

Ignacio

CO

Huerfano County Economic Development, Inc.

Walsenburg

CO

Economic Council of Okeechobee County, Inc.

Okeechobee

FL

Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency

Sebring

FL

action pact

Waycross

GA

Thrive Allen County, Inc.

Iola

KS

Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative

Hazard

KY

Snow Pond Center for the Arts

Sidney

ME

City of Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Springs

MO

McComb Creative Economy Partnership

McComb

MS

Clay County Historical and Arts Council

Hayesville

NC

Divide County Economic Development Council, Inc.

Crosby

ND

Woodward Arts & Theatre Council, Inc.

Woodward

OK

City of San Elizario

San Elizario

TX

Town of Scottsville

Scottsville

VA

Shenandoah County Office of Economic Development

Shenandoah County

VA

NCW Economic Development District

Entiat

WA

Laramie Main Street

Laramie

WY

For more information about the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design go to the initiative’s web page.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that strengthens communities across rural America through investment and assistance with affordable housing and community and economic development. Based in Washington, DC, HAC is actively involved in shaping federal policy and the affordable housing industry with its research, lending and conferences. We also deliver technical assistance, training and affordable loans to local organizations that help rural communities prosper.

buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) is a Texas based nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, [bc] recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.

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Rural Placemaking: Making the Most of Creativity in your Community

This issue of Rural Voices examines Creative Placemaking as it is practiced in rural communities. The term “creative placemaking” is only about a decade old, but rural community organizations have long taken on community-building endeavors that have included the arts. Creative placemaking offers the explicit recognition that arts and artists, when fully engaged with local stakeholders, are often a gel or a catalyst toward sustained community betterment and economic growth.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Illuminate, Connect, Energize, and Imagine: The Arts in Rural America
by Jen Hughes

The National Endowment for the Arts offers funding and technical assistance for rural creative placemaking across the United States.

FEATURES

A Tool for Economic Development in the Mississippi Delta
by Chris Masingill

The Delta Creative Placemaking Initiative encourages communities to engage more deeply with the region’s arts and culture sectors.

Housing Developers Come Together with Arts Groups and Artists
by Bob Reeder

An expert advises rural community developers to keep their placemaking work inclusive, culturally relevant, and economically equitable.

Bridging Boundaries: Contributing to Quality of Life on the Reservation
by Joseph Kunkel

A collaborative process encompassing community, culture, and the environment contributes to the success of a tribal development project.

Kentucky Communities Use Their Creative Assets
by Sandi Curd

Placemaking, at its core, is fostering what is abundant in rural Kentucky: a strong sense of place coupled with people dedicated to making their communities stronger.

Placemaking Grants Support Rural Communities

The smART Kinston City Project Foundation in Kinston, NC and the Woodlands Development Group in Elkins, WV will implement rural creative placemaking initiatives during summer and fall 2017.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Why Creative Placemaking? On the Ground Impacts

Materials Posted

Power Point Presentation | Recording | The Art of Community

Join the Housing Assistance Council on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 for “Why Creative Placemaking? On the Ground Impacts.”

“Creative placemaking” is community development tool that has garnered increased attention and funding by the federal government, municipalities, and private foundations.

Join us to learn why creative placemaking is receiving widespread support and how rural communities take advantage of these opportunities.

Guest speakers working in rural communities across the United States will share their experiences with creative placemaking, the impact it has had in their hometowns, and how they have garnered ongoing support for creative and arts-based work.

This webinar is the second of a two-part series of Rural Placemaking – a collaboration between buildingcommunityWORKSHOP and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC), funded in part by a NEA Our Town Knowledge Building Grant. The purpose of Rural Placemaking is to build understanding and practice of creative placemaking in rural communities. Both HAC and [bc] seek to promote creative placemaking as an important tool in comprehensive community development and to build knowledge of the practice within HAC’s member network.

View the first webinar in this series, “Creative Placemaking 101” here.

Presented By buildingcommunityWORKSHOP and Housing Assistance Council

bcWORKSHOP enriches the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, bcWORKSHOP recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work. bcWORKSHOP is a Texas based nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making.
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has been helping local organizations build affordable homes in rural America since 1971. HAC assists in the development of both single- and multi-family homes and promotes homeownership for working low-income rural families through a self-help, “sweat equity” construction method by emphasizing local solutions, empowerment of people in poverty, reduced dependence, and self-help strategies. HAC offers services to public, nonprofit, and private organizations throughout the rural United States and maintains a special focus on high-need groups and regions, such as: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.
HAC is a nonprofit corporation located in Washington, DC with regional staff located in Atlanta, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Sacramento.

Register Now.

Rural Voices: Action for a Rapidly Changing Rural America

This issue of Rural Voices reports on some of the learning and brainstorming that occurred at the Housing Assistance Council’s 2016 Rural Housing Conference: Building Rural Communities. The magazine presents some of the conference highlights. Several articles are adapted from speeches given there. A set of maps taken from a conference presentation by Lance George, HAC’s Research Director, provides a dramatic view of some current “ruralities” – the ways rural America’s demographics and housing are changing. A series of five articles addresses action for a rapidly changing rural America on topics ranging from persistent poverty to creative placemaking. These pieces are based on white papers developed for the conference and in-depth participant discussions at the event. Their recommendations are timely and important as rural housing faces changes in policy and funding.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Inequality Harms Us All
by Congressman Keith Ellison

Investing in rural America will not only improve the lives of people who live there, but will also help create a thriving country where everyone can succeed.

FEATURES

Ruralities: The Changing Face of Rural AmericaRuralities: The Changing Face of Rural America

A set of maps demonstrate the ways rural America’s demographics and housing are changing.

Rural Community Development Can Address Inequality
by John Henneberger

A model demonstration Rural America Community Building program in each state would help overcome racial and economic inequality.

Action on Housing Programs and Infrastructure
by Hope F. Cupit and Julie Bornstein

Rural advocates can act on housing programs and infrastructure needs by improving messaging and advocacy efforts.

Action on Persistent Poverty and Rural Inequality
by R. Scott McReynolds and Ann Williams Cass

Rural advocates can act on persistent poverty and rural inequality by building the capacity of nonprofits and local government agencies in persistent poverty areas.

Action on the Opioid Epidemic and Rural Affordable Housing
by Alan Morgan

Rural advocates can act on the opioid epidemic and connected housing needs by making resources available, educating relevant parties, and working with partners to coordinate services.

Action on Creative Placemaking
by Bob Reeder and Lisa Neergaard

Rural advocates can use creative placemaking to help act on community needs.

Action to Nurture Rural Leaders
by Gisela Salgado and Janet Topolsky

Rural advocates can act on the need for future leadership by improving staff recruitment and retention, as well as educating and involving policymakers and community leaders.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

HAC News: February 16, 2017

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 16, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 4

HUD and USDA nominations moving slowly • HAC offers rural creative placemaking funds • Administration and Congress begin changing Dodd-Frank • Pence economic advisor supports reforming mortgage interest deduction • House subcommittee considers “The Geography of Poverty • USDA RD encourages summer meal program again • Lead control funds offered • Climate and cultural resilience grants available • RD sets FY17 area loan limits for Sec. 502 direct, continues pilot alternative • ACF extends deadline for Native American input • USICH offers suggestions on opioid use and homelessness • Nominations open for HUD awards on healthy homes, historic preservation • Rural housing is infrastructure, says HAC blog post • Students and communities benefit from art, including creative placemaking

HAC News Formats. pdf

Februrary 16, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 4

HUD and USDA nominations moving slowly. The Senate unanimously confirmed David Shulkin as VA Secretary on February 13 and is expected to confirm Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) as OMB director on February 16. The time taken to approve Mulvaney may delay the administration budget request for FY18 beyond the February 28 date previously predicted (see HAC News, 2/2/17). The Senate has not yet voted on Dr. Ben Carson as HUD Secretary and the Senate Agriculture Committee has not scheduled a hearing on Sonny Perdue’s nomination to be USDA Secretary. Congress will be on President’s Day recess the week of February 20.

HAC offers rural creative placemaking funds. HAC is partnering with the buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) to offer grants of up to $7,500 each for two short-term arts and community building projects in communities with populations under 50,000. Housing or community development organizations are eligible and may apply in partnership with an artist or arts organization. HAC and [bc] can also facilitate selection of a partner artist/organization. A recorded webinar about this initiative is available on HAC’s site, and a second webinar is tentatively scheduled for late March or early April. Apply by March 10. For more information, contact Michaela Accardi, [bc].

Administration and Congress begin changing Dodd-Frank. President Trump’s Executive Order 13772 sets out Core Principles for regulating the U.S. financial system, which include “rationalizing” the federal financial regulatory framework. It orders the Treasury Secretary and Financial Stability Oversight Council to report on laws, treaties, regulations, and policies that promote or inhibit the Core Principles. The EO has been described as a request for a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which made changes to oversight of the U.S. financial system, including housing finance. Separately, on February 14 President Trump signed H.J.Res. 41 into law, canceling an SEC regulation required by the Dodd-Frank Act (not related to housing).

Pence economic advisor supports reforming mortgage interest deduction. Vice President Mike Pence has hired Mark Calabria, former Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the conservative Cato Institute, as his chief economist. A few days before changing jobs, Calabria co-authored an opinion piece titled “Time to reform the mortgage interest deduction” with Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. They suggested that MID reform could “generate significant savings” which, “in turn, could provide some combination of tax cuts, deficit reduction, and reinvestment in critical affordable rental housing programs that serve people with the greatest needs.”

House subcommittee considers “The Geography of Poverty.” The Human Resources Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing February 15, which included testimony and discussion of differences in rural, suburban, and urban poverty. Written testimony and the recorded hearing are available online.

USDA RD encourages summer meal program again. An Unnumbered Letter suggests that USDA-funded multifamily properties, community facilities, and self-help communities provide sites where meals can be served when school is out. Contact an RD state office.

Lead control funds offered. Local and state governments, tribes, and consortia of those entities can apply by March 23 for HUD Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grants to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in privately owned rental or owner-occupied housing. Those entities are also eligible for Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grants, with the same deadline, if they have at least 3,500 pre-1940 occupied rental housing units. For more information, contact Shannon Steinbauer, HUD.

Climate and cultural resilience grants available. Enterprise Community Partners will make five $100,000 grants to CDCs, CHDOs, and tribal housing entities for projects in which residents, artists, and others collaborate to address a local climate resilience challenge. The deadline is March 31. An informational webinar will be held February 22. For more information, contact design@enterprisecommunity.org.

RD sets FY17 area loan limits for Sec. 502 direct, continues pilot alternative. An Unnumbered Letter dated February 3, 2017 explains how RD state offices can establish limits for Section 502 direct loans, and extends an FY15 pilot that uses an alternative method for a number of states. Georgia and Indiana are added to the pilot this year. For more information, contact an RD State Office.

ACF extends deadline for Native American input. The Administration for Children and Families will accept comments until May 9 rather than March 10 on issues, challenges, and recommendations related to American Indian and Alaska Native populations. (See HAC News, 1/19/17.) For more information, contact Camille Loya, ACF, 202-401-5964.

USICH offers suggestions on opioid use and homelessness. “Strategies to Address the Intersection of the Opioid Crisis and Homelessness,” published by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, describes five strategies for communities and provides links to other resources.

Nominations open for HUD awards on healthy homes, historic preservation. ♦ Submissions are due March 15 for the HUD Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes, offered in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association to recognize excellence in healthy housing innovation. For more information, contact hudaward@neha.org. ♦ The HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation is made in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The deadline is March 27. For more information, contact helpdesk@huduser.gov.

Rural housing is infrastructure, says HAC blog post. Investment in rural affordable housing creates jobs, benefits states and localities, and aids families, as explained in a recent post written as part of a series for the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding.

Students and communities benefit from art, including creative placemaking. In a post on Rooflines, Shelterforce’s blog, HAC staffer Stephen Sugg describes his research on arts education and the importance of creative placemaking for low-income communities.

Webinar: Creative Placemaking 101 + Funding Opportunity

Materials Posted

Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council and bcWORKSHOP for a two-part webinar series on rural Creative Placemaking. Creative placemaking is a method of working between community developers, housing organizations and local stakeholders to strengthen communities. Rural Placemaking brings together people to share food, stories, art, experiences, and histories and enables neighbors to talk, learn, and organize in rural communities in the continental United States.

This webinar, the first in the two-part series “Creative Placemaking 101 + Funding Opportunity” will focus on:

  • defining and describing creative placemaking;
  • explaining the importance of placemaking for rural community development;
  • outlining bcWORSHOP’s rural creative placemaking process via the Activating Vacancy (AV) process;
  • announcing the AV request for rural proposals; and
  • proposal Q&A for interested parties.

Reports

Native American Creative Placemaking

Native American Creative Placemaking

That “Placemaking was always known to Native Americans” undergirds a new “Native American Creative Placemaking” report from HAC. The report examines a handful of established Native American creative placemaking efforts while offering a first of its kind interactive map of Native American creative placemaking projects. The paper also notes funding sources and emphasizes that placemaking “offers Native people on opportunity to reconnect with their traditional ways of life” as an antidote to injustices including forced assimilation, trauma in boarding schools, and extreme poverty.The paper encourages tribal leaders to establish a voice for Native Nations in placemaking efforts in the United States.

In 2016-2017, HAC took on a National Endowment for the Arts funded creative placemaking partnership with bcWORKSHOP aimed at sharing placemaking resources with HAC’s rural partners across the country.


Sponsored by The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation.