Are you part of a rural community of 50,000 people or fewer with a design challenge that you’d like to see fixed? Or maybe you know someone who works for a small-town organization that battles a design challenge every day -- either way, applications are now open for the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD). Rural communities can apply until July 22 to receive design support and technical assistance to host a local rural design workshop or participate in a learning cohort.
A leadership initiative between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with [bc] alongside Housing Assistance Council (HAC), CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality. This is an effort to empower local citizens to capitalize on unique local and regional assets in order to guide the civic development and future design of their own communities.
How the Program Works
The CIRD program offers competitive funding to small towns and rural and tribal communities to host a multi-day community design workshop. Professionals across design, creative placemaking, and more will come together in the town to provide expert advice and help develop actionable solutions to the area’s most pressing design challenges. This year, CIRD will also create a new cohort learning program that will engage rural leaders from up to 20 additional communities.
The CIRD program goals include:
Building 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 idea exchanges and peer learning; and
Preparing communities to be ready and competitive for state and federal funding opportunities.
Apply by July 22!
We are excited to be part of this team with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Housing Assistance Council -- and so happy to have had Omar Hakeem and Lizzie MacWillie from our team announcing it with our partners this week at the Rural Generation Summit in Jackson, MS.
We are looking forward to receiving applications until July 22 and can’t wait to work with amazing rural communities in the second half of this year!