U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD Exchange Mailing List

Promise Zones Updates: Third Round Promise Zones Competition | Funding Opportunities

Third Round Promise Zones Competition

A competition to select a third round of Promise Zones will commence later this year. In the Summer of 2015, HUD will publish a Notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on the proposed selection process, criteria, and submissions for the final round of the Promise Zones initiative. This notice will provide urban, rural, and tribal communities the opportunity to help shape the third round application guide and efforts to support other communities more effectively in future years.

Join the HUD Exchange mailing list to receive announcements and to follow the new round of Promise Zones in their journey.

More information is available on the Promise Zones web page.

National Endowment for the Arts

Creative Placemaking Guidelines and Report Launched

Includes 2016 Our Town Grant and Technical Assistance Guidelines and the Report on Performing Arts and Transforming Place

The arts are an integral component of building vibrant communities and as part of its commitment to supporting arts-based community development, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is posting information on funding opportunities and a new creative placemaking resource. These are:

Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work—placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. The NEA's programs support local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place.

2016 Our Town Guidelines

2016 is the sixth year of Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building.

The application deadline for the 2016 Our Town program is earlier than in years past and is on September 21, 2015. Guidelines and application materials for 2016 Our Town program are in the Apply for a Grant section of the NEA website.

Since Our Town's inception in 2011, the NEA has awarded 256 grants totaling more than $21 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, the NEA has created the online resource Exploring Our Town, with more than 70 case studies and lessons learned from organizations working in communities large and small, urban and rural across the country. In July, the NEA will announce the 2015 grantees, including projects from the new project type of supporting knowledge-building in the field of creative placemaking.

Webinars to Assist Our Town Applicants

To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT. Program staff will lead a Powerpoint presentation with tips and tricks for crafting compelling applications, followed by questions and answers.

Registration for the webinar will be available in July in the webinar section of the NEA website.

Our Town Technical Assistance Initiative

The NEA is releasing a program solicitation for an organization to manage a new pilot technical assistance (TA) program that will assist Our Town grantees in completing their NEA-funded projects and building their organizational capacity.

After a managing organization has been selected, it will work with the NEA to provide direct assistance to select Our Town grantees to help increase the likelihood that grantees’ projects are fully successful, resulting in longer term positive outcomes for communities. The NEA will share lessons learned, significant field trends, and other program resources with the public. Our Town grantees will be able to apply in February 2016 when guidelines are available, to be among the organizations selected to receive the direct assistance.

Report on Performing Arts and Transforming Place

The report features outcomes of the November 2014 convening, Beyond the Building: Performing Arts and Transforming Place. The event brought together 26 leaders from dance, music, theater, and multidisciplinary organizations to examine how performance-based groups, and the artists they engage, transform places through their artistic practices. Participants included artists, representatives from performing arts organizations, discipline-based service organizations, and arts funders. The event was supported by ArtPlace America and attracted an active online audience through a Twitter conversation curated by HowlRound.

The convening yielded key observations and guiding principles towards helping performing arts organizations expand the work they do in communities. The report follows the format of the event, presenting lessons learned in six areas: language and framing, place and mission, events and effects, issues and impacts, relationships and resources, and equity.

A list of convening participants grouped by discipline or organizational type (dance, funder, opera, symphonic music, theater, community organization/program, presenter) along with selected observations provides a sample of the conversation.

U.S. Small Business Administration
Office of Economic Opportunity
FY 2015 Program for Investment In Microentrepreneurs (PRIME)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is soliciting applications to provide microenterprise technical assistance and capacity building services to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs).

PRIME has two tracks for which SBA will consider granting awards under this program announcement.

  • Track 1 – seeks applications for funding to provide training and technical assistance programs to disadvantaged entrepreneurs including training specifically designed to implement automated financial accounting, financial reporting, and inventory management systems, etc.
  • Track 2 (Capacity Building) – seeks applications for funding to provide training and capacity building services to MDOs, microenterprise development programs, and groups of such organizations to assist them in developing microenterprise training and services, including services geared towards building MDO capacity to provide business training and technical assistance that will improve the ability of small businesses.

In order to be eligible to submit an application for this funding opportunity an Applicant must clearly demonstrate that it is one of the following:

  • A microenterprise development organization or program (or group or Collaborative thereof), such as a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution or similar entity, that has a demonstrated record of delivering microenterprise services to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; or
  • An Intermediary (as defined in Section 8.1) which has experience in delivering technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; or
  • A microenterprise development organization or program (as defined in Section 8.1) that is accountable to a local community, working in conjunction with a State or local government or Indian Tribe; or
  • An Indian tribe acting on its own, if it can certify that no private organization or program referred to above exists within its jurisdiction.

Up to $5,000,000 in funding is available for this program in FY 2015. SBA expects to make approximately 35 awards. SBA anticipates award for Tracks I and II will be in the range of $50,000 to $250,000. A 50 percent matching contribution is required, but SBA may reduce or eliminate this requirement in certain circumstances.

Benefit to Promise Zones: Any applicant may receive up to 5 bonus points if it can demonstrate a track record of serving American Indians, Alaska Natives, or Native Hawaiian populations, or clients located in established Promise Zones. Please refer to page 22 of the application for more information.

Application Deadline: June 29, 2015

View the FY 2015 PRIME Funding Announcement.

Questions about this Program Announcement should be directed to the Office of Economic Opportunity at prime@sba.gov.

Promise Zones in The News

MSNBC: Los Angeles Makes History with Major Minimum Wage Hike

Secretary Julian Castro joins Andrea Mitchell to talk about the Los Angeles City Council vote to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Castro also discusses the eight new additional promise zones.

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