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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Metro offers Community Placemaking grants for 2020!

Metro offers Community Placemaking grants for 2020

Metro’s Community Placemaking grants help people tackle challenges or opportunities by supporting arts-based, equity-focused efforts. Up to $190,000 is available in grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. No matching funds are required.

Strong candidates for these grants share a few key ingredients. Arts or cultural activities bring people together to strengthen their connection to each other and the places they care about. The idea comes from the community the effort is intended to benefit. And those community members, especially people of color or other historically marginalized communities, play a role in making it all happen. Get started by reading the application handbook, and contact staff to talk over your idea (dana.lucero@oregonmetro.gov).

Applications open Nov. 22 and close February 3 at noon. Visit the program website to learn about December information sessions, eligibility, past grant recipients and more. www.oregonmetro.gov/placemaking

Metro offers Community Placemaking grants for 2020

Metro’s Community Placemaking grants help people tackle challenges or opportunities by supporting arts-based, equity-focused efforts. Strong candidates for these grants share a few key ingredients. Arts or cultural activities bring people together to strengthen their connection to each other and the places they care about. The idea comes from the community the effort is intended to benefit. And those community members, especially people of color or other historically marginalized communities, play a role in making it all happen.

Applications will open even earlier this year to give your team more time to collaborate on a strong application. A link to the online application will be available on our webpage beginning November 22, and applications are due February 3 at noon. Get started now by reading the application handbook, and contact staff to talk over your idea (dana.lucero@oregonmetro.gov).

Funding available

Up to $190,000 is available in grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. No matching funds are required.

Important dates

Nov. 22: Applications open for 10 weeks

Feb. 3 at noon: Applications due

late April: Awards announced

after July 1: Grant-funded activities can begin

early fall 2021: Grant-funded activities should be complete

Application assistance

People interested in this opportunity are encouraged to contact Metro staff to help think through your idea and get you ready to submit a strong application. Contact information appears below. You can also attend an optional information session.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Aloha Community Library - 17455 SW Farmington Rd. Suite 6A, Aloha
  • Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Gresham Library - 385 NW Miller Ave., Gresham
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Metro Regional Center - 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Metro Regional Center - 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland
  • Thursday, Dec. 12 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Oak Lodge Library - 16201 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Oak Grove
  • Friday, Dec. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. at Metro Regional Center - 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland
  • Thursday, Dec. 19 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Midland Library - 805 SE 122nd Ave., Portland

Who can apply?

Community Placemaking grants support community-driven initiatives, and partnerships are key to a competitive proposal. Given that, anyone meeting the following conditions can apply:

  • Community-based organizations with nonprofit status.
  • Community groups or individuals without nonprofit status who partner with a fiscal sponsor, such as a state certified, federally approved 501(c) nonprofit or a public agency. That fiscal sponsor must have a federal employer tax ID number and capacity to contract with Metro. Learn more about a fiscal sponsor’s role in the application handbook beginning on page 6.
  • Public agencies must have community partners involved in the implementation of the project and a plan to involve the broader public.
  • (New) If you are a past recipient of a Community Placemaking grant and your project was exclusively an event (spanning a single or multiple days), you may not reapply the year immediately following your award.

Elements of a strong application

The Community Placemaking program has four objectives, each of which are followed by characteristics that make for a strong application.

Placemaking: People’s connections to each other and to places they care about are strengthened.

  • Addresses a community challenge or opportunity
  • Prompts people to interact with each other
  • Uses art as a tool to bring people together or influence their community
  • Helps people feel a stronger connection to the place(s) where the project happens
  • Strengthens the things that make a place unique or valued

Equity: People of color and members of historically marginalized communities have power and resources to influence their neighborhoods and communities.

  • Directly benefits people of color or members of other historically marginalized communities
  • Led by or actively supported by communities of color or other historically marginalized communities
  • Strengthens cultural and community assets
  • Provides opportunities for expression of culture

Partnerships: People’s efforts are maximized because they work in partnership with each other and with Metro.

  • Involves partnerships that bring different or new groups together
  • Encourages collaboration among community partners
  • Engages the public in the planning for and participating in the project's implementation
  • Enhances regional efforts where Metro is actively engaged

Leadership: People participate in projects and decisions that affect them.

  • Gives opportunities to emerging leaders
  • Builds individual and organizational capacity for civic engagement

This will be Metro’s fourth cycle of Community Placemaking grants. Take a look at the previous grantees to see the range of efforts this program has supported in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 cycles, and get an in-depth look at a number of the projects in the growing Community Placemaking news archive.

Evaluating the applications

A community-based group reviews the applications and makes a funding recommendation to Metro. This group has expertise in social justice, arts and cultural programming, community development and urban planning and are predominately people of color. The group will use your application as the primary basis for their recommendation. Make sure your proposed project is clear, compelling and sufficiently defined so they can understand how well it meets the Community Placemaking program’s objectives (listed above). They will evaluate the applications using the following questions.

  • How impactful do you think this project will be?
  • How strong are the equity and inclusion components of the proposal?
  • How feasible is the project to implement?
  • How well does it meet the objectives of the Community Placemaking program?

We look forward to hearing your creative ideas!