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HandMade in America receives National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant

July 22, 2013 – HandMade in America of Asheville is one of 59 organizations selected to receive the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 2013 Our Town Grant for creative placemaking, a form of community economic development focused on shaping the physical and social character of a community around arts and cultural activities.

HandMade will receive $50,000 to support strategic planning for its Rural Creative Placemaking Project, and to provide technical assistance to the newest community participating in its Small Town Revitalization Program – Columbus, NC.

HandMade provides technical assistance for arts-based economic renewal through its Small Town Revitalization Program. The Our Town Grant will allow the organization to expand the program to 14 communities, increasing livability in rural western North Carolina.

As part of the Small Town Revitalization Program, HandMade’s Rural Creative Placemaking Project will develop a creative asset map to create a community-wide strategy and plan for renewal. The HandMade process of economic revitalization includes seven steps and potential outcomes include growth in overall levels of civic engagement, job and revenue growth, business retention and expansion, and investment in infrastructure, building, and renovations.

The NEA is awarding 59 Our Town grants totaling $4.725 million and reaching 34 states in this third year of funding. Grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000 with a median grant amount of $50,000. Since the Our Town program’s inception in 2011, the NEA has supported 190 projects totaling more than $16 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at Project descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and creative placemaking resources are available as well.

For more information on HandMade in America, visit

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