Resource Details

Arts & Culture, Economic Development

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design Program

Every two years, the National Endowment for the Arts seeks rural communities of 50,000 people or less to apply for the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design program. With over 30 years of leadership in rural design, CIRD is perfect for creative, community-oriented rural leaders.

Committed, visionary, and proud to call rural America home, our selected applicants emerge from CIRD programs with greater capacity and a wealth of resources to lead their community through current and future design challenges.

The Institute includes 2 programs:
1. Local Design Workshops, in which roughly four (4) communities will be selected to do a deep dive into a pressing design challenge that is impacting their community; and
2. Design Learning Cohort, in which 15-20 communities from the applicant pool will be invited to participate in virtual training in design, planning, community engagement, and facilitation techniques.


Applicants must:
Be part of a rural or tribal community of 50,000 or less, that is rural in character
Identify a specific design challenge to address through the CIRD program
Be able to participate in CIRD as indicated in Participation Expectations below 
Plan a workshop with CIRD staff during the designated period of programming

Eligible applicants include:
Municipal, tribal, or county governments 
Local nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to Main Street
organizations, art centers, preservation groups, historical societies, or chambers of commerce, working in rural areas 
Regional planning organizations working in rural areas 
University community design centers or university agricultural/extension offices with close ties to the community presenting the design challenge
Partnerships of the entities listed above are encouraged to apply 

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