How do I determine if my project fits within the scope of ‘design’?

The term ‘design’ can encompass a broad range of project types and activities, as described in the RFP. Design projects are those with a physical impact or scope – that could include the design of a street, a building, an art project, a plaza, or broader community design. Design also suggests the need for a process to shape those physical changes. Design is not about building a project; it’s about shaping what the project will look like, how it will function, and the impact that its physicality will have. Proposed design projects can be process-oriented (for example, engaging stakeholders to create a vision for a design project) or more physically focused (for example, developing specific design drawings, sketches, or concepts) for the workshop.

What is CIRD looking for when selecting communities/applicants?

We are looking for communities with clear goals for a workshop that will address a design challenge or opportunity relevant to other rural communities in their region, and across the country. It is imperative that workshop hosts have the commitment to plan and facilitate a workshop, to engage a diverse audience, and to produce follow up activities that result in positive change for the community. This would include experience with, and understanding of, the design challenge and capacity to engage the community. Planning and hosting a CIRD workshop also requires strong partnerships between multiple organizations that have a role both before and after the workshop. In summary, the organizations’ experience, the partnership component, and project concept are all part of CIRD’s criteria for selecting applicants.

Who runs the CIRD Program?

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council, along with buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.