Communities interested in placemaking have a new opportunity to apply for funding from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Last fall, IHCDA launched a new program called CreatINg Places to support nonprofits and municipalities seeking to create new or reactivate underused public spaces. The program uses an innovative funding model known as “crowdgranting” and is administered in partnership with the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

The CreatINg Places program is a part of IHCDA’s new Placemaking Indiana initiative. IHCDA views placemaking as “an ongoing, collaborative process that fosters a greater sense of place within a community. It capitalizes on the strengths of an area to create places where people of all ages and abilities can live, work and play.” This process is gaining recognition across the country as a way for cities and towns of all sizes to engage their residents, attract new talent, and improve the overall health and well-being of the community.

CreatINg Places supports this process in Indiana communities by empowering the public –  residents, businesses and community organizations – to play a role in achieving community improvements and building pride.

Eligible projects focus on public spaces and funding is achieved through a combination of crowdfunding and matching grants (e.g., crowdgranting). If an approved project successfully mobilizes community members, residents and general supporters to make enough individual contributions to meet a specific crowdfunding goal on, IHCDA will provide a matching grant.

Eligible CreatINg Places projects may include streetscape beautification, bike paths, community theater rehabilitations, alley activations, farmer’s markets, pop-up retail space and event implementation. A full list is provided under the “Learn More” tab with the inclusion of “other projects that activate public space or a community place, decided on a case-by-case basis.” That last line is meant to give applicants the opportunity to be thoughtful and creative in the projects they plan and the crowdfunding campaigns they wish to implement.

The CreatINg Places program is available to projects located in Indiana communities or neighborhoods which contain a traditional downtown or traditional neighborhood commercial node. Nonprofit entities – 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status – and local units of government are eligible to apply; interested entities that do not have the above designation are encouraged to partner with a local nonprofit or with their local government.

Applicant projects must have a minimum total development cost of $10,000 in which the recipient will receive $5,000 in IHCDA matching funds should they successfully raise $5,000 through Patronicity. The maximum amount IHCDA will match is $50,000 for a total maximum of $100,000 from crowdfunding and matching funds.

There is no deadline for application. IHCDA has approved $1 million for the program; local units of government and nonprofits have until the funds are depleted to apply. Patronicity staff will provide technical assistance to eligible projects throughout the application and crowdfunding process.

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