Rural Lisc – Rural eNews
Funding and Finance Opportunities
THE CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE is offering funding to develop Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) projects that support volunteers 55 years and older in serving specific local and community needs in communities that do not currently have RSVP programs. Deadlines: Letter of Intent 3/7/2017; application 4/4/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is offering grants to nonprofit groups and public agencies through the Upward Bound Math and Science Program. Grants will be awarded for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college and, ultimately, careers in math and science. Deadline: 3/22/2017. Click here to review program guidelines and an application package.
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $8.8 million in funding to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program promotes and strengthens HSI programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences work force. Deadline to apply: 3/22/2017. Click here to learn more about these grants.
RITA AND ALEX HILLMAN FOUNDATION is seeking grant applications from nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and faith-based organizations for programs that deliver patient- and family-centered approaches that challenge conventional strategies, improve health outcomes, lower costs, and enhance the patient and family caregiver experience. The goal of the Hillman Innovations in Care Program, an initiative of the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation, is to advance leading-edge, nursing-driven models of care that will improve the health and healthcare of vulnerable populations. Two grants of up to $600,000 are awarded each year. Deadline: 3/20/2017 for an initial application; invited full proposals will be due 7/10/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the 2017 request for proposals.
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to support the development and/or expansion of local implementation and community infrastructures that integrate treatment and services for substance use, co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, permanent housing, and other critical services. Deadline: 4/25/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.
INFINITE HERO FOUNDATION provides grants of $25,000 to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations offering effective programs or treatments at no cost to active duty service members or veterans for service-related mental and physical injuries. Grants must be applied directly to program costs and cannot be used for fundraising or administrative overhead. Deadline: letters of interest are due 3/31/2017; invited grant applications must be submitted by 6/30/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the grant program.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) offers a Community Facilities Loan Program to help develop and improve essential community facilities in the rural West. This program offers short-term loans for early property acquisition and predevelopment, interim construction costs and long-term permanent financing. Applicable facilities include public and nonprofit office buildings, treatment centers, emergency and transitional housing, assisted living, human services, public safety, child care, education, and cultural facilities. Many other project types are eligible. RCAC gives priority to loan applications for projects that incorporate significant green methods and materials. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.
CHARLES A. FRUEAUFF FOUNDATION will award grants in the areas of education, human services, health, and hospitals. Specific project initiatives include food and hunger, economic development, daycare programs, hospital and healthcare agencies, health screenings, health education, AIDS/HIV prevention and education, and equipment for healthcare facilities. Grants are available in 27 states. Deadline: 3/15/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.
COOPER HEWITT SMITHSONIAN DESIGN MUSEUM has opened the second annual National High School Design Competition “Good for All.” Applicants are encouraged to respond to the question: What would you design to improve a community's access to healthy, fresh foods? The competition is open to all teenagers ages 13 through 19 years old who are in 9th through 12th grades anywhere in the U.S. Deadline: 3/20/2017. Click here for program guidelines.
MINNESOTA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP has opened a call for local organizations to take advantage of their Strengthening Rural Communities Program. This program provides technical assistance to rural communities to overcome impediments to successful planning, and implementation of affordable housing and community development projects. From innovative planning practices, to knowledge of complex federal housing programs, this program gives organizations the ability to build and preserve housing and community assets. Deadline: 3/31/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.
THE SPARKPLUG FOUNDATION is offering grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In Education and Teaching, the Foundation funds projects that deal with "the whole student" and with learning as a community activity. Through Grassroots Organizing, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/10/2017; letters of intent are due 4/17/2017; and the deadline for final applications is 5/5/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program opened the fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding round for the CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program. The CDFI Program offers grants to qualified CDFIs for financial assistance and technical assistance to improve low-income communities through economic development, affordable housing and other community development financial services. Through the NACA Program, the CDFI Fund encourages the creation and strengthening of CDFIs that primarily serve Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities). Deadline for both: 4/28/2017. Click here to visit the website for details and an application.
Training Events and Conferences
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will host a webinar “LIHTC Market After the Election,” on March 2, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET. The prospect of a reduction in corporate tax rates as a result of the Presidential election has created uncertainty in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) market. How are investors responding? What has been the effect of this uncertainty in terms of pricing? Join us for this webinar to hear Joe Hagan, President of the National Equity Fund, and Denise Scott, Executive Vice President for Programs at LISC, discuss what is going on in the market right now and how you can potentially mitigate the effects of tax cuts on your affordable housing projects. Register here.
Novogradac is hosting a webinar on March 3, 2017, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM ET about maximizing low-income housing tax credits. The webinar provides a look at several crucial factors of a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit property's construction completion and initial lease-up which, if ignored or not properly understood, can jeopardize a property's ability to maximize both its first-year and its Year 2 through Year 10 tax credits. The standard registration fee is $115 ($100 for nonprofits), and a discount for multiple registrations is available. Register for the webinar here.
CFED will host a webinar on March 8, 2017, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM ET. “Your Finances, Your Health: Making the Health/Wealth Connection” will explore the connections between financial well-being and health and their implications for work in our field. Presenters will look at enhancing both financial and health outcomes and discuss how this work is carried out in practice. Click here to register.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Housing will host a webinar, “Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD): Best Practices for Today and Tips for the Future,” March 9, 2017, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM ET. In 2013, HUD established the Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD) to provide public housing authorities and private owners of at-risk properties with the opportunity to preserve and address the capital needs of this much needed affordable housing stock. The RAD program provides public housing authorities and private owners the ability to access long-term, project-based Section 8 contracts to leverage private debt and Low Income Housing Tax Credits and other equity sources to recapitalize these housing assets for long term financial and physical sustainability. Register for the webinar here.
The Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), as part of its Next Generation 2017 Digital Exchange Webinar Series, will continue the Rural Creative Placemaking Summit conversation on “State Innovations in Arts Engagement, Investment and Infrastructure.” The webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM ET. Register here.
Rural Development Innovation Group and The Aspen Institute are co-sponsoring "America's Rural Opportunity," a six-part series of panel conversations focused on advancing a rural opportunity agenda. Each panel features rural innovators who, together with their partners, are working to create economic opportunities for rural people, businesses, and communities. The next installment, “Supporting Entrepreneurial Economies,” will be held in Washington, D.C., and will be available by live feed on March 17, 2017. For details about this session, click here.
The Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference takes place March 23-24, 2017, in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference, "Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities," will explore the interplay between the development of children and their communities, in urban, rural, and Native contexts. The non-profit registration fee is $475. Click here to register.
The Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health 5th Annual Summit is April 5-6, 2017, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Preconference workshops and a poster session will be offered on April 4, 2017. Click here to visit the conference website.
National Rural Health Association Annual Rural Health Conference will be held May 9-12, 2017, in San Diego, California. Click here to register.
The Novogradac Online LIHTC Property Compliance Workshop is a 10-hour, two-day course which aims to provide attendees with the most up-to-date Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) compliance knowledge and industry trends critical to owners and property managers. The course will be offered April 4-5, 2017, with a nonprofit rate of $450. Click here for more information and to register.
Save the Date...
Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
National Housing Conference Housing Visionary Awards Gala will be held June 8, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
2017 National Community Development Association Annual Training Conference will be held June 14-17, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida.
The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) will be hosting its annual training conference September 9-12, 2017, in Anchorage, Alaska. Registration begins March 24, here.
NDC Academy will be held October 23-25, 2017, in Washington, D.C. with the theme “Rethinking How We Invest: Homes, Jobs and Communities in 2017 and Beyond.”
Information and Other Resources
HUD is partnering with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to offer the HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The 2017 Award will be given to a project that promotes affordable housing, community revitalization, and/or enhanced economic opportunities through the continued use or adaptive re-use of historic buildings and neighborhoods. The deadline for nominations is March 27, 2017, and details about the criteria and submission process for the HUD Historic Preservation Award are available now by clicking here.
Rural LISC is partnering with Northern Trust to launch the Growing Rural Communities Fund, a pioneering financing tool that will help small businesses and nonprofits in low-income rural communities build facilities, expand product lines, increase jobs and improve services. The Growing Rural Communities Fund will leverage New Markets Tax Credit equity with additional capital to finance real estate purchases and construction costs for projects that are oftentimes shut out of traditional lending opportunities because of their size and location. Read more about the Growing Rural Communities Fund, and watch a video message from Suzanne Anarde, Rural LISC’s Vice President, here.
HUD has released three new reports that comprehensively assess the housing needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. According to the reports, physical housing conditions and overcrowding are substantially worse among American Indian and Alaskan Native households than other U.S. households. Get the reports here.
“Low-Income and Low-Supermarket-Access Census Tracts, 2010-2015" is a report from USDA that updates estimates of low-income and low-supermarket-access census tracts (as found in ERS’ Food Access Research Atlas) using a 2015 directory of supermarkets, 2010 Decennial Census data on population and subpopulation characteristics, and 2010-2014 American Community Survey data on household vehicle access and family income. Get the report here. To access the Food Access Research Atlas, click here.
“Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity” seeks to delineate the causes of and the solutions to health inequities in the United States. This report from Community-Wealth.org focuses on what communities can do to promote health equity, what actions are needed by the many and varied stakeholders that are part of communities or support them, as well as the root causes and structural barriers that need to be overcome. Click here to get the report.
An article from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the effects that the fiscal year 2017 funding proposals will have on housing vouchers in each state. The article states that the freeze would leave vouchers for more than 100,000 families unfunded. Without a substantial funding boost to renew housing vouchers in 2017, most housing agencies will be forced to cut the number of low-income households they assist at a time when large and growing numbers are struggling to afford rent. Read the full article here.
The Native Nations Institute at The University of Arizona released a Data Review to accompany the Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities Report ("the Report") commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The Data Review helped to set the stage for the Report by collecting data regarding access to capital and credit in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities) – something that historically has been very difficult to obtain and verify – and presenting it to the public in a singular document. The Data Review’s three main sections summarize data describing access to capital and credit for Native consumers, Native business owners, and tribal communities and governments. Its companion document, the Report, identifies success stories within a more detailed topical analysis. The full two-part study is intended to provide research and analysis in support of improving access to capital and credit in Native Communities. Get the Data Review here and the Report here.
USDA has released an Applicant Orientation Guide Video to assist Section 502 Direct Loan program applicants with the process. The program helps low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Access the orientation video here.
Take a deeper dive into the motivators for community and economic development (CED) grantmaking in a new report from the Beyond the Numbers qualitative analysis series from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, which examines findings from the paper “Following the Money: An Analysis of Foundation Grantmaking for Community and Economic Development.” The report shows that a high level of collaboration among community partners was the most commonly mentioned strength in attracting grant capital. Several interviewees mentioned that they feel that their community is overshadowed by larger metro areas. Due to their size and smaller levels of need, rural communities and smaller cities are not in a position to utilize large grants made available by national foundations. A shared belief among interviewees is that adequate staff capacity and fundraising sophistication are critical to attracting capital, and the need for unrestricted capital remains a dire challenge for organizations. Click here to get the paper.
An article in the Daily Yonder, “For Migrant Farmworker Families, a Head Start Builds Momentum,” details the impact of the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project on migrant families with small children. This project operates 38 preschool centers on the East Coast that provide children with an early childhood education, connect families with services, and create stability for both children and their parents. Read the article here.
KUNM Radio posted an article on its website, “In Motherhood, a Chance to Break the Cycle of Addiction,” that focuses on a rural town in New Mexico with consistently high rates of opioid addiction to discuss both the opioid epidemic and the impact of childhood trauma on the way the brain functions, contributing to a cycle of addiction. The article also highlights the serious lack of resources faced by this rural town, despite its great need. Read the article here.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has published “White Paper: Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women.” The paper discusses the need for prevention, treatment, and recovery programs for women who have opioid use disorders, with a focus on the increase in opioid use among the female population and ways to help manage and respond to the impact of overuse and overdose. The paper includes information about how rural location affects use and treatment, particularly lack of access to care and overdose remedies. Access the paper here.
A recent post on Rooflines, Shelterforce’s blog, discusses how students and communities benefit from art, including creative placemaking. Written by Housing Assistance Council staffer Stephen Sugg, the article highlights the author’s research on arts education and the importance of creative placemaking for low-income communities. Read the blog here.
“Aging in Rural Communities: Older Persons’ Narratives of Relocating in Place to Maintain Rural Identity” uses data from 16 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with older persons living in a rural area to examine their assessment of their current living situation. Published in the Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy, the report looks at the perspective of older persons who move from a rural area to a more populous, but still rural, community. Also discussed is the influence of overall health status and access to healthcare services when making relocation decisions. Read the report here.
Community Commons has published “Disability in Rural America," a report that examines differences between urban and rural impairment rates and lists impairments as defined by the American Community Survey. The document features national maps showing percent of disabled population by tract, 2011-15; quality and access to clinical care by county, 2016; and county-level unemployment relative to national rate, 2016. Access the report here.
USDA released the final year-end report of the Obama administration's results in creating jobs and investing in rural communities nationwide. USDA Rural Development's 2016 Progress Report provides an overview of activities in 2016 that resulted in record investments in rural America. Tom Vilsack, former Secretary of Agriculture, notes in the report that key economic indicators continue to show that rural America is rebounding. Click here to get the report.
Executive Director, Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, Inc. Housing Assistance Program of Essex County (HAPEC), a premier nonprofit housing and community development organization serving the Adirondack region, seeks a highly skilled, visionary and mission-oriented Executive Director. The ideal candidate will bring expertise in community planning, development and management of housing programs, staff supervision, budget and financial management, and grant administration. Excellent interpersonal skills ranging from office management to relationships with local residents, elected officials, and fellow agency heads, to state-level elected officials and agencies are essential. Learn more about HAPEC and position requirements at: hapec.org. Send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements by March 31, 2017 to: HapecEDjob@gmail.com. EEO employer.
February 23rd Meeting Summary
The first hour of our February meeting focused on two USDA grant programs—Local Foods and Farmers Market Promotion Programs. First, we heard from a USDA staff member who administers these programs. Afterwards, we heard from eight different organizations that shared about the work they were able to accomplish as FMPP and LFPP grant recipients.
Dewell Paez-Delgado, Grants Management Specialist, USDA-AMS, provided an overview of the two USDA grants being highlighted: the Farmer’s Market Promotion Program, and the Local Foods Promotion Program. Both were included in the 2014 Farm Bill with a goal of increasing the access and consumption of locally and regionally produced products. In 2016, $13,000,000 was appropriated for FMPP and LFPP. For more information on these grants, please see this recent webinar recording, grants.gov applicant tips and tools, and the Request for Applications for the LFPP and the FMPP. Dewell can be reached here. This year's grants close on March 27th, 2017.
Pakou Hang, Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA), began working in 2011 to help increase Hmong farmer opportunities in Minnesota. Awarded the LFPP in 2014, HAFA was able to create an Alternative Market Program, allowing multiple farmers to sell the same produce collectively to various entities. Sales by participating farmers multiplied four times between 2014 and 2016, from $48,000 to $180,000. Pakou can be contacted here.
Brittany Bradd of Brightmoor Artisans Collective, used the 2015 LFPP grant to create an infrastructure to solidify the four main components of the Collective's center: a full-scale cafe, commercial kitchen, kitchen classroom, and a community creation space. Through this, the Collective was also able to start an indoor farmers market, as well as storage for its vendors to store food that will later be sold. Brittany can be contacted here
Michael Howard, Fuller Park Community Development, received a FMPP grant in 2012 to increase the number of market days as well as implement a CSA program for this low-income area of Chicago. In 2015, the organization received a larger grant to also offer training classes to increase residents' capacity for urban farming and food safety. Michael can be reached here.
Tera Johnson, Founder and Director of the Food and Finance Institute, University of Wisconsin-Extension, received a LFPP to expand the use of a digital platform to deliver various training and certification programs, resulting in a network of certified technical assistance providers and hub managers that will be equipped to successfully scale-up from start-ups and become financially sustainable. Tera can be reached here.
Linda Mallers, President and CEO, FarmLogix, shared information about how her organization leveraged LFPP grants in 2014 and 2015 to expand an existing online supply chain portal that connects regional producers and distributors with schools. Linda can be reached here.
Jessi Averill, the Toledo Food Bank received a 2015 FMPP to run a mobile market across eight counties in Northwest Ohio. This truck focuses on produce and shelf-stable products, and brings them to food-insecure areas along with information on how to eat healthy. Jessie can be reached here.
Fred Carter, Co-founder, Black Oaks Sustainability Center, received a LFPP grant in 2014 to assist in the development of new market opportunities. The organization worked to provide training, capital funds, and non-construction infrastructure improvements to improve the Healthy Food Hub’s existing food system facilities in the Betty Shabazz International Charter School. Fred can be reached here.
Michaela Oldfield, Director, Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council, works within ten counties (urban/rural) surrounding Cincinnati with a goal of promoting a healthy, equitable and sustainable food system. Comprised of four working groups, the Council has two major programs overseen by the groups. First, the Good Food Fund offers $10,000 grants that focus on making a positive impact on the local food system. The second being the Good Food Fellows which partners with universities and organizations to identify students with potential to become future leaders in the field. Michaela can be reached here.
Ana Bird, Manager of Produce Perks, is an incentive program in the Cincinnati area that administers a double-bucks program for helping to procure more fruits and vegetables for SNAP participants. Currently, ten area farmers market participate in the program. Produce Perks is also looking to add nutrition education and a fruit and vegetable prescription program. Anna can be reached here.
Joan Nelson, Executive Director, Allen Neighborhood Center, oversees the center that functions as a community asset in Lansing, MI for neighborhood revitalization and offers programs that promote health and wellness. Programs include a food pantry, farmers market, nutrition education, a green house, and a youth service corps. The center also has an incubator kitchen, food storage and an event space. Joan can be reached here.
Sharing by member organizations of recent news/developments (All).
- Janie Maxwell, Illinois Farmers Market Association, shared information about the organization’s annual conference that will take place at Kendall College in Chicago, IL, on March 29th, 2017. Janie also shared information about Illinois Food Maker, a new tool that helps Illinois farmers market vendors and managers to connect online
- Jodee Ellett, Purdue University Extension, invites those who are connected to shared-use commercial kitchens to fill out a survery that will be live SOON. For more information on the survey, contact Jodee.
- Penny Shore, Ohio Farmers Market Management Network, shared information about an annual conference on March 2 in Dublin, OH. The conference will be keynoted by influential farmers market author Vance Corum, and will highlight important topics including paid social media advertising, writing a food safety grant, hosting a roundtable, and developing a 5-year plan.
- Ellen Ewing, Growing Healthy Veterans, shared information about her organization’s recent status as an incorporated entity. The organization is looking to collaborate with other veterans’ organizations in partnership with the Chicago VA hospital to develop plans for recovering veterans to grow food. For more information, contact Ellen.
The Good Food Conference and Expo, hosted by FamilyFarmed
Where: UIC Forum - Chicago, IL
Date: March 16th-18th, 2017
For more information, visit the event website
Choctaw Nation Promise Zone
Federal, State, and Nonprofit Opportunities
Cooperative Agreements for Tribal Behavioral Health (Native Connections)
The purpose of this program is to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance use, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people up to and including age 24. More information...
Application Deadline: March 9, 2017
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service. More information...
Application Deadline: March 13, 2017
Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program
The purpose of the Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program (TRCGP) is to support the establishment and development of Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) that will provide technical assistance to healthcare organizations, healthcare networks, and healthcare providers in the implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. More information...
Application Deadline: March 16, 2017
Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program: Tribal Transit Program
The primary purpose of these competitively selected grants is to support planning, capital, and operating assistance for tribal public transit services. More information...
Application Deadline: March 20, 2017
Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants
This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. More information...
Applications are accepted at your local office.
Application Deadline: March 31, 2017
American Indian/Alaska Native Health Equity Initiative
The AI/AN Health Equity program will support programs that demonstrate effective promising practices that increase resiliency and protective factors within AI/AN youth, as well as build capacity among AI//AN serving healthcare professionals and paraprofessionals about providing trauma-informed, culturally appropriate health care services and interventions to AI/AIN youth. More information...
Application Deadline: April 3, 2017
Grant Opportunity Encourages Community Development Approaches for Libraries, Archives and Museums
The initiative encourages projects that demonstrate the viability of adapting approaches from the collective impact, social well-being, and community development arenas for use by libraries, archives and museums. The projects will identify how libraries, archives and museums can determine at the local level which resources, partner organizations and practices can be used to better serve their communities. At the same time, the projects should represent models that can be adapted by other libraries, archives and museums. More information...
Application Deadline: April 3, 2017
Economic Development Assistance Programs
The Economic Development Administration's (EDA's) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. More information...
Application Deadline: Rolling
Rural & Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance
The rural program provides technical assistance for small communities of less than 50,000 people. The focus of the program is economic development: helping small and emerging businesses and stimulating economic development through new and improved public transportation.
The tribal program is designed to help Native American tribes enhance economic growth and development by improving transportation services. Technical assistance is limited to planning and may support transit service improvements and expansion, system start-up, facility development, development of marketing plans and materials, transportation coordination, training and other public transit problem solving activities.
For more information and to register, click here.
Application Deadline: Rolling
Source: Community Transportation Association of America
Homegrown By Heroes
The Homegrown By Heroes label is a key differentiation for farmer veteran products in competitive markets. The HBH label gives farmer veterans the point-of-sale visibility they need to be successful in the marketplace. The HBH label also affords consumers a tangible way to support veterans while providing an avenue to share the veteran's story. More information...
Dates: Annually renewable
Rural Business Development Grant
A competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. More information...
Application Deadline: Applications are accepted through local or state Rural Development offices once every year.
Helpful Tools and Internship Opportunities
Forest Service Releases 2016 Fall Tribal Relations Newsletter
Hoeven Delivers Congressional Response to 2017 State of Indian Nations Address
February 13, 2017 -- U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, delivered the Congressional Response to the 2017 State of Indian Nations address given by the National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby. In his remarks, Chairman Hoeven highlighted his legislative priorities for the committee, including jobs and economic development, health care, energy, housing, public safety, and veterans. He also emphasized the need to continue working in a bipartisan manner to advance safety, security and opportunity in Indian Country. Read more...
The Office of Senator James Lankford Internship
The Office of Senator James Lankford is currently seeking applications for unpaid interns for the Spring 2017 semester in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices. Intern responsibilities may include but are not limited to: answering phones, performing administrative tasks, assisting with database management, contributing to the office correspondence process, supporting staff with projects, and conducting legislative research. Applicants should be highly organized and hardworking. They should also have strong written and verbal communication skills and have the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment. More information...
Interested candidates should apply by emailing a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Deadline: April 14, 2017
Chuuk Women's Council Empowers Micronesian Women to be Healthcare Leaders
November 2, 2016 -- Although there is only one state hospital for the 50,000 residents that inhabit Chuuk, a group of women is making a difference for the state's healthcare system and for Chuuk society as a whole. Read more...
SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Workshop
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are federal initiatives that provide over $2 billion in grants and contracts each year to small and start-up companies for development of new or enhanced products and services based on advanced technologies.
When - March 9, 2017, 9am to 5pm
Where - Meridian Technology Center, 1312 S Sangre Rd, Stillwater, OK 74074
Overtime Law Workshops
Hear up-to-date information about the Fair Labor Standards Act, and its impact upon the nonprofit sector. The changes to overtime laws go into effect December 1, 2016.
Pauls Valley - March 30, 2017
Standards for Excellence
Standards for Excellence 2.0 includes expanded and enhanced benchmarks for nonprofit best practices, including 79 benchmarks for best practices; new sample policies in social media and information technologies all nonprofits need to know; and improved information on outcome based measurements and logic models to prove mission impact.
Tahlequah - March 28-29, 2017
Muskogee - April 18-19, 2017
Grant Writing 201
This intermediate course will cover advanced communication and grantsmanship for fundraising, including: communicating with funders, writing your best grant narrative, and reporting and follow-up.
Bartlesville - March 7, 2017
Grant Writing Summits
Attend this intensive sessions to cover all the bases on grant writing. This day-long session will also include an opportunity to workshop a portion of your own grant narrative.
Oklahoma City - March 14, 2017
Tulsa - March 16, 2017
2017 Oklahoma Conference on Nonprofit Law & Finance
This two-day conference will feature local and regionally recognized speakers on topics including legal compliance, charitable giving, financial oversight, Oklahoma policy and advocacy, along with new horizons: cultural competency, cyber security, and the effects of immigration policy on the nonprofit sector.
Oklahoma City University School of Law - March 23-24, 2017
The Fundraising Summit provides nonprofit professionals an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge about fundraising in a short, 6-hour setting. Fundraising experts present in quick succession their knowledge about best practices on the many topics every nonprofit professional needs to know. Participants will learn insider-tips for applying for grants, tried-and-true tactics for making bold asks, and flawless management for annual fundraising plans.
We all want to know the secrets to receiving funding from foundations and corporations. The Center's Funders Forum can help! This will consist of a morning session, networking lunch, and after-lunch session where the dynamic panel of corporate and foundation employees will offer you tips and share their expertise.
Oklahoma City - May 16, 2017
Tulsa - May 30, 2017
Preparing for a Financial Audit
Having an annual financial audit is a best practice as defined by the Standards for Excellence Institute, and requires significant work from the entire organization. This three-hour workshop will help participants understand the administrative responsibilities of a financial audit, from the perspective of an audit team.
Tulsa - May 18, 2017
Oklahoma City - June 8, 2017
Congressional Art Competition for Oklahoma High School Students
Students submit artwork to their elected representative's office, and panelists select winners from each district. Winning works are exhibited at the U.S. Capitol, and winners have the opportunity to be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. More information...
The instructions for your entries are available through your representative's link below.
1st District - Congressman Jim Bridenstine
2nd District - Congressman Markwayne Mullin
3rd District - Congressman Frank Lucas
4th District - Congressman Tom Cole
5th District - Congressman Steve Russell
N.E.W. (National Education for Women's) Leadership
This program educates and empowers undergraduate women to participate actively in politics and public service. The program connects students to policy makers and community activists to engage them in shaping the public agenda.
Application Deadline: March 8, 2017
Click here to access the application.
Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program
The IHS Scholarship Program provides qualified American Indian and Alaska Native health professions students an opportunity to establish an educational foundation for each stage of your pre-professional careers. More information...
Application Deadline: March 28, 2017
NOSORH Rural Health Grant Writing Institute
Don't miss this opportunity to learn how to write better grant proposals, turn rurality to your advantage, learn to connect with funders, and more. This web-based series is perfect for beginners seeking to gain the skills to research and draft winning proposals from various agencies. Class size is limited, so register today! More information...
Application Deadline: March 29, 2017
Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress
This is a week-long student environmental conference for approximately 100 Native American, Alaskan Native, and Pacific Islander high school students interested in environmental issues, natural resource conservation, community leadership, and public service. We aim to achieve a broad representation of Native communities across the country, so student enrollment from each community is competitive and may be limited (to approximately 3-5 students per community). Click here to access the application.
Application Deadline: April 7, 2017
Runnerclick Accepting Submissions for Scholarship Program
Runnerclick feels that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and remaining active in sports as well as other outdoor activities can be beneficial in building a strong mind and good character sportsmanship. The Runnerclick scholarship is awarded to three winners with an amount of $2,000. More information...
Application Deadline: April 20, 2017
Fifth and Eighth-Grade Teachers Encouraged to Apply for Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute Fellowships
While at Colonial Williamsburg -- the world's largest living history museum -- Oklahoma teachers meet character interpreters of 18th-century people and are immersed in early American history through hands-on activities and reenactments of historic events. More information...
Application Deadline for 5th Grade Teachers: June 8-14, 2017
Application Deadline for 8th Grade Teachers: June 15-21, 2017
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Scholarship
Established to provide American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students with financial assistance to earn a degree or certificate in the hospitality, tourism, recreation, culinary arts or related fields. AIANTA will award three (3) individuals who have met all scholarship application criteria. AIANTA would like to encourage Indigenous students to build their careers in the tourism industry while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy. Access the application here!
Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Semester: July 28, 2017
Application Deadline for Spring 2018 Semester: December 1, 2017
Bringing Life Downtown After Hours: Arts, Shopping, Culture After 5
Being open evening hours is not just a matter of extending store hours. It is more like opening a whole different store with different customers. Becky McCray and Deb Brown be sharing ideas and examples from real small towns. Deb will share from her experience as a Chamber of Commerce director, and Becky will share from her perspective as a business owner in a small town. More information...
When: Webinar continually available.
Oklahoma Arts Council
Arts Education Presentation Highlights Path to 21st Century Workforce
Oklahomans with an interest in using arts education to prepare students for college and beyond attended a special presentation on February 28 in Oklahoma City. Communities statewide were represented at the Oklahoma Arts Education Research Presentation, where the results of work performed by the Oklahoma SP3 Task Force were highlighted. Led by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the task force seeks to bolster public policy related to arts education in Oklahoma.
As the featured presenter, Linda Wurzbach of Resource for Learning, LLC. explained how her organization was asked by the task force to identify research showing strong evidence of arts education's positive impact on student development. Wurzbach guided attendees through a brainstorming exercise to foster ideas for using the research to meet various needs within the education system.
In conjunction, the Oklahoma Arts Council released two publications resulting from the work of the SP3 task force.
Click below to download the publications.
- Arts Education in Oklahoma Public Schools: Case Studies of Five Schools
- Arts Education in Oklahoma: A Literature Review
Efforts are ongoing to equip policymakers with the information they need to strengthen education and build a 21st century workforce in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Arts Council Program Featured in National Military Guide
A new national guide produced by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) on community arts and military programming features the Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative.
Arts Deployed: An Action Guide for Community Arts & Military Programming is part of AFTA's efforts to engage and support arts organizations in providing access to the benefits of the arts for active duty servicemen and women, veterans, and military family members.
The guide explains how the arts can uniquely meet the needs of the military population. From a checklist for creating programming to addressing ways to fund programs, the guide offers over 40 pages of instruction and resources. The Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative is among six state agency programs featured in the guide.
OFTA Announces 2017 Arts Day
On April 12, arts organizations, artists, and others from across the state will gather for Oklahoma Arts Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Hosted by Oklahomans for the Arts (OFTA), the state's nonprofit arts advocacy organization, Arts Day is a celebration of the role that the arts play in benefiting our state. In 2016, more than 1,000 people participated in the event. The 2017 event will take place from 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Capitol.
To register for the event, visit OFTA's website.
(Note: Capitol renovations will impact this year's Arts Day event, so be sure to check OFTA's website often for updates on what to expect.)
Challenge America Grants Can Support 'Smaller' Projects
Grants of $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts can assist organizations with extending the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to them.
Grants in the Challenge America category generally support projects that are smaller in scale and shorter in duration than projects that receive funding through the NEA's Art Works program. Funding assists with providing access to individuals who may be limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
Supported in this category are only projects that feature a guest artist, the unified promotion of community-wide arts activities, or the development of professionally director public art projects.
First deadline to apply for Challenge America grants is April 13.
Downtown Oklahoma City Issues RFP
Central Oklahoma artists or artist teams are encouraged to submit proposals for the Artist Invitational initiative of Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. The program provides artists with a platform for submitting ideas for public art and placemaking in the city's urban core.
The selection committee is open to a variety of ideas, including submissions for street art, sculptures, murals, signage and wayfinding arts, art that encourages public interaction, and more. Locations may include walls, parks, empty storefronts, underpasses, and other spaces.
The call for proposals is limited to artists residing in a 10-county area of central Oklahoma. Submissions are due March 15.
Application procedures, budget information, and additional details are available here.
Read about artwork created previously through the Artist Invitational program.
OVAC Offering Artist Fellowships, Student Awards
Resident Oklahoma artists and student artists working toward graduate or undergraduate degrees can apply for awards through a program of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.
Awards of $5,000 are available to artists working in all media through the Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships program. Awards of $500 are available through the Student Awards of Excellence. Brochures featuring the work of winning artists will be distributed to hundreds of galleries and curators across the nation.
Criteria for judging includes quality of work, originality of vision, technical expertise, and artist's record of professional activity and achievement.
Applications are due April 14. Click here to learn more
Tribal Heritage Grants Available from National Park Service
March 24 is the deadline to submit applications for Tribal Heritage Grants through the National Park Service. The program aims to assist American Indian tribes, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiian organizations with protecting and promoting their unique cultural heritage and traditions.
Federally recognized tribes can apply for the funding, which supports a wide range of cultural and historic preservation projects including preservation planning, documentation of cultural traditions, identification of cultural resources, and more.
Amphion Foundation Grants for Contemporary Concert Music
Nonprofit performing ensembles, presenters, and music service organizations with a history of commitment to contemporary concert music may be eligible for funding through the Amphion Foundation. Eligible organization types include chamber ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, and more.
Project support may be provided for programs that begin between September 2017 and August 2018. Some organizations may be eligible for operating support. Grants generally range up to $7,500.
The deadline for grant proposals is April 1.
Oklahoma Students Prepare for State's Poetry Out Loud Finals
Six Oklahoma high school students are preparing to compete for the chance to represent Oklahoma at the national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C.
Facilitated by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park (OSP), the Oklahoma state Poetry Out Loud finals are scheduled Saturday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m. The event take place at OSP's Shakespeare on Paseo space in Oklahoma City's Paseo Arts District.
Students competing in this year's state finals include:
- Alexus Bender (MacArthur High School)
- Emily Cole (Bethany High School)
- Kristine Guerrero (Lawton High School)
- Piper Lloyd (Bethany High School)
- Gracie O'Rorke (Bethel High School)
- Garrett Thomas (Stillwater High School)
The winner of the state finals will represent Oklahoma in the national finals in April.
A program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with The Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.
Oklahoma Arts Council Roster Artist Earns NAACP Image Award
Oklahoma City children's book author Gwendolyn Hooks recently received an NAACP Image Award for her book, Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas. Author of 17 books, Hooks and the book's illustrator, Colin Bootman, were recognized in the Outstanding Literary Work - Children category. The 48th annual awards event took place Feburary 11 in Pasadena, California.
The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the achievements and performances of people of color in the arts. Winners are selected in 55 categories.
Hooks is a member of the Oklahoma Arts Council's Teaching Artist Roster. She is available to present creative writing workshops in school settings and community sites such as libraries, senior center, art centers, and more. To learn about her workshops, or to find out how we can help bring Hooks to your school or community, visit her page on our website.
Get to Know Deputy Director Chandra Boyd
Chandra Boyd is only a few months in to her job as Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) deputy director, and as she's growing in to the new position, Boyd appreciates how previous roles have prepared her.
For the past two years, as OAC arts learning in communities director, Boyd spearheaded the Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative and the pilot arts program at the Norman Veterans Center. Prior to that, Boyd spent 13 years on staff in the education department of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Though having years of experience in the state's arts scene, Boyd says she didn't understand the full scope of the Oklahoma Arts Council's services until becoming deputy director.
"I went from having one focus (as arts learning in communities director) to working closely with people in several roles," says Boyd, now providing oversight of the many areas managed by program staff.
Facilitating coordination and communication among various OAC projects, Boyd's aim is to connect ideas and goals among the staff. To do this, she hopes to empower staff members to see the broader vision for how the arts have the power to transform lives – something she witnessed firsthand at the Norman Veterans Center.
"Veterans were speaking again and being social, they were energized and engaged," says Boyd.
It is this kind of life-changing spark that Boyd wants the agency to generate as it serves Oklahomans in every corner of the state.
Fun facts about Chandra:
- A self-described "policy nerd" who loves project management
- Public service runs in her family – her dad was a police officer
- Credits childhood dance lessons with making her resilient
Contact Oklahoma Arts Council Deputy Director Chandra Boyd at (405) 521-2021 or email@example.com.
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Associate Professor and Community Development Specialist
Department of Agricultural Economics
Oklahoma State University
323 Agricultural Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6025
405-744-8210 – fax
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