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Grant Guidelines & Eligibility

Supporting pilot projects to demonstrate the impact of these low-cost activations and encourage cities to develop their own processes for implementing effective asphalt art projects.

See below for program guidelines and selection criteria, and click here to view a recording of the virtual information session and Q&A with program staff.

The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is designed to fund visual art interventions on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in U.S. cities with the goal of:

  • Improving street and pedestrian safety
  • Revitalizing and activating underutilized public space
  • Promoting collaboration and civic engagement in local communities

Round 2 of the Asphalt Art Initiative was announced on March 2, 2021. The program will award up to 20 U.S. cities grants of up to $25,000 each, as well as on-call technical assistance from Street Plans. Grants will be announced by fall 2021 for projects installing during calendar year 2022.

Please refer to our currently funded Projects as well as the Bloomberg Associates Asphalt Art Guide to gather inspiration from successful asphalt art projects in cities around the world. The Guide includes detailed guidance and best practices for implementing similar projects, with cost- and time-saving advice on every step of the project, from site selection to implementation and maintenance.

Eligible Applicants

All U.S. cities are welcome to apply. Only one application per city will be accepted.

Project Teams may include various members (e.g., city agencies, nonprofit community or arts organizations, and/or individual artists or consultants), but must include:

  • Lead City Agency: Primary government agency with oversight of the project (e.g., Department of Transportation, Cultural Affairs, or other appropriate agency). Note: If the Lead City Agency is not the government agency with jurisdiction over city streets (e.g., Department of Transportation, Public Works, etc.), then that agency must be a part of the Project Team.
  • Fiscal Agent: An organization with 501(c)3 nonprofit status that can receive the grant funds and be responsible for managing the distribution and procurement required.

In addition, each application must identify which entity or individual is responsible project management (day-to-day coordination and implementation) and which is responsible for artistic direction (selection of artist/design, etc.). We understand that each Project Team is unique, so please do your best to represent the makeup of your team.

Eligible Projects

Site

Each application must have a site identified for the proposed asphalt art project (or sites, if multiple are feasible within the budget). Eligible sites should be on or adjacent to active roadways, and may include crosswalk, intersections, vehicle/parking lanes, plazas, sidewalks, or transportation infrastructure such as traffic barriers, highway underpasses, or utility boxes. Sites may be located in and managed by one or multiple jurisdictions (city, state or county, public utility, regional transit authority, etc.) but must be largely or completely on public property and be fully open to the public. See page 71 in the Asphalt Art Guide for considerations when selecting a site.

Duration

Proposed projects may be temporary (e.g., a single artwork application with plans to eventually remove faded paint) or they may be longer term with plans for repair/reapplication or a planned/proposed capital construction. All projects should include an appropriate plan for maintenance of the artwork for the duration of its installation. Projects with a defined end date should include a plan for removal.

Goals & Metrics

A critical component of the Asphalt Art Initiative is to identify priority goals for each project and to make a plan for collecting metrics to determine how successful the project is at meeting those goals. Goals and metrics may differ from project to project. See our List of Common Metrics for reference.

Budget

Each application must include a proposed budget outlining how the grant will be expended. Competitive proposals will include in-kind support from the municipality (e.g. permitting, repaving, installing planters or traffic barriers, or long-term maintenance). Proposals may also make use of additional funding or in-kind support from outside sources, if applicable.

Content

Funded projects cannot include obscenity, hate speech, political messages, religious content, commercial advertisements, or depict illegal activity.

Selection Criteria

Competitive proposals must clearly demonstrate:

Impact

  • The project addresses a relevant and meaningful challenge faced by the identified site, the surrounding neighborhood, or the city (e.g., traffic safety, underutilized public space, neighborhood blight, etc.).
  • The characteristics of the chosen site (e.g. physical layout, traffic or pedestrian volume, neighborhood context) are such that an intervention of this nature has a high likelihood of success.
  • The proposed intervention is consistent with the project’s stated goal(s) and has appropriate metrics to determine success.
  • The proposed project clearly benefits the local community and engages residents/stakeholders in its planning, development, and/or execution.

Viability

  • The project team and partners have the necessary authority and expertise to oversee a project of this nature.
  • The project has demonstrated support from city and community stakeholders, through existing support or a thoughtful outreach/engagement plan.
  • The proposed budget, timeline, and maintenance plan are realistic and demonstrate notable in-kind city support.

Quality & Visual Interest

  • The process for artist selection and design development is well-defined and appropriate for the proposed project, and will be overseen by someone with appropriate expertise.
  • If the artist has already been selected, the chosen artist has demonstrated creative skill and the potential to develop a visually compelling design.
  • The surface being painted is in good repair or there is a reasonable plan to repave or otherwise treat it to be receptive to the chosen materials.

Contact

Please direct any questions to arts@bloomberg.org

Dates & Deadlines

March 2, 2021

Asphalt Art Initiative Round 2 launched

April 30, 2021

Application deadline