Rural Placemaking Capacity Building and Networking Event

Grants and Contracts Details


Attachment B – Approved Work Plan Narrative Title: “Rural Placemaking Capacity Building and Networking Event” Project Director: Alison Davis, PhD Executive Director Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) H.B. Price Professor of Agricultural Economics University of Kentucky Objective: This initiative will provide a forum for networking and capacity building in support of rural placemaking which will enhance the pipeline of potential Rural Development (RD) program participants and help create and support strong, vibrant, and healthy rural communities across the country. Justification of Public Need: This project addresses the need in rural communities for information, technical assistance, and resources to support local and regional placemaking activities and to build community capacity for economic development and sustainability. Many rural communities are not ready to engage in the process of applying for RD funding programs or other public and/or private funding sources. These communities first need to identify their assets, build their capacity, and engage in planning processes, such as placemaking planning, to position themselves to make economic development progress. Moreover, communities that have already engaged in placemaking planning processes need to be able to identify and access financial and technical assistance resource providers to help implement their placemaking plans. Through this effort, rural communities in need across the country will become better positioned and prepared to apply for and maximize their capacity for RD Programs, as well as for other public and private section programs. Additionally, placemaking resource providers have enhanced their understanding of placemaking in the rural context and are better able to support rural communities. Background: In FY2020, the RD Innovation Center was tasked with implementing a competitive grant process for rural placemaking funding called the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC), and made $1 million in cooperative agreement grant funding available for eligible entities to help them provide planning support, technical assistance and training to foster placemaking activities in rural communities. Under RPIC, placemaking is defined as a collaborative process among public, private, philanthropic and community partners to strategically improve the social, cultural, and economic structure of a community. This work is based on a sense of place with qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Qualified entities used the funds to help rural communities create plans to enhance capacity for broadband access; preserve cultural and historic structures; and support the development of transportation, housing, and recreational spaces. These entities were located in the northeastern, southern, midwestern and western regions of the United States. All eligible applicants had to demonstrate experience in administering federal grants and providing economic development and placemaking technical assistance in one of the four regions. Eligible entities included: • Federally-recognized tribes and Native American tribal organizations; • Institutions of higher education including 1862 Land-Grant Institutions, 1890 Land-Grant Institutions,1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities; • Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) IRS status; • Public bodies; or • Small private entities that meet the size standards established by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In the first round of funding in FY2020, five cooperative agreement grant awards were made, with a maximum award amount of $250,000. In FY2021, RD has made up to $3 million in cooperative agreement grant funding available. Applications were due on July 26, 2021, and are currently under review. Award obligations will be made by the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2021). The number of awards is expected to be between 12 and 20, with a maximum award amount of $250,000. Through this project the IC will be able to expand beyond the RPIC program its ability to support placemaking as a key strategy for rural communities to help increase their sustainable economic development and quality of life. The project will help connect communities with needed technical assistance and resources, and assist entities interested in placemaking as the best way to meet the needs of communities. Approach: The project envisions engaging with a cooperator to create a rural placemaking event, including the development of supplemental resources. The event will bring together rural communities, placemaking experts and technical assistance practitioners, and financial and other resource providers from both the public and private sectors. At a minimum, resources and support are expected to include a Quick-Start Guide to Placemaking, highlighting success stories and best practices, provision of a forum for communities to network, and matchmaking opportunities to connect communities with practitioners. In this approach, RD Innovation Center staff will work closely with the cooperator on tasks to accomplish the goals of the project, per the work plan described below. Key Personnel: • For the Recipient: o Alison Davis, PhD, Executive Director, CEDIK; Professor, University of Kentucky o Ryan Sandwick o Melissa Bond o Sarah Bowker o Cameron Correll • For RD/IC: o Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk, Chief Innovation Officer, USDA Rural Development o Kellie Kubena, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, USDA Rural Development o Kim Berry, Strategic Engagement Division, USDA Rural Development o Christopher Stever, Regional Development & Assistance Branch Chief, USDA Rural Development o Sherri McCarter, Partnership Liaison Specialist, USDA Rural Development
Effective start/end date9/15/218/31/23


  • Rural Development: $260,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.