Announcing for 2016: Placemaking Micro-Grant Program

January 13, 2016 7:30 pm

Public space is the center of community life. It’s where we celebrate together, where friends run into each other, and where cultures mix. When the public realm is thriving we feel more connected to our neighborhood and to each other.

People in cities all around the world have taken a creative grassroots approach to meeting this need. Lots of cool interventions have popped up in Charlotte and the Historic South End neighborhood and they all fall under the umbrella of a movement called “placemaking.”


What is Placemaking?

As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.

“Public spaces are complex, organic things. The best spaces evolve by experimenting with short-term improvements that can be tested and refined over many years. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. If you have a success, build on it.” – Project for Public Spaces


Placemaking Micro-Grant Program

With all of this in mind, Historic South End is excited to roll out a Placemaking Micro-Grant Program beginning in Spring 2016! The grants are available to Charlotte residents to help fund Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper placemaking projects in the urban laboratory environment of Historic South End.

These small, inexpensive community projects do not take a lot of time to plan and implement, but can help create lively community gathering spots, support walkable neighborhoods, and preserve open spaces.


Micro-Grant Requirements

Projects must be designed for and implemented in the Historic South End map.

Projects must enhance the public realm, be accessible all (or most) of the time, and be welcoming to all.

Eligible projects include temporary physical improvements (i.e., urban garden, Little Free Library, creative seating, “Before I Die” wall, pocket park) or programming that activates an underused area (i.e., yoga class, performance art, pop-up shop, outdoor dance party).

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Grant requests may be up to $1,000 depending on scale, though in the words of Better Block, “real creativity happens when you take a zero off your budget.” Larger grant requests will be considered on a case by case basis.

Grant money is available only for direct expenses such as materials, equipment rentals, etc. Physical objects produced or purchased through this grant will become property of Historic South End and may be donated, recycled, or returned.

Projects will be subjected to necessary permitting and/or regulatory approval.

Recipients will be expected to write a Historic South End blog post detailing the experience and lessons learned.

Application Process


 Spring 2016

 Fall 2016

 Application deadline

March 15th


 Recipients notified

March 31st


 Implementation begins by

June 30th


The online application can be found here.

UPDATE: We will announce the schedule for the fall round of Placemaking Micro-Grants in July 2016.


In addition to funding, Historic South End will serve in an advisory capacity as needed, help recipient procure an approved project location, and offer promotional support via social media.

C3 Lab will help facilitate the fabrication of any physical pieces needed for project implementation.



For more information, contact Varian Shrum at


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