Placemaking Microgrant Program: Fall 2016

August 4, 2016 6:40 am

Earlier this year we rolled out a new Placemaking Microgrant Program and after the successful projects of our first winners, we’re excited to announce a new call for applications for Fall 2016!




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 public life is thriving we feel more connected to each other and our neighborhood, so how do we create space for it to flourish?

As both an overarching idea and hands-on approach, the Placemaking movement has inspired people around the world to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. We want to help you do the same, right here in Historic South End.



This Historic South End Placemaking MicroGrant is available to Charlotte residents to help fund Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper placemaking projects in the urban laboratory environment of Historic South End.

What does that mean? A project could be an urban garden, Little Free Library, a “Before I Die” chalkboard, pocket park, outdoor dance party, pop-up performance, yoga in a parking lot, free dog training classes, coloring book wall, projection art in an alleyway, creative seating…. these are all examples of 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.

We want to help you bring these ideas to life in South End. This program is designed to help you with the materials and advice you might need to make it happen, and to spark creativity and action. You can do it!



Grants may be awarded in amounts of $5 – $1,000 depending on the scale of the proposal. Larger grant requests may be considered on a case by case basis.

Projects must be implemented in the Historic South End district map and welcoming to all.

Projects should enhance the public realm with temporary physical improvements or programming that activates an underused area.

Physical objects produced or purchased through this grant will become property of Historic South End and may be donated, recycled, or returned to the creator.

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

Recipients will be expected to submit a final report detailing the experience and lessons learned.



 Fall 2016

 Application deadline

August 31

 Recipients notified

September 15

 Recipient dinner & workshop

September 27

 Implementation period

October 1 – December 31

Final report due by

January 20



In addition to funding, the Historic South End team will serve in an advisory capacity and offer promotional support.

C3 Lab will partner with awardees to assist with fabrication of any physical pieces needed for project implementation.

Charlotte Community Toolbank will assist with the rental of any necessary tools and equipment (nominal fees apply and should be included in your proposal.)



Streets Reconsidered

Project for Public Spaces

8 80 Cities

The Better Block Foundation

Charlotte Rail Trail Public Art Master Plan



How do I apply?

Fill out this form, then email your budget breakdown and 2-3 inspiration photos to Include your project title in the subject line.

Will you help me find a location to implement my project?

It’s up to you to research location options. We can support you in connecting with property owners, but you are ultimately responsible for obtaining written permission from them.

If I receive a grant, can I have more money than the amount I applied for?

Winners will be awarded the specific amount for which they apply. The application requires a budget outline so you may identify upfront how much is needed to implement your project. We cannot guarantee additional funds if you incur costs beyond the amount identified in your application.

What can the grant money go towards?

Funds may be used to purchase materials, rent equipment, or enlist expert assistance.

How long does the installation have to last?

Depending on the scope of your project, temporary physical improvements may last anywhere from a few days to 3 months.

May I submit more than one application? Can previous applicants and winners apply again?

Yes, yes and yes. Bring it on.

Am I allowed to do a project on the Rail Trail?

LYNX Blue Line platforms are off limits for safety reasons, but CATS has a Task Order process to allow for temporary installations on the Rail Trail. There are a few extra steps to gain permission. We can help.

Am I allowed to do a project in the street?

If you want to do something in the Right of Way, you must go through CDOT. For safety reasons, there are some specific rules about what you can do in the street. Permits are required to close a street or a lane for work, events, or placemaking. CDOT’s Parklet Program is a good place to start.

How do you define the “public realm”?

Public realm means all of the places and structures that are accessible or viewable by the public. That means parks, sidewalks, plazas, bus stops, street trees, parking spaces, landscaping, planting strips, walls, windows – everything you can see from the street that gives a place its character. Not all parts of the public realm are “public”–a window or a wall might be owned by a private owner, and managed by a business tenant; something you should think about when you consider your project, partners and permissions.

Who should I contact with further questions? 

For more information,  email Varian Shrum at


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