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Partnering with Smart Growth America

SGA routinely partners with DOTs, transit agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations on funding proposals. If you’re interested in working on a proposal together, contact SGA’s director of arts & culture to discuss.


The following reports, research papers, toolkits, and articles highlight the myriad ways that artists contribute to solving our most complex transportation challenges. Stay tuned after the curated list of helpful resources below for a special section on solving the complex issue of funding for creative placemaking.

Arts, Culture, and Transportation: A Creative Placemaking Field Scan

Created by: Transportation for America in partnership with ArtPlace America.

A rigorous national examination of creative placemaking in the transportation planning process.

ArtPlace America Resources

Created by: ArtPlace America

This is the digital home for selected toolkits, research studies, and more from both ArtPlace and the broader field of creative placemaking.

Shelterforce issue #196, Fall 2019—Transit

Created by: Shelterforce

Featuring articles by Transportation for America’s Beth Osborne and Ben Stone

Best Practices for Integrating Art into Capital Projects

Created by: American Public Transportation Association

This paper documents best practices used by experienced transit art administrators who are well versed in contemporary art and have developed comprehensive art in transit programs across the country. 

FORWARD Issue #2: Transportation

Created by: Forecast Public Art

FORWARD highlights how artists are partnering with cities, institutions, and communities to courageously tackle the vital issues of our time; issue #2 focuses on transportation.

Public Art Review transportation content

Created by: Forecast Public Art

Around the globe, in crosswalks, transit stations, and airports—and on trains, buses, and trucks—artists are helping to improve our experience of moving from one place to another.

Creative Exchange

Created by: Springboard for the Arts

Creative Exchange is a platform sharing artful ideas for stronger communities, featuring free, practical toolkits for artist-engaged programs, from professional development to creative placemaking to fun projects to bring people together. 

Arts and Planning Toolkit

Created by: Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)

The Arts and Planning Toolkit offers an array of tools and strategies to help planners advance arts and culture as both a catalyst for and an essential component of community development. It provides resources for planners and other government staff who are interested in innovating their planning and community development work through projects and partnerships that engage arts, culture, and the creative community. 

Asphalt Art Guide

Created by: Bloomberg Associates and Street Plan Collaborative

Offering inspiration and tips for the creation of art on roadways and public spaces.

Creative Placemaking in Rail Transit Corridors

Created by: American Planning Association

This policy handbook includes a set of ten themes drawn from case studies in eight metropolitan regions to inform the work of those who would seek to engage in creative placemaking projects in rail transit corridors or similar contexts.


Like all transportation projects, creative placemaking projects require funding to pay for the time of artists, organizers, administrators, as well as materials and installation costs, when relevant. Fortunately, a number of funding sources exist to support projects at the intersection of arts, culture, and transportation.

Additionally, creative placemaking projects don’t necessarily need to require new or additional funding; most departments of transportation, public works, and transit agencies already have community engagement, communications, and design budgets that could be repositioned to hire artists onto project teams.

For community- and artist-led projects, or for projects where new funding is in fact required, the following resources may be helpful in finding funding.


The following foundations support arts and culture, among other focus areas. Please note that some foundations restrict their funding to specific geographic areas, and do not welcome unsolicited proposals. Additional information may be found at the following links:

The National Endowment for the Arts

As the originator of the term, the NEA is a primary funder of creative placemaking projects. Visit for more information on their Our Town grants for creative placemaking projects, Grants for Arts Organizations, and Challenge America grants.

Additional funding resources

  • ArtPlace: Finding Funding: a series of links to reports on finding funding to support creative placemaking projects.
  • Financing Creative Placemaking: Analyzing Data and Trends for a Field in Transition, the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, Drexel University: This report analyzes the project budgets and narratives from grants made by three creative placemaking funders—ArtPlace America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kresge Foundation—between 2010 and 2019 to better understand existing funding streams and patterns in the financing of creative placemaking.
  • Programs Supporting Art in the Public Realm: A challenge for artists and funders in this intersectional work is to advance both aesthetic and community aims. How do programs balance community development needs and goals with opportunities for artists to experiment? Americans for the Arts and the Barr Foundation share the findings of a National Scan of Programs Supporting Art in the Public Realm. The scan highlights overarching themes and offers snapshots of 30 programs supporting and building capacity for artists to work in the public realm.