wicked cool places
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Wicked Cool Places (WCP) is a grant program for creative placemaking, making a place where things are happening and people want to be (in-person or virtually).
It can mean renovating a historic building or developing affordable live-work space for artists. It can entail transforming a weedy lot into a lively gathering place or an abandoned church into a community gallery. It can be organizing a cultural festival or providing opportunities for youth to discover their creative power. When the energy of arts and culture are a driving force, the possibilities are limitless.**
The goal of WCP is to unite willing property/business owners, cultural/community groups, art/design specialists, and business/development experts to help transform New Bedford’s overlooked or undervalued places. We believe that there are a lot of wicked cool places in New Bedford, and they are animated by elements that encourage human interaction, from temporary activities such as festivals or outdoor sculpture, to more permanent installations such as murals or lighting design.
The ultimate goal is for great design and inspired creative placemaking to become infectious in New Bedford!
How WCP works:
Read below for Eligibility. Begin applying on the next page. To download an example of a complete application click here:
**quoted/adapted from LISC
Am I eligible to apply?
Any project or program within the city of New Bedford is eligible. Individuals and organizations are both eligible. We cannot accept applications for work that has already been completed and work for grant-funded tasks cannot begin until we provide you with written approval. Although not required, projects or programs that engage individuals or populations who are not currently well represented or served in the arts and culture community will be given a higher score in the review process.
Do I need matching funds to apply?
No. Applications do not require a match.
Do I need a partner?
Yes. Collaboration is a powerful tool to combine spheres of influence, costs, innovation and work strategies. We encourage partnerships with an artist or cultural group, a property or business owner, a neighborhood group or city department, etc. While there may be multiple partners working on one project, only one application per project should be submitted.
How are projects selected?
All applications will be vetted by a selection committee of the New Bedford Creative Consortium and scored on the impact of the project. Awards will be based on the grant funds available.
Applications will be evaluated based upon all of the following criteria:
1. Quality, originality and creativity:
How wicked cool is this project? How well do the qualifications of the people leading the activity and technical considerations suggest the project will be of high quality? Does the project seem interesting, innovative or particularly original?
2. Community benefit and partnership:
How well does the project actively incorporate collaboration and partnership? How well does the project contribute to the cultural vitality and well-being of the community? How well does this project engage individuals or populations who are not currently well represented or served in the arts and culture community?
How well does the timeline ensure quality in project implementation? How well does the project plan to reach their intended audience?
How clear and reasonable is the budget? How well does the project address being partially funded?
What is the range of grant awards?
The minimum award is $500. The maximum award is capped at $15,000.
What if my project is on or in property I do not own?
Projects must receive the approval of the property owner and all required municipal permitting before proceeding with work. This includes building, park or event permits and Historic Commission approval, if required. If necessary, we will connect applicants with the most appropriate city personnel to assist with the permitting approval process.
Our project was just awarded a grant. Now what happens?
Once a project is approved, the applicant will receive a commitment letter from the NBEDC. Grants will be distributed as a reimbursement in full once final approval from this office is granted. To receive reimbursement, applicants shall provide a “paid in full” invoice for all approved work no later than June 1, 2021. Funds may be withheld for work executed in a way that was not approved in the final scope and design documents.
What's the timeline of this grant program?
October: Applications available online
November 4 at 5pm: Information Session online (recording available afterwards)
November 10, 17, and 24, from 1-3pm: Office hours with Margo Saulnier (by phone or video conference)
November 17 at 6pm: Grant writing workshop online
December 1, 2020 by midnight: Deadline to submit application
January: Grants awarded
By June 1, 2021: Project invoices submitted
By December 31, 2021: Projects completed
For questions about the timeline and to schedule office hours, email Margo Saulnier at
How do I apply? Checklist for a Complete Application.
Below is a list of items for a complete application. For an example of a complete application, click here:
Continue to the next section to fill out your application and email your supplementary materials. The deadline for submitting this application with all supplementary materials is by midnight on December 1, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Margo Saulnier at
Complete online application
Send email attachment(s) with the following to Margo Saulnier at
1. full project description
2. project objective and expected project outcome
3. expected project audience and plan to reach them
4. timeline of event(s)
5. history or biographies of any project organizers and collaborators, such as artist(s), performer(s), organization(s)
6. budget (see template below or use your own)
7. up to five photos or visual representation of your project
8. any city permits or property owner permission letters
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