ELLSWORTH — The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council, is pleased to announce the 2023 communities participating in this year’s Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design. Ellsworth is one of 17 communities selected for the Design Learning Cohort in which leaders receive training in rural design and creative placemaking, coaching on facilitation techniques, assistance navigating funding opportunities, and one-on-one technical assistance on their community design project.

“These projects, including Heart of Ellsworth in Ellsworth Maine, exemplify how communities can come together to leverage design, enhancing quality of life, economic vitality, and civic infrastructure,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since 1991, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design has worked in communities with populations of 50,000 or less to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality through planning, design, and creative placemaking. To date, the NEA has engaged more than 120 communities in all regions of the country.

“Heart of Ellsworth is excited to be part of the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design; After completing the Water Street Mural project in 2022, we are ready for our next public art project. The Design Cohort will assist us with the tools and training necessary for the next downtown design challenge. Additionally, CIRD program connects the Ellsworth community to funding opportunities with the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Cara Romano, Heart of Ellsworth executive director.    

For more information on this program announcement visit arts.gov/newsrural-design.org and to learn more about Heart of Ellsworth which promotes artistic, cultural, economic, educational, environmental, and historical activities in the downtown area to promote a vibrant community for all visit  https://www.heartofellsworth.org/.