Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc. are helping to pioneer an innovative method of community development. We are interested in supporting unexpected, fun and exciting projects in Downtown Greensboro that create buzz, community involvement and vitality.
Sometimes big ideas do not need a lot of money to get off the ground. Nor do they need a lot of time to plan and complete. However, these smaller types of activities can often help to improve a neighborhood and make it a better place to live, work and play. How can you help to improve downtown and make it a better place to live, work and play? Allow us to spark your idea into action!
Here are the details:
- Applicants may be individuals, businesses or nonprofits.
- Grant recipients may request up to $5,000.
- The application must propose a new project, program or initiative (“Project”) in Downtown Greensboro (i.e. not an existing project, program or initiative of the applicant).
- Consistent with Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc.’s missions, the Project must demonstrate the potential for long-term impact on Downtown Greensboro.
- A committee of Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc. staff will review the applications and proposed Projects. A phone call may be scheduled with the applicant to discuss their request.
- The Project must be completed within one year of grant notification. Otherwise, funds must be returned to Action Greensboro.
- 100% of the grant funds must be used to implement the Project. No portion of the grant funds shall be used for general operations of a nonprofit or business.
- The grant recipient shall be responsible for implementing the Project. The Project shall not depend upon the use of Action Greensboro or Downtown Greensboro Inc. staff.
- If selected for a grant, the Project shall not be modified or altered without the prior written approval of Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc.
- The Project shall not constitute a fundraiser/profit generator for the grant recipient. The Project shall not involve an admission charge for participants/attendees.
- Independent vendors (i.e. not the grant recipient) may be allowed to sell drinks, food or other products (e.g. arts, crafts, etc.) at the Project provided that such independent vendors (i) will further the purpose of the Project; (ii) have all proper licenses under all applicable laws; (iii) have sufficient insurance with adequate coverage for potential liabilities; (iv) will collect and remit to the State of North Carolina any applicable sales taxes; and (v) shall be subject to prior review and approval by Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro, Inc. Any fees collected by the grant recipient from independent vendors shall be expended in furtherance of the Project.
- The grant recipient shall submit a one-page written summary to Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc. within 3 months after the project is implemented. The report shall include the following at a minimum: (1) after photo(s) of the Project and (2) summary of the major aspects of the Project (i.e. use/visits by the community; media coverage; other community projects, outcomes, etc.).
- The grant recipient should post the project on social media using the Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc.’s hashtags (#sogso #dgso #getdowntown)
Action Greensboro is a leading voice in urban livability, civic engagement, K-12 educational advancement and initiatives to attract and retain young professionals in Greensboro. Established in 2001, the non-profit organization has championed a variety of initiatives aimed at enhancing the city’s quality of life.
Downtown Greensboro Incorporated (DGI) is an economic development organization focused on stimulating investment and activity in the center city. DGI’s primary focus is to lead the development of downtown Greensboro as a prosperous and vibrant urban center, memorable and meaningful for those who choose to live, work, play and invest here.
Click here to download the application. Next deadline: Monday, February 19, 2018 at 5p.m.
2018 Summer Spark Grant Recipients
Bounce House Gallery: “Bounce House Gallery is exactly as it sounds, a gallery inside a large white bounce house”, said Sidney Stretz. This experimental art venue invites Greensboro residents to experience the arts in a new and playful environment. Participants should expect to see sculpture, installation, sound, dance, and performance inside an around its inflated walls. Bounce House Gallery is mobile, and will be placed in different locations throughout Greensboro, hoping to inspire play and adventure from all different areas within the community.”
Moving Canvas: The Dance Project and the Center for Visual Artists will collaborate to create an interactive dance-art machine, a digital canvas that will allow users to translate their movement into a visual artistic creation, projected onto a wall. “This is a really fun opportunity for us to work on something we’d probably never be able to do otherwise, bringing dance, technology, and visual art together. Plus, we’re excited to collaborate with our creative neighbors”, the Center for Visual Arts, said Anne Morris, Co-Director of the Dance Project. The interactive wall will generate graphics based on motion, creating artwork that is colorful, engaging, and fleeting, encouraging a continual cycle of creation.
View full press release here.
2017 Winter/Spring Spark Grant Recipients
“Where the Crosswalk Begins”
“Where the Crosswalk Begins” is a public safety awareness campaign. Greensboro Police Department will facilitate an enforcement component in the form of “good behavior” tickets in addition to giveaways from downtown businesses (gift cards, bus passes, etc.). An artist/s will be commissioned to work with the public & create temporary sidewalk art, which will incorporate a Watch for Me NC stencil. The sidewalk art will serve as a directional or way finding element which simultaneously brings awareness to pedestrian safety.
Church Street Underpass Mural Project
The Fisher Park Neighborhood Association will commission an artist to create a work of art for the underpass along Church Street as Murrow Boulevard/Fisher Avenue crosses overhead in order to create a safe and welcoming passage between the neighborhood and downtown. Other goals include encouraging walkability to cultural and retail amenities close by and adding to the public art inventory that exists in the City.
Urban Affairs Street Art Documentary Fest / Opening Reception
The CVA and Urban Grinders have collaborated to create a public art initiative titled 336 Urban Arts Project (UAP). The purpose of this collaboration is to organize community events and promote the creation of public art in Greensboro; one such event is the Urban Affairs Street Art Documentary Fest. This festival will feature an array of street art mediums, including graffiti, murals, and multimedia installations.
View full press release here.
Summer 2016 Spark Grants Recipients
Greensboro Project Space & The Forge’s Art Marquee: Greensboro Project Space (GPS) and The Forge, will create a public art installation for the rooftop of the Forge building, located at 219 West Lewis Street. The art installation will be a highly visible large-scale LED marquee on the corner of Eugene Street/Gate City Boulevard intersection. 36,000 daily commuters will be greeted with a rotation of surprisingly uplifting, humorous and thought-provoking texts pieces as they enter downtown Greensboro. This public art installation will positively impact the landscape, connect people through art and Spark! the imagination of our city.
Greensboro Moves: “Greensboro Moves” will bring dance out of the studio and into the community, inviting Greensboro residents from all walks of life to tap into their creative potential. Informed and inspired by the contributions by community participants, choreographer Danielle Kinne will construct a dance to be premiered at the NC Dance Festival in the new Van Dyke Performance Space in downtown Greensboro on November 12, 2016. Beginning in August 2016, Kinne and her dancers will engage the public at events such as downtown
Greensboro’s City Market, the National Folk Festival, and First Friday festivities to gather movement material and start constructing the dance in a real-time, interactive fashion.
“We are so pleased to be a recipient of a SPARK grant, said Anne Morris, Co-Director of the Dance Project. We believe that dance is for everyone, so we decided to bring dance out of the studio into the community, where more people can see it, learn about it, and be a part of it. Our project welcomes community members into the creative process, and invites their creative contributions that will shape the final dance. We find that dance also has a particular ability to bring people together, and that kind of relationship-building seems more crucial than ever these days. We are delighted to have this opportunity to share dance with downtown Greensboro in a fun and memorable way!”
Greenway Beautification at the IRC: Interactive Resource Center, will paint a mural on their building that faces Murrow Blvd, right on the Downtown Greenway. As a social justice agency and the physical bridge between downtown and east Greensboro, their hope is to capture Greensboro’s history and dreams for equality in the mural installation.
Revolve! A Ferris Wheel on South Elm: Elsewhere, a living museum and artist residency set in a former thrift store will stage a ferris wheel on Elm Street. The 40’ tall ferris wheel will operate for approximately 8 hours on Saturday, September 17th in celebration of Greensboro’s South End during 17 Days and Elsewhere’s grand museum re-opening.
“It will be marvelous to look out from atop a giant ferris wheel on South Elm, said George Scheer, Executive Director. On September 17th, Elsewhere, a living museum in downtown’s South End, invites Greensboro to go round and round in celebration of all the remarkable businesses evolving in Greensboro’s South End. Save the date, and let’s Revolve!”
Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro will be official partners in the 2017 Spark Grant Cycle. 2017 grants will be due in January and July 2017.
Past Spark Fund Grantees
Westerwood Neighborhood Beautification Mural: The Westerwood Neighborhood Association, Inc. will install a colorful, positive mural on the side of the Greensboro College theater shop building in the Westerwood neighborhood, directly adjacent to the path of the future Downtown Greenway.
Selfies with Spoonboy: “Selfies with Spoonboy” involves the production of several customized inflatables of the Weatherspoon’s “mascot” Spoonboy, in conjunction with its 75th Anniversary year in 2016. The inflatables will be taken to various locations throughout downtown and extensions of downtown.
Reconsidered Goods Pop Up Shop: The Reconsidered Goods Pop Up Shop will be a new, month long creative reuse green initiative. It will be aligned with Earth Day events and open to the public for four consecutive weekends. The Pop Up Shop will offer free hands-on activity for visitors and families to enjoy while exploring the downtown area.
Pop Up Denim Museum: Evan Morrison, of Gate City Dry Goods and Hudson Hill, and Zeke Vantreese, of Home State Apparel, designed, curated, and built a pop-up Denim museum that highlighted Greensboro’s incredible history as a driving force in textiles especially denim and flannel. Funds were used to assemble vintage samples of denim, large historical photographs, design and build displays, procure printed materials to distribute, signage, and advertising. The museum launched concurrently with the National Folk Festival in the Downtown Greensboro Depot. Over 1,000 folks visited the museum and Wranger Jeanwear then celebrated Jeansboro day in the Fall.
Light. Art. Activate: Octoberlight Designs and Greenhill partnered to bring excitement, energy and creative place-making to the corner of Davie Street and Friendly Avenue by utilizing projection technology. Using three window panels in the gallery at Greenhill, Octoberlight installed projection equipment and translucent window film to be used as a projection surface. The windows became activated with energy from the projections of moving images from exhibitions, scenes from Greensboro, short videos and text.