BDL Recommended for $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant

BDL Recommended for $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant


Arts-based Community Development Investment for Lewiston

Beautiful Downtown Lewiston one of 60 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Projects Selected Nationwide


Lewiston, Idaho— National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced 60 awards totaling $4.1 million supporting projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program.  Beautiful Downtown Lewiston (BDL) is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $25,000 to support development of a cultural district plan as a chapter of a downtown master plan.

“The variety and quality of these Our Town projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Beautiful Downtown Lewiston, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Courtney Kramer, BDL Executive Director. “This is a highly competitive national grant, with funding awards going to less than a third of the applicants. It’s a testament to the collaboration between arts and cultural organizations in our community, many of whom provided letters of support for the application.”

The NEA funding will be used to work with artists to lead citizen engagement for creative placemaking as part of the Lewiston Downtown Master Plan that BDL is spearheading. The City of Lewiston provided $50,000 in funding for the master plan and delegated management of the project to BDL, which continues to pursue grant funding to add to the project. More information about the Lewiston Downtown Master Plan is available on BDL’s website, at:

NEA funding will also support evaluation and capacity planning for the arts and culture institutions in the community so they may thrive as part of a lively cultural district in downtown Lewiston. “Creative placemaking has a serious economic impact,” noted Kramer. “The arts add $1.9 billion to Idaho’s economy every year—2.9% of the state’s economy. Nationally, consumers spent $31.6 billion on admissions to performing arts events.”

Kramer added that, “A NEA study published in 2017 indicated that rural towns that make a strategic decision to target most public and private investments into the historic town centers have a better chance of succeeding, and BDL is in a unique position to bring our community’s arts and culture organizations together to collaborate and focus their activities in downtown Lewiston.”

For a complete list of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at

Contacts:           Courtney Kramer, Executive Director, Beautiful Downtown Lewiston 208-790-1148