Cincinnati Kicks Off New Round of Civic Engagement Grant-Funding Contest

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The last round of the competition attracted 188 applications.

Cincinnati’s local government is looking to award at least $30,000 in grant funding to projects in the city focused on food access, civic-oriented technology and improving quality of life.

The funding will be made available as part of the second ever Engage Cincy Challenge Grant program, which city officials announced Tuesday. As many as five grants, up to $10,000 each will be awarded through the competition. Launched last year, the program is open to residents, nonprofits and other organizations. It has been led-up by City Manager Harry Black.

“The best way to invigorate a community is to engage the people who live there and keep them interested, here, we're giving community members a say but also the money, resources and support needed to think, and act, outside the box,” Black said in a statement Tuesday.

The city says it received 188 applications for the first round of the grant competition, which got underway last fall. Five winning projects were announced in March.

Among the winners was the Cincinnati Neighborhood Games, which involves residents representing different parts of the city in contests such as endurance hula-hooping and chess.

Dads’ Night Out Weekend” was another winning project. It featured a series of free events meant for fathers and their children in the city’s Roselawn neighborhood.

Other winners included a performing arts initiative, a project focused on improving access to healthy produce in the city’s Camp Washington neighborhood, and an app and website intended to connect prospective volunteers with nonprofits.

Applications for this round of the grant competition are due by Dec. 11.

A selection committee is set to include members of the local business and nonprofit communities and city employees. According to the city, they’ll make recommendations to Black, who will choose the winners.

Bill Lucia is a reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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