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ARC and NEA Announce Second Round of Grant Competition to Promote Tourism Development

April 2008


WASHINGTON, April 19, 2008—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) this week announced the second round of a grant competition to promote natural and cultural heritage tourism development in Appalachia's "gateway communities."

The competition, called the Appalachian Gateway Initiative: Natural and Cultural Heritage Tourism Development, is part of ARC's overall effort to promote asset-based economic development in Appalachia and include the arts in tourism development projects. The grants will help gateway communities—towns that border national and state parks and forests—balance the need for economic growth with the desire to protect natural ecosystems, landscapes, and cultural heritage. ARC is contributing $100,000, and NEA is contributing $30,000, to the grant competition.

Nonprofit organizations, local governments, public educational institutions, and local and regional development organizations located in or near a gateway community are eligible to apply for the grants. The community must be located in an ARC-designated economically distressed, at-risk, or transitional county.

Communities can request funding for cultural heritage tourism planning workshops, tourism assessments, or tourism project implementation. Technical assistance will be provided by the Conservation Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Heritage Tourism Program.

Details on the grant competition and information on submitting an application are included in the competition's request for proposals (PDF format, 106 KB). The deadline for submitting applications is June 6, 2008. Winners will be announced on June 27, 2008.

For additional information, please contact Kris Hoellen at the Conservation Fund at (304) 876-7462 or; or Molly Theobald at the Appalachian Regional Commission at (202) 884-7767 or