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University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension receives NEA funding to address the aging population through design

Posted: October 23, 2014

Working closely with the city of Franklin, as well as with partners like Plan NH, Charlie French, Molly Donovan, and Sharon Cowen, members of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s community development team, applied for—and won—a highly coveted grant funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to help communities generate conversations and problem-solving workshops to tackle major development problems. The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) awarded only four such grants this year (out of 48 applicants) and this is the first time Cooperative Extension has won an NEA-related grant.
Franklin, NH, is the site of an innovative new project aimed at helping older residents age in place. Credit: Magicpiano, via Wikimedia Commons

Franklin, NH, is the site of an innovative new project aimed at helping older residents age in place. Credit: Magicpiano, via Wikimedia Commons

When the team developed their proposal, they had three goals in mind: to revitalize the city’s economy and community for all its residents with a hard focus on the downtown district and the city’s older residents, involve the arts, and use Extension’s expertise in convening communities to talk about their identities and their future.

The pivotal activity funded by the CIRD grant will be a two-and-a-half day community session next spring where Franklin residents will convene for an organized discussion facilitated by Cooperative Extension. Within the wider conversation about the city’s economy, they will talk about homes and support for senior residents and explicit ideas for how to accomplish them.

For more information about the partnership and their planned activities, visit: http://extension.unh.edu/articles/Franklins-Golden-Moment