Request for Proposals: Technical Assistance Contractor

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Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant Program Seeks Technical Assistance Contractor

The intent of this request for proposals (RFP) is to solicit proposals for the development and implementation of a Technical Assistance and Evaluation Plan for the Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant Program.

Deadline for Submission: January 31

Guidelines updated Nov 16


Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance.

The program has three components:

  • CLINICAL—Creative Forces is placing creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at military medical and Veterans Health Administration medical facilities, including telehealth delivery of care for patients in rural and remote areas. In clinical settings, creative arts therapists provide art, music, and dance/movement therapies, as well as therapeutic writing instruction, for military patients and veterans.
  • COMMUNITY— Since 2017, Creative Forces has invested in community arts engagement activities in order to advance our understanding of their benefits and impacts for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma. In 2021, the NEA announced the Creative Forces Community Engagement grants [LINK] to support emerging and established community-based arts engagement and/or non-clinical arts engagement projects.
  • CAPACITY—Creative Forces invests in capacity-building efforts, including the development of toolkits, training materials, and other resources to support best practices in serving the target populations. In addition, Creative Forces is investing in research on the impacts and benefits—physical, social, and emotional—of these innovative treatment methods. Visit Creative Forces’ National Resource Center to learn more and to read all research associated with Creative Forces.

The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). This grant program aims to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for targeted military-connected populations through matching grants of $10,000 to $50,000 for emerging and advanced arts engagement projects that take place after July 1, 2022. Approximately 35 grants, up to two years in length, will be awarded on an annual basis.

As a part of the Creative Forces Grant Program, grant recipients are expected to participate in a robust structure of technical assistance designed to build organizational capacity and confidence in implementing projects that promote the health, well-being, and overall quality of life for targeted military-connected populations through support of arts engagement activities designed to deliver impact and benefits aligned with the targeted participant outcomes. Over the course of the grant program, grantees will collect data both on performance measurement and program evaluation as outlined in the Creative Forces data collection plan to monitor outputs and outcomes of the grant program.

To that end, key elements of the technical assistance provided to grantees will be:

  • Working with grantees to administer data collection through approved NEA forms and gather other data in alignment with the Creative Forces data collection plan.
  • Assisting grantees in understanding the Creative Forces Logic Models and development of their own project or program logic model.
  • Assisting grantees in understanding data collected from previously developed performance measurement instruments (program feedback surveys and audience feedback surveys) and how to apply them for evaluation and continuous process improvement purposes, excluding the measurement of individual-level outcomes.

Project Statement of Work

This RFP involves two (2) distinct phases of work:

  1. Phase I: Needs Assessment, development of a Technical Assistance Plan, and development of a Performance Measurement and Evaluation Support Implementation Plan
  2. Phase II: Implementation of Technical Assistance, Performance Measurement, and Evaluation Support Plan

While both Phase I and II are within the scope of this RFP, only Phase I shall be awarded at the time of award. The funding and implementation of Phase II is at M-AAA and the NEA’s discretion and will be decided during the life of the contract. Phase II shall be funded and implemented in increments aligned with Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants awarded on an annual cycle. Phase 2 includes grants with periods of performance starting on July 1, 2022; July 1, 2023; July 1, 2024; and July 1, 2025.

It is anticipated that if Phase II is implemented, it shall begin immediately upon the conclusion of Phase I or shortly thereafter. It is possible that Phase II may be implemented/funded in part or not implemented at all.

Submit a Proposal

Deadline: January 31, 2022

Download the full RFP

Submit online

Please send any questions to Matt Aelmore, grant programs coordinator, matt (at)

*Please note that the White House’s September 9, 2021 Executive Order requiring Covid-19 vaccination for Federal contractors will likely apply to the entity awarded this contract if the total cost of the proposal exceeds the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($250,000 or more). More information regarding the applicability of this Executive Order to this contract will be provided in the future.