New BCIC Grant Cycle Puts Brownsville Community in the Forefront for Quality of Life Improvements

PRESS RELEASE – Brownsville, TX – Friday, October 20, 2023 – In a move designed to amplify community-led development, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is launching the first round of its Community Placemaking Grants program. These grants are designed to enrich the community’s cultural, recreational, and aesthetic attributes, creating a more vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable environment for everyone. With a focus on projects that promise substantial and lasting impact on the area’s socio-economic development, these initiatives aim to elevate living conditions across a broad spectrum of demographics in Brownsville. The program is open to non-profits and for-profit businesses with at least two years of operations in the city. Most importantly, the developed projects must be accessible to the public. The application deadline for the first cycle is November 10, 2023, marking a pivotal moment for community-driven progress in Brownsville.

A Legacy of Impact on Quality of Life

Over the years, BCIC has been behind several remarkable initiatives that have tangibly enhanced the landscape of Brownsville. From rejuvenating public parks to sponsoring art installations and cultural events, the organization’s efforts have breathed new life into public spaces while creating meaningful connections among residents. One standout project was supporting the revitalization of Market Square, which transformed a once-underutilized area into a bustling hub of activity, complete with local vendors and public art. Another impactful endeavor was BCIC’s involvement in developing the Belden and Southmost Trails—miles of upgraded and well-lit hike and bike trails that run through key residential and recreational areas in Brownsville. These trails are not just about encouraging physical activity; they’re community connectors, linking neighborhoods to parks and contributing to the overall livability of the area.

“When we talk about improving quality of life, we’re not just talking about adding a few more benches in a park. We’re talking about transforming neighborhoods, connecting people, and providing opportunities for everyone to feel proud of where they live. With these new grants, we’re really excited about putting resources directly into the hands of people who intimately understand what this community needs. It’s all about empowering locals to be the architects of their own futures,” said Cori Peña, President and CEO of BCIC.

Miriam Suarez, Community Development Manager, added, “This isn’t about just writing checks and hoping for the best. It’s about strategic investment in sustainable, impactful solutions that this community not only needs but also genuinely deserves. We’re mindful of the projects we back because we want to ensure they bring long-term benefits.”

The Community Placemaking Grants are focused on initiatives that bring tangible enhancements to Brownsville’s cultural, recreational, and aesthetic landscape. The program aims to create an inclusive atmosphere underpinned by projects that lead to long-term community well-being.

Eligibility and Funding

The grants are intended for projects that focus on community building and development and can include but are not limited to, public art installations, green space enhancements, cultural events, and community health initiatives.

Those interested in applying have until November 10, 2023, to submit their applications through BCIC’s online portal. A meticulous review process will follow, conducted by the BCIC Board of Directors and the Brownsville City Commission, to ensure that chosen projects align closely with BCIC’s objectives and mission and with state law requirements.

Priority will be given to initiatives that address gaps in current community offerings and have the capacity for long-term sustainability. Projects should be community-driven and aim for inclusiveness, making a positive difference in the lives of Brownsville residents.

Future grant cycles will open at the beginning of next year, subject to funding availability, with a continuous commitment to funding projects that align with BCIC’s mission and objectives.

About Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation

The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is a “Type B” economic development organization with a mission to enhance quality of life through innovative and equitable economic development initiatives. For more information, visit www.brownsvilleedc.org.