The Haines Chamber of Commerce last week submitted a grant application that, if awarded, could inject up to $3 million in the local economy.

Chamber executive director Debra Schnabel submitted the “Community Development Investments” application to ArtPlace America last week. ArtPlace America will select one non-governmental organization from six regions “interested in sustainably incorporating arts and cultural strategies into the organization’s work.”

The organization is awarding one grant in Alaska. It will involve three years of funding and activities.

“The awardee will be based not on any conceived specific project, but on who you are and how you perceive your potential for embracing community change,” Schnabel said.

Schnabel received considerable input from Alaska Arts Confluence creative director Carol Tuynman on the application. She also briefly consulted with Haines Borough community and economic development director Bill Mandeville.

According to ArtPlace America’s website, the grant will include a six-month “cultural asset mapping endeavor” to identify existing arts and cultural assets in the community, as well as potential arts and cultural partners and resources.

It will also include guidance from a Financial Capital Consortium to explore financing opportunities, guidance from a Federal Grants Advisory Team to identify and navigate relevant federal grant opportunities, and collaboration with a Community Documentation and Research Team.

Grant recipients will receive up to $3 million to spend on community engagement, cultural asset mapping, implementation of projects, and partnership contracts with the arts and cultural sector.

Schnabel said the application involved 25-30 questions about the community, with answers limited to 150-500 words, depending on the question.

“It takes a long time to whittle the answers down,” Schnabel said. “Of course, you want to say as much as you can about your community.”

ArtPlace America specifically created the program for organizations that haven’t traditionally worked in arts and culture; one of the grant’s eligibility requirements insists the applicant not have a significant history of working in arts or culture.

“One of the core goals of the program is to learn more about the challenges and opportunities that arise in integrating arts and cultural strategies across many different aspects of a place-based (non-governmental organization’s) work. To date, there are a small number of these types of organizations that have incorporated arts and cultural strategies into their regular practice. To increase the overall potential learning opportunities, the Community Development Investments will focus financial and expert investments into organizations that have not yet experimented with a broad range of arts and cultural strategies, or have only done so on a limited, individual project basis,” the website reads.

The three-year grant period begins Sept. 1.