A space is a void. Nothing happens there. We pass it by without much thought. A place is a destination. We want to go there. We want to be there. Placemaking is about transforming ugly and underutilized spaces in our communities into vibrant, attractive, inviting, and memorable places.Space2Place is a creative placemaking micro-grant competition open to residents of Yellowstone County. Big Sky Economic Development introduced this program in 2018 to promote smaller, incremental improvements to make the public spaces of our communities more beautiful, more engaging, more interesting, and more enjoyable. Placemaking is the practice of creating or enhancing a community’s assets to improve its overall attractiveness and livability. The four fundamental elements of placemaking are:

  • Access & Linkages – Easy to get to
  • Comfort & Image – Easy to be there
  • Uses & Activities – Fun to be there
  • Sociability – Easy to interact

Placemaking is more than just public art. It is creating welcoming and engaging places where people want to gather and connect – even to linger. It is about enhancing the walkability of our commercial areas, our neighborhoods, and our community in general. Placemaking can be large-scale like the development of a city park or streetscape, or it can be as small as a flower bed or a well-placed chair.

We have intentionally kept this application process simple and easy. There is no need to overcomplicate it. Simply think of a project that you or your group would like to create; provide renderings, images, diagrams, or photos of what it will look like; and explain what and where it will be, who will help you, what other resources you will use, and how it will activate and benefit the community.

Placemaking Resources:

If you have any questions about placemaking or need some ideas for a project, Google (or any other search engine) is an awesome tool. YouTube is also a valuable resource.


Big Sky Economic Development is sponsoring a micro-grant competition for creative placemaking. Groups, organizations, and individuals within Yellowstone County are encouraged to develop and submit their ideas for how they can transform a public space in Yellowstone County into a beautiful, lively, and welcoming place.


  1. Open to all residents and organizations within Yellowstone County.
  2. All completed projects must be visible and/or accessible by the public within Yellowstone County.
  3. One application per organization per year.
  4. Must conform with all applicable city and/or county codes and ordinances.
  5. Grant funds may be used for necessary project materials and contracted services. Recipients are expected to provide volunteer labor to bring their projects to fruition. Grant funds are not intended to be used for planning purposes.
  6. Past awardees must have successfully completed all requirements of past awards to be eligible to apply.


  1. Grant amounts will not exceed $5,000.
  2. Total project costs should not exceed $10,000.
  3. Submission deadline: March 9, 2023 by 4:00 PM.
  4. BSED will create a selection committee to review and score the applications.
  5. Grant winners will be notified by April 6, 2023.
  6. Awards will be presented publicly April 20, 2023, at BSED’s Better Off in Billings event.
  7. Grant funds will be released as expended with proper documentation.
  8. Projects must be completed by September 30, 2023.


Senior Project Manager
Thom MacLean

Funded Projects