Iowa Great Places

    If you live in a unique community with a strong vision for innovation, and enhancing vitality and quality of life, while staying true to what makes your community unique, the Iowa Great Places Program can recognize your efforts and help bring those visions to reality. The program provides designation and supports the development of new and existing infrastructure intended to cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of neighborhoods, communities and regions in Iowa.

    For guidance on community visioning or to find resources from other state agencies, view the corresponding toolkits. If you are interested in a mentorship with a currently designated Iowa Great Place to prepare for designation, please contact us.

    • Who: Nonprofits, Communities
    • What: Designation, professional development and fall 2018 funding eligibility with an average award of $185,000 with a required 1:1/2 match
    • When: Deadline to apply for designation is May 1, 2018

    How to Apply

    The Iowa Great Places application cycle is currently closed.

    New Applicants

    1. Read the guidelines for designation
    2. Watch the instructional webinar

    Current Iowa Great Places

    1. Read the guidelines for re-designation
    2. Watch the instructional webinar

    Manage Your Designation

    View the designee instruction webinar and download the handbook to learn how to manage your designation, including Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) compliance and publicity. View the community visioning and state agency resources toolkits for additional guidance.

    Iowa Great Places Promotion

    Please use the most recent versions of Iowa Great Places and Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs logos on materials promoting your Iowa Great Place. Find information on how to acknowledge the department's support in the handbook.

    Annual Report

    As a designee, you must complete the annual report form at the end of each calendar year and share the impact of the designation on arts and culture in Iowa.

    Designation Award History

    View all current and past communities designated as an Iowa Great Places.


    Grant Award History

    Showing 1 - 4 of 4

    Fiscal Year Applicant Project Grant Amount City County
    2014 Surf District 3 Stars Plaza Sound System, Wayfinding Signage System, Parking Lot Enhancements and Landscaping, and Surf marquee improvements

    $101,000.00 Clear Lake Cerro Gordo
    2014 Madison County John Wayne Birthplace Museum Exhibits and John Wayne Birthplace Trail

    $97,500.00 Winterset Madison
    2014 City of Marshalltown Roundhouse Renovations and 13th Street District Revitalization

    $350,000.00 Marshalltown Marshall
    2014 Danish Villages Jen Jensen Park

    $650,000.00 Elk Horn Shelby

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