Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Iowa Great Places seeks to cultivate the local character and authentic qualities of Iowa neighborhoods, districts, communities and regions. At its core, the program embraces ‘creative placemaking’, or the approach of building upon local creative and cultural assets to build more livable communities and vibrant public places.

For guidance on community visioning or to find resources from other state agencies, view the corresponding resources

The Iowa Great Places program provides a ten-year designation as an Iowa Great Place, professional development and technical assistance resources, and competitive funding opportunities for new and existing infrastructure projects included in a vision plan and supported by a mix of partners and strategies.

How to Apply

  1. Read the 2023 Iowa Great Places Designation Guidelines
  2. View the recording of the webinar for an overview of program requirements, tips and advice on how to complete the application.
  3. Submit the application

Take a look at examples of previously submitted applications. Example applications are for reference only. Programs change from year to year so applicants should ensure they are responding to current application requirements.

Manage Your Designation

View the handbook to learn how to manage your designation, including Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) compliance and publicity. View the State Department Resources web pages 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.

Iowa Great Places and Projects

Interactive Iowa Great Places Map

Endorsed Iowa Great Places Projects (Current as of 1/1/2023)
The Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board reviews and endorses projects on a quarterly basis taking place as part of an Iowa Great Place community’s vision. Endorsed projects may also receive additional state agency consideration. Interested applicants to other State of Iowa programs should review this list to see if their project qualifies for Iowa Great Places scoring increases.

Iowa Creative Places Profiles and Videos
View short profiles of Iowa Great Places and Iowa Cultural and Entertainment Districts. 

Grant Awards History

Displaying 41 - 46 of 46
Searches project title, applicant name, city, county, and fiscal year
Project Title Sort descending Applicant City County Fiscal year Grant Amount
Trestle Park Expansion and Trail City of Manning Manning Carroll 2017 $167,900.00
Trestle Park Phase II City of Manning Manning Carroll 2018 $31,380.00
Uptown Marion Plaza Project City of Marion Marion Linn 2020 $155,000.00
Wapsipinicon River Scenic Overlook - Pinicon Ridge County Park Linn County Conservation Board Toddville Linn 2018 $400,000.00
Willow Creek Riverwalk City of Mason City Mason City Cerro Gordo 2021 $150,000.00
Wonder on Buxton City of Indianola Indianola Warren 2023 $73,300.00