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.
- Who: Nonprofits, Communities
- What: Designation, professional development and funding eligibility
- When: 2023 Designation and Re-designation cycle opens January 2, 2023
- Application deadline for Re-Designation: February 17, 2023
- Application deadline for New Designation: March 10, 2023
- Funding cycle for eligible Iowa Great Places will open later in 2023.
How to Apply
- Read the 2023 Iowa Great Places Designation Guidelines
- View the recording of the webinar for an overview of program requirements, tips and advice on how to complete the application.
- 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.
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Great Places Logos
- Send images and event details about your Iowa Great Place for promotion in Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs communication outlets
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.