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Administration and Strategic Planning

Mission & Strategic Plan

2022-2026 Strategic Planning Framework

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs comprises the:

  • Iowa Arts Council
  • Iowa Humanities Council
  • Produce Iowa – State Office of Film & Media
  • State Historical Society of Iowa, including the State Historical Museum, State Library, Archives Research Centers and Historic Sites
  • State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa


We empower Iowans to create and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting them with the people, places and points of pride that define our state.


All Iowans have opportunities to learn, create and thrive through the arts, history, humanities, film and media.

Governor's Priorities

  • Cut taxes for all Iowans
  • Make Iowa an employment destination
  • Prepare students for the workforce
  • Provide educational choice and transparency for Iowa families
  • Improve access to child care
  • Build Iowa’s health care workforce
  • Grow the fuels of the future

Department Priorities

  • Cultivate and promote creative places
  • Grow Iowa’s creative economy and workforce
  • Build the capacity of our cultural organizations
  • Preserve and enhance access to Iowa arts, culture, film and history
  • Provide dynamic lifelong learning opportunities
  • Ignite creativity and innovation

Core Values

Collaboration and Leadership. We serve and collaborate with Iowans to develop programs, strategic partnerships and resources that respond to their needs. We listen, learn and collaborate to ensure inclusion and relevance as a statewide leader.

Diversity and Inclusion. Recognizing and respecting diversity in all that we do, we honor and elevate people, places and points of pride across Iowa. We work to ensure that all Iowans have opportunities to tell their stories and to see themselves reflected in our work.

Accessibility and Engagement. We believe every Iowan should have access to meaningful opportunities to engage with the arts, culture, history, and the humanities, recognizing the benefits to personal and community well-being.

Excellence. We work to exemplify professional standards and best practices within our organization and cultivate excellence in our role to preserve and promote Iowa’s cultural heritage, history and artistic creativity.

Knowledge and Creativity. We are dedicated to lifelong learning, research and sharing knowledge. We cultivate curiosity and the creativity that stimulates innovation and growth.

Strategic Goals

Build networks and cultivate leadership.

  • Be inclusive, reflect diversity and enhance accessibility in our programming.
  • Promote collaboration, peer learning and mentorship.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing with and among cultural partners.
  • Offer inclusive opportunities to develop arts, history and culture leadership.

Encourage sustainable and thriving organizations and careers.

  • Address organizational capacity and audience development challenges within the creative and heritage sectors.
  • Strengthen programs and resources to support individuals and organizations with their development and workforce needs.
  • Focus on learning and career pathways into cultural and creative fields.

Promote the value and impact of Iowa’s cultural and creative sector.

  • Collaborate with tourism efforts around arts, film and historical destinations.
  • Support communities in their efforts to elevate their cultural assets and vibrancy.
  • Guide cultural partners with expanding their visibility and reach.
  • Build awareness of Iowa as a viable option for creative workers and projects.

Enhance access to arts, history, film and culture.

  • Develop new tools, resources and platforms to increase awareness of and access to creative and cultural resources, particularly for underrepresented and underserved communities.
  • Support rural and underserved areas of Iowa in cultivating their unique cultural assets.
  • Help our sector navigate and connect to more grant funding opportunities.
  • Continue to offer online educational resources, virtual programming and digital accessibility to complement in-person experiences.
  • Support educators at all levels in their work to ensure students have access to robust learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.


Based on the public input phase that engaged more than 1,200 Iowans and analysis from Wastyn & Associates conducted in 2021, the DCA has updated the department’s foundation statements - including our vision, priorities, values and goals - which forms the framework for our new 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

The department’s new strategic plan framework will create the foundation for each division to then form plans of action/operational plans that outline key goals, objectives and key performance indicators, along with the people, resources and actions needed to accomplish them. This work began in early 2022.

The department’s efforts support Governor Kim Reynolds’ 2022 Priorities by building culturally vibrant communities and fostering creativity to become a catalyst for innovation.