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Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Opens Next Round of Grants and Opportunities

Jan 30, 2019

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is opening a new round of grants and opportunities for arts, history, historic preservation and community development projects with late spring deadlines.

"All across the state, Iowans are developing arts, history and cultural projects to strengthen quality of life, economic growth and jobs in their communities," said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. "Offering world-class arts and cultural experiences in Iowa is critical to attracting a globally minded workforce. That’s why we’re excited to invest in projects that spark creativity and innovation at the local level.”

Two of the department’s divisions, the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa, administer the following Fiscal Year 2020 grant programs and opportunities:

Iowa Arts Council Grants and Opportunities

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts – Application Deadline: March 1

This program supports high school seniors who excel in the arts and are enrolled in accredited educational programs leading to careers in the arts. Scholarships in the amount of $1,500 are awarded to support 2019-2020 academic year tuition expenses at Iowa colleges or universities.

Iowa Artist Fellowship – Application Deadline: March 15

The fellowship program provides a $10,000 grant and professional development to individuals who demonstrate exceptional creativity in the arts and the capacity for continued contributions to the excellence and innovation of the arts in the state.

Iowa Women’s Art Exhibition – Submission Deadline: April 1

Created by Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Arts Council, this program celebrates female Iowa artists and their contributions to the cultural vitality and quality of life in Iowa. A new exhibition goes on display every six months in the Governor’s Office.

Art Project Grants – Application Deadline: May 1

Art Project Grants invest $1,000 to $10,000 into projects that positively impact the vitality of the arts in the state, demonstrate public value and support Iowa Arts Council funding priorities. Eligible projects must be innovative, collaborative and accessible to Iowans.

Capacity Building Grants – Application Deadline: May 1

This program provides $5,000 in general operating support to arts and cultural organizations with annual operating expenses between $10,000 and $150,000. Funds are provided to support the mission of a nonprofit rather than specific projects or programs.

Cultural & Entertainment Districts – Application Deadline: May 1

This program recognizes well-identified, walkable, mixed-use, compact areas of a city or county that are anchored by a high concentration of cultural facilities. Designation is an achievement, intended to formally recognize that an existing locale is an acknowledged cultural destination.

Cultural Heritage Project Grants – Application Deadline: May 1

This program provides $1,000 to $10,000 to nonprofits and communities creating opportunities for cultural growth in Iowa by investing in community projects that positively impact the cultural vitality of the state, demonstrate public value and support quality jobs for Iowans.

School Arts Experience Grant – Application Deadline: May 1

This program provides funding to Iowa schools and preschools to defray the cost of field trips to attend an arts event; to bring a professional artist or artist group into the classroom or school; or to purchase arts equipment for the classroom.

Iowa Great Places – Application Deadline: May 1

This program recognizes communities that enhance their local places while staying true to their unique qualities. Designated communities value their assets while setting realistic goals that advance quality of life. The program provides designation and funding opportunities for projects.

Upon request, staff from the Iowa Arts Council will visit regions of the state to give a one-hour grant workshop presentation about the programs and how to apply, along with a few tips about how to strengthen applications. Attendees are welcome to bring ideas to share and discuss one-on-one with staff.

Funding for grant programs administered by the Iowa Arts Council is provided by the Iowa Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

State Historical Society of Iowa Grant Programs and Opportunities

Research Grants for Authors – Submission Deadline: April 15

This program awards up to 10 research stipends of $1,000 each to support authors who want to research and write about overlooked topics or take a new approach to familiar topics about Iowa history. Grant recipients must produce an annotated manuscript for the Annals of Iowa, a publication of the State Historical Society of Iowa. The Research Grants for Authors are supported annually by State Historical Society, Inc., of Iowa City.

Historical Resource Development Program – Application Deadline: April 19

This program provides funding to support the preservation, conservation and interpretation of history by encouraging individuals and organizations to educate the public about historical resources, including historic buildings, museum collections and documentary materials.

County School Grant Program – Application Deadline: April 19

This program provides up to $5,000 for the preservation and maintenance of Iowa’s one- and two-room country schools. The funds also may be used for interpreting the history of country schools or for educational activities taking place in a country school.

The Historical Resource Development Program and Country School grants are funded by the Resource Enhancement and Protection Act, passed by the Iowa General Assembly in 1989 and appropriated annually.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.