Fiscal Year 2023 Program Guidelines
Artist Catalyst Grants provide support to Iowa’s artists, filmmakers, musicians, and creative writers to undertake activities that advance their artistic practices and elevate the creative field in Iowa.
Funding for the Artist Catalyst Grant is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council and federal government through 2 CFR Part 200.
Potential applicants, especially first time applicants, are encouraged to review all published material and contact program manager Lindsay Keast at email@example.com with questions well in advance of application deadlines.
The Iowa Arts Council is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to eligible applicants. For technical support submitting an application, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator Lindsay Keast at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-281-8352 at least two weeks in advance of application deadlines.
Fiscal Year 2023 Application Deadline
Applications will be accepted on a quarterly basis throughout fiscal year 2023 which runs from July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.
- May 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM for the funding period of July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.
- August 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM for the funding period of September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.
- November 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM for the funding period of December 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.
- February 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM for the funding period of March 1, 2023 - June 30, 2023.
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions via email within four weeks of the application deadline.
Final Report Deadline
Grant recipients are required to complete a final report by August 1, 2023.
Applicants may request funding for eligible expenses that are incurred and expended within the eligible funding period.
- Minimum Grant Request: $500
- Maximum Grant Request: $2,500
Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in a project by providing 50% cash matching funds to the grant request for project expenses. For example, an applicant that requests $1,000 in grant funds must have at least $500 in cash match a minimum total project budget of $1,500.
Grant funds must be used for expenses incurred within the eligible funding period of based on the date of application:
- July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 for the May 2, 2022 application deadline
- September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 for the August 2, 2022 application deadline
- December 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 for the November 1, 2022 application deadline
- March 1, 2023 - June 30, 2023 for the February 1, 2023 application deadline
Grant funds must be used for expenses that advance an artist’s professional capacity, enhance their artistic practice, or expand the audience or market for their work. An "Eligible Project" is defined as activities that will enable the applicant to achieve a particular goal that advances their artistic career or practice.
Types of eligible activities include:
- Acquiring business services (e.g. contract preparation, business incorporation, accounting systems)
- Adapting performances or artistic services to new platforms (e.g. live streaming, virtual classes)
- Attending professional development opportunities (e.g. conference or workshop registration)
- Documenting work (e.g. professional photography, video, audio recording)
- Expanding capacity for creative work (e.g. space/equipment rental, material purchases)
- Learning new or advanced techniques in an art form (e.g. classes, apprenticeships)
- Securing presentation opportunities (e.g. exhibitions, publications, festivals)
- Upgrading marketing and promotion material (e.g. branding, website design, e-commerce)
Projects that fall outside of the identified types of eligible activities may not request funding through this grant program. Grant funds may not be used to support routine, ongoing activities or expenses. Applicants must demonstrate how the funding will enable them to achieve a particular goal related to their artistic career or practice.
Ineligible activities and expenses include:
- Acquisition/purchase of artwork including public art
- Capital projects
- Collection maintenance or restoration
- Construction or renovation of a property
- Fundraiser or benefit costs
- Lobbying activities
- Ongoing projects or programming for which the identified beginning and end dates are arbitrary
- Project submitted by an individual that is initiated, managed by, or that benefits an entity or organization
- Projects that result in an applicant’s course credit, degree or certification
- Projects that occur prior to or after the funding period
- Projects that have already received an Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grant for any part or phase of the project
- Religious activities
Eligible Grant Request Expenses
Artist Catalyst Grants support expenses that are essential to the completion of the proposed project. The grant request must be dedicated to eligible one-time, direct expenses, are legitimate parts of the proposed project, and must be incurred and expended within the eligible funding period. Expenses identified in the grant request should be based on competitive, current market pricing. Applicants that include ineligible expenses in the grant request will be considered ineligible.
Eligible expenses include:
- Artist Fees (e.g. creation, planning or performance time )
- In-State Travel (e.g. mileage, accommodation, per diem)
- Equipment under a total of $5,000 per unit (e.g. camera, software, kiln)
- Education Fees (e.g. course, instructor fees, excluding programs where academic credit is earned)
- Materials (e.g. paint, costumes, props)
- Marketing (e.g. print material, ad buys, design fees)
- Professional Services (e.g. printer, graphic designer, accountant, lawyer, crew, talent, editor)
- Rentals (e.g. stages, studio space, lighting/sound, scissor lift)
- Submission Fees (e.g. film festivals, exhibitions, publications)
Ineligible Grant Request Expenses
Expenses that fall outside of the identified eligible expenses for the project may not be included as part of the grant request. Applicants that include ineligible expenses in the grant request will be considered ineligible.
Ineligible grant request expenses include:
- Acquisition/purchase of artwork including public art
- Budget shortfalls
- Capital expenditures, including equipment or materials over a total of $5,000 per unit
- Collection maintenance or restoration expenses
- Donations or contributions to other organizations
- Deficit or debt reduction, including loan, line-of-credit, or mortgage payments
- Expenses incurred prior to or after the funding period
- Food, beverage, and alcohol
- Fundraising or benefit costs
- Home studio/office costs or related expenses, including utilities and mortgage payments
- Lobbying activity
- Ongoing or operating expenses including utilities, rent/lease, office supplies, and personnel time that is not dedicated to the project
- Out of state or foreign travel
- Personnel benefits
- Prizes and awards
- Property maintenance, restoration or renovation expenses
- Tuition, fees or project activity that results in an applicant's undergraduate or graduate course credit, degree or certification
- Unallowable expenses for federal awards as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles
Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in a project by providing cash matching funds in an amount that is one half (50%) the total grant amount requested from the Iowa Arts Council. For example, an applicant that requests $1,000 in grant funds must have at least $500 in cash match for a minimum total project budget of $1,500.
The required cash match must be dedicated to one-time expenses that are legitimate parts of the proposed project. Expenses identified in the match should be based on competitive, current market pricing. Applicants will be required to identify all anticipated cash match expenses and in-kind contributions beyond the grant request in the budget form, as well as the anticipated revenue sources that will cover them. The cash match does not have to be secured at the time of application, but must be secured and identified in the final report at the end of the funding period.
- Cash match is actual cash contributed to direct project expenses by the applicant or other funding sources
- Expenses used for cash match must be eligible grant request expenses as detailed in the Budget Requirements section of these guidelines
- In-kind match is donated goods or services contributed to the project by the applicant or other sources
- Funding from the state government cannot be used to meet the match requirement
- Funding from the federal government cannot be used to meet the match requirement
Eligible applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to apply.
- Individual artist, including visual/performing artist, filmmaker, musician, or creative writer
- Current, full-time Iowa resident with permanent address in Iowa
- Legal Iowa resident as defined by Iowa Code 422.4 and Iowa Administrative Code 701.38.17 (422)
- 18 years of age or older
- An application must support a project that is initiated, produced, and/or managed by the individual artist, not another entity or organization
- Applicants who represent an artist collective, artist team, or band must apply as an individual on behalf of the group and clearly state their individual role in the project proposal as the individual will be legally obligated to the terms of the grant agreement.
Ineligible applicants include the following types of entities and individuals.
- Applicants who have already submitted two unfunded applications for the same project
- For-profit corporation or business
- Entity/individual that uses a fiscal agent or the Iowa nonprofit or federal tax-exempt status of another organization
- Iowa Arts Council administered grantees who have already received a grant from the department for the current application funding period
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees who have already received a grant from the department for any part of the project
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees with an outstanding final report or who have been placed on a department funding moratorium
Iowa Arts Council Administered Grant Program Eligibility
- Applicants may only receive one Iowa Arts Council administered grant award per state fiscal year regardless of grant program
- Eligible individuals may only receive an Art Project Grant, Artist Catalyst Grant, Artist Fellowship, Greenlight Grant, or School Arts Experience Grant in a single fiscal year
- Applicants may not submit more than one application during a single grant deadline or cycle regardless of grant program
- Applicants may not submit more than two applications for the same project regardless of fiscal year if both applications are unfunded
- Projects may not receive more than one Iowa Arts Council administered grant regardless of applicant, phase of project or fiscal year
Applications are encouraged from all applicants that meet the applicant eligibility requirements; however, priority will be placed on applications from individuals that represent populations that have historically been under-resourced by arts and cultural funding due to rural geography, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status as defined in the Grants Terms and Definitions for fiscal year 2023.
Department Eligibility Review
Submitted applications are reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility and adherence to published funding priorities and guidelines. Applications are reviewed as submitted. New application information or subsequent application clarification submitted after a program deadline is not considered unless requested by a program manager. Staff will also review an applicant’s record of compliance and good standing with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State and Federal government. Applications or applicants determined by staff to be ineligible or incomplete will not move forward to panel review and are specifically denied any appeals process.
Eligible applications will be referred to a competitive review by a panel with appropriate expertise commensurate to the purpose of the grant program. Applications will be scored and ranked based on the published scoring rubric. Recommendations are submitted to the Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council and Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for consideration and funding approval. Applications will be awarded funding based on the ranked list, funding priorities, and available funding. All funding decisions are final and may not be appealed due to dissatisfaction. Applicants may review the department appeals policy for information on grounds for appeal and the appeal process.
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions within four weeks of the deadline. Applicants are notified of the status of their application whether they are or are not selected to receive funding. Applicants will be contacted if any additional information is required and are encouraged to refrain from contacting staff for application status updates until funding decisions are made.
Online Application Submission
Applicants must submit applications via the Iowa Arts Council’s SlideRoom, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants can access the current online application requirements at iowaartscouncil.slideroom.com. Applicants must create a login to view the full application requirements for the program. Applicants can visit help.liaisonedu.com for assistance related to the online submission.