The Iowa Arts Council administers funding programs on behalf of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, a state agency, and the State of Iowa. All funding programs shall be conducted according to published guidelines that outline the program goals, eligibility requirements, funding priorities, review criteria, application forms, adjudication processes and recipient requirements. Funding programs shall require formal application and review prior to the award or denial of funds. The application, review and award process will vary with the nature and design of each grant program and will occur according to published guidelines.
An application shall not be considered unless submitted on current application forms with all requirements met. 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.
All information submitted to the Iowa Arts Council as part of a program application is public information in accordance with Iowa Code 22 and Iowa Administrative Code 221.2.
All communication regarding application processes, program requirements and funding decisions will be made electronically via email.
All patents, copyrights or other legal interest of relevance to the project or activity supported by the Iowa Arts Council shall be the sole and exclusive property of the recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds, artist or the artist’s designee.
Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Accessibility
Making arts and culture accessible to all Iowans is a priority of Iowa Arts Council programs and services. Equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from programs and services of the Iowa Arts Council is provided to all individuals regardless of race, national origin, color, creed, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or associational preference. Recipients are required by federal law not to discriminate against persons participating in Iowa Arts Council funded or sponsored activities on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, physical or mental disability. All parties involved in activities funded or sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council must comply with: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.), The Fair Labor Standards under Section 5(j) of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Freedom of Expression
The Iowa Arts Council supports the right of free speech for all citizens under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and recognizes its inherent role in artistic expression.
Iowa Great Places Consideration
Designated Iowa Great Places receive additional consideration by Iowa Arts Council administered funding programs for projects endorsed by the Iowa Great Places Board for three years post-endorsement, pursuant to Section 303.3C, subsection 4 of the Iowa Code. Eligible applications will be reviewed to determine if a proposed project is eligible for additional consideration during the application review process.
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, with noted exceptions:
- Strengthening Communities Grant recipients with active grant contracts are eligible to apply.
- Humanities Grant recipients with active grant contracts are eligible to apply.
- Greenlight Grant recipients with active grant contracts are not eligible to apply in a new fiscal year that is within an active grant contracts period of performance.
- 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
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees with an outstanding final report or who have been placed on a department funding moratorium are ineligible for funding
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs employees are ineligible for funding
*Published guidelines for each grant program contain additional information regarding types of eligible applicants.
Iowa Border State Policy
An organization physically located in a border state community immediately adjacent to Iowa is eligible for certain Iowa Arts Council funding programs as specified in published guidelines.
The organization must be a nonprofit 501(c)3 incorporated in Iowa or a border state that has federal tax-exempt status. The organization must be registered to do business in Iowa with the Secretary of State’s office. Organizations physically located outside of Iowa may not use fiscal agents in Iowa to become eligible for Iowa Arts Council funding programs. An eligible border state organization must demonstrate that the funding request significantly impacts the artistic and cultural vitality of Iowa and predominately serves Iowans.
Fiscal Agent Policy
Organizations, projects or initiatives that are eligible to be federally tax exempt, 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations incorporated in Iowa but have not yet attained this status may use a fiscal agent to apply for certain Iowa Arts Council administered funding programs as specified in published guidelines. Fiscal agents must fulfill the definition of an eligible federally tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated and physically located in Iowa and any additional eligibility requirements for the funding program. Eligible fiscal agents agree to be the legal party responsible for the management and reporting requirements of the funding award. Entities that maintain any other business or nonprofit legal status are not permitted to use a fiscal agent to become eligible for Iowa Arts Council administered funding programs.
Iowa Arts Council administered funding programs utilize advisory panels to assist staff in department review processes. Advisory panels are comprised of Iowa professionals with appropriate expertise commensurate to the purpose of the funding program. Recommendations of advisory panels constitute advice and shall not be binding to the Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council or to the Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Final funding decision and authority rests with the Director or the Director’s designee.
Conflicts of Interest
Advisory panel members are required to declare conflicts of interest prior to review of applications for Iowa Arts Council administered funding programs. A conflict of interest occurs when the panel member is the applicant, contact person, directly involved in execution of the proposed activity or stands to directly benefit from the funding award; when the panel member is formally affiliated with the applicant such as employee, board member, trustee; or when the panel member is immediately related to the applicant.
Federal Match Restrictions
Iowa Arts Council administered programs may be supported, in part, by appropriations from the federal government to the state agency. Applicants may not use federal funds to meet obligations to match Iowa Arts Council administered funds in programs supported by federal appropriations to the state. Applicants to programs funded by the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund may use federal funds outside those allocated to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to meet match requirements.
State Match Restrictions
Applicants to Iowa Arts Council administered funding programs may not utilize state funds to meet obligations to match Iowa Arts Council or Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs funding programs. Applicants to programs funded by the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund may use state funds outside the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to meet match requirements.
Political Advocacy Restrictions
Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds may not utilize awarded funds for lobbying or political advocacy purposes.
Indirect Cost Rate
Iowa Arts Council administered programs supported by funding from the federal government will accept a federally-negotiated indirect cost rate from eligible entities or a 10% de minimis rate. The rate is applied to eligible direct project costs applied to the grant award. The indirect costs can be covered by the grant award or included as part of the cash match. Entities who plan to include indirect cost rates must contact Iowa Arts Council staff for clarification.
Section 106 Consideration
Per section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, entities that receive grant awards from a federally supported program must determine whether the federally funded undertaking will have an effect on an historic property. Historic properties are locations eligible for or already listed on the National Register of Historic Properties. Applicants are responsible for disclosing when a proposed undertaking will be located in an historic area or on an historic building. The Iowa Arts Council will consult the State Historic Preservation Office to determine whether the undertaking will have an effect on an historic property. Undertakings found to have an effect on an historic property must undergo a Section 106 review before funds will be released.
The Iowa Arts Council shall issue a contract for all funds awarded. A recipient of Iowa Arts Council administered funds that does not successfully complete a contract or related funding reports may be required to return all or part of Iowa Arts Council funds. Such determination will be made at the sole discretion of the Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council.
Grant payments are processed as non-taxable payments by the State of Iowa. Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds will not receive a 1099MISC form for grant funding received from the Iowa Arts Council. Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds should consult a tax advisor regarding the implications of grant payments on taxes.
Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds shall credit the Iowa Arts Council and Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in all promotion, publicity, advertising and any print material relating to the grant-supported project with a credit line or reasonable facsimile according to published guidelines. Noncompliance with this policy shall jeopardize future funding of the recipient.
Endorsement and Fundraising
Iowa Arts Council administered funds may be used by recipients to leverage additional funding for approved projects or activities. With the exception of the Iowa Great Places program, the Iowa Arts Council and Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs are prohibited from endorsing or having the appearance of endorsing entities for the purpose of fundraising beyond the scope of approved and funded activity. Entities may not use the Iowa Arts Council or Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs names, logos or related insignia as an endorsement of activity without approval from the department.
A recipient of Iowa Arts Council administered funds is not eligible to apply for or receive new funds and will be placed on a funding moratorium of one year if department records show a late final report or outstanding contract requirement.
Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds may request extensions to the contracted funding period. Extensions must be requested during the contracted period in which the funds were awarded. Requests must be submitted in writing and are reviewed by the Iowa Arts Council Administrator for consideration and approval. All extension decisions by the Administrator are final.
Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds are required to keep financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other records pertinent to grants for a minimum of three years after the end of the funding period.
Recipients of Iowa Arts Council administered funds may be asked by the Iowa Arts Council, or the federal agency that provides appropriations to support the program, to submit to periodic on-site programmatic, managerial and fiscal audits.
Grounds for Appeal
An appeals process is only available to an applicant whose application was declined funding based on procedural impropriety or error. The appeal process is a review of decisions reached on an application as originally submitted. New application information or subsequent application clarification are not considered in the appeal process.
Policies, program goals, eligibility requirements, funding priorities, review criteria, application forms, adjudication processes and recipient requirements are not subject to appeal. Dissatisfaction with a funding amount, funding decision, reviewer ratings or subjective panel opinions are not subject to appeal. Applications determined to be incomplete or ineligible are specifically denied any appeals process.
Request for an appeal must provide evidence that an application was denied funding based on:
- Review criteria other than those appearing in published guidelines
- Influence of a reviewer failing to disclose a conflict of interest
- Highly erroneous information provided by staff or panel members at the time of review
Applicants must complete the following steps in order to submit an appeal. Appeals must be submitted by the authorizing official of the original application. Appeals will not be accepted from any other parties.
- Staff Consultation – Applicants must consult with the staff member assigned to the application to review the funding decision within 14 days of the funding notification date.
- Notification of Informal Appeal – If the applicant seeks to pursue an informal appeal, the informal appeal must be sent in writing to the Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council within 30 days of the funding notification date. The informal appeal must include evidence to support one or more of the published grounds for appeal.
- Informal Appeal Review – The Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will review the informal appeal and, at their sole discretion, make a ruling.
- Notification of Informal Appeal Ruling – The Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will notify the applicant in writing of the ruling of the informal appeal.
- Formal Appeal – The ruling of the informal appeal by the Director may be appealed through a formal appeal process as set out in Iowa Code 17A.