Fiscal Year 2023 Program Guidelines
Greenlight Grants encourage entrepreneurship in Iowa by enhancing the professional capacity of Iowa’s media industry. Funding helps Iowans take their projects from script-to-screen and become job creators that grow the film and television industry in Iowa, build collaboration with other in-state filmmakers and benefit small businesses who service the industry.
Funding for the Greenlight Grant program 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. The program is administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, on behalf of Produce Iowa. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council.
Potential applicants, especially first time applicants, are encouraged to review all published material and contact Senior Program and Operations Manager Veronica O’Hern 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 application support, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator Lindsay Keast at 515-281-8352 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of application deadlines.
Fiscal Year 2023 Application Deadline
May 2, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. for the funding period of July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions via email by June 30, 2022
Final Report Deadline
Grant recipients are required to complete a final report by August 1, 2024
Eligible Use of Funds
Grant funds must be used for direct expenses related to the production and post-production of a film or digital media project. Funding may be used only for goods and services acquired through vendors located in Iowa.* Project activities may occur before or after the funding period; however, the grant funds can support expenses and activities that occur only within the funding period. Funded projects must place Produce Iowa and Iowa Arts Council logos in credits on screen.
*Applicants may request an expense exemption for consideration by the department for certain expenses that are not available in Iowa. The department reserves the right to approve or deny any requests at their discretion.
Applicants may request funding for eligible one-time project expenses that are incurred and expended within the eligible funding period. The department reserves the right to adjust funding levels based on the quality of submitted applications.
- Minimum Grant Request: $10,000
- Maximum Grant Request: $50,000
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 $10,000 in grant funds must have at least $5,000 in cash match a minimum total project budget of $15,000.
Funding Disbursement and Reporting
Grant funds will be administered directly to an individual, not to a for-profit entity, in one lump sum at the start of the funding period. Grant recipients will be required to demonstrate the grant funds and cash match have been spent by providing documentation of expenditures and proof of purchase from Iowa vendors as well as to disclose any other expenses and in-kind donations to the project on final report forms provided by the department. Payments to crew, vendors or service providers must be made within 30 days of receipt of invoices. The grant recipient is responsible for securing any additional funds needed to cash flow the project appropriately.
Failure to demonstrate that the grant recipient has completed the project to the satisfaction of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will result in the requirement to repay the grant funds to the State of Iowa within 30 days of the end of the funding period.
Eligible applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to apply.
- Individual filmmaker
- If awarded funding, the individual filmmaker will be legally and financially responsible for the grant award and meeting contract requirements
- 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 filmmaker, not another entity or organization
- Maintain current registration in the Produce Iowa Media Production Directory
- Individual filmmakers are encouraged to register on the Iowa Targeted Small Business website
Ineligible applicants include the following types of entities:
- For-profit corporation or business
- Federally tax exempt nonprofit organization
- Public and private school that serves grades pre-K through 12
- Nonprofit institution of higher education
- Unit of local, county or federally-recognized tribal government
- Agency, department, or division of county, state, or federal government, including: libraries, parks and recreation, and arts and cultural offices that exist as an agency, department or division of county, state or federal government
- Artist groups, collaboratives and collectives
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs employees and their immediate family members
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs applicants who have already submitted two unfunded applications for the same project
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees who have already received a grant from the department for the current application funding period
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantee who has already received a grant from the department for any phase of the project
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantee with an outstanding final report or placement 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
Eligible projects include the production and post-production of an original film or digital media project within the state of Iowa. Applicants may request funding to support a specific phase of a larger project within the funding period but are encouraged to resource the phase and overall project appropriately. Applicants may only receive support from Iowa Arts Council once in the lifetime of the project and are, therefore, encouraged to apply at the appropriate time when state funding will be most impactful.
Funds must be used for one-time production expenses for goods and services provided by businesses located in Iowa. Examples of eligible project activities include:
- Set Construction
- Location Scouting
- Picture Editing
- Sound Engineering
- Musical Scoring
- Sound/Visual Effects
Eligible Genres of Projects
The following genres of film or digital media productions are eligible:
Eligible Types of Projects
The following types of film or digital media productions are eligible.
- Feature including sequels
- Web Series
- Episodic including pilot episodes or new seasons
- Sizzle Reel
Projects that fall outside of the identified types of eligible projects may not request funding through this grant program. Ineligible projects also include the following types of activities and projects.
- Award Shows
- Productions with news, talk shows, religious, political, instructional, corporate or obscene content
- Projects that result in an applicant’s course credit, degree or certification
- Project submitted by an individual that is initiated, managed by, or that benefit an entity or organization with which the individual applicant has a formal affiliation such as employment or volunteer service
- Projects that have already received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
- Separate phases of a project that has already received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
- Sequels or new seasons of episodic productions are considered eligible, distinct projects
- Project activities may occur before or after the funding period; however, the grant funds and required match can support expenses and activities that occur only within the funding period.
Eligible Grant Request Expenses
Greenlight Grants support one-time, direct project expenses that are essential to the completion of the proposed project. The grant request must be dedicated to eligible one-time, direct project expenses, legitimate parts of the proposed project, and must be incurred and expended within the eligible funding period. Applicants will be required to identify any other anticipated cash expenses and in-kind contributions beyond the grant request in the project budget as well as the anticipated revenue sources that will cover them. Expenses identified in the grant budget should be based on competitive, current market pricing. All grant request expenses must be acquired through Iowa vendors unless otherwise approved by the department.
Eligible grant request expenses include direct project costs for goods and services such as:
- Crew/Labor (e.g. director, cinematographer, grip, talent, production assistant)
- In-State Travel (e.g. mileage, accommodation, per diem, rental vehicles, gas)
- Marketing (e.g. graphic design, ad buys, web design, publicist)
- Production Rentals (e.g. camera, lighting, sound, props, tents, scissor lift, trucks, portable restrooms, generators)
- Professional Services (e.g. insurance, legal, accounting, payroll)
- Support Services (e.g. sanitation, construction, security, dry cleaning, florist, craft services)
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 or inflated expenses in the grant request will be considered ineligible. Ineligible grant request and match expenses include:
- Budget shortfalls
- Capital expenditures
- Collection maintenance or restoration expenses
- Deficit or debt reduction
- Equipment purchases
- Expenses incurred prior to or after the funding period
- Foreign travel
- Fundraising or benefit activities
- Goods or services acquired through vendors located outside of Iowa not approved by the department
- Inflated, noncompetitive pricing of goods or services
- Lobbying activity
- Ongoing or operating expenses including utilities, rent/lease, office supplies, personnel time that is not specifically dedicated to the project
- Out-of-state travel
- Personnel benefits
- Pre-production activities
- Prizes and awards
- Property maintenance, restoration or renovation
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 $10,000 in grant funds must have at least $5,000 in cash match for a minimum project budget of $15,000. Applicants are responsible for determining what level of funding they can afford to match.
The required cash match must be dedicated to one-time project 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 project budget 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
- 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
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.
Priority will be placed on applications from individuals that are alumni of an Iowa college or university.
Iowa Targeted Small Business
Priority will be placed on applications from individuals who are registered on the Iowa Targeted Small Business website.
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 assistance related to the online submission.
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. 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.
Competitive Panel Review
Eligible applications will be referred to a competitive review by a panel of professionals 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 via email by June 30, 2022. 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.