Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund

    The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund provides short-term financial relief to those in the arts, cultural, creative and humanities fields most impacted by state disaster declarations, natural disasters, and other forms of emergencies.

    The program is administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

    2020 Funding Rounds

    During Round One (open April 13-17), eligibility was limited to individual artists and small arts nonprofit organizations. Funding was made possible by an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA).

    In Round Two (open April 24-May 1), eligibility was limited to arts and cultural organizations. Funding was made possible by special appropriations from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest, through the CARES Act, to the IDCA.

    During Round Three (open May 11-May 26), eligibility is limited to cultural organizations with a focus in a humanities discipline. Funding for this round is made possible by special appropriations from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the IDCA. In addition to CARES Act funding, the IDCA is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities to award fiscal year 2020 grants.

    2020 Program Activation - Round Three

    Apply for one-time emergency relief funding to support Iowa cultural organizations sustaining the humanities during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    Who: Humanities Organizations
    What: $1,000 - $20,000 for eligible Iowa humanities organizations
    When: Application closes May 26, 2020

    The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund has been activated to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Public Health Emergency Declaration in the State of Iowa issued by Governor Kim Reynolds on March 17, 2020. Grants awarded through the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund are intended to support those most impacted and vulnerable by serving as a bridge between severe financial loss and other state and federal public assistance.

    In the current round, the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund grants will be made available to support Iowans in the following category:

    • Iowa humanities organizations including museums, historic sites, preservation & historical societies, and community & cultural organizations
      • that have been in existence since March 17, 2017
      • that currently maintain a 501(c)3 nonprofit status
      • that had annual operating expenses of $10,000 or more for the most recently completed fiscal year

    Available Funding

    The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund has been established with initial funding from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, with additional support through the CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Arts Midwest.

    Due to the extent of this public health emergency, grant requests are anticipated to exceed available funding. Should additional funding become available, the application period may reopen.

    How to Apply

    1. Read the Round Three program guidelines
    2. Complete the application form*

    *Please note: Iowa humanities organizations that previously submitted an application in Round One (April 13-17) or Round Two (April 24-May 1) do not need to reapply in Round Three. Submitted applications will automatically be considered for funding in this round and applicants will be contacted if any additional information is needed in the course of reviewing the application.


    2020 Program Activation - Round One

    Who: Artists, Arts Nonprofits
    What: $1,000 for eligible Iowa artists and $2,500 for eligible Iowa arts nonprofits
    When: Application closed April 17, 2020

    Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund Round One grants were awarded to support Iowans in two categories:

    • individual Iowa artists
    • Iowa nonprofit arts organizations with operating expenses between $50,000 - $150,000

    Grantees can review the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund Round One program guidelines online.

    2020 Program Activation - Round Two

    Who: Arts and Culture Nonprofits
    What: $1,000 - $20,000 for eligible Iowa arts and cultural nonprofits
    When: Application closed May 1, 2020

    Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund Round Two grants were awarded to support Iowans in two categories:

    • Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations whose missions are to advance arts and/or culture and are located in Iowa or a border community
    • Arts or cultural department or division of a municipal government that is also incorporated in Iowa under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act

    Grantees can review the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund Round Two program guidelines online.


    Manage Your Grant

    Final Report

    Nonprofit grant recipients must complete a final report form at the end of the process and share the impact of the project on arts and culture in Iowa. A final report for individual artist grant recipients is not required. More information about reporting requirements will be provided to grant recipients.


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