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.
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.
The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund program is administered by the Iowa Arts Council. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council.
Humanities Program Guidelines
Round Three: May 11-26, 2020
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
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.
Grant requests are anticipated to exceed available funding. Organizations are eligible to receive one emergency grant in the three rounds of funding.
May 11, 2020 - Application Opens
The application will open on May 11, 2020.
May 26, 2020 - Application Deadline
The application will close on May 26, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
June 1, 2020 - Award Notification
Applicants will be notified of their status and funding decisions by June 1, 2020.
December 31, 2020 - End of Funding Period
Grant funds must be spent by December 31, 2020.
February 1, 2021 - Final Report Deadline
Grant recipients are required to complete a final report by February 1, 2021.
Grants of $1,000 - $20,000 will be awarded to eligible nonprofit applicants based on the following chart.
|Organizational Operating Expenses||Grant Award|
|$10,000 - $49,999||$1,000|
|$50,000 - $149,999||$2,500|
|$150,000 - $499,999||$5,000|
|$500,000 - $999,999||$10,000|
|$1,000,000 - $1,999,999||$15,000|
Eligible Use of Funds
Grant funds provide financial relief to Iowa’s humanities organizations who have experienced a loss of opportunity and/or a significant disruption to the delivery of existing programs or services, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awarded funds may only be used for the following type of expenses:
- Facility Costs (e.g. rent, utilities)
- Staff Salaries (e.g. salary, wages, and fringe benefits)
- Humanities programming and projects that focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, or providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement.
- Fees to humanities scholars and other individuals participating in humanities programming and projects, as described above.
Ineligible Use of Funds
Grant funds may only be used for expenses listed under Eligible Use of Funds. In addition, the grant funds may not be used for any of the following expenses:
- Capital expenditures, including equipment equal to or greater than $5,000 per unit
- Foreign Travel
- Fundraisers or benefits
- Lobbying activity
- Prizes and awards
- Religious activity
- Projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies)
- Programs that promote a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view; advocate for a particular social or political action; or support specific public policies or legislation
Grant funds must be spent on eligible expenses by December 31, 2020.
There are no matching requirements.
Grant recipients will receive a contract via email for electronic signature upon notice of award decisions. Contracts will be processed upon completion and funding will be disbursed as quickly as possible through the State Accounting Enterprise which typically takes 2-3 weeks to process.
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.
Funds are administered through the State of Iowa. Grant recipients who have outstanding debts to the State of Iowa will receive garnished award payments to fulfill any debts.
Humanities Organization Applicant Requirements
Eligible applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Applicants that do not meet all of these requirements are not eligible to apply.
- Organization is located and incorporated in Iowa, under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act, and holds federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status; and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
- Organizations that received funding from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in the past 5 fiscal years and are located in a border community are also eligible. However, if a border community applicant receives CARES Act funding from their home state, they are ineligible to receive funding through this grant program.
- Organization that is humanities focused with a primary purpose to support one or more humanities disciplines as reflected in their mission. Organizations that have other goals but include some humanities programming are not eligible.
- Humanities as defined in the grant terms and definitions
- Organization has annual operating expenses of $10,000 or more for the most recent fiscal year.
- Organization has been in existence since March 17, 2017.
The following types of nonprofits are not eligible to apply:
- Non humanities organizations
- Public libraries
- Universities, colleges or academic departments of a college or university
- Organization physically located outside of Iowa (besides those noted above)
- Organization that uses a fiscal agent or the Iowa nonprofit or federal tax-exempt status of another organization
- For-profit corporation or business, religious organization, political party or national service/professional organization
- Auditorium, convention center or similar type of venue
- Educational institution, organization or pre-K through 12 school, whose primary orientation, mission and purpose is education and the awarding of academic credits
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees with an outstanding final report or who have been placed on a department funding moratorium
- Previous grant recipients from the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund
Iowa Arts Council Administered Program Eligibility
- Eligible applicants are allowed to receive one emergency award in addition to the one allowable grant award per state fiscal year given the emergency nature of the funding
- Organizations that have been approved for loans or grants through the Small Business Administration, through programs including but not limited to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), are eligible to receive an emergency award; however, federal regulations prohibit funding the same expense (e.g. educator salary) with more than one source of federal funding during the period in which they are receiving PPP funding, specifically.
- Organizations that receive funding through the CARES Act Grant program directly from the Institute of Museum Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts or the National Endowment for the Humanities may not receive funding from this grant program
- Eligible applicants may apply to these federal agency programs and this grant program, but funding from this grant program will be held until federal funding decisions are made
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 SlideRoom assistance related to the online submission.
Applications are reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility and adherence to published guidelines. Applications are reviewed as submitted. New information or subsequent 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 be considered for funding and are specifically denied any appeals process.
Eligible applications will be reviewed and awarded to the extent that funding is available. To maintain equitable access to available funds, applications will be reviewed within their funding tier and the following funding priorities will be considered:
- Demonstration of need and actual loss of income as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Jobs supported by the grant funds
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Grant Recipient FY 2016-2020
- Organizations that primarily serve underrepresented populations who identify as persons of color; identify as persons with disabilities; identify as LGBTQIA+; and/or organization is located in an eligible rural county
- Distribution of funds throughout the state
Potential applicants are encouraged to review all published material and contact Arts Learning Manager Jennie Knoebel at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions in advance of application deadlines.