The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund provides short-term financial relief to those in the arts, cultural and creative industries 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. Funding 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, by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and Arts Midwest. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council.
State of Iowa Public Health Emergency Declaration
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its related effects have placed unprecedented strain on families, workers, and businesses across Iowa, including the arts and cultural community. Artists and contract workers engaged in producing art and arts and cultural events, in particular, are facing unprecedented loss of income due to widespread cancellation of events, residencies, and production contracts. Nonprofit organizations, particularly those dependent on revenue from admissions, ticket sales, and other sources of earned income, are another segment of the Iowa arts and cultural community especially hard-hit by this public health emergency.
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.
Round Two: April 24-May 1, 2020
During the current funding round, the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund grants will be made available to support Iowans in the following categories:
- nonprofit Iowa arts and cultural organizations
- that are struggling to maintain jobs and/or facilities due to substantial financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic
- 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
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 from the National Endowment for the Arts 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. Eligible applicants who have applied before the deadline, but have not yet been awarded funding, will not need to reapply should the applications reopen. Unfunded, eligible applications may be considered in subsequent application cycles. Applicants will be notified of their status as indicated in the program timeline.
April 24, 2020 - Application Opens
The application will open on April 24, 2020.
May 1, 2020 - Application Deadline
The application will close on May 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
May 15, 2020 - Award Notification
Applicants will be notified of their status and funding decisions by May 15, 2020.
December 31, 2020 - End of Funding
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 arts and cultural organizations who have experienced a loss of opportunity 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)
- Artist Fees
- Contracted Personnel
- defined as non-artist individuals to whom the organization would issue a 1099MISC form
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
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 1-2 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.
Arts and Culture 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 in Iowa and incorporated in Iowa under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act and holds federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.
- 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 arts or culture focused with a primary purpose to support arts and/or culture as reflected in their mission. Organizations that have other goals but include some arts and/or cultural programming are not eligible.
- arts and culture as defined in the grant terms and definitions
- Arts or cultural department or division of a municipal government that is also incorporated in Iowa under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act (does not include arts or cultural committees, libraries, parks or recreation departments).
- Organization has annual operating expenses of $10,000 or more for the most recent fiscal year.
- Organization has incurred substantial financial loss as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Organization has been in existence since March 17, 2017.
The following types of nonprofits are not eligible to apply:
- Non-arts and culture organizations
- 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 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 both the 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
- 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.