Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund

    The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund provides short-term financial relief to eligible organizations impacted by natural disasters, emergencies and other unforeseen events that pose an active threat to publicly-accessible artistic, cultural or humanities resources.

    Funding for the program is provided by the Iowa legislature.

    Who: Iowa Nonprofits and Local Governments
    What: $1,000 - $10,000
    When: Rolling deadline until program funds are depleted for the funding period of July 1 - June 30.

    How to Apply

    1. Read the program guidelines
    2. Contact Administrator David Schmitz at david.schmitz2@iowa.gov or 515-281-4641 to determine if funds are available and discuss the emergency funding need.
    3. Submit the application

    Manage Your Grant

    Grantee Handbook

    Download the current Grantee Handbook or the fiscal year 2020-2021 Emergency Relief Grantee Handbook to learn how to manage your grant, including contract compliance and acknowledgment.

    Final Report

    Grant recipients must complete a final report form at the end of the process and share the impact of the grant funding on arts and culture in Iowa. Please refer to the guidelines of your specific grant program for reporting requirements.


    2020 Program Activation - Round One

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

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

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

    2020 Program Activation - Rounds Two and Three

    May 2020

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

    In Round Two, grants were awarded to support Iowa nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, with special funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest, through the CARES Act. In Round Three, grants were awarded to support Iowa humanities organizations including museums, historic sites, preservation & historical societies, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), through the CARES Act.  Additionally, the IDCA partnered with the NEH to award fiscal year 2020 grants.

    Grantees can review the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund Round Two and Round Three program guidelines online. To see grant recipients of Round 2 and 3, click here.

    2020 Derecho Recovery

    The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund - Derecho Recovery program will support Iowa humanities organizations including museums, historic properties, preservation & historical organizations, and community & cultural organizations located in the 16 counties designated as FEMA disaster relief areas due to the August 2020 derecho storm. Funding is made possible through a National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman’s Grant for Disaster Mitigation to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

    Who: Humanities Nonprofit Organizations, Units of Government that oversee humanities collections
    What: $1,000 - $5,000
    When: The Derecho Recovery grant is no longer accepting applications

    Grantees can review the Derecho Recovery program guidelines online.

    Iowa Arts & Culture Recovery Program

    December 2020

    Who: Nonprofit Cultural Organizations, Live Music Venues, Government Owned Cultural Venues, Individual Artists
    What: Awards were calculated based on an equitable funding formula outlined in the guidelines
    When: Application closed December 11, 2020

    On December 1, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds allocated $7 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for the purpose of providing economic relief to Iowa’s arts and culture industry. The funding was administered by the Iowa Arts Council, on behalf of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, through the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund.

    Iowa's arts and culture industry has experienced significant and ongoing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual artists, live music venues, and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are all in urgent need of financial assistance to sustain operations, preserve jobs, and offset revenue losses and necessary expenses incurred in the course of responding to the public health emergency.

    Eligible Iowa arts and cultural organizations, businesses and individual artists whose normal operations have been interrupted due to the pandemic and ongoing public health emergency were encouraged to apply for grant funding.

    Grantees can review the Iowa Arts & Culture Recovery Program guidelines and FAQs online:

    This was a highly competitive program as demand for these grants exceeded available funding. No applicant was guaranteed a funding award or amount.

    Review the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund grant recipients online

    American Rescue Plan Grants

    October 2021

    Who: Iowa artists and Iowa arts, culture and humanities organizations
    What: $500-$20,000
    When: October 1, 2021 for the funding period of July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022

    The department awarded more than $1.5 million in federal funding, made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and special appropriations to the department from two federal agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, to support the ongoing recovery of the arts, cultural and humanities sector during the pandemic. Review the complete list of American Rescue Plan grant recipients online.

    For information about the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs' American Rescue Plan grants, visit the following:

    Current grant recipients can access the program guidelines, final report form and grantee handbook at the links below.


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