The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced it has awarded more than $2.1 million in grants for art, film, history and culture. The state agency also designated or re-designated 22 communities as Iowa Great Places or Cultural and Entertainment Districts.
“Iowa is becoming known as a culturally vibrant state with world-class arts and cultural offerings, where engaging experiences revitalize communities with unique characteristics and local charm,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
Art, film, history and culture are vital factors that business leaders, families and millennials consider when choosing where to set up shop or settle down to live, work and play. Cultural programs help boost the quality of life and promote economic growth.
To support those efforts statewide, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has awarded more than 200 grants and designations that will serve as catalysts for new community initiatives, creative projects, cultural organizations and small businesses.
This year the department added Greenlight Grants for film and media projects.
“These film and media projects feature interesting stories while also showcasing Iowa,” Kramer said. “These projects represent Iowa as a place that values the creative sector as an economic driver, contributing to a productive business climate and a diversified economy.”
The $2,107,102 in grant funding announced today is made through several programs overseen by the department’s divisions: the Iowa Arts Council, the State Historical Society of Iowa and Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media production. This year the department received a slight increase in funding from state and federal officials, a reflection of widespread support for Iowa art, film, history and culture. Grants announced in this release are funded with appropriations from the Iowa Legislature and through funding as a state arts agency from the National Endowment for the Arts.
These grant programs support community projects, artist-led initiatives, historic preservation, cultural education and more. The following summary is divided into three broad categories.
Iowa Great Places and Cultural & Entertainment Districts
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs designates communities as Iowa Great Places to support new and existing infrastructure that cultivates unique and authentic qualities of neighborhoods, communities and regions in Iowa. Similarly, the agency designates communities as Cultural and Entertainment Districts to recognize well-identified, walkable, mixed-use areas of a city or county where a high concentration of cultural facilities serves as an anchor. Overall, the state now recognizes 40 Iowa Great Places communities and eight Cultural and Entertainment Districts.
The City of Marshalltown is focused on creating an environment where they cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of community by making it a great place to live, work and play. Through ongoing visioning and IMAGINE plan, Marshalltown has identified the following goals: creation of a pedestrian and bicycling friendly community; development of Linn Creek Riverwalk; Development of Riverview Park and Beautify the North Entrance; and target beautification projects.
View the full list of new and re-designated communities and learn more about the Iowa Great Places and Cultural & Entertainment District program.
View the entire Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs press release by clicking here