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Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced the launch of an Iowa Arts & Cultural Recovery Program on Wednesday. The statewide grant program will provide short-term relief to arts venues, cultural organizations and creative workers who have lost significant business or income due to the pandemic.

“Art, history, culture and creativity are vital to Iowa communities and further promote our overall quality of life,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Right now, many cultural venues are financially at risk and this program will provide new resources to help them adapt their operations, maintain jobs, and re-open safely as we return to a new normal.” 

The state has allocated $7 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for the Iowa Arts & Cultural Recovery Program. The statewide program, an extension of the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, is offered through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and will be administered by two of its divisions, the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa.

The Iowa Arts & Culture Recovery Program will provide relief grants ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 for arts and cultural organizations struggling to make up for reduced admissions, ticket sales, and other revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program also will provide relief grants for eligible Iowa artists who are experiencing financial hardship and can demonstrate lost revenue and/or increased expenditures due to the ongoing public health emergency.

“We are grateful to Governor Reynolds for recognizing and valuing the importance of arts and culture by preserving jobs and supporting operations at destinations across the state,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “Even though the arts and cultural sector has served Iowans in innovative new ways this year – through virtual learning, outdoor performances and online concerts – these new grants are necessary to sustain Iowa’s museums, performing arts theaters, music venues, and an entire industry that is critical to Iowa’s long-term goals of workforce development, creative placemaking and tourism.”

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs opens the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund to new applications on Dec. 1. Nonprofit cultural organizations, eligible music venues and individual artists may apply to the program through Dec. 11.

Grant funds may be used to offset lost revenue from closures, canceled events or business interruptions and applied to the costs of facilities, payroll and other eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 30, 2020. Grant funds also may be used for expenses associated with reopening, adopting COVID-19 cleaning and safety measures, or adapting programs to virtual formats.

Grant applications and a full list of eligibility requirements can be found online at iowaculture.gov. Application questions should be directed to Veronica O’Hern, the Iowa Arts Council’s grant services and artist program manager, at [email protected]

To help explain the application guidelines, the Iowa Arts Council will offer a pair of one-hour webinars on Friday, Dec. 4 – one at 10 a.m. for organizations and music venues, and another at 2 p.m. for individual artists. Interested participants are encouraged to pre-register for the webinars at iowaculture.gov.

The Iowa Arts Council staff also will be available to answer questions during virtual office hours Dec. 7-11.

Facts and figures about Iowa’s arts and culture industry

  • The nonprofit arts, entertainment and recreation sector is one of the industries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research conducted by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and University of Northern Iowa.
  • Iowa’s nonprofit arts and culture industry has lost hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue since the pandemic began, according to an American for the Arts survey of more than 350 Iowa arts and cultural organizations.
  • In a typical year, Iowa’s creative sector accounts for 2.3 percent of the state’s economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Iowa’s arts, culture, history and creative industries, including film and media, together employ more than 42,000 Iowans working in more than 5,000 nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Author: Press Release