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Gov. Reynolds and Iowa Economic Development Authority announce $1.4 million in grant awards

August 28, 2023

For more information contact:

Kanan Kappelman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.348.6248

Gov. Reynolds and Iowa Economic Development Authority announce $1.4 million in grant awards

August 28, 2023 (Des Moines, IA) Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today announced that more than $1.4 million in grants were awarded to advance the arts, culture and creative industries across Iowa.

In all, 131 Iowa organizations and Iowans were recommended and approved for funding.  The grants are matched by local and private investment and support a wide range of creative and cultural activities benefiting Iowans, from innovative public art projects and exhibitions, to concerts, festivals, and theatrical and film productions.

“Arts and culture are an important part of economic development,” said IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham. “These attractions and creative businesses fuel growth in our communities and add the quality of life that attract visitors and new residents to Iowa.”

Funding for the grants is made possible by annual appropriations from the Iowa Legislature to the IEDA and through federal-state partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The grants are administered by the Iowa Arts Council, which became part of the IEDA on July 1 along with Produce Iowa, the State Office of Film and Media, and the State Historic Preservation Office.

Here are just a few of the Arts Project grant recipients announced today:

  • The Wartburg Community Symphony and Wartburg Opera will partner to perform Hansel and Gretel this December. The project will include extensive community engagement with site visits to area classrooms and senior facilities.
  • The Orange City Arts Council will bring Téada, a world-class Irish band, to its rural community for an accessible public performance and a second performance at a local care center to enrich the lives of elderly and disabled citizens.
  • Fresh Films in Davenport will launch a Career Path Program for Scott County teens, in partnership with Davenport Central High School and local nonprofit partners, to expose students to careers in media arts fields in Iowa and increase digital literacy and creative thinking skills.

Several Iowa artists and filmmakers were also awarded highly competitive funding, through two programs, to advance their artistic careers and film and media productions in Iowa:

  • Now in its fifth year, the Greenlight Grants program supports film and digital media productions that will be produced in Iowa. This year’s recipients include Andrew Sherburne of Iowa City, who has received national recognition for his work as a documentary filmmaker and chronicler of Midwestern and Iowa stories. With this grant, Sherburne will complete "6-on-6", a documentary film project celebrating Iowa's unique girls' basketball history and the unheralded all-state player who paved a pathway for equality. Kristian Day of Des Moines was also awarded a 2023 Greenlight Grant.
  • Currently in its tenth year, the Iowa Artist Fellowship program supports Iowa artists who are committed to advancing their artistic practice and are at a pivotal stage in their career. Iowa Artist Fellows receive career development support and promotion, in addition to grant funding.

    This year’s recipients include award-winning bluegrass musician Lori King of Drakesville, who has toured and performed across the state for more than three decades. The other four new Iowa Artist Fellows named today include: James Tutson of Des Moines; Nina Lohman of Iowa City; Gabriella Torres of Clinton; and Antonio Chalmers of Cedar Rapids.

In addition, 77 of Iowa’s leading arts, cultural and heritage organizations will receive funding through the Cultural Leadership Partners and Cultural Capacity Building grant programs. These programs support Iowa organizations that maintain high standards, attract tourists, generate economic activity and sustain high-quality jobs.

Arts and cultural production contributed more than $4.5 billion to Iowa’s economy last year and accounted for nearly 40,000 jobs, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Iowa’s leading arts, cultural and heritage venues also serve as tourism attractions and anchors to vibrant downtowns, generating local spending and supporting Iowa companies in their efforts to attract talent by enhancing Iowans' quality of life.

Learn more about IEDA and Iowa Arts and Culture at Iowa Arts & Culture (

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Download a full list of grant recipients here.

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