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.

Arts, Culture & Film Grants
Multiple grant programs: $1,569,102
This year, the Iowa Arts Council awarded $1,429,102 in grants to 160 projects, organizations and communities – all funded by appropriations from the Iowa legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

History Grants
Multiple grant programs: $538,000
The State Historical Society of Iowa awarded $538,000 in grants for research and projects supported by the Historical Resource Development Program, funded through Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP), to preserve museum collections and country schools, invest in communities through historic preservation, and promote Iowa history.

Historical Resource Development ProgramBenton County Historical SocietyRe-Roofing of the Vinton Depot and Rail MuseumVintonBenton$42,085.00After years of incremental repairs with different asphalt roofing materials that have led to leaks, causing structural damage to the depot and its displays, this project will assist in the replacement of the existing roof of the Vinton Depot and Rail Museum The replacement roof will be a steel product that will be a design that replicates the look of the original French Tiles.

Community Designations
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.

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