Figge receives Inspire Iowa grant 

Figge Art Museum South
The Figge Art Museum CREDIT JOHN SCHULTZ

The Figge Art Museum in Davenport is among six tourism entities statewide to receive a share of $250,000 in grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).

IEDA announced last week that it is awarding grants to projects in Linn, Polk, Scott, Shelby and Woodbury counties. Launched by the Iowa Tourism Office and Iowa Arts Council – both divisions of the IEDA, the Inspire Iowa program works to elevate the perception of Iowa as a cultural destination and promote out-of-state visits and extended stays. In turn, the state agency said, the program’s financial support helps generate additional local spending and support economic growth.

The Figge will use its $35,000 Inspire Iowa grant to bring in the traveling exhibition, Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders!, which will allow museum guests to experience the nostalgia of Mr. Wick’s popular “I Spy” series while exploring a new visual world. 

As the only Midwest venue hosting this exhibition, the Figge will promote the exhibit and Davenport as a destination for out-of-state visitors. The total cost of the new exhibition is $103,000, according to a news release from IEDA. 

Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders! will be on display at the Figge from July 6 to Nov. 17. Other Inspire Iowa grant awardees and their projects are: 

  • Orchestra Iowa (Linn County) for “Field of Dreams;” $80,000 grant; to support Orchestra Iowa’s collaboration with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and presentation of the beloved film “Field of Dreams” with a live symphony orchestra, a first-of-its-kind event, planned for June 2025 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. 
  • National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Linn County) for Alphonse Mucha Exhibit; $30,000 grant; to support the costs of hosting and promoting the traveling exhibition at the Cedar Rapids museum, which was one of three locations in the U.S. and the only Midwestern venue selected for the national tour. 
  • Des Moines Art Center (Polk County); $40,000 grant to support bringing in the Firelei Baez Exhibition, one of the country’s Top 10 Must-See Museum Exhibitions to Iowa and create a multi-channel marketing campaign to elevate Iowa as a cultural destination of choice.
  • Museum of Danish America (Shelby County); $25,000 grant to bring in Danish Ceramics: Beyond Blue and White Exhibition, a major exhibition featuring three centuries of Danish ceramic art. The exhibit will attract new visitors to Elk Horn before it travels outside of the Midwest.
  • Sioux City Art Center/Art Center Association of Sioux City (Woodbury County); $40,000 grant for Razzle Dazzle building art wraps for the 30th anniversary of ArtSplash, the Art Center’s signature annual outdoor art festival.

According to the Iowa Tourism Office, tourism in Iowa generated $6.9 billion in expenditures in 2022, with more than $1.1 billion supporting state and local governments, while employing a total of 68,607 people statewide. Iowa nonprofit arts and cultural organizations generate more than $750 million of economic impact annually.

For more information on tourism or arts and culture in Iowa, visit traveliowa.com or culture.iowaeda.com.

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