Iowa grants advance arts, culture and creative industries

Gov. Reynolds, IEDA unveil $1.4M in grants

A dozen arts and cultural projects in the Quad Cities region are among 131 Iowa organizations approved for grant funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and IEDA announced in a news release on Monday, Aug. 28, that more than $1.4 million in grants has been awarded to advance the state’s arts, culture and creative industries.

“Arts and culture are an important part of economic development,” IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham said. “These attractions and creative businesses fuel growth in our communities and add (to) 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 Iowa Quad Cities IEDA recipients – including entities in the eastern Iowa counties of Scott, Muscatine, Clinton and Jackson – will share in nearly $150,000 in total grants.

Among the 2024 grant recipients is Fresh Films, Davenport, which will receive a $10,000 grant to help launch a Career Path Program for Scott County teens, in partnership with Davenport Central High School and local nonprofit partners. The new program will expose students to careers in media arts fields in Iowa and increase digital literacy and creative thinking skills.

Other recipients from across the Iowa Quad Cities region (along with their projects and grant awards) are:

Art Project Grants 

  • Colleen Tomlinson, Bettendorf, Love from Howie, $10,000. 
  • Dania Green, Davenport, Expressions of Empowerment, $5,650.
  • Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, West Liberty, Stabilizing the Young Puppeteers Festival, $9,275. 
  • Maquoketa Betterment Corp., Maquoketa, Music On the Green, $4,086.

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, which support Iowa organizations that attract tourists, generate economic activity and sustain high-quality jobs.

Cultural Leadership Partners Program

  • Ballet Quad Cities, (Scott County) $10,000.
  • Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, $15,000. 

Cultural Capacity Building Grant Program 

  • Putnam Museum and Science Center, Davenport, $20,000. 
  • Quad City Arts, Rock Island (Scott County), $20,000. 
  • Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Davenport, $20,000. 
  • The Sawmill Museum, Clinton, $10,000. 

Ms. Reynolds and IEDA also announced that several Iowa artists and filmmakers were awarded highly competitive funding, through two programs, to advance their artistic careers and film and media productions in Iowa. 

  • Locally, Gabriella Torres of Clinton received a $10,000 grant and was named one of five new Iowa Artist Fellows.  

The 10-year-old 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 IEDA grant funding.

According to IEDA’s release, the grants are matched by local and private investments. The grants are administered by the Iowa Arts Council, which on July 1 became part of the IEDA along with Produce Iowa, the State Office of Film and Media and the State Historic Preservation Office.

In Iowa, arts and cultural production contributed more than $4.5 billion to the state’s economy last year and accounted for nearly 40,000 jobs, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data. Learn more about IEDA and Iowa Arts and Culture at Iowa Arts & Culture (

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