Iowa distributes $1 million in new arts and culture marketing grants, including $96K for QC area

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As Iowa’s arts and culture sector continues to rebound from a challenging year and a half, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is granting $1 million to market the return to arts and culture experiences, including $96,400 altogether for several Quad Cities organizations.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has announced $1 million in new grants through its “Re-Imagine” marketing campaign.

The department today announced that 118 arts and cultural groups in 47 Iowa communities will receive funding through the Iowa Arts & Culture Marketing Grant program. The department awarded a total of $1 million in grants, in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $18,000.

The QC area recipients are:

  • The Putnam Museum & Science Center, Davenport — $18,000
  • German American Heritage Center and Museum, Davenport — $15,000
  • Muscatine Art Center — $15,500
  • Sawmill Museum, Clinton — $15,000
  • Quad City Symphony Orchestra — $11,400
  • Figge Art Museum, Davenport — $10,000
  • Davenport Junior Theatre — $5,000
  • Clinton Symphony Orchestra Association — $3,500
  • Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company, West Liberty — $3,500

The new, one-time grants were created with federal CARES Act funds that Gov. Kim Reynolds allocated to the department to provide economic relief to Iowa organizations that have been challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Putnam Museum and Science Center is at 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport.

“We’re grateful for the grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs because it allows us the opportunity to more widely share all of the great events, exhibits, and outreach happening at the Putnam Museum and Science Center,” Leslie Klipsch, vice president of marketing and sales at the Putnam, said Friday. “As we live through this time of pandemic, we’re happy to be able to remind folks that a visit to the Putnam is a wonderful and safe adventure.

“We’re back better than ever and we’re poised to inspire our diverse community to learn about and care for our world and its people…and have a great time while doing so,” she said, adding that expanded marketing will include targeted print and digital advertising.

The state arts and cultural agency developed a related promotional campaign and toolkit, based on input from statewide arts and culture leaders, to encourage Iowans to “Re-imagine, Re-engage, Reconnect” with arts and cultural experiences.  

“These marketing grants and the ‘Re-imagine’ promotional campaign will help Iowa’s arts and cultural sector welcome visitors back during the holiday season, when many organizations rely on increased attendance and revenue to make ends meet,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said in a Friday release. “This statewide investment will also help boost major exhibits, performances and events now and into the new year.”

The list of recipients, dispersed throughout 37 Iowa counties, includes local arts councils, theaters and historical attractions, as well as some of the state’s largest museums, art centers and performing arts venues. Among the efforts:

  • Clinton: The Sawmill Museum in Clinton will redouble its efforts to reach its target audience – fans of the National Parks and travelers of the Great River Road and Lincoln Highway – through advertisements promoting its return to regular visiting hours.
  • Davenport: The German American Heritage Center will carry out a marketing campaign to encourage families and other visitors to return to the museum to rekindle traditions and make memories during the holiday season.
The German American Heritage Center is at 2nd and Gaines streets, Davenport.

The return to arts and culture marketing grants were created to help Iowa’s arts and cultural organizations publicize their activities and new protocols they’ve established to ensure safe and healthy cultural experiences for visitors and audiences who are re-engaging in arts and cultural activities across the state. 

Through the grant opportunity and marketing campaign, the department is encouraging all Iowans to:

  • Renew their love of performances, film, museums and all of the arts and historical attractions that make our communities culturally vibrant.
  • Re-engage with Iowa arts, culture, film, history and the humanities to support Iowa’s growing creative workforce.
  • Reconnect with arts, history, film and cultural experiences for personal well-being and to strengthen communities.

In a typical year, Iowa’s creative sector contributes $4.2 billion to the state’s economy, employing more than 43,000 creative workers across more than 5,000 businesses statewide. In 2020, Iowa’s nonprofit arts and culture sector lost millions in revenue and at least 4,500 arts, entertainment and recreation jobs, stemming from event cancellations and closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For a complete list of Iowa Arts & Culture Marketing Grant recipients, visit the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs website.

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