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Iowa Arts Council approves $110,000 in Project Grant funding

Posted April 04, 2013 in Ankeny, Beaverdale, Des Moines West, Downtown, Community Web Exclusives, Web Exclusives, Norwalk, Winterset

DES MOINES – The Iowa Arts Council has approved nearly $110,000 in Project Grant funding that supports 26 individual and organizational arts projects serving Iowans in 16 communities.

IAC’s Project Grant program invests in projects that positively impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa, demonstrate public value and support IAC’s funding priorities – collaboration and partnership, excellence and innovation, and impact and accessibility.

Project Grants awarded from applications submitted during the January 2013 round ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 and were available to individual artists, non-profit organizations, schools, tribal councils as well as local, county, and state agencies. Funding for the Project Grants program is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

“Ensuring accessible but impactful funding opportunities for arts activities across Iowa is a hallmark of our mission,” Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. “These grants provide crucial funding at the local level that quite literally makes art happen.”

“Project Grants are an opportunity to amplify the creativity of Iowans and the diverse array of arts activities that enrich our communities,” IAC Administrator Matthew Harris said.

The next application opportunity for Iowa Arts Council Project Grant funding is May 1, 2013. More information is available at <> .

A list of Project Grant recipients and grant amounts totaling $109,686 follows:

(Project Title)
(Grant Amount)


Jason Arbogast
Writing for Wholeness
Writing for Wholeness will address the challenge of increasing environmental awareness in central Iowa. Jason Arbogast will offer Writing to Wholeness short courses to central Iowa residents. Instruction sessions will be followed by editorial assistance sessions. Students’ polished pieces will be compiled into an anthology that will be distributed through Montebello Bed and Breakfast and other central Iowa locations.

Matthew Coley
Iowa Day of Percussion
The 2013 Iowa Day of Percussion at Iowa State University will be a unique event that stands out in the minds of the Iowa and national percussion communities. It will provide opportunities for music students in Iowa to gain experience, exposure and knowledge. The event will involve many Iowa musicians, students and professionals, and will impact audiences attending the numerous varied events.

Mary McAdams
First EP of Music
Folk singer-songwriter Mary McAdams will record, mix, master and manufacture the first of three EPs containing new, original works. The primary arts objective is to produce an EP of outstanding merit using Iowan experiences and talent. This furthers McAdams’ artistic vision to engage with social issues through her music. The impact on the vitality of the arts in Iowa will be to provide Iowans access to quality, homegrown, original music and draw attention to the growing presence of a vibrant arts culture in Iowa.

Des Moines
Laryssa Husiak
She Is King
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the historic “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, She Is King is a live performance that uses archival footage and interactive media to recreate pivotal moments in the public life of sports legend Billie Jean King. The overall goal of this project is to engage Iowa audiences with compelling and thought-provoking content while promoting social justice for women and LGBT people and honoring a feminist pioneer.

Des Moines
Rachel Buse
Exhibit of “In the Middle, Out”
Rachel Buse will exhibit “In The Middle, Out” at Metropolitan Community College. “In the Middle, Out” is a site-specific installation that refers to the imagined perception of what looming emotion looks like. The exhibition opportunity will help her professional growth as an emerging artist representing the vitality of art being made in Iowa.

Rich Dana
Obsolete! Magazine
OBSOLETE! has built a community of artists and writers from Iowa and across the world. By distributing both locally and nationally, OBSOLETE! helps to promote Iowa as a growing center for arts and writing, while bringing emerging artists work to Iowa readers.

Karin Stein
Musical Compositions, Arrangements, Education Outreach
Funds will support the creation of four new compositions of Latin American music by Karin Stein; choral and instrumental arrangements of eight original compositions; and outreach with various Des Moines area children’s choirs, in part using the newly commissioned scores. The main arts objectives are to expand applicant’s inventory of original compositions and their use beyond her own ensemble.


Reiman Gardens
Iowa Naturally: Sculpture Garden Exhibit
Reiman Gardens will exhibit 13 outdoor sculptures for the “Iowa, Naturally” exhibit – a nature-inspired garden sculpture exhibit featuring artwork created by Iowa artists. The exhibit will promote Reiman Gardens’ mission by inspiring people with the beauty of plants, insects, and nature, increase awareness and understanding of public art, promote partnerships between art & cultural organizations, and increase awareness of Iowa artists, their work and their communities.

Cedar Rapids
African American Museum of Iowa
Celebrating 20 Years of African American History
The African American Museum of Iowa will host a “Family Day” on May 4, 2013, as part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration. Two performances will be the anchors of the day – Eulenspiegel Puppets and Charles Ahovissi. The performances will help visitors better understand diverse cultures, lifestyles, and time periods different from their own experiences. “Family Day” – the largest public event the AAMI has ever held for its target population of children and families – and the performances will celebrate the heritage and contributions made by African Americans and Africans while showcasing the vitality of Iowa’s wide range of performing arts.

Davenport Museum of Art
American Pop Educational Exhibit
The Figge Art Museum will use funds for education expenses related to its exhibition American Pop from the CU Art Museum Boulder. The Figge’s goal is to offer a high quality art exhibition with notable artists to a broad audience. The Museum will provide arts education to the general public and students in order to provide insight into a popular art movement. The exhibition will engage a wide audience and draw new visitors to the museum. The exhibition will also provide content that fits into the curriculum of local school districts. The exhibition will increase Iowans’ appreciation and knowledge of an important movement in 20th century art.

Des Moines
Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines
GreenArts Spring 2013
Metro Arts Alliance’s GreenArts will provide hands-on arts and environmental education to children through the Des Moines Public Schools and Boy & Girls Clubs of Iowa. MAA will provide technical assistance and resources to instructors to allow alignment with local arts and science curricula appropriate to the grade level of the students served. GreenArts helps students appreciate the connection between arts and sciences by encouraging creative solutions to environmental problems.

Des Moines
Repertory Theater of Iowa
That Championship Season
Winner of numerous awards, including the Tony Award and The Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1973, “That Championship Season” continues RTI’s mission to bring time-honored “Classic Theater for Contemporary Audiences” to the Des Moines Metro area. The goal is to continue to increase audiences for those who appreciate dramatic literature that deals with universal themes, performed by a professional theatre company.

Des Moines
Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus
Big Gay Sing
The Big Gay Sing is a new community outreach musical event of the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus to be held in conjunction with Capital City Pride on June 8, 2013. This event will join the chorus, Pride planners, and the community in a participatory arts event modeled after similar successful programs held in New York City and London. The Big Gay Sing’s promise to the vitality of arts in Iowa is to engage its audience in the positive association of music and art to impact the social acceptance of LGBT individuals.

Des Moines
Des Moines Symphony Association
Beyond The Score: Tchaikovsky 4
The Des Moines Symphony will use funding to support the March 16-17, 2013, performances of Beyond the Score: Tchaikovsky 4. The project will attract new audiences to orchestral music and more deeply engage existing audiences. By performing these special concerts, in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Des Moines Symphony will bring cutting edge programming to Des Moines and raise the bar for cultural offerings in Iowa.

Des Moines
6th Avenue Corridor
6th Ave Corridor Mural
The 6th Avenue Corridor will use funds to design and install a mural on the south facade of the historic Wherry Building at the corner of 6th and College Avenues within the 6th Avenue Corridor Urban Main Street District. The project will foster a participatory design process led by a local artist and increase the visibility of arts within the 6th Avenue Corridor district. Additionally, the project will increase interaction and communication among the diverse residents of the neighborhood as they work to create a unique vision. This project will have a positive impact on the vitality of the arts within Iowa by targeting underserved populations and featuring a mural along one of Des Moines’ busiest corridors.

Des Moines
Ballet Theatre of Des Moines
Snow White
Ballet Des Moines will use funding to support the 2013 spring production of Snow White. Snow White will be a full length professional ballet presented to the greater Des Moines community, complete with resident company of dancers with over 150 local youth and pre-professional dancers. Arts programs instill pride in a community and enhance the overall cultural landscape. Ballet Theatre of Des Moines is striving to provide quality professional ballet performances to all members of the greater Des Moines community.

Bell Tower Productions
Free Summer Musical Program: High School Edition
Bell Tower Productions will use funds to support the inaugural year of its new “Free Summer Musical Program: High School Edition.” This new program will allow an estimated 50 high school-aged artists the opportunity, at no cost to them, to work on a production of “Avenue Q School Edition.” Participants will work with qualified adult artists on acting, singing, puppeteering and running tech equipment. Eight performances in June 2013 will be open to the public, thereby creating a new arts offering for kids ages 13 and up and their families.

Dubuque County Fine Arts Society
DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival with Tim Olson
Iowa artist Tim Olson will produce a public community-collaborative photography project as part of the annual DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival. Iowa filmmaker Tim Connery will produce a documentary short of the project that will trace with the exhibit. Building community through collaborative, interactive visual art, this project serves as a model for the role that the arts play in developing the broader cultural landscape of cities, aids in the retention of young people, initiates a commitment to meeting our neighbors, serves as ongoing testimony to the power of collaboration, stimulates creative thought, and raises fine arts awareness.

Iowa City
Riverside Theatre
Riverside Theatre’s Blackbird will give Iowans an opportunity to see an artistically excellent, provocative, professional production without leaving the state. Related free events include a theatre talk and two audience talkbacks. The play centers on two individuals struggling through the aftermath of their illicit – and illegal – relationship.

City of Marion Parks and Recreation Department
Music for Marion
Music for Marion reaches Linn County populations with a “friendly taste” of chamber music with two live concerts in public settings in our community, Lowe Park and City Hall.

Mason City
Charles H. MacNider Museum
MacNider Arts Festival
The MacNider Arts Festival will feature live music, kid’s crafts, an art market with handmade art and interactive activities to engage the public. The festival will impact Mason City and the surrounding area’s arts scene by increasing art accessibility to the community and impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa in our area of the state.

Lakewood Elementary
Great State History Play with Fax Gilbert
Lakewood Elementary will hire Fax Gilbert of Fax Gilbert Programs to direct The Great State History Play for students to perform. The production will help 5th-grade students make personal connections to Iowa history through performance. Exposing students to the performing arts is a vital component to developing well rounded life-long learners. The Great State History Play will offer a prime opportunity for curriculum to weave fine arts and academics together.

Merrymakers Association
Merrymakers in Iowa
Merrymakers employs professional musicians to assure the quality and dependability of free monthly music performances for those confined to or living in nursing homes or other specialized residences. IAC funding will pay for the Iowa musicians to present programming in central Iowa. Twelve monthly performances with a variety of different types of music at partner facilities will bring joy through music to those otherwise unable to access inspiring and energizing music.

Red Oak
The Wilson Performing Art Center
Production of Fiddler on the Roof
The Wilson Performing Art Center will present a community theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. The production will be a community-oriented project bringing in performers, workers and audience members from southwest Iowa and beyond.

Sioux City
Irving Elementary School
Sowah Mensah Drumming Residency
Irving Elementary will bring Sowah Mensah of Ghana, West Africa, and his Sowah Mensah Drumming Residency to the school to develop students’ drumming skills, focusing ability, and understanding of African culture. The residency will culminate in a spectacular display of African melody and percussion by Irving students. The hands-on experience and direct exposure to music and culture from other lands is crucial to the arts in Iowa; needs of a varied knowledge base and the ability to focus are met through the residency.

The Winterset Stage
Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Residency
The Winterset Stage (TWS) will bring Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre (EPT) to Winterset for a three-day residency of Immigrant Stew, an interactive puppet theatre production based on the history of immigration into the Midwest. EPT will also perform preschool and elementary shows and a music workshop. This residency will allow unique learning opportunities for all ages while demonstrating the relevance of the arts in everyday life.

More information about the Iowa Arts Council’s Project Grant program can be found at  or by calling 515-281-5111.

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