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Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs welcomes new staff

Posted June 04, 2013 in Web Exclusives
David Schmitz

David Schmitz

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced Joseph Piearson and David Schmitz have been named Community Resource Specialists for the Iowa Arts Council.

“We welcome Joseph and David to their new positions with the Iowa Arts Council,” DCA Director Mary Cownie said. “Their education and experiences working with cultural arts organizations and individuals across the state will be valuable assets as we move forward in supporting and nurturing the arts in Iowa.”

A native of Thayer, Iowa, Piearson serves as a resource for local arts agencies and organizations across the state in capacity building and organizational development, as well as manages the Cultural Leadership Partners program and Iowa Cultural Trust.

Before joining IAC, he served as program coordinator for the Iowa Council of Foundations, a membership-based organization that serves grantmakers that provide funding support to charitable projects and programs in Iowa and strives to strengthen, promote and facilitate effective philanthropic grantmaking in the state.

Joseph Piearson

Joseph Piearson

Piearson also worked as a technology and social media consultant for AMICI Espresso and the Dekko Foundation, and he is actively involved with the Friends of Drake University Arts.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a minor in Theatre Arts from Drake University.

Schmitz, a Charles City native, works in community arts development and public art and design. He serves as a resource for artists, local arts agencies and arts organizations, and public art programs across the state, as well as manages the Art in State Buildings and Iowa Public Art Network programs.

Schmitz previously served as membership manager for the Des Moines Art Center and brings a wealth of knowledge to IAC through his experience working with the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, Project Spaces public art initiative, and Metro Arts Alliance Artist Advisory Council, as well as the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art, Waterloo Center for the Arts, and Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, Florida.

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa and Master of Arts Management from Columbia College in Chicago.

Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information about the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at

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