State Awards $235,000 to Dubuque Arts and Culture Projects, Organizations, and Individuals

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs recently awarded a total of $235,000 in grants to 18 different Dubuque individuals and entities as part of a statewide effort to help fuel the resurgence of Iowa’s arts, film, heritage, humanities and creative sectors as they continue to rebound from substantial financial losses from the pandemic."On March 17, 2020, all of Iowa’s museums, theaters, galleries, live music venues, and the like were ordered closed to the public due to COVID-19. Over the 12 months that followed, compared to the year prior, our local arts and culture nonprofits alone have experienced a drop in revenue of at least $3.9 million,” said Jenni Petersen-Brant, arts and cultural affairs coordinator for the City of Dubuque. “In addition to these nonprofits, our for-profit arts-based businesses, live music and entertainment venues, and independent artists and creatives experienced significant financial losses, adding to the hit that our tourism and hospitality industries took."

The 18 Dubuque awardees are in five different categories:

Iowa Artist Fellowships Program (only 5 fellowships awarded in the state)

  • Louise Kames, Mobile Printmaking Studio

Cultural Leadership Partners Program

  • Bell Tower Theater, Operating Support
  • Dubuque Arboretum Association, Inc., Operating Support
  • Dubuque County Historical Society, Operating Support
  • Dubuque Museum of Art, Operating Support
  • Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Operating Support

Resilience Grant for Nonprofits Program

  • Colts Youth Organization, Expanded World Percussion/Steel Drum Initiative
  • Creative Adventure Lab, Inc., Play Free(ly)
  • Dubuque Chorale, 50th Anniversary Concert
  • Grand Opera House, Support for 2021/2022 Performance Season
  • Heritage Works, Historic Activation
  • Northeast Iowa School of Music, Support to Bring Back Off-site Programming
  • Rising Star Theatre Company, 2021 Summer Youth Programming

Resilience Grants for Artists Program

  • Gail Chavenelle, Diverse Voices (a women's collaboration)
  • Jenni Petersen-Brant, Mid-career Renaissance Amidst Iowa Craft Community

Historical Resource Development Program

  • City of Dubuque, Dubuque’s Black Heritage Survey
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque Wood Window Restoration Project
  • Dubuque County Historical Society, Collections Survey and Planning Project

"This $235,000 investment from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the State of Iowa is a needed boost, helping our creative and cultural sector recover. It’s also a demonstration of the resiliency and diversity our local arts scene, emphasizing the critical role it plays in contributing to community vibrancy and economic impact, that Dubuque’s organizations and artists secured 10 percent of the total funding allotted through these very competitive grant programs," added Petersen-Brant.

Statewide, 244 grants were awarded and are funded through the annual appropriations passed by the Iowa Legislature and signed into law by Governor Reynolds, effective July 1, 2021. The state’s investment is enhanced by funding from two federal agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities and administered by the department’s three divisions: the Iowa Arts Council, State Historical Society of Iowa, and Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media production.