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Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announces additional emergency grants for cultural organizations

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) announced today that the amount in grants it will distribute to Iowa cultural organizations that have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic now exceeds $1.3 million.

The state agency is combining available resources and will reopen the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Grants program on May 11 to new eligible applicants focused on serving Iowans through the humanities. The deadline for this round will be May 26.

The latest rounds of grant funding come from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, each national endowment received $75 million in supplemental funding to distribute as emergency relief to cultural institutions affected by the pandemic. The Iowa grants are also funded by CARES Act funding through Arts Midwest, a regional arts organization that serves Iowa and eight other Midwestern states.

In addition to CARES Act funding, the IDCA is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities to award federal fiscal year 2020 grants.

The grants are intended to help continue cultural projects, to preserve jobs and to keep the doors open at thousands of cultural organizations that boost the economy and creative life of communities nationwide. The Iowa Arts Council will administer the grants for the department in collaboration with the State Historical Society of Iowa and will align each grant award with intended purposes of the federal funding.

“NEH is proud to partner with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to administer crucial CARES Act funds to Iowa cultural organizations,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “That IDCA has been selected by both NEH and NEA for this essential role is a true endorsement of their dedication to the people of Iowa and deep roots within the cultural sector.”

“We appreciate Iowa’s Congressional delegation for its unanimous support for these funds, which recognize the vital role the arts, humanities and culture play in the economic and cultural vitality throughout Iowa,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “We’re honored to be working with these federal partners and will fast-track grants to Iowa organizations that need this critical support.”

Last month, in the first round of emergency grants, the department awarded a total of $191,000 to 156 Iowa artists and 14 nonprofit arts organizations. The grants were created to support Iowa artists, musicians, filmmakers and other cultural professionals who were most affected by the pandemic and to serve as a bridge between severe financial loss and other forms of state and federal public assistance.

Find more information, including Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Grants application guidelines, at