13 communities receive Great Places designation
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has announced that 13 communities will receive support through two placemaking programs focused on the creative development of arts, culture and history. According to a news release, the cultural affairs department designated Jefferson, Oskaloosa, Washington and Woodbine as Iowa Great Places. Appanoose County/Vermillion Township, Bondurant, Council Bluffs, Malvern, Maquoketa and the Turkey River Recreation Corridor have been re-designated as Iowa Great Places, the release stated. The new Iowa cultural and entertainment districts in Iowa City, McGregor and Winterset also received the designation. In the release, Gov. Kim Reynolds said the districts “form the backbone of our state’s overall community building and tourism strategy. Each place tells an authentic story.” Chris Kramer, director of the cultural affairs department, said the communities are committed to transforming their towns by growing their creative workforce. “These programs help Iowans develop and focus a vision for the sustainable development of their cultural places while generating new economic opportunities,” Kramer said. The state designates Iowa Great Places to support existing infrastructure that cultivates arts, culture, architecture, business, community diversity, historical assets, housing and the environment. The recent designations brings to 42 the number of communities that have received more than $22 million since the program started in 2005.