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Department of Cultural Affairs announces $1.5M in grants for arts, cultural and heritage projects


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants for local infrastructure projects and programs to build culturally vibrant communities statewide.

According to a news release announcing the awards, the grants come from the Iowa Great Places, Strengthening Communities, School Arts Experience, Artist Catalyst, Creative Places, Folk Arts Learning and Humanities Collaboration programs.

Chris Kramer, Department of Cultural Affairs director, said the projects that were awarded grants will connect Iowans to arts, culture and heritage programs in their communities.

“They represent the quality of life people value today when choosing culturally vibrant places to live, work and raise their families.”

The largest awards totaled $1.05 million and were awarded through the Iowa Great Places program. According to the release, the program recognizes communities that have developed “bold visions around their creative and cultural assets, partnerships and projects to make them a reality.”

Those awards went to:

  • Cedar County, which received $348,700 for the renovation of the Hardacre Theater, a community icon in downtown Tipton that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The city of Indianola, which received $73,300 for the “Wonder on Buxton,” a project envisioned by the community to connect Simpson College to its downtown square. Project funding will support new sculptural installations and improvements along Buxton Street, creating a vibrant area that invites visitors and celebrates Indianola’s cultural identity.
  • The Turkey River Recreational Corridor, which was awarded $328,000 for the renovation and rehabilitation of the Motor Mill Inn Historic Site in Clayton County. The project aims to protect the Inn from flooding, return the historic structure to its original state, provide meeting rooms and overnight accommodations, and house a small visitor center for historic and cultural education purposes.
  • The Boone Forks Region, which received $300,000 to help complete a transformational vision that capitalizes on the popularity of outdoor recreational tourism and the region’s natural and cultural assets. Grant funds will be used to install interpretative signs along the region’s three state-designated water trails and will support permanent exhibitions at the River’s Edge Discovery Center, located at the confluence of the Des Moines River and Soldier Creek.

The other awards can be seen on the department’s website.

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