Changes for FY2024
For the current grant cycle, the Iowa Arts Council has combined the Art Project Grant for Artists and Iowa Artist Fellowship into one application process. This new process streamlines the grant application, reduces the burden on applicants, and allows applicants to be considered for an Art Project Grant if not selected for an Artist Fellowship. Click here to learn more about the Iowa Artist Fellowship program.
Fiscal Year 2024 Program Guidelines
These program guidelines are subject to change after the publication date. Changes will be clearly noted on this page.
Updated as of April 4, 2023. Updates are clearly marked.
Art Project Grants for Artists support projects that positively impact the vitality of the arts in the state and demonstrate public value. Eligible art projects must include exceptional arts activities, involve collaboration and provide access to Iowans.
Funding for the program is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council and federal government through 2 CFR Part 200.
Potential applicants, especially first time applicants, are encouraged to review all published material and contact the program manager Jennie Knoebel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-242-6194 with questions well in advance of application deadlines.
The Iowa Arts Council is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to eligible applicants. For technical support submitting an application, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator Jennie Knoebel at email@example.com or 515-242-6194 at least two weeks in advance of application deadlines.
Fiscal Year 2024 Application Deadline
May 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM for the funding period of July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024. This deadline is for the Art Project Grant for Artists and Iowa Artist Fellowship combined application.
Typically, applicants are notified of funding decisions within eight weeks after the application deadline.
Final Report Deadline
Grant recipients are required to complete a final report by August 1, 2024.
Applicants may request funding for eligible one-time project expenses that are incurred and expended within the eligible funding period.
- Minimum Grant Request: $1,000
- Maximum Grant Request: $10,000
Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in a project by providing 50% cash matching funds to the grant request for project expenses. For example, an applicant that requests $10,000 in grant funds must have at least $5,000 in cash match for a minimum total project budget of $15,000.
All project activities and incurred expenses must occur within the eligible funding period of July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.
Eligible applicants must be one of the following types of entities and must meet all of the related requirements. Entities who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to apply.
- Individual artist
- Current, full-time Iowa resident with permanent address in Iowa
- Legal Iowa resident as defined by Iowa Code 422.4 and Iowa Administrative Code 701.38.17 (422)
- 18 years of age or older
- An application must support a project that is initiated, produced, and/or managed by the individual artist, not another entity or organization
- Individuals who seek funding on behalf of programs or entities that are not yet formally organized as a nonprofit must apply as a nonprofit and adhere to the Fiscal Agent Policy
- Applicants who represent an artist collective, artist team, or band must apply as an individual on behalf of the group and clearly state their individual role in the project proposal as the individual will be legally obligated to the terms of the grant agreement.
Ineligible applicants include the following types of entities.
- For-profit corporation or business
- Organizations should apply to the Art Project Grant for Organizations Grant program
Art Project Requirements
Eligible projects must involve an arts experience or arts learning opportunity and must demonstrate public value to Iowans through deliberate public engagement and access to project activities. Types of eligible projects include community events, performances, exhibitions, festivals, or workshops dedicated to arts related activities. All project activities must have a clear beginning and end date within the eligible funding period.
Applicants may only apply for support of a yearly event or series if the applicant can demonstrate how the project is unique and worthy of support within the particular year of the funding period. Project content must change from year to year.
Applicants may only apply for support of a public art project if the applicant can demonstrate broad-based community engagement and programming surrounding the project.
Projects that fall outside of the identified types of eligible projects may not request funding through this grant program. Ineligible projects also include the following types of activities.
- Acquisition/purchase of artwork
- Capital projects
- Collection maintenance or restoration
- Construction or renovation of a property
- Domestic travel-dominant projects that primarily benefit the applicant
- Projects that involve domestic travel outside of Iowa must clearly demonstrate how the activities benefit Iowans and the arts community in Iowa
- Fundraiser or benefit costs
- Lobbying activities
- Non-arts projects
- Ongoing projects or programming for which the identified beginning and end dates are arbitrary
- Project submitted by an individual that is initiated, managed by, or that benefits an entity or organization with which the individual applicant has a formal affiliation such as employment or volunteer service
- Projects that result in an applicant’s course credit, degree or certification
- Projects that occur prior to or after the funding period
- Religious activities
Eligible Grant Request Expenses
Art Project Grants support project expenses that are essential to the completion of the proposed project. The grant request must be dedicated to eligible one-time, direct project expenses, legitimate parts of the proposed project, and must be incurred and expended within the eligible funding period. Expenses identified in the grant request should be based on competitive, current market pricing. Applicants that include ineligible expenses in the grant request will be considered ineligible.
Eligible grant request expenses include direct project costs such as:
- Access Accommodations (e.g., audio description, sign-language interpretation, closed or open captioning, large-print brochures/labeling)
- Artist Fees (e.g. creation, preparation, performance time)
- Domestic Travel (e.g. mileage, accommodation, per diem)
- Marketing (e.g. print material, ad buys, design fees)
- Materials (e.g. paint, costumes, props)
- Personnel Time Dedicated to the Project* (e.g. planning, execution, evaluation time)
- Professional Services (e.g. printer, graphic designer, security)
- Rentals (e.g. stages, lighting/sound, scissor lift, portable restrooms)
- Supplies under a total of $5,000 per unit (e.g. camera, computers/software, kiln)
*The applicant must demonstrate how personnel time is specifically dedicated to the proposed project. Personnel benefits are not eligible.
Ineligible Grant Request Expenses
Expenses that fall outside of the identified eligible expenses for the project may not be included as part of the grant request. Applicants that include ineligible expenses in the grant request will be considered ineligible.
Ineligible grant request expenses include:
- Acquisition/purchase of artwork
- Budget shortfalls
- Capital expenditures, including the purchase of tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit cost that is equal to or greater than $5,000.
- Collection maintenance or restoration expenses
- Commercial (for-profit) enterprises or activities, including concessions, food, T-shirts, artwork, or other items for resale. This includes online or virtual sales/shops.
- Costs for the creation of new organizations
- Deficit or debt reduction
- Donations or contributions to other organizations
- Expenses incurred prior to or after the funding period
- Food, beverage, and alcohol
- Foreign travel
- Funding cash reserve or endowment accounts or instruments
- Fundraising or benefit activity expenses
- General miscellaneous or contingency costs
- Home studio/office costs or expenses, including utilities and mortgage payments
- Lobbying activity
- Ongoing or operating expenses, including utilities, rent/lease, office supplies, and personnel time that is not dedicated to the project. These expenses can be included as part of indirect costs.
- Personnel benefits
- Prizes and awards
- Project costs supported by any other federal funding
- Property maintenance, restoration or renovation expenses
- Purchase and/or use of gift cards and gift certificates to support project costs
- Purchase of a vehicle
- Social activities such as receptions, parties, galas, community dinners, picnics, and potlucks
- Tuition, fees or project activity that results in an applicant's undergraduate or graduate course credit, degree or certification
- Unallowable expenses for federal awards as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles
- Unrealized ticket or event revenue (providing free tickets or scholarships to attend an event)
Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in a project by providing cash matching funds in an amount that is one half (50%) the total grant amount requested from the Iowa Arts Council. For example, an applicant that requests $1,000 in grant funds must have at least $500 in cash match for a minimum total project budget of $1,500.
The required cash match must be dedicated to one-time expenses that are legitimate parts of the proposed project. Expenses identified in the match should be based on competitive, current market pricing. Applicants will be required to identify all anticipated cash match expenses and in-kind contributions beyond the grant request in the budget form, as well as the anticipated revenue sources that will cover them. The cash match does not have to be secured at the time of application, but must be secured and identified in the final report at the end of the funding period.
- Cash match is actual cash contributed to direct project expenses by the applicant or other funding sources. Applicant’s time dedicated to the project and indirect costs can be included as part of the cash match.
- Expenses used for cash match must be adhere to same grant request expense eligibility as detailed in the Budget Requirements section of these guidelines
- In-kind match is non-cash goods or services provided at no charge to the project by a third party
- Funding from the state government cannot be used to meet the match requirement
- Funding from the federal government cannot be used to meet the match requirement
Applications are encouraged from all applicants that meet the applicant eligibility requirements; however, priority will be placed on applications from individuals and organizations that are led by or primarily serve populations that have historically been under-resourced by arts and cultural funding due to rural geography, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status as defined in the Grants Terms and Definitions for fiscal year 2024.
Department Eligibility Review
Submitted applications are reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility and adherence to published funding priorities and guidelines. Applications are reviewed as submitted. New application information or subsequent application clarification submitted after a program deadline is not considered unless requested by a program manager. Staff will also review an applicant’s record of compliance and good standing with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State and Federal government. Applications or applicants determined by staff to be ineligible or incomplete will not move forward to panel review and are specifically denied any appeals process.
Competitive Panel Review
Eligible applications will be referred to a competitive review by a panel of professionals with appropriate expertise commensurate to the purpose of the grant program. Applications will be scored and ranked based on the published scoring rubric. Recommendations are submitted to the Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council and Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for consideration and funding approval. Applications will be awarded funding based on the ranked list, funding priorities, and available funding. All funding decisions are final and may not be appealed due to dissatisfaction. Applicants may review the department appeals policy for information on grounds for appeal and the appeal process.
Typically, applicants are notified of funding decisions within eight weeks after the application deadline. Applicants are notified of the status of their application whether they are or are not selected to receive funding. Applicants will be contacted if any additional information is required and are encouraged to refrain from contacting staff for application status updates until funding decisions are made.
Online Application Submission
Applicants must submit applications via the Iowa Arts Council’s SlideRoom, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants can access the current online application requirements at iowaartscouncil.slideroom.com. Applicants must create a login to view the full application requirements for the program. Applicants can visit help.liaisonedu.com for assistance related to the online submission.
Application Narrative Questions and Scoring Rubric
The following scoring rubric will be used to evaluate applications for both the Art Project Grant for Artists and the Iowa Artist Fellowship Program. Each section has criteria and corresponding point values to ensure a fair review process. The Iowa Artist Fellowship rubric is on a scale of 18 points and the Art Project Grant for Artists is on a scale of 30 points. Application questions are for reference only. Applicants must review and complete the full application requirements in the SlideRoom portal.
Questions and Scoring Rubric for All Applicants
Describe the artistic vision for the applicant's overall creative practice and the work samples submitted. This should be the vision for the artist's work overall, not the vision for a project.
Describe how the applicant fulfills their artistic vision through their creative practice, including:
- type of artwork(s) created including concepts and medium(s) used
- how the artwork or practice is typically presented to the public
APPLICANT PROFILE: 3 points possible
3 Applicant demonstrates an active practice with strong capabilities in concept and form, and deliberate efforts to make work accessible to the public. Career progress is demonstrated through a record of relevant, notable achievements.
2 Applicant describes practice, concept, form of work, and career progress with some public access identified and some relevant notable achievements.
1 Career activity, concept, and form of work are unclear or inadequate. Public does not have regular access to work. Applicant does not identify career progress through relevant notable achievements.
Upload a 1-2 page document that details the applicant’s activity as an Iowa artist, such as an artist resume, curriculum vitae (CV), or list of career achievements with dates.
If the applicant would like to be considered for the Iowa Artist Fellowship, state a goal the artist would like to achieve in the next year that will advance their artistic career. Describe how the professional development, networking, funding and promotional resources provided through the Fellowship program will help the artist to achieve the stated career goal.
If the applicant would like to be considered for an Art Project Grant, state the artistic goal(s) the artist is planning to achieve through the project. Describe how the project will help the artist to advance the artistic vision for the applicant's overall creative practice.
APPLICANT GOAL: 3 points possible
3 The identified goal or goals are exemplary and will clearly advance the applicant's artistic practice and is the logical next step for their career.
2 The identified goal or goals are average and may advance the applicant’s artistic practice and seems to be the logical next step in their career.
1 A goal was not identified or it is unclear how the goal will advance the applicant’s artistic practice at this time.
Describe how the applicant’s artistic practice and/or project will contribute to the vitality of the arts in Iowa during the grant award period and have significance to the public. Include the specific Iowa communities or audiences you seek to reach through the applicant’s overall artistic practice and/or project.
If applying to the Iowa Artist Fellowship program, describe how you plan to engage with the identified target audience throughout the fellowship year.
If applying to the Art Project Grant program, describe the significance of the proposed project to the identified target audience and your plans to ensure they are aware of and have equitable access to the project activities outlined under the Project Description section. [Added April 4, 2023]
PUBLIC VALUE: 3 points possible
3 Applicant has clear, exemplary plans to impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa by engaging relevant, specified audiences through their artistic practice or project, and by providing equitable access to the work.
2 Applicant describes general plans to impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa through their artistic practice or project.
1 Applicant does not sufficiently demonstrate plans to impact the vitality of arts in Iowa through their artistic practice or project, and/or the public does not have equitable access to the work.
Artistic Work Samples
Submit 3-10 artistic work samples that demonstrate the quality of the artist’s creative work. Fellowship applicants are highly encouraged to submit additional work samples.
Artistic work samples must represent an original work of art. Artistic work samples do not include bios, testimonials, news articles or marketing material such as brochures, fliers or posters.
- Provide 3-10 items.
- Video and audio files should not exceed 3 minutes each.
- PDF files should not exceed 5 pages each.
- Panelists will not be required to view more than 5 pages of a document or more than 3 minutes of an audio or video file.
ARTISTIC WORK SAMPLES: 3 points possible
3 Work samples are of high quality and clearly demonstrate exceptional capabilities in artistic concept and form that clearly advances artistic vision. Artistic excellence exemplified.
2 Work samples are of average quality and demonstrate capabilities in artistic concept and form that relate to artistic vision.
1 Work samples are of poor quality or demonstrate inadequate capabilities in concept and form. Advancement of artistic vision is unclear.
The following scoring criteria reference the quality of the proposal and application as a whole and not a particular question. Optional Support Materials submitted for an Art Project Grant for Artists will be considered in Overall Artistic Vitality and Case for Support.
OVERALL ARTISTIC VITALITY: 3 points possible
3 Artistic practice or project provides Iowans an arts service or experience that will substantially impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa.
2 Artistic practice or project provides Iowans an arts service or experience that will reasonably impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa.
1 Artistic practice or project does not provide Iowans an arts service or experience that will adequately impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa.
CASE FOR SUPPORT: 3 points possible
3 Case for support is exemplary and merits investment from the state.
2 Case for support is average.
1 Case for support is below average or does not merit state investment.
Would you like to continue to the Art Project Grant for Artists application questions?
Yes - I would like to fill out an application for an Art Project Grant for Artists.
No - Please submit my application for the Iowa Artist Fellowship only.
Questions and Scoring Rubric for Art Project Grant Applicants Only
Describe the proposed project, including:
- What the project is and the project activities that will be accessible by the general public
- Relevance of the project to the applicant vision statement
- Who will be involved with the project and their roles and responsibilities
- If this is a public art focused request, include a statement regarding permission to use the site where the art will be located and why that site was chosen.
Is the project part of regular ongoing programming, like an annual event or exhibit/performing arts series? (Yes/No)
If yes, describe why this particular year or project is unique and worthy of funding.
|PROJECT DESCRIPTION: 3 points possible
|3 Project description is clear. Key artistic and logistical partners and responsibilities are well-defined and enhance the project. Project activities that engage the general public are exemplary and clearly defined.
|2 Project description is satisfactory. Key artistic and logistical partners and responsibilities are identified. Project activities that engage the general public are described.
|1 Project description is inadequate. Artistic or logistical partners and responsibilities are unclear or not identified. Project activities that engage the general public are not adequately described.
Provide a timeline of when project activities will occur. Be sure to include when key artistic decisions will be made, project phases, and events, as applicable. If you include activities that occur outside of the funding period for context, indicate that by adding an asterisk (*). Project activity dates may be estimated by month, i.e. September 2023, if a specific date is not yet determined.
|PROJECT TIMELINE: 3 points possible
|3 Confident project will successfully happen through a clear, detailed timeline of tasks.
|2 Project is achievable through the identified timeline of tasks.
|1 Multiple concerns about project achievability. Timeline of tasks is insufficient.
Describe how the project will successfully happen within the eligible funding period, including qualitative and quantitative measures for evaluation including methods for data collection.
|PROJECT EVALUATION: 3 points possible
|3 Project has clear, relevant methods in place to collect qualitative and quantitative data to analyze achievement of project goals.
|2 Project has identified methods to collect data on evaluation measures.
|1 Evaluation methods and measures are weak, inadequate or unclear.
Grant Request Expenses
Itemize the eligible expenses that will be funded by the grant request, including a description and the dollar amount for each. Round to the nearest dollar. Do not enter decimal signs or commas. Add a final "TOTAL" row at the bottom that identifies the total grant request.
|Grant Request Amount ($)
Detail any cash match expenses or in-kind contributions outside of the grant request that are dedicated to the project, including the total cash amount or in-kind value, the funding source, and whether the funding source has been secured for the expense. Round to the nearest dollar. Do not enter decimal signs or commas. Add a final "TOTAL" row at the bottom that identifies the total cash expenses and total value of in-kind contributions.
|Cash Match ($)
|In-Kind Value ($)
Estimated Total Project Cost
Enter the total estimated cost of the project. This value should equal the sum of the grant request, cash match expenses and in-kind contributions. Round to the nearest dollar. Do not enter decimal signs or commas.
|BUDGET: 3 points possible
|3 Project budget and intended use of requested funds are clear and appropriate. Project demonstrates financial support by leveraging diverse sources of funding for cash match and in-kind expenses.
|2 Project budget, intended use of requested funds and sources of funding for cash match and in-kind expenses are identified.
|1 Project budget, intended use of requested funds or sources of funding for cash match and in-kind expenses are unclear or inadequate.
Optional Support Material
Optional: Submit 2 pages of document support material for the proposed project. Support material may include an evaluation tool, sketch of a proposed artwork, marketing material, press clippings, lesson plans or artist bios. A list of web links is not acceptable.
Optional Support Narrative
Optional: If the applicant did not attach additional support material, use this space to let panelists know if there is anything else that would be essential for panelists to understand about your project relative to the review criteria. Do not use this space to continue an answer from earlier questions.
Would you also like to be considered for an Iowa Artist Fellowship?
Yes - Consider my application for an Iowa Artist Fellowship. If I do not receive a Fellowship, I understand that my application will then be considered for an Art Project Grant.
No - Consider my application only for an Art Project Grant.
Glossary of Terms and Definitions
Applicants should refer to the glossary for clarification of program terms and definitions.