Fiscal Year 2023 Program Guidelines
Art Project Grants create opportunities for the arts to flourish in Iowa by investing in 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 Senior Program and Operations Manager Veronica O’Hern at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions well in advance of application deadlines.
The Iowa Arts Council is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to eligible applicants. For application support, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator Lindsay Keast at 515-281-8352 or email@example.com at least two weeks in advance of application deadlines.
Fiscal Year 2023 Application Deadline
May 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM for the funding period of July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions via email by June 30, 2022.
Final Report Deadline
Grant recipients are required to complete a final report by August 1, 2023.
Applicants may request funding for eligible one-time project expenses that are incurred and expended within the eligible funding period.
- Minimum Grant Request: $2,500
- 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 a minimum total project budget of $15,000.
All project activities and incurred expenses must occur within the eligible funding period of July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.
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.
- Professional individual artist, including visual/performing artist, filmmaker, musician, or creative writer
- 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.
- Federally tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated and physically located in Iowa
- Physical location of the organization is defined as maintaining a current home office and registered agent address in Iowa defined by Iowa Code 490.501 as well as maintaining a primary staff presence physically located and working in Iowa
- Entities located in a border community may be eligible under the Border State Policy
- Entities not yet formally organized may be eligible under the Fiscal Agent Policy
- Public and private schools that serve grades pre-K through 12 and are physically located in Iowa
- Nonprofit institution of higher education physically located in Iowa
- Unit of local, county or federally-recognized tribal government physically located in Iowa
Ineligible applicants include the following types of entities.
- Applicants who have already submitted two unfunded applications for the same project
- For-profit corporation or business
- Individuals enrolled in any type of undergraduate or graduate degree granting program at the time of application
- Iowa Arts Council administered grantees who have already received a grant from the department for the current application funding period
- Cultural Leadership Partners and Iowa Great Places with an active grant contract are not eligible to apply.
- Strengthening Communities Grant and Humanities Project Grant recipients with active grant contracts are eligible to apply.
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees who have already received a grant from the department for any part of the project
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees with an outstanding final report or who have been placed on a department funding moratorium
Art Project Requirements
Eligible projects must involve the creation and presentation of an original work of art, 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, exhibitions, expositions, festivals, or workshops dedicated to the arts. 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. The simple installation of a mural or public art piece is not eligible without public programming tied to 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, including public art
- Capital projects
- Collection maintenance or restoration
- Construction or renovation of a property
- Domestic travel dominant projects that primarily benefit the applicant
- Fundraiser or benefit event
- Lobbying activity
- Non-arts project
- 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 involve domestic travel outside of Iowa must clearly demonstrate how the activities benefit Iowans and the arts community in Iowa.
- Projects that result in an applicant’s course credit, degree or certification
- Projects that occur prior to or after the funding period
- Projects that have already received an Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grant for any part or phase of the project
- Religious activity
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:
- Artist Fees (e.g. creation, preparation, performance time)
- Domestic Travel (e.g. mileage, accommodation, per diem)
- Equipment under a total of $5,000 per unit (e.g. camera, software, kiln)
- Materials (e.g. paint, costumes, props)
- Marketing (e.g. print material, ad buys, design fees)
- 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)
*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 including public art
- Activity that results in an applicant’s course credit, degree or certification
- Budget shortfalls
- Capital expenditures, including equipment over a total of $5,000 per unit
- Collection maintenance or restoration expenses
- Deficit or debt reduction, including loan, line-of-credit, or mortgage payments
- Donations or contributions to other organizations
- Expenses incurred prior to or after the funding period
- Food, beverage, and alcohol
- Foreign travel
- Fundraising or benefit activity expenses
- 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
- Personnel benefits
- Prizes and awards
- Property maintenance, restoration or renovation expenses
- Unallowable expenses for federal awards as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles
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 $10,000 in grant funds must have at least $5,000 in cash match for a minimum project budget of $15,000.
The required cash match must be dedicated to one-time project 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 project budget 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
- In-kind match is donated goods or services contributed to the project by the applicant or other sources
- 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
Iowa Arts Council Administered Grant Program Eligibility
- Applicants may only receive one Iowa Arts Council administered grant award per state fiscal year regardless of grant program
- Eligible individuals may only receive an Art Project Grant, Artist Catalyst Grant, Greenlight Grant, or Artist Fellowship in a single fiscal year
- Eligible organizations, schools or communities may only receive an Art Project Grant, Capacity Building Grant, Creative Placemaking Grant, Cultural Leadership Partner Grant, Great Places Grant, or School Arts Experience Grant in a single fiscal year
- Strengthening Communities Grant and Humanities Project Grant recipients with active grant contracts are eligible to apply.
- Applicants may not submit more than one application during a single grant deadline or cycle regardless of grant program
- Applicants may not submit more than two applications for the same project regardless of fiscal year if both applications are unfunded
- Projects may not receive more than one Iowa Arts Council administered grant regardless of applicant, phase of project or fiscal year
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 2023.
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.
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by June 30, 2022. 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. Each section has criteria and corresponding point values to ensure a fair review process. The rubric is on a scale of 27 points. Application questions are for reference only. Applicants must review and complete application requirements in the Slideroom portal.
Applicant Profile - Individual Artists
Enter artist vision statement. This should be the vision for the artist's work overall not the vision for the project.
Describe how the applicant fulfills their artistic vision through their artistic practice, including:
- type of artwork(s) created including concepts and medium(s) used
- notable achievements in artistic career or practice
|APPLICANT PROFILE - INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS: 3 points possible|
|3 Applicant demonstrates active artistic practice with exceptional capabilities in concept and form. Applicant demonstrates a strong record of progress in their artistic practice through relevant notable achievements.||2 Applicant describes artistic practice, concept and form of work. Relevant notable achievements are identified.||1 Career activity, concept and form of work is unclear or inadequate. Relevant notable achievements are not identified|
Applicant Profile - Nonprofits, Schools and Local Governments
Enter applicant’s mission statement.
Describe how the applicant fulfills its mission and serves its target population, including:
- description of programming and services
- recent notable achievements
|APPLICANT PROFILE - NONPROFITS, SCHOOLS and LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: 3 points possible|
|3 Applicant demonstrates exceptional programming or services that clearly advance its mission and serve its target population. Applicant demonstrates a strong record of progress through relevant notable achievements.||2 Applicant offers programming or services that support its mission and target population. Relevant notable achievements are identified.||1 Applicant’s programming or services are limited, unclear or do not support its mission or serve its target population. Relevant notable achievements are not identified.|
Describe what the proposed project is, including:
- specific artistic goal(s) the project seeks to achieve
- artistic or logistical partners and their responsibilities
- relevance of the project to the applicant mission or vision statement
- if the project is an annual event or series, describe why this particular year is unique and worthy of funding
|PROJECT DESCRIPTION: 3 points possible|
|3 Project description is clear. Arts goals are exemplary and clearly advance the applicant’s mission or vision statement. Key artistic and logistical partner responsibilities are well-defined and enhance the project.||2 Project description is satisfactory. Arts goals are stated and relate to applicant’s mission or vision statement. Key artistic and logistical partners and responsibilities are identified.||1 Project description is unclear or inadequate. Arts goals are unclear or do not relate to applicant’s mission or vision statement. Artistic or logistical partner responsibilities are unclear or not identified.|
Describe why proposed project is important to the public, including
- a definition of the target audience and its relevance to the project
- plans to engage or market the project to the target audience
- plans to provide equitable access to project activities
|PUBLIC VALUE: 3 points possible|
|3 Target population for project is well-defined and its relevance to project evident. Plans to engage or market project to target audience and provide equitable access to project activities are exemplary.||2 Target population for the project is identified. Plans to engage or market project to target audience and provide equitable access to project activities are satisfactory.||1 Target population for the project is not identified. Plans to engage or market project to target audience and provide equitable access to project activities are inadequate.|
Project Planning and Evaluation
Describe how the project will successfully happen within the eligible funding period, including:
- detailed timeline of tasks necessary to complete the project
- qualitative and quantitative measures for evaluation including methods for data collection
|PROJECT PLANNING AND EVALUATION: 3 points possible|
|3 Confident project will successfully happen through a clear, detailed timeline of tasks. Project has clear methods in place to collect qualitative and quantitative data to analyze achievement of project goals.||2 Project is achievable through identified timeline of tasks. Project has appropriate methods in place to collect data on evaluation measures.||1 Multiple concerns about project achievability. Timeline of tasks is insufficient. 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.
|Expense Description||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.
|Expense Description||Cash Match ($)||In-Kind Value ($)||Funding Source||Secured (Yes/No)|
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.|
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.
|SUPPORTING MATERIAL: 3 points possible|
|3 Support material is highly relevant to the project, of high quality and clearly supports the project’s excellence.||2 Support material relates to the project and is of average quality.||1 Support material is not relevant to the project, is of poor quality or does not support the project’s excellence.|
Artistic Work Samples
Submit 3-5 artistic work samples that directly relate to the proposed art project. Artistic work samples should demonstrate the quality of the artistic work in the proposed project or the quality of the applicant’s past work as it relates to the proposed project. Artistic work samples must represent an artistic work or performance. Artistic work samples do not include bios, testimonials, news articles or marketing material such as brochures, fliers or posters.
- Provide 3-5 items.
- Video and audio files should not exceed 3 minutes each.
- PDF files should not exceed 1 page each.
- Panelists will not be required to view more than 1 page 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, relevant to the proposed project, and clearly demonstrate exceptional capabilities in artistic concept and form.||2 Work samples are of average quality, relevant to the proposed project, and demonstrate capabilities in artistic concept and form.||1 Work samples are of poor quality or demonstrate inadequate capabilities in concept and form.|
The following scoring criteria reference the quality of the proposal and application as a whole and not a particular question.
|OVERALL ARTISTIC VITALITY: 3 points possible|
|3 Project provides Iowans an arts service or experience that will substantially impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa.||2 Project provides Iowans an arts service or experience that will reasonably impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa.||1 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.|
Glossary of Terms and Definitions
Applicants should refer to the glossary for clarification of program terms and definitions.