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 eliminates the round one and round two Fellowship applications, 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 Art Project Grant for Artists.
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.
The Iowa Artist Fellowship provides support to individual artists, including visual and performing artists, filmmakers, musicians, and creative writers who demonstrate exceptional creativity in the arts and a commitment to contributing to the vitality of the arts in Iowa. The program advances the artistic careers of Iowans through funding and professional development. Fellowship recipients exemplify the following program priorities:
- Excellence & Innovation | Artwork achieves unique artistic vision through highly creative means in concept and form exemplifying excellence or innovation in the field
- Career Readiness | Artist is at a pivotal stage in artistic career and committed to advancing artistic practice
- Public Value | Artist contributes to the vitality of arts in Iowa by actively engaging Iowans through artistic practice
Funding for the Artist Fellowship 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 Iowa Arts Council 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 the Iowa Arts Council 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.
The Iowa Artist Fellowship is a partnership between the Iowa Arts Council and selected fellows. Fellows are expected to fully engage in the professional development and networking opportunities provided, as well as to utilize the funding and promotional resources offered over the course of the fellowship period.
The Iowa Artist Fellowship seeks to support professional, active Iowa artists, filmmakers, musicians and creative writers at a pivotal stage who are committed to advancing their artistic practices. Applicants are expected to demonstrate why now is the appropriate time in their artistic career for the one-time award.
The Artist Fellowship is not an award to support a specific art project, an award of recognition for lifetime achievements, nor is it an award for artists just beginning their careers.
Fellows are provided financial support for the development of their artistic career and to enhance their capacity for creative work, including:
Grant Award – Fellows are awarded a $10,000 grant for the fellowship award period.
Fellows are regularly convened during the fellowship period to receive professional development to elevate their artistic careers, including:
- Iowa Artist Professional Development Program – Fellows are required to participate virtually in the Iowa Artist Professional Development Program. The intensive series of workshops integrates business management, strategic planning, fundraising, communication, marketing and promotion training for artistic careers.
- Panelist Program – Fellows serve as panelists on the Iowa Arts Council‘s review panels over the course of the fellowship year. The panelist program provides the opportunity for fellows to develop their grant writing skills by offering expert citizen advice on arts activity taking place across the state.
Fellows are provided opportunities during the fellowship period to be recognized for the impact and value of their work, including:
- Meet the Artist Events – Fellows are required to participate in Meet the Artist events to introduce their work to new audiences.
- Artist Fellowship Videos – Fellows are featured in a group video documenting the impact of the program and an individual video highlighting their individual work.
- Social Media – Fellows are highlighted in department social media platforms over the fellowship year and on an ongoing basis afterwards.
Eligible applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to apply.
- Individual artist, including visual or 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)
- 21 years of age or older
- Full-time Iowa resident physically located in Iowa since May 1, 2020
- Full-time Iowa resident physically located in Iowa for the duration of the funding period
Eligible applicants to the Artist Fellowship must be originating, non-interpretive artists working in any artistic discipline(s) including visual arts, performing arts, filmmaking, music, or creative writing.
- Originating artists create original works of art (e.g. visual artists, playwrights, composers or choreographers).
- Interpretive artists perform or interpret original works of art of others (e.g. dancers, actors or performers).
Ineligible applicants to the program include:
- Past recipients of the Artist Fellowship
- Individuals enrolled in any type of undergraduate or graduate degree granting program on May 1, 2023
- Individuals who have been residing out of state for any of the 3 consecutive years immediately prior to May 1, 2023
- Only individuals can apply; artist groups, artist collaboratives and artist collectives are not eligible
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.
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.
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.
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. [Added April 4, 2023]
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.
|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.|
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.
The Iowa Arts Council is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to eligible applicants. For technical support submitting the online application, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator, Jennie Knoebel at (515) 348-6324 or firstname.lastname@example.org, at least two weeks in advance of application deadlines.
Potential applicants are encouraged to review all published material and contact Arts Learning Manager Jennie Knoebel at email@example.com with questions well in advance of application deadlines.