Iowa Cultural & Entertainment District designation recognizes well-identified, walkable, mixed-use, compact areas of a city or county in which a high concentration of cultural facilities serves as the anchor. To be designated, a Cultural & Entertainment District must already be an area where arts and cultural activities thrive. Designation by the state is an achievement, intended to formally recognize that a particular locale is an acknowledged cultural destination.

Apply to have your district recognized as a cultural destination in Iowa. Iowa Cultural & Entertainment District designation recognizes areas in communities where arts, culture and entertainment thrive.

  • Who: Iowa Nonprofits, Communities, For-Profit Entities
  • What: Designation and professional development
  • When: May 1, 2023, at 11:59 PM for the designation period of July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2033.

How to Apply

  1. Read the guidelines
  2. View the recording of the webinar for an overview of program requirements, tips and advice on how to complete the application.
  3. Submit the application

Designation Application Resources

Virtual Office Hours
Drop in on virtual office hours via Zoom to ask program staff questions. Potential applicants are welcome to join at any time during the following open hours to ask questions about applying to the program.

Additional Office Hours coming soon

Automatic closed captioning will be provided. For additional accommodations, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator Lindsay Keast at 515-281-8352 or

Example Applications
Take a look at examples of previously submitted applications. Example applications are for reference only. Programs change from year to year so applicants should ensure they are responding to current application requirements.

Grant Terms and Definitions

Check out the glossary for definitions of grant terms used in the guidelines.

Manage Your Designation

Designation Handbook
Read the handbook to learn how to manage your designation, including Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) compliance and publicity.

Annual Report
As a designation recipient, you must complete the annual report form by August 1 each year of designation with an overview of the past year’s successes and upcoming projects.

Current Districts