Local artist, organizations receive American Rescue Plan grants

Decorah area multimedia artist Darla Ellickson, ArtHaus of Decorah, and the Oneota Film Festival have received 2022 grants from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs recently announced it is awarding more than $1.5 million in grants to artists across the state for the return of the state’s arts, culture, history and creative sector by supporting arts and cultural jobs and programming in the humanities.

Decorah area multimedia artist Darla Ellickson, ArtHaus of Decorah and Oneota Film Festival, are among the recipients.

Ellickson will complete a series of videos demonstrating her jewelry fabrication and engraving processes, to complement her presence in juried art fairs and studio visits.

ArtHaus of Decorah was awarded a grant to be used for a full-time development director position.

Oneota Film Festival, headquartered in Decorah, received a grant to be used towards a creative director.

In total, 236 individuals and organizations – representing 70 communities across 56 Iowa counties – will benefit from $1,527,814 in one-time grant funding, made possible through the agency’s state/federal partnerships with Arts Midwest, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities with federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.The department received more than $4.1 million in requests to help support a portion of about 1,600 arts jobs.

The list of grant recipients includes individual artists, cultural centers, museums, local government and community groups, arts organizations, public libraries, historical societies, community theaters, media production organizations and more.

“It’s encouraging to see the return of the arts and culture sector, part of the broader tourism industry working to rebound after a challenging year,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “We’re proud to be able to award these grants through our agency’s state/federal partnerships.”

“These recovery grants represent a significant investment in Iowa’s creative workforce,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “In addition to the grants awarded directly to artists, many arts organizations received support to hire or bring back artistic personnel, many of whom lost jobs, gigs and income during the pandemic.”

The grants coincide with a promotional campaign the department launched to encourage Iowans to “Re-imagine, Re-engage and Reconnect” with local arts and culture. With input from creative leaders across the state, the department developed a campaign toolkit to help Iowa’s arts and cultural organizations market to visitors and promote exhibitions, performances and events now and into the next year.The department awarded $283,734 in American Rescue Plan Arts grants to 76 individual artists, made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

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