DES MOINES – Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced it is renewing funding to state arts agencies, including $618,100 to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, for the next state fiscal year (SFY2018) that begins July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
"Given the recent uncertainty of federal funding for the arts, renewed support from the NEA is greatly appreciated now more than ever," Iowa Arts Council Administrator Matthew Harris said. "We see the positive ripple effect of this funding every day in Iowa, and the opportunity to see that impact continue for the upcoming fiscal year is one we don't take for granted."
Mary Cownie, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, expressed appreciation for the recent budget action that included an overall increase in funding to the NEA.
“We know Congress faces many difficult budgetary decisions,” Cownie said. “So we appreciate that members of Congress are aware of the positive impact of NEA funding on the states.”
The NEA traditionally allocates 40 percent of its grant funding to states and regions to address local needs and expand the reach of federal funding, a state-and-federal partnership that has enjoyed bipartisan support from Congress.
In Iowa, NEA funding makes up more than 40 percent of the Iowa Arts Council’s $1.5 million annual grant-making budget, which also includes an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Combined, these funds made it possible for the Iowa Arts Council to award 229 grants that supported arts activities at some 600 locations in more than 70 counties throughout the state in 2016.
Congress now turns its attention to budget negotiations for the 2018 federal fiscal year with the Trump administration proposal to eliminate the NEA still up for debate. That proposal, and any action Congress might take on it, would impact the Iowa Arts Council’s 2019 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations. www.culturalaffairs.org.