Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Awards $1 Million in Iowa Great Places Grants

Jan 16, 2020

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has awarded $1 million for five Iowa Great Places projects in Adel and Redfield, Clinton, Guttenberg, Marion, and Winterset.

The funding supports the development of new and existing community-based infrastructure projects that cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of neighborhoods, communities and regions in Iowa. The Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board approved the grants during its meeting last month in Des Moines. Statewide, five grants totaling $1 million were awarded in response to 11 eligible applicants requesting nearly $2.9 million.

"Each of these projects plays a role in helping Iowans create culturally vibrant communities that attract and retain globally minded workers who put quality of life at the top of their priority list when they're deciding where to live and work," Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. "We are proud to invest in Iowans and their communities through this program, and we're especially pleased to help them make their visions for the future a reality."

Created in 2005, the Iowa Great Places program provides designated communities with access to funding opportunities, professional development training, technical assistance opportunities, a network of vibrant communities and passionate leaders, and other state and local resources. Currently, the program includes 40 Iowa Great Places designated communities. Funding for the grant program is provided by the Iowa Legislature through the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund and requires a 1:1 match.

Following is the list of Iowa Great Places projects that were awarded grants during the current round of funding:


Iowa Great Place: Raccoon River Valley Trail
Grantee: Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce
Project Title: Public Art and Cultural Corridor Continuation – Adel and Redfield
Funding will support the addition of two public art pieces in the towns of Adel and Redfield, plus artistic lighting on a railroad bridge in Adel to build upon the previous work to create a “Cultural Trail District” along the Raccoon River Valley Trail.


Iowa Great Place and Grantee: City of Clinton
Project Title: Even More Things to Do with a River View
Funding will complete the improvements and amenity additions from South Bridge to Eagle Point Park along the Mississippi River to expand usage and safety, and provide a beautified connection between historic downtowns.


Iowa Great Place and Grantee: City of Guttenberg
Project Title: Schiller Street Corridor Project
Funding will support the creation of a gateway entrance at Schiller Street leading to streetscape improvements to attract Highway 52 travelers into the riverfront downtown and business district.


Iowa Great Place and Grantee: City of Marion
Project Title: Uptown Marion Plaza Project
Funding will support the creation of a plaza in the heart of Uptown Marion, which will provide multi-use cultural spaces for community events and act as a catalyst for growth, redevelopment and community building in the business district.


Iowa Great Place: Madison County
Grantee: Chamber of Commerce
Project Title: Madison County Conservation Center
Funding will support the construction of a 12,000-square-foot environmental learning center to meet the needs of environmental and outdoor recreation programming in Madison County. The center will include interactive exhibits, a classroom for applied STEM-based programming and creative environmental learning, and a multi-purpose event and conference room to connect visitors to their natural surroundings.

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.