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State Historical Society of Iowa

Art in State Buildings

For more than 35 years, the Art in State Buildings program provided artists, students, educators and the citizens of Iowa with opportunities to participate in and experience public art.

Iowa was among the first states in the nation to adopt a percent for art law. Today, 25 states and the District of Columbia have a similar law, and more than 300 public art programs exist at the local level across the U.S.

Funding for Art in State Buildings was generated from ½ of 1% (0.5%) of the state’s portion of total eligible construction costs for new and renovated state buildings.

The Art in State Buildings program was jointly administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, the Iowa Board of Regents institutions and participating state agencies.

The Art in State Buildings program was repealed by the Iowa legislature effective July 1, 2017. The collection of artwork acquired through the program remains as a legacy of the program's enduring impact on Iowans.