The Creative Empowerment subgrant program is a one-time limited funding opportunity made possible through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) via American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources. The City of Dubuque is serving as a Local Arts Agency (LAA) to subgrant $15,000 in federally awarded funds.
The Creative subgrant program aims to support individual creatives residing within Dubuque city limits in tangible public-facing arts-based projects that further their careers and deepen their community engagement in response to economic and community impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications are encouraged from practicing creatives (artists, curators, arts administrators, producers, presenters, etc) working in artistic disciplines related to the visual arts, dance, music, theater, literature, or media/multimedia that meet all eligibility requirements. Eligible creatives may request funds, including stipends, fees, materials, and marketing costs, that directly support project expenses incurred by producing tangible public-facing outcomes occurring within the defined funding period of performance.
Creative Empowerment funds can be applied for at two (2) different times to align with two (2) independent yet overlapping periods of performance. Awards will be distributed to ensure funds are available for each round.Applicants may submit an application each round but may only receive funding for one (1) project.
ROUND 1 – This opportunity has closed. Local Creatives Receive $19,881 in NEA-ARPA Funded Creative Empowerment Round 1 Subawards.Read the press release here.
ROUND 2 – This opportunity has closed. Local Creatives Receive $10,000 in NEA-ARPA Funded Creative Empowerment Round 2 Subawards. Read the press release here.
There are additional requirements to receive this federal funding. Carefully review the eligibility, allowable costs, reporting requirements, and TERMS & CONDITIONS before completing the application.
Join virtually to learn more about the Creative Empowerment subgrant program. Webinar participants will get clarification on the purpose of the program, a detailed overview of funding requirements, and learn about the application process. Any are welcome to attend. Reviewing the funding materials in advance of the informational webinar is strongly encouraged.
Informational Session: Creative Empowerment Subgrant Program (Round 1) webinar
In addition to the information webinars, virtual office hours will be hosted on:
ROUND 1: Virtual office hours have passed.
ROUND 2: Virtual office hours have passed.
Click on the links above on the noted date during the indicated time to connect with staff. The virtual office hours will allow potential applicants to connect directly with staff about program guidelines or the application process. Staff can also be reached at 563.581.4666 or email@example.com for assistance outside of the listed office hours.
The total funds to be subgranted over two funding rounds through the Creative Empowerment subgrant program is $15,000. No match is required. The minimum request is $500. The maximum request is $2,000. Awards will be distributed to ensure funds are available for each round.
Creative Empowerment funds can be applied for at two (2) different times to align with two (2) independent yet overlapping periods of performance. Applicants may submit an application each round but may only receive funding for one (1) project; if an applicant submits to Round 1 and is not funded, they may submit a revised or new proposal for Round 2.
ROUND 1 – Applications deadline has passed for projects occurring between June 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024.
ROUND 2 – Open for consideration of projects occurring between October 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024.
Creative Empowerment funds can only be applied to allowable expenses incurred during the period of performance.
Funding levels will be impacted by the number of eligible applicants and how applications score. While applicants may request the maximum award amount, final awards may be less than requested. Applications with the lowest scores may not be recommended for funding.
Projects related to public art must comply and be approved by the City of Dubuque and the National Endowment for the Arts for its potential impact on historic properties/districts/sites and the environment to fulfill responsibilities and obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA), respectively. Subgrants for public art projects will be considered pending until all parties have fully approved the specific operations.
Applications are encouraged from practicing creatives, residing within Dubuque city limits working in artistic disciplines related to the visual arts, dance, music, theater, literature, or media/multimedia that meet all eligibility requirements.
Creatives are eligible to apply if they meet all the following criteria:
Individual(s) actively creating, making, or producing arts projects or arts events who are capable of providing examples of creative output made, curated, or otherwise administered that falls within the eligible disciplines and has been presented in public physical and/or virtual spaces.
18 years of age or older.
Current, legal full-time Iowa resident with a permanent address within the city limits of Dubuque at the time of application. Applicant must remain a state and city resident throughout the applied for period of performance. Residency will be confirmed during the vendor setup process if project is funded.
Proposes a project with tangible public-facing outcomes to occur during the applied for period of performance.
Project must be initiated and managed by the applicant, not an organization or business.
Applications will be accepted from artist teams, bands, dance troops, or similar creative collectives. Application must be submitted by a single individual on behalf of the group with their individual role in the project proposal clearly stated, as the individual will be legally obligated to the terms of the grant agreement. Groups will be limited to one funding request.
The work must include a tangible public outcome – meaning that the project must have a public-facing component that supports the social and cultural vibrancy of Dubuque as it recovers from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.
Public benefit can be achieved through examples such as but not limited to:
Creation/Co-Creation of artwork
Research (in combination with any of the outcomes above)
Tangible outcomes can be achieved through examples such as but not limited to:
A visual artist requests funds to purchase supplies and materials and pays themselves to offer a free painting workshop at a senior living facility. The work produced will be displayed alongside the artist’s work in a public venue.
A dancer requests funds to pay themselves to provide free dance workshops for an afterschool teen program. The project includes working with the teens to choreograph a new dance piece that will be performed at a public event.
An individual member of a band requests funds to record and market the release of a new album. As part of the recording process, the band offers virtual or in-person trainings on songwriting, sound mixing, or other processes related to making an album.
Funds, including stipends/fees and/or one-time expenses, must support the development or execution of projects by creatives with defined outcomes related to career and community development goals that occur within the eligible funding period of performance.
Funds must directly support costs associated with specific activities or work* such as performances, presentations, exhibitions, training, research, and/or creation of an artwork, with tangible outcomes. *This is considered a stipend to the artist for the work undertaken and completed.
Artist expenses related to public art, such as murals, must comply with and be approved by the City of Dubuque and the National Endowment for the Arts for its potential impact on historic properties/districts/sites and the environment to fulfill responsibilities and obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA), respectively. Subgrants for public art projects will be considered pending until all parties have fully approved the specific operations.
Allowable Cost Categories: these are the only cost categories for which funds may be requested.
Artist’s Time – Cost of the applicant artist’s time based on a typical hourly rate and estimated number of hours needed to implement the project activities. Cannot support children as professional artists.
Professional Services – Use of other professional services to support the implementation of the project (e.g., contracted artists who support the project, production crew, professional consultants who help with project marketing plans and design, etc.).
Fees – Fees associated with participation in classes, training, workshops, and other project-specific professional development activities. (Note: classes/training that result in credits toward a degree are not eligible.)
Materials/Supplies – Project-specific expenses for materials needed to complete work for an exhibition, performance, presentation, etc. as described in the application (e.g., paint, canvasses, paper, materials for costume creation, film, CDs, etc.).
Production Expenses – Project-specific costs related to the short-term rental of equipment and/or venue rental, such as rehearsal, studio, and performance space. (Note: Costs for home studios/workspace are not permitted.)
Health and Safety Supplies – Costs associated with COVID-related measures to ensure the health and safety of participants (e.g., personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc.).
Marketing and Promotion – Costs related to the marketing and promotion of the project. (e.g., printing costs for fliers and brochures, paid advertisements on social media, etc.)
Travel – Costs related to travel necessary to the project. (e.g., resourcing specific supplies or attending training to execute the project)
We are committed to making our programs and services accessible to everyone. Please contact Laura Merrick, Communications and Grants Administration Assistant with the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, at 563.581.4666 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request accommodations, translation, interpretation, or other assistance, including technical support or questions to complete the application. Requests for accommodations made after the grant deadline cannot be honored.
Laura Merrick | email Communications and Grants Administration Assistant 563.581.4666
Economic Development Office City Hall Annex 1300 Main Street, Dubuque, IA 52001