Arts & Culture Operating Support Grants Awards Announced
Jenni Petersen-Brant, Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator
August 27, 2020 -- For Immediate Release
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Dubuque City Council recently approved the recommendation from the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to award $247,072 in operating support grant funds to 19 of Dubuque’s 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations.
The City’s Arts and Culture Operating Support funding program allows established 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations located within the city of Dubuque to request up to $30,000 or six percent of their previous year’s operating budget. Nineteen organizations, with operating budgets ranging from $17,251 to $5.4 million, applied for this year’s funding cycle, collectively requesting $314,744. The funding program is designed to support organizations that contribute to the cultural vibrancy and vitality of the community through year-round arts and culture-related programming. Applicants must demonstrate a record of financial and management stability, and provide evidence of how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) learning and practices are integrated into the applicant’s planning, programming, and organizational development.
“COVID-19 turned off most, if not all, revenue streams for these organizations since mid-March when they closed their doors to the public, canceled events, and called off fundraisers. Now more than ever, operating support for our local arts and culture organizations is a critical investment to ensure they and their talented staff are there to inspire and empower the community as we collectively recover from the pandemic and come together to address social injustices,” says Ali Levausseur, chairperson of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. “When arts and culture activities and creative workers are seen as part of an integrated approach to addressing brain health, domestic violence, poverty, housing, transportation, education, economic development, and the vibrancy of communities, outcomes are farther reaching and longer lasting.”
Ellen Dettmer, director of development at United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, and Jennifer Walker, fundraising consultant for East Central Intergovernmental Association, served as independent reviewers who read and scored all applications. Scoring was then reviewed by the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to provide a recommendation to City Council which approved the recommendation as submitted on August 3, 2020.
The Commission’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding recommendation tiered awards according to the overall ranking of application scores as to not exceed the City Council’s FY2021 approved program allocation of $250,000. Awards ranged from a maximum of five percent or $30,000 to Tier 1, A+ rated applications to a maximum of 2.75 percent or $30,000 to Tier 4, B-/C applications. New this year, awards over $3,000 will be paid out on a quarterly basis to effectively manage potential changes to City revenue streams.
Organizations were awarded funding, listed in order of scoring, as follows:
- Bell Tower Productions - $17,900
- Dubuque Chorale Inc - $2,899
- Dubuque County Historical Society - $30,000
- Dubuque Arboretum - $10,083
- Legion-Aires Drum & Bugle Corps (The Colts) - $30,000
- The Grand Opera House - $27,537
- Dubuque County Fine Arts Society - $6,268
- Rising Star Theatre Company - $4,506
- Northeast Iowa School of Music - $10,019
- Dubuque Downtown Cultural Corridor by Dubuque Main Street - $8,666
- Dubuque Museum of Art - $25,547
- Dubuque Symphony Orchestra - $30,000
- Heritage Works, Inc - $8,351
- Julien Dubuque International Film Festival - $9,479
- Fly-by-Night Productions Inc - $598
- Creative Adventure Lab - $17,557
- Dubuque Arts Council - $2,395
- Convivium Urban Farmstead - $4,792
- Dubuque Ch A010 of the Barbershop Harmony Society (Music Men) - $474
- Total FY21 Operating Support Grant Awards - $247,072
Last year, these 19 arts and culture organizations collectively employed 86 full-time and 212 part-time or seasonal workers paying out $4.9 million in employee wages, not including benefits. They also contracted with an array of talent, including actors, musicians, artist, arts educators, lecturers, and others, issuing over $283,000 in contracts to workers in the creative sector.
According to an Americans for the Arts 2012 study, Dubuque’s non-profit arts and culture sector, generates $47.2 million annually in economic activity for our community and contributes $5 million in local and state government revenues.
For additional information on the City’s Operating Support Grant Program, contact Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant at 563.690.6059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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