City of Dubuque Announces Arts and Culture Operating Support and Capacity-Building Grants Awards

The Dubuque City Council recently approved recommendations from the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to award $250,000 in operating support grant funds to 17 of Dubuque’s 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations and $35,000 to fund nine capacity-building grants to support initiatives that aim to create more sustainable and effective arts and culture organizations.

Operating Support for Arts and Culture Nonprofits

The City’s Arts and Culture Operating Support Grant Program allows established 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations located within the city of Dubuque to request 6% or up to $30,000 of their most recently completed fiscal year operating budget. Sixteen eligible organizations, with operating expenses ranging from nearly $27,000 to over $7 million, applied for this year’s funding cycle, collectively requesting $347,214 in support.

The operating support grant program is designed to support nonprofit organizations contributing to cultural vibrancy and community resiliency by focusing on publicly accessible arts, arts education, and cultural heritage programming. Applicants must demonstrate a record of financial and management stability, show evidence of a commitment to excellence as an arts and culture leader, and attest to how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) learning and practices are integrated into the applicant’s planning, programming, and organizational development.

Competitive scoring of the applications was utilized to determine awards totaling $250,000. Arts and cultural organizations to receive funding, listed in alphabetical order by organization name, are:

  • Bell Tower Productions: $19,050
  • Colts Youth Organization: $25,055
  • Creative Adventure Lab, Inc.: $25,623
  • Dubuque Arts Council: $5,810
  • Dubuque Chapter of SPEBSQSA / Music Men Barbershop Chorus: $1,033
  • Dubuque Chorale: $3,166
  • Dubuque County Historical Society: $28,471
  • Dubuque Museum of Art: $22,776
  • Dubuque Symphony Orchestra: $23,348
  • Fly-By-Night Productions: $1,592
  • Heritage Works: $18,939
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival: $18,501
  • Northeast Iowa School of Music: $14,706
  • Rising Star Theatre Company: $9,809
  • The Grand Opera House: $26,764
  • Voices Productions: $5,231

Arts and Culture Capacity Building

Through the City’s Arts and Culture Capacity-Building Grant Program, the City of Dubuque provides funding to Dubuque-based nonprofit organizations and groups to support initiatives that aim to create a more sustainable and effective arts and culture organization.

The capacity-building grant program received nine eligible applications collectively requesting $49,124. Based on the results of competitive scoring, seven applications were selected to receive support, with awards ranging from $4,000 to $6,500 and totaling $34,124 in capacity-building grants.

The following organizations and projects to receive funding, listed in order of award amount, is as follows:

  • Bell Tower Theater: $6,500
  • Northeast Iowa School of Music: $5,580
  • The Grand Opera House: $5,000
  • Dubuque County Fine Arts Society: $4,544
  • Dubuque County Historical Society: $4,500
  • Dubuque Chorale, Inc.: $4,000
  • Dubuque Arts Council: $4,000

In total, 25 eligible applications were submitted across both grant programs, with each program’s applications reviewed and scored by a selected three-person panel comprised of individuals independent of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. Volunteer reviewers are knowledgeable of the arts, actively participate in the arts, and possess professional experience in fields such as nonprofit, business, education, or government. The Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission reviewed application scores and submitted funding-level recommendations to the Dubuque City Council for approval.

For additional information on the City’s arts and culture grant programs, contact the City of Dubuque Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs at 563-690-6059 or artsculture@cityofdubuque.org.

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