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Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Iowa Arts Council Arts Build Communities Opportunity

The Iowa Arts Council has asked UNI to participate in their arts initiative, "Arts Build Communities." Arts Build Communities is designed to provide support for arts projects that uniquely address civic challenges and community issues through the arts. The Iowa Arts Council will provide grants of up to $10,000 to local communities to carry out their art/civic community issue. UNI participation in Arts Build Community would include collaborating with one of the local communities to provide technical, artist and evaluative assistance. The goals of the program are to help communities face complex and structural challenges that require interdisciplinary and cross-sector solutions. At the same time, the role of artists and the arts in the broader cultural, social and economic areas of community life has expanded. When brought into conversation with other disciplines, the arts and artists can offer new ways of looking at and developing innovative solutions to persistent challenges. Specific goals of the programs are to 1) showcase artists and arts leaders as engaged and innovative partners in the social sphere; 2) connect artists and arts leaders with public entities and community organizations outside the arts sector and 3) support projects and programs that are designed to address and affect positive change in relations to one or more specific areas of community needs (health, transportation, environment, social justice).

Last year's projects were a vision focused project in Waverly (led by ISU) to bring attention to hunger and a project based program relating to family farms (lead by UI). 

We're sending this email to you in advance of the solicitation for new projects (expected to be released by 3/1) to inform you of this opportunity and potentially gather a cohort of interested UNI faculty or staff who want to be involved. UNI involvement includes advisory or technical assistance to a local community selected to receive funding. Students can participate. 

Local communities who can apply for this funding include:

  • current, legal Iowa resident artists who are 18 or older
  • federally tax exempt nonprofit organizations incorporated and located in Iowa
  • K-12 Iowa school districts
  • Unit of local, county or municipal government
  • federally-recognized tribal government located in Iowa.

Funding from the Iowa Arts Council will not come to UNI. The funding will go to the local communities and can pay for artists fees, materials, supplies and marketing expenses. Perhaps you are already working with, or are familiar with, a local community/social issue. If this is something you are interested in being a part of, or if you would like more information, please contact Kerri Robinson at  by February 1st.  

Thank you, 

Kerri Robinson