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October 2009

In This Issue
Register Now for the Iowa Public Art Networking Conference Nov. 12-13
High School Profits from Pierson Poetry Prize
Cultural Trust Stability Grants
IABD Proud to Show Off Its Art Collection
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV Invites Participation
Poetry Out Loud Spotlight: Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center
Call for Workshop Proposals: Iowa Culture and Language Conference
How Attorney Brett Trout Lives the Arts in Iowa
Kudos to Phelps Youth Pavilion
Theatre Cedar Rapids Alumni Take the Broadway Stage
October is Nat'l Arts and Humanities Month
I-JOBS Helps Iowa's Cultural Attractions Recover
Creative Classroom Spotlight: Bettie Jane Bibler
River of Words Environmental Poetry Contest
Get Set for NaNoWriMo
NCCA Webinars with Gene Cohen
IAC Staff Out & About
ARTicles...of Note

IAC Calendar

Oct. 8 &9: Webinar training for new Cultural Trust Stability Grant (see related article)

Oct. 17: IAC Office on the Road & Grant Writing Workshop, Black Box Theatre, SAMI Center, Spirit Lake
 
Oct 21:
IAC Office on the Road & Grant Writing Workshop, Wilson Performing Arts Center, Red Oak

Nov. 2:Teaching Artists Roster application deadline
 
Nov. 2:Performing Artists Roster application deadline
 
Nov. 12: Public Art Grant Writing Workshop, State Historical Building

Nov. 12-13: Public Art Networking Conference, Des Moines
 
 
Nov. 20: "Arts in Crisis," with Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Temple for Performing Arts (watch for more information in the November newsletter)
 
Dec. 16:
Grant Writing Workshop, State Historical Building, Des Moines
 
Save the Date: Cultural Advocacy Day is Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

 
Ongoing:
Artist Directory (Iowa Artists - add your info to this!)


Iowa PUBLIC ART Artists Registry (For Iowa artists who create public art and are seeking public art commissions)

Mini Grants. Apply for up to $1,500 in matching funds for arts-related projects.
 
EZ 1-2-3 Grants. Apply for up to $500 to bring an artist to your school or community in 2009-10.
 
Big Yellow School Bus Grants. Apply for $200 to pay transportation costs for school arts field trips in 2009-10.

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Check it out regularly for articles of current interest, announcements, and hot topics that are important to the arts in Iowa.

Have you sent in the final report for your IAC grant? Don't delay! Find forms here. 
 

Practical Resources for The Cultural Sector in Uncertain Economic Times: Including funding opportunities, advocacy tips and services.
 
 

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Artist opportunities, cultural events listings and more at the In-Box.  
 
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TOPRegister Now for the Iowa Public Art Networking Conference Nov. 12-13
The Des Moines Art Center, in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council, will host the 2009 Iowa Public Art Networking Conference November 12-13, 2009 in Des Moines to celebrate the opening of the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The conference is supported by the Arts Council with significant support from the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation.
 
The 4.4 acre sculpture park opened to the public Sept. 27 in downtown Des Moines' Western Gateway. The park features 24 sculptures by 19 world-renowned artists, all donated to the Des Moines Art Center by philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn.
 
Des Moines Art Center Director Jeff Fleming will open the conference Thursday, Nov 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place with an introduction of the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and the artist Jaume Plensa, who will present an illustrated lecture about his body of work, featuring Nomade, and share his approach to making art for public spaces. This is the twenty-first lecture in the series made possible through generous gifts by Louis and Lois Fingerman.
 
Friday activities include a walking tour of the sculpture park led by Jaume Plensa and Des Moines Art Center docents, two panel sessions: "Sculpture Parks" and "Establishing and Maintaining a Public Art Program and Master Plan," and more.
 
The day will end with a closing reception at Art 316, a warehouse just south of downtown Des Moines which houses about 20 artist studios.
 
Conference fee is $44.50 through Nov. 1; $60 after Nov. 1.  Register at www.iowatix.com. For more information, download the conference brochure at www.iowaartscouncil.org

 
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High School Profits from Pierson Poetry Prize
This is what $500 of poetry books looks like: hours at the bookstore thumbing through book after book, hours on the Internet ordering even more online and generally having a good time spending every penny of prize money.
 
Mia Pierson, Roland-Story High School junior, took the state title in this year's Poetry Out Loud competition in Des Moines, earning her $500 for her school to purchase poetry books. Denise Biechler, one of Pierson's English teachers, selected and ordered the books. Maricarol Hansen, the school's media specialist, catalogued and prepared them for the library shelves.
 
"I spent an entire afternoon sitting on the floor at Border's thumbing through actual poetry books," Biechler said. "Then I spent another afternoon in front of the computer ordering them on the school's account. It's a lot of fun spending free money."
 
The first class to use the books was Mary Sara Lettow's Language Arts I class. "The new books have been a real asset for my class," Lettow said. "They have given the students lots more options for their poetry projects. Thanks, Mia!"
 
"We appreciate the fact that Mia's talent has helped us to enhance our poetry collection and hope that these new books will inspire other students," added Hansen.
 
When she went to the library to admire all the books, Pierson especially noticed the two poetry collections by Garrison Keillor, one of the judges at the national contest.  

"I am thrilled to have contributed to the school in a way that will keep on giving," Pierson said. "These books will last for decades, and hopefully the memory with them. I greatly appreciate the whole school for supporting me, and I couldn't think of a better way to give back."
 
-Denise Biechler
 
Cultural Trust Stability Grants

The Iowa Cultural Trust announces its first grant program: Cultural Trust Stability Grants. These small grants will help Iowa cultural organizations reach goals of fiscal stability and institute best practices in organizational strategic planning and management.
 
Stability Grants are intended to make measurable changes in the ability of cultural organizations to be financially stable and sustainable. Applicants may request up to $2,500, but no more than 50% of the total project cost. All requests must show a dollar-for-dollar cash match. Applications are due to the Cultural Trust by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 16, 2009 for projects occurring between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010. See the Iowa Cultural Trust Web page for more details.
 
One-hour webinar training sessions for the new grant will be held Thursday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. E-mail staci.nevinski@iowa.gov to register for a webinar and for instructions on connecting to a session. In your email, please specify which session you wish to attend. You must have both a phone and internet connection to participate.
 
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IABD Proud to Show Off Its Art Collection

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (IABD) has worked diligently to acquire works by diverse and talented artists from Iowa or with Iowa connections. Ranging from small drawings to large scale acrylic paintings, the collection includes something everyone can appreciate.
 
As a state agency, IABD conforms to the Art in State Buildings Program which requires one-half of one percent of a state building's construction costs be dedicated to the acquisition, preparation and installation of fine arts elements. IABD Administrator Lynn Walding said he was happy to comply.
 
"IABD welcomes exploration of the collection, which continues to expand," he said. "We have an online gallery of each work of art, as well as a printed guide highlighting each piece with a note about its creator. The public is welcome to come through our Ankeny building to view these works, or see them at any time by visiting our Web site."
 
View the collection or download the printed guide at http://www.iowaabd.com/about/division/art_collection
 
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV Invites Participation
Could your community or region be part of the fourth national economic impact study of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences? Click here!
 
In 2007, Arts & Economic Prosperity III found America's nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year and generates 5.7 million jobs. It's this data that has helped our demonstrate that the arts mean business. Iowa's Cultural Corridor region participated in that study, which showed a $63.08 million benefit to the area from arts and cultural groups.

Americans for the Arts is seeking at least 200 communities representing all 50 states for the next study, which will commence in 2010.
 
The results of a study like this can give your community's elected officials and business leaders concrete data about the direct, tangible impact that the arts and culture have on your local economy. This case-making tool is especially important given the current economic situation and the pressure being placed on politicians across the country to cut arts funding.
 
There is a cost, so you should review the information and determine its potential usefulness in your area. Discounts will be available to professional members of Americans for the Arts.
 
Find out more information on Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, including participation costs and data collection requirements.
 
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Poetry Out Loud Spotlight Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

The Iowa Arts Council Poetry Out Loud program is partnering with Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) at the University of Northern Iowa to encourage Iowa youth to learn about their literary heritage.
 
GBPAC has identified three nationally acclaimed poets from UNI who are available for poetry residencies in the schools. Teachers and schools participating in Poetry Out Loud this year can apply for an EZ 1.2.3 POL no-match grant to bring these highly accomplished poets and teachers into their schools:
 
Kimberly Groninga, UNI English Department, is the nonfiction editor of the North American Review, the nation's oldest literary magazine. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of publications and her first book of poems is forthcoming from Final Thursday Press in January, 2010.
 
Vince Gotera, UNI English Professor, writes poems, stories, essays and serves as editor at the North American Review. Besides teaching at other colleges, including Grinnell and Wartburg, he also taught high school in "a previous life." Vince earned his MFA in poetry writing and Ph.D in English at Indiana University. Vince blogs on poetry and all manner of stuff at The Man with the Blue Guitar. See also his Facebook business page: Vince Gotera · Poet/Writer/Editor.
 
J.D. Schraffenberger, UNI assistant professor of English,is the assistant poetry editor of the North American Review. He is the author of a book of poems, Saint Joe's Passion (Etruscan Press 2008), and his other work appears in Best Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Dogwood, Free Inquiry, Mid-American Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. 
 
GBPAC will host a "verbal excursion master class" with Mayhem Poets Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, for registered POL students and teachers. You can register at education@gbpac.com. Through powerful interactive written and performance exercise, the Mayhem Poets equip workshop participants with all the proper tools to craft and express poetry. 

  

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Call for Workshop Proposals: Iowa Culture and Language Conference
The Annual Iowa Culture and Language Conference (ICLC) seeks proposals for workshops to be held during the event. Electronic proposals will be accepted NO LATER than Friday, noon, Oct. 9, 2009. This is an extension of the noted Oct. 2, 2009 deadline.  
 
The mission of the ICLC is to advocate for culturally and/or linguistically diverse students and their families, educators and service providers. The theme is "Rooted to Grow: Diverse Learners in the 21st Century." The conference is scheduled for Feb. 9-10, 2010, at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines.
 
Particularly desirable are proposals by those from specific culture groups that provide information that might be helpful for teachers working with those groups to understand issues related specifically to students from those groups (e.g. information about Mexican, Iraqi, Burmese, Somali, Vietnamese, or other cultures presented by individuals from those cultures). Return forms via e-mail to: tangerman@nwaea.k12.ia.us.
 
To read more about the conference and download proposal forms, visit www.nwaea.k12.ia.us
How Attorney Brett Trout Lives the Arts in Iowa
Brett Trout is an Iowa patent attorney and frequent speaker on Internet and intellectual property law. He is one of the founding members of the Iowa Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a nonprofit organization providing legal services to artists and arts and culture related organizations. IAVLA volunteers to helpphotographers, painters, poets, musicians, playwrights, graphic artists, dancers, craft groups, filmmakers, theater companies, orchestras, neighborhood arts councils and others pursuing artistic endeavors.Here he tells us a little more about himself, and how he "lives the arts in Iowa." 
 
Tell us about an unexpected (or maybe, surprising?) arts experience you've had.
I attended a magnificent wedding reception for two Iowa artists. The event was one my wife and I will not forget. It integrated the guests and conversation as part of the design. It was a very moving experience.  
 
What did you do last Friday night?
I attended Wicked with my family. I have seen it before, but it never ceases to amaze.
 
What's outside the nearest window?
A pedestrian walkway with people enjoying trees turning various fall colors.
 
Who's your favorite Iowa artist?
Ron Wagner. He created the cover for my book CyberLaw. The cover far exceeded my expectations and put the other international artist I was considering to shame.
 
Tell us in 10 words or less why you're an arts advocate.
Art is beauty, why we all get out of bed.
 
Where are you most creative?  Why that place?
I am most creative in my office at night. It is the only place I can lock out all distraction.
 
Why do you "Live the Arts" in Iowa?
Art fulfills me. If you don't live the Arts, you are missing the beauty in life.
 
Find out more about Brett Trout at www.bretttrout.com.



Kudos to Phelps Youth Pavilion
Congratulations to the Phelps Youth Pavilion at the Waterloo Center for the Arts for winning Nickelodeon's 2009 Parents Picksaward for Best Art Class in the Des Moines (!) area. ParentsConnect.com is an online resource for parenting advice and community; the Youth Pavilion will be featured on the site throughout the year.
 
Theatre Cedar Rapids Alumni Take the Broadway Stage
Not one, but two former performers with Theatre Cedar Rapids and a third Cedar Rapids native are now performing in musicals on Broadway. 
 
Megan Reinking and Catherine Blades performed with Theatre Cedar Rapids (TCR) within the past decade, and are quick to thank the company for giving them a springboard into the professional theatre world, according to TCR. Reinking is currently with the Hair production, but has also appeared previously in Lestat and Frank Wildhorn's Dracula. Hair has been a smash hit, earning a Tony award for Best Revival in 2009 and is the hottest Broadway ticket in town. At TCR, Reinking performed as a young girl in The Music Man and, later, in The Who's Tommy.
 
"What I love about Cedar Rapids is that there are so many performance opportunities for young kids growing up," she said. "The arts are very strong in Cedar Rapids. It gives a lot of opportunities for growth, and I was always very grateful for that." 
 
Blades can be seen in the ensemble of Bye Bye Birdie. In fact, she was performing in Cedar Rapids right up until the Bye Bye Birdie audition in New York, something she found out about from her mother. The open call auditions brought more than 1,500 people and Blades nearly gave up. But one callback after another finally led to her selection for the cast. The show is set to open mid-October.
 
"I can't think of a better place (than TCR)," she said. "It's really prepared me to know what it would be like to be in a big production, working with professional people. My experiences here have been amazing."
 
Bye Bye Birdie also includes Tim Shew, a Cedar Rapids native and longtime Broadway veteran. Even though he has a long string of Broadway successes on his resume - including the coveted role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables - Shew regularly returns to Cedar Rapids for special performances. He adds how impressed he is with young Iowa talent landing big time Broadway roles.
 
"I think it says a lot for Cedar Rapids, and for the programs that are going on in the schools and the community. There's great consideration for the arts. I feel blessed to have been a part of it."
 
Ed. Note -Information in this article originally appeared in September issue of The Marquee, the Theatre Cedar Rapids newsletter. 
 
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October is Nat'l Arts and Humanities Month
National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) presents the opportunity for everyone to experience the arts this October, whether it's attending the theater or other cultural event, taking a ceramics or dance class, or singing songs with your kids.
 
Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, NAHM is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. To find out how you can participate in NAHM in your community, get involved or get inspired, visit www.americansforthearts.org/nahm

 
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I-JOBS Helps Iowa's Cultural Attractions Recover
Governor Culver's signature initiative, I-JOBS, will strengthen Iowa's economy, help our state recover from the natural disasters of 2008, and preserve or create thousands of jobs.
 
The $830 million three-year program is funded with existing state gaming revenue, meaning no increase in taxes. On August 31, 2009, the I-JOBS Board announced
$118.5 million in competitive grants in addition to $46.5 million in previously
announced non-competitive grants under the I-JOBS Local Infrastructure Program.
 
The following museums and cultural attractions were awarded grants:
 
Cedar Rapids (Linn County)
  • African American Museum of Iowa: $268,510 competitive grant for disaster relief
  • National Czech and Slovak Museum: $10 million non-competitive grant for disaster relief
  • Paramount Theater: $5 million non-competitive grant for disaster relief
  • Legion Arts - Restoration of CSPS Hall: $4.8 million competitive grant for disaster relief

Cedar Falls (Black Hawk County)

  • Cedar Falls Historical Society - Ice House Museum Restoration: $545,700 competitive grant for disaster relief

Indianola (Warren County)

  • National Balloon Museum North Slope Project: $188,300 competitive grant for future flood mitigation
     

This represents an I-JOBS commitment of over $20.8 million towards museums and cultural attractions. These projects will create both temporary construction-related jobs as well as permanent positions as they these communities recover from the 2008 disasters and prepare for future floods.

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Creative Classroom Spotlight: Bettie Jane Bibler
Bettie Jane Bibler is on the Iowa Arts Council teaching and performing artist rosters, which allow her to delight audiences of all ages with lively storytelling performances, workshops and residencies. An experienced performer and educator, Bibler holds a Master's Degree in Education, and has an extensive background working with both adults and children.
 
Creative Classrooms is a two-year program in partnership with Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at UNI, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Iowa Arts Council. Teaching artists have begun the second year of this professional development program on arts-infused lessons to enhance student learning. And Biblerhas received intensive evaluation and training specifically directed at strengthening her residency plan: "Scales and Tales: Exploring Animal Folklore to Enhance Creative Writing".
 
"Creative Classrooms has helped me reflect upon the types of activities that I plan for students and has encouraged me to develop activities that will provide students with ample opportunities for exploring new ideas, making discoveries, and stretching their creative muscles," she said.
 
"I found the process of closely examining my role as a teaching artist - and revamping my program - to be both challenging and rewarding. Having been accustomed to providing a range of offerings and emphasizing diversity in what I presented as a teaching artist, I initially found it rather frustrating to be required to narrow the focus of my residency, as part of the Creative Classrooms program. I later found, however, that the challenge of revising my program and re-thinking my role as a teaching artist was both enlightening and very beneficial! It has strengthened my work as a teaching artist and has enhanced the quality of what I can provide for teachers and students."
 
Bettie Jane Bibler will be conducting a week-long residency at Lenihan Intermediate School in Marshalltown.

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River of Words Environmental Poetry Contest
Every year, River of Words® (ROW) conducts an international environmental poetry and art competition for youth aged 5 to 19 in grades K-12, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book. This free contest is designed to help youth explore the natural environment and cultural history of the place they live, and to express what they discover through poetry and art. Iowa entries not chosen as finalists or grand prize winners in the international contest are returned to IOWATER, where they are judged in a statewide River of Words IOWA Environmental Poetry and Art competition.
 
The IOWATER Volunteer Water Monitoring Program of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources coordinates the River of Words IOWA Environmental Poetry and Art competition. Entries must be sent by December 1 to: River of Words, PO Box 4000-J, Berkeley, CA  94704. ROW returns Iowa's entries to IOWATER in April for state competition and Iowa's state winners are chosen in May.
 
For more information and entry forms, visit www.iowater.net and click on River of Words.


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Get Set for NaNoWriMo
National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Every year, participants begin writing Nov. 1 with the goal to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, Nov. 30.
 
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
 
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
 
In 2008, more than 120,000 people participated and more than 20,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
 
Sign up and find out more at www.nanowrimo.org


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NCCA Webinars with Gene Cohen
The National Center for Creative Aging is holding a series of five webinars led by Dr. Gene Cohen, the principle investigator for the landmark "Creativity & Aging Study". This research provides Iowa arts organizations with important rationale for providing programming and outreach to aging Iowans. 
 
The webinars will be Oct. 5, 19, 27 and Nov. 16, 2009. Cost is $50 per webinar. For more details, visit www.creativeaging.com
 
The study measured the impact of professionally conducted community-based cultural programs on the physical health, mental health, and social activities of individuals aged 65 and older. Implications from the study show a positive impact of participatory art programs for older adults on their health, frequency of doctor's visits, use of medication, loneliness and morale.
 
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IAC Staff Out & About
Oct. 2: Dawn Martinez Oropeza presents Poetry Out Loud information at Iowa Council of Teachers of English Conference in Des Moines
Oct. 2: Mary Sundet Jones and Cyndi Pederson to Iowa City for presentation of Iowa Award to Grant Wood
Oct. 2: Dawn Martinez Oropeza and Riki Saltzman to Cedar Falls for Art Educators of Iowa conference
Oct. 8: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Cedar Falls for Mayhem Poets workshop at Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center
Oct. 9: Dawn Martinez Oropeza, Riki Saltzman, and Sarah Ekstrand at Latino Conference at Grand View College, Des Moines with Iowa performers Calle Sur, World of Difference, and Teatro Indocumento
Oct. 11-13: Riki Saltzman attends From Commodity to Community (Food Security) Conference in Des Moines
Oct. 12: Bruce Williams to Cedar Rapids for CLP site visit at Legion Arts
Oct. 16-17: Riki Saltzman to Cedar Falls to attend Bosnian concert at Gallagher Bluedorn and meet with traditional artists
Oct. 15-20: Staci Nevinski to Storm Lake for Buena Vista University grant writing exercise, and Spirit Lake for IAC Grant Writing Workshop and Office on the Road
Oct. 19-20: Bruce Williams and Cyndi Pederson to Quad Cities for CLP site visits at the Family Museum of Arts and Science and the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science
Oct. 21: Sarah Ekstrand and Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Red Oak for Grant Writing Workshop and Office on the Road
Oct. 21-22: Riki Saltzman to Central College in Pella for Immigration Teach-in
Oct. 22-23: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Manchester and Arlington for Creative Classrooms artist evaluations

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ARTicles...of Note
South Africa: Sponsoring the Arts More Economical Than Sports Sponsorship?, BizCommunity.com (8/31/09): South African columnist Tony Lankester makes the case that companies should sponsor the arts over sports teams or athletes because it provides the best value. A staggering 43 percent of adult South Africans maintain that they feel more positively toward a company that sponsors the arts, according to [research firm] BMI-TechKnowledge.
 
Corporate Giving Strategies Shifting as Economy Weakens,Philanthropy News Digest (9/1/09): "Although many corporate charitable giving departments are facing reduced budgets and fewer staff on the payroll, corporations remain committed to supporting their communities, a new report from the LBG Research Institute finds."

NEH Head Fights Against The Culture Wars, Washington Post (9/24/09): "In this era of Internet blasts and ornery town-hall meetings," National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Jim Leach "wants to buck what he considers one of the 21st century's most insidious trends: the end of civility. It's something he's been harping on since the mid-1990s. 'I am appalled by the notion of cultural wars,'" he says. 
 
To Protest Cuts, B.C. Artists May Decline Olympic Funding, The Globe and Mail (Canada - 9/30/09):"In Vancouver's arts community, there are a lot of mixed feelings these days about the Olympics. There has been talk of boycotting the Cultural Olympiad since the recent announcement of deep cuts in B.C.'s funding for the arts - primarily through the cancellation of gaming grants."
 
Staff-Wide Buyout Offer At Smithsonian, Washington Post, (09/30/09): "The Smithsonian Institution is offering all of its [6,000] employees a voluntary buyout plan to reduce its workforce, meet its tightened budget goals and restructure the organization to match the principles of its new strategic plan."


The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
 
The MISSION of the Iowa Arts Council is to enrich the quality of life for Iowans through support of the arts.
 
The VISION of the Iowa Arts Council is that Iowans recognize the arts are essential to their quality of life.
 
The Iowa Arts Council aims to empower Iowa's leaders in strengthening community life through the arts and provide leadership in stimulating a healthy arts environment.