Apply for matching funds for arts-related projects. Note: Mini Grant applications are due the first business day of the month for March and May 2010 for a maximum of $1,000 (NOT $1,500).
No Mini Grant applications will be accepted in February or April 2010, due to state budget cuts. Maximum Mini Grant awards in January, March, and May will be $1,000 instead of $1,500. NOTICE: Big Yellow School Bus
and EZ 1-2-3
grant funds have been depleted for the year, and will not be available again until July 1, 2010.
IAC Major Grant applicants: The next deadline for Major Grant applications will be April 1, 2010, for projects beginning no earlier than July 1, 2010 and ending no later than June 30, 2011.
Check it out regularly for articles of current interest, announcements, and hot topics that are important to the arts in Iowa.
Artist opportunities, cultural events listings and more at the In-Box.
Want to receive monthly updates from the Iowa Arts Council and/or the State Historical Society of Iowa? Join our mailing lists or forward to a friend!
|IAC Offers Webinars About Grant Changes, Grant Writing Workshop Set
The Iowa Arts Council is offering two Webinars in February to discuss changes in its Mini and Major Grant programs, along with a general grant writing workshop.
Following is the schedule of Webinars and workshop:
- Mini Grant Program Changes Webinar - 11 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010
- IAC Grant Writing Workshop - 1-4 p.m., Monday Feb. 22, 2010 at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines.
- Major Grant Program Changes Webinar - 11 a.m.-noon, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010
Artists and others interested in participating may register for any or all of the three programs by clicking on the "Register for a Grant Writing Workshop" link at www.iowaartscouncil.org, filling out the grant writing workshop registration form, and submitting it online to IAC.
IAC's Mini Grant program offers monthly grants up to $1,000 - reduced from the $1,500 maximum offered monthly in previous years - to support a wide variety of arts projects for individual artists, schools, organizations and units of government. Remaining Mini Grant deadlines for the current fiscal year 2009-2010 are March 1 and May 3, 2010. No applications will be accepted Feb. 1 or April 1, 2010 due to state budget cuts, however monthly deadlines will resume June 1, 2010. Changes to the Mini Grant program can be found here.
IAC's Major Grant program offers grants up to $10,000 in five areas: artists, arts in education, folk & traditional art, organizations and public art. Major Grant applications are due at 4:30 p.m. April 1, 2010, at the Iowa Arts Council, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50319, for projects occurring between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. IAC does not anticipate having an Oct. 1, 2010, Major Grant application deadline due to state budget cuts. Changes to the Major Grant program can be found here.
For more information, call IAC at (515) 281-5111.
Arts Scholarship Applications Due Feb. 8 The Iowa Arts Council reminds Iowa high school students that Monday, Feb. 8, 2010, is the deadline to apply for a 2010 Iowa Scholarship for the Arts.
Offered annually by IAC, the scholarship is awarded to Iowa students who will graduate from an Iowa high school during the 2009-2010 academic year and plan to pursue a proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theater, traditional arts or visual arts at an Iowa college or university. The application is available at www.iowaartscouncil.org.
Each recipient will receive $1,000 to $2,000 toward his or her 2010-2011 college tuition and related expenses as a full-time undergraduate at a fully accredited Iowa college or university with a major in one or more of the disciplines considered for the award.
To be considered for the award, students must complete the scholarship application available at www.iowaartscouncil.org, write an essay about their future career goals in the arts, and include two letters of recommendation.
Applications and attachments are due by 4:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2010, in the Iowa Arts Council offices at 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. Incomplete, illegible, handwritten or faxed applications will not be accepted. Application review, criteria, approval and notification process information is available at www.iowaartscouncil.org. Contact Sarah Ekstrand at (515) 281-4657 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Waterloo Center for the Arts Gives Back to Haiti in Time of Need
Haiti's connection to Iowa runs deep. This is none so apparent than at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, which houses the largest collection of Haitian art in the United States.
With more than 900 pieces, the WCA's Haitian art collection includes a barrage of paintings with vibrant colors, industrial metal sculptures made from oil drums, and intricate flags constructed of thousands of tiny beads and sequins.
"Haitian art is incredibly unique and a lot of that comes from the spirit of the people. They have a resilient and joyous spirit," said Kent Shankle, WCA curator.
Now, the Waterloo Center for the Arts, Friends of the Art Center, and the national chapter of the Haitian Art Society have partnered to establish a Haiti Quake Relief Fund.
The devastating earthquake that occurred Jan. 12 left talented Haitian artists, their friends, families and neighbors in great peril and in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical care.
"A lot of the artists will be deeply impacted by this devastating tragedy. Who knows if they'll ever be able to make art again?" said Shankle, who is also co-president of the National Haitian Art Society.
The Waterloo Center for the Arts established its Haitian collection in 1977 with a generous gift from Dr. and Mrs. F. Harold Reuling. Upon travelling to Haiti, the Ruelings fell in love with the people and the art they saw. They approached WCA to start the collection, and continued to donate pieces in following years.
Contributions to the Friends of the Art Center Haiti Quake Relief Fund can be made with a credit card over the phone by calling (319) 291-4490 or by sending check or money order to Haiti Quake Relief Fund, Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial Street, Waterloo, IA 50701. For more information about the Waterloo Center for the Arts and Friends of the Art Center, visit www.waterloocenterforthearts.org. For information about the Haitian Art Society, visit www.haitianartsociety.org.
*portions of this story were contributed by KWWL online reporter Bob Waters.
** "Two Women at Voodoo Ceremony," oil on panel, Jacques Enguerrand-Gorgue
|Classical Guitarist, Creativity Guru Robert Bluestone Headlines Cultural Advocacy Day
Robert Bluestone believes that creativity is the currency of the 21st century and that we will succeed as individuals, families, communities, and as a country in direct proportion to how well we grasp this concept.
Bluestone will touch upon these and other topics as part of his keynote speech "Iowa 20/20: Making the Arts Part of the Fabric of Iowans' Everyday Lives" Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. The keynote begins at 10:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public.
During his presentation, Bluestone will explore how Iowa's arts organizations can capitalize on the creative possibilities in the emerging landscape and become powerful engines of innovation and prosperity in their communities. Additionally, Cultural Advocacy Day participants can take part in two break-out sessions with Bluestone, from 3-4 p.m. and from 4:15-5 p.m.
As a classical guitarist, Bluestone received a full scholarship for the Andrés Segovia Masterclass in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and has toured the world to critical acclaim for 30 years. He has spent 20 years speaking to businesses, communities, educational, nonprofit and healthcare groups from Alaska to Texas. In 1992, he founded Woven Harmony, Ltd., with his wife, Rebecca.
For a complete schedule of events during Cultural Advocacy Day, visit www.iowaculturalcoalition.org.
|Artist Team Formed for AiSB Project at Iowa Veteran's Home
Two artists have been commissioned through Art in State Buildings Program (AiSB) to integrate artwork into the Iowa Veterans Home Residential Facility, now under construction in Marshalltown.
David. B. Dahlquist lives in Des Moines and has completed more than 30 large-scale public art commissions across the country. David will serve as the team's lead artist and facilitator. Doug Shelton lived in Des Moines for many years before moving to Tucson, Ariz. Doug is an experienced painter and muralist with a career spanning nearly 30 years and is represented by Olson-Larsen Galleries in West Des Moines.
"I know that the work will be different than if I was doing it on my own and that is OK," Dahlquist said. "As an artist, you must be open to change -- and if you are, you may be happily surprised by the result and direction that you would not have achieved otherwise. That is potentially very exciting."
The committee selected the artists more than a year ago after reviewing the Iowa Public Art Artists' Registry, where both artists were represented in this resource as individual artists. Because the committee wanted the artists to work together as an artist team vs. individual artists, both Shelton and Dahlquist had to agree.
"David and Doug knew each other but had never worked together," said Bruce Williams, coordinator for the AiSB program. "Both artists were cautiously up to the challenge of working together in this 'arranged team' after being interviewed for the project."
The team toured the construction site Jan. 11 and met with the AiSB committee to obtain their input regarding the project. They will return later this winter or early spring to present their design proposal to the committee. The total budget for the AiSB project is $226,500.
The Iowa Legislature enacted the Art in State Buildings law 1979 to ensure that one-half of one percent of the total cost of state construction projects be used for the inclusion of fine arts in state building projects. Iowa artists who create public art and are interested in being considered for future AiSB projects are encouraged to register in the Iowa Public Art Artists' Registry.
|Building Audiences for the Arts in Iowa
by Riki Saltzman, Accessibility Coordinator
Building more diverse audiences and reaching out to new audiences benefits all arts and culture organizations in Iowa. Making arts programs accessible for any one group builds audience and organization capacity for a range of other groups.
Iowa has a wealth of dance groups, but they haven't always been in touch with each other. The Iowa Dance Network, an informal consortium of over 20 Iowa dancers and organizations has grown to include folk and traditional dance troupes, such as Waterloo's Bosnian KUD Kolo, which was featured for the first time at Iowa City's Iowa Dance Fest. Enabling modern, classical ballet, fusion, and folk and traditional dancers to talk and interact with one another and to use each other's resources to expand audiences for all was a wonderful example of the effectiveness of introducing various groups to each other. Not only did audiences increase but so did intercultural dance collaborations.
The annual Meskwaki Powwow, an Iowa mainstay for nearly 100 years, has also recently been involved with audience expansion. As with mainstream events, planning committees work on earning more and better publicity, performing in popular venues, and making sure publicity occurs early so audiences know about the events. Accessible and more informative Web sites for these organizations and their events also creates new audiences.
Once an organization has attracted new audiences, it's critical that people feel comfortable in what may be new surroundings. This keeps audience members coming back-and bringing in others. At the 2009 Meskwaki powwow, MC Larry Yazzie did a superb job of announcing and interpretation during traditional dance performances. Yazzie explained what was going on before and during each dance and also provided contextual and historical information about a particular dance and drum songs as well as about the regalia (clothing, head pieces, and other paraphernalia) for particular dances.
Other Iowa organizations that have made a commitment to reaching out to diverse audiences include West Liberty's Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre. Not only does the troupe have a variety of puppet shows that deal with different cultures, they also have partnered with puppeteers in Mexico, offer bilingual performances, and tour rural Iowa with shows that include Iowa historical topics, folk tales, and more. The Des Moines area's World of Difference has a group of "cultural ambassadors" that present stories, arts, music, and dance and more from each ambassador's heritage to central Iowa schools. By providing cultural arts day programs, the organization fills a gap in school programming and affirms the heritage of all students.
Building a more diverse audience also means reaching out to people with disabilities and their families. The Des Moines Art Center has been working with the Iowa Department for the Blind to create audio tours of the new Mary and John Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Theaters around the state offer audio enhanced services for the hearing impaired. And the Spencer Community Theatre in northwest Iowa partners with RIDES; this transportation service splits costs with local radio station KICD to sponsor a bus for seniors to attend a "senior night" performance. As well, anyone living in the community can request the service and be picked up at their door free of charge.
These are just a few examples of how Iowa's arts and culture community works to diversify their audiences. If you have other stories about how your organization makes its programs more accessible, please contact Riki Saltzman.
This article is the sixth in a series providing examples of artistic outreach to diverse groups in Iowa.
|Iowa Poetry Out Loud 2010
By Sara Bishop and Martha Davis
This winter, high school students across Iowa are participating in the national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud. The contest has several levels: classroom, school-wide, state and national finals for which Iowa students memorize and perform works of poetry.
The Poets and Writers Club at Norwalk High School played a large role in the school's competition Dec. 17, 2009. Teacher Martha Davis commented that participating in Poetry Out Loud adds to the club's objectives to have students recite their own original work alongside the work of published authors. This was one of their projects this year, and some of the club members served as student judges.
The Poets and Writers members hold regular, all-school poetry and story readings called "Cocoa Houses". It has become a tradition for contestants in the Poetry Out Loud contest to recite their memorized poems at the gatherings.
"In the Poetry Out Loud program, students gain self-confidence in taking a risk like this by getting up in front of people," added Norwalk teacher Brent Walker. "Their reading, fluency, and understanding increases, too."
Chelsea Frazer, a junior, will represent Norwalk at the state competition Saturday, March 6 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.
Iowa Poetry Out Loud is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the Iowa Arts Council. The winner of Iowa Poetry Out Loud will perform at the National POL Finals Competition April 27, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
|Folk Artists Perform at ICLC Feb. 9
The annual Iowa Culture and Language Conference Feb. 9 will feature Waterloo's Bosnian dance group KUD Kolo (profiled in the November Iowa Arts News), Cedar Rapids Iraqi 'ud player Ismail Alyassiri, and traditional Mexican guitar music from Des Moines's RJ Hernandez. These folk artists will perform for the evening program Feb. 9 at the Downtown Marriott.
Ismail Alyassiri of Marion performs traditional Iraqi 'ud music and song. The 'ud is a pear-shaped, unfretted, 11-stringed instrument found throughout the Middle East.
Originally from Nasiriyah, southeast of Baghdad, the Alyassiri family fled Iraq for Saudi Arabia in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War. In 1995, after nearly four years in a refugee camp, they came to Cedar Rapids. While in the Saudi Arabian refugee camp, Ismail and his cousins, Salah and Haider, were able to study with the protégé of Iraq's most revered 'ud maker.
RJ Hernandez is an original member of Las Guitarras de Mexico, one of Iowa's most popular guitar quartets. He performs the traditional rhythms and beautiful ballads originating from Mexico City, including boleros, huapangos, rancheros, nortenos, and jarachos. Las Guitarras de Mexico represented Iowa in the Global Sounds, Heartland Beats Midwest tour in 2000/2001, at the 2001 Festival of Iowa Folklife, the IAC's touring program Cultural Express, the 2007 Midwest Folk Fest in Columbus Junction (Hispanic Festival), and for a variety of other programs.
For more information about the groups, please contact IAC folk & traditional arts coordinator Riki Saltzman. For more information about the conference, visit the ICLC conference Web site or contact Teresa Angerman at Northwest Area Education Agency.
How a Yucatan Women's Advocate Lives the Arts in IowaEight years in the making and Women of the Yucatan: Thirty Who Dared to Change Their World is now available. The book, which profiles 30 women who have dared to challenge gender inequalities set against them at birth in their native Mexico, is authored by Jann Freed, professor of business management and the Mark and Kay De Cook Endowed Chair in Leadership and Character Development at Central College in Pella, and George Ann Huck, professor emerita of Spanish.
The book was published by McFarland in December and is available at www.mcfarlandpub.com and www.amazon.com. Here, Freed talks about how she Lives the Arts in Iowa.
Who is your favorite Iowa artist?
I admire and like all people who think creatively, challenge the status quo, and are motivated to continuously improve. All of the arts improve our lives by making it more interesting. The arts "wake us up" to new perspectives and insights. My hope is that I can find more time to take advantage of the arts opportunities in Iowa.
What inspires you the most about living in Iowa?
The fact that there are plenty of things to do culturally and it is easy to do them. Life is just easier in Iowa. I believe everyone can make a difference if they want to given the size of the community. We have a nice life living in Iowa.
What's just outside your window?
The library and I love libraries because of the information that is included. It reminds me of how much more there is to learn about everything. As a commissioner for the State Library of Iowa, libraries make me feel at home.
What did you do last Friday night?
The family went to dinner at A Dong [in Des Moines] at the request of our son Marshall on the night before he left for Spain to study for the semester.
Tell us about an unexpected arts experience.
I like to define arts broadly and think about how creativity can be incorporated into daily living. How can we all live more creatively to add interest, surprise, and adventure into our lives? Anything that stimulates the imagination I consider to be art. So living can be an arts experience since we are all creating our own lives.
|Creative Classroom Teaching Artist Spotlight: Barb Funke
By Sara Bishop
Artist Barb Funke shares her love of puppetry with students through her hands-on, educational residency called, "Meeting the Presidents Through Puppetry." History and art is combined into a successful learning tool.
Arts integration is a vital part of the Creative Classrooms Program and Funke's residency. Students learn about five U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Barack Obama through the fundamentals of puppetry. Students will create their own president puppets and scripts for their characters.
"The students finish the residency with a much stronger appreciation of the presidents and the performing art of puppetry by writing their own material," Funke explained.
Director of Education and Special Programs at Gallagher-Bluedorn, Amy Hunzelman is pleased with Funke's contribution to Creative Classrooms.
"Since Barb's involvement with the Creative Classrooms program her residency offerings for schools have strengthened to meet the needs of the diverse learner. Not only does her work tie with the Iowa Core Curriculum, but through the arts Barb delivers meaningful content to students that prepare them for success in life," Hunzelman said.
Funke will be at Turkey Valley Community School in Jackson Junction Feb 8-12, 2010.
Creative Classrooms is sponsored by The Iowa Arts Council and Gallagher-Bluedorn at the University of Northern Iowa in partnership with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
|NFF Seeks Input from Cultural Nonprofits
Nonprofit Finance Fund, a nonprofit that advocates for an effective and durable social sector,is conducting its annual nationwide survey of nonprofits to help us all understand more about the sector's specific, real-time financial challenges. We hope that you will contribute to this valuable endeavor by responding to NFF's anonymous, 10-minute survey. To take the 2010 survey, please click on this link: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB22A4UT8S2JE
NFF will analyze this information, then provide the results to all of us-government, foundations, lending institutions, media, and umbrella organizations-in aggregated form only. NFF will send aggregated survey results to any nonprofit respondents who choose to give their contact information. The findings, and the comparison to last year's findings, http://bit.ly/8ZoNBE, will help all of us focus on the most critical areas of need in the sector, both now and for the medium- to long-term.
|Grants for Arts Projects Guidelines: Iowa Applications Wanted!
The FY 2011 NEA Grants for Arts Projects application guidelines are now available. The three funding categories - Access to Artistic Excellence, Challenge America Fast-Track, and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth - represent the Arts Endowment's primary support for organizations. Several Iowa organizations have successfully applied for NEA grants in recent years. Could yours be next?
|National Arts Index - An Important New Tool!
Iowans should all be interested in this important new report, the National Arts Index 2009, published in late January by Americans for the Arts. The full, 146-page report is a fascinating overview of 76 national-level indicators that - together - give a clearer picture of the arts in America over an 11-year time span than we have ever had before. The Index looks at such varied indicators as:
Musical Instrument Sales
State Arts Appropriations
Revenue of Arts and Culture Nonprofits
Visual and Performing Arts Degrees
Public Television Viewing
Attendance at Live Popular Music
...and much, much more.
It's fascinating, even just to glance through - and could provide fodder for good conversation about how Iowa could capture some of this same information on a state-level basis.
Refresh Communities with Art
Pepsi is giving away millions each month to fund refreshing ideas that change the world. The ideas with the most votes will receive grants to get their projects off the ground.
Pepsi will accept up to 1,000 ideas submitted by the public on the Web site www.refresheverything.com. Categories are Arts and Culture, Health, Food and Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education. Grants range from $5,000 to $250,000. The soft drink maker's "Pepsi Refresh Project" will be used throughout next year to market Pepsi soft drinks, including Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max. Pepsi is partnering with several groups to help it run the program. GOOD, a for-profit collaboration linking people, businesses and nonprofits, developed criteria for the projects and help people craft their ideas. DoSomething.org, City Year and Global Giving are also partners.
If you submit an idea, let us know so we can support it by voting!
|IAC Out & About
Feb. 3 & 5: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Des Moines Downtown School to evaluate Creative Classrooms residency
Feb. 8-10: Riki Saltzman at Iowa Culture & Language Conference, Des Moines
Feb. 9: Dawn Martinez Oropeza at Iowa Culture & Language Conference, Des Moines
Feb. 9: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Iowa City for Latino Conference Arts Programming Committee
Feb. 9-10: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Jackson Junction to evaluate Creative Classrooms residency
Feb. 20: Riki Saltzman to Taidam New Year, Des Moines
Chiefs Embrace Call for Data Collection for All Core Courses, State Education Agency Directors of Art Education (Dec. 10, 2009): The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has endorsed the collection of key data in all core subjects as defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This recommendation, approved by CCSSO's Board of Directors, provides guidance to states for the development of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS).
Study Links High School Graduation Rates with Arts Education, The Center for Arts Education: High school graduation rates and access to arts education are closely linked, according to a new study by The Center for Arts Education. Correlating data collected by the NYC DOE, Center for Arts Education found that schools with the highest graduation rates offer the most access to and benefits of quality arts instruction.
Museum Visits Grow, TheArtNewspaper.com (December 2009): "A survey of 20 museums conducted by The Art Newspaper found that two-thirds of those surveyed have experienced an increase in admission numbers over the past three years. A number of museums have set visitor records including the Museum of Modern Art, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum."
Great Recession Sparks Do-It-Yourself Arts Movement, Newsweek (Dec. 30, 2009): "The global recession hasn't crippled the entertainment industry, as some feared, but it has hastened its embrace of the do-it-yourself movement. From neighborhood theater troupes to bookstore readings, amateur performers are taking their place onstage. It's less a new development than a return to an old way of life."
New Year's Resolutions for Board Members, Guidestar.com (January 2010): Here are some great New Year's resolutions for nonprofit board members. If you do these, you'll set an example and be a "spark plug" for your organization-and you'll also help make the world a better place through your favorite nonprofit.
IRS Updates, January 2010: Return Due Dates, Governance Check Sheet, and Spring Workshops, Guidestar.com (January 2010): The IRS has published tables of the due dates for Form 990 and other returns nonprofits must file, released the governance check sheet that agents will use in exempt organization examinations, and announced the schedule for its spring workshops for 501(c)(3) organizations.
Showcasing Employee Art, SFGate.com (Jan. 4, 2010): "Employees of ImageMovers Digital, a motion picture studio, are displaying their personal creative talents through a company art show presented by the Marin Arts Council. The employees' work covers a number of artistic disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography."
Kennedy Center President Calls for Lower Ticket Prices to Build Audiences, The Huffington Post, (Jan. 4, 2010): In his latest column for The Huffington Post, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael Kaiser wrote that restructuring the reliance on ticket sales as part of performing arts group budget balancing must end if the goal is to build larger audiences."
Colorado Theatres Grapple With Smoking Ban, Los Angeles Times (Jan. 18, 2010):"After the Colorado Supreme Court last month upheld a ban on onstage smoking, two Denver theatre companies decided to 'pursue a legal case, hoping to win an audience with the U.S. Supreme Court.' In the meantime, they say the prohibition is affecting their art."
A Chief Of Staff Spreads Poetry Through The Senate ,Washington Post, (Jan. 19, 2010): "And so it is that he began lobbing poems into the e-mail inboxes of every chief of staff in the Senate. The poems, by writers like Dickinson, Rilke and Williams, are 'intended to get his BlackBerry-addicted, tunnel-visioned, life-as-a-treadmill colleagues to think about the 'huge dimensions of life that get shortchanged' in the grinder that is Capitol Hill."
Gallup and Knight Foundation Study Analyzes What Makes Communities Desirable, In a two-year study, Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation interviewed close to 28,000 people in 26 communities about their priorities in choosing a community in which to live and work.