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August 2011

In This Issue
**Notice to IAC Grant Applicants**
Conference Highlights Renovated Venue
Early Bird Discount for "Starving Artists" Conference Until Aug. 15
Meet IAC's Newest Board Members
Living the Arts in Iowa with Larassa Kabel
Profile: Dr. Janet Heinicke
Art on the River Unveils 2011-2012 Selections
Nominate a Cultural Organization for the 2011 Iowa Tourism Awards
NASAA Releases Preview of FY12 State Arts Budgets
ARTicles...of Note

Sept. 17: No More Starving Artists III Conference, Cedar Rapids.






Artist Directory 

(Iowa Artists: an easy way to let the public know about you!)


Iowa Public Art Artists Registry 

(For Iowa artists who create public art and

are seeking public art commissions)



Iowa Arts Council Mini Grants. Due first business day of each month, for projects in the arts.



Be part of Live the Arts in Iowa, a campaign to connect and promote the arts across our state! Download the logo and display it at your events, on signage, brochures or Web sites.



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TOP**Notice to IAC Grant Applicants**

With the legislative session adjourned and a budget for the Department of Cultural Affairs now signed by the Governor, the IAC is working to communicate funding decisions on pending grant applications. Funding decisions can be expected by the end of August for the following grant programs:


  • Iowa Community Cultural Grants

  • IAC Major Grants

  • June/July/August Mini Grants

  • SOS Grants


CLP organizations can expect an update on their funding agreements by the end of August as well. Please note that funding decisions for all Big Yellow School Bus and EZ 123 grant programs are currently on hold until further notice. Monthly Mini Grant applications will continue to be accepted.


Please watch www.iowaartscouncil.org and this newsletter for further updates and communications regarding grant programs and funding announcements.






Conference Highlights Renovated Venue

There is more than one reason to attend the Iowa Arts Council's "No More Starving Artists III" conference Sept. 17, including a chance to see the culmination of a three-year renovation at the host venue.


CSPS/Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids embarked on a $6.4 million renovation project following the flood of 2008. With input from the community, the project includes enhanced versions of the existing theatre and gallery spaces; the construction of additional presenting, studio and educational space on the ground floor; the opening of an arts incubator, also on the ground floor, to serve small and emerging arts organizations; and two to three ground floor retail operations.

In addition, the entire landmark building -120 years old, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, damaged but intact after the 2008 floods - has received the structural overhaul it needed: electrical, climate control, plumbing and accessibility have all been upgraded.


You can find project updates and pictures of the progress at http://legionarts.org/news. Events are being planned around a grand opening of the venue beginning Aug. 26.




Early Bird Discount for "Starving Artists" Conference Until Aug. 15

Register before Aug. 15 for discounted early bird pricing for No More Starving Artists III, Sept. 17, 2011, in Cedar Rapids.


Visit www.midwestix.com to register for $45. After Aug. 15, the conference price is $55. See a full schedule here or contact Sarah Ekstrand, sarah.ekstrand@iowa.gov, (515) 281-4657.


A dynamic learning and networking opportunity, No More Starving Artists is a one-stop-shop professional development experience for artists of every discipline. Workshop sessions on business planning and marketing development, arts advocacy, grant writing and more will be offered.

Keynote panelists include Idris Goodwin, Iowa City-based playwright and poet; Des Moines native Aaron Hilliard, comedy writer and TV producer; and Larassa Kabel a visual artist from Des Moines.

Learn from Iowa professionals in the field as well as national presenters from Springboard for the Arts of St. Paul, Minn., and Fractured Atlas of New York and customize your workshop schedule at this full-day event, hosted at the newly renovated CSPS/Legion Arts. Located in downtown Cedar Rapids, CSPS has undergone an exciting and unprecedented transformation to restore, renovate and expand its historic facility.

Hotel accommodations are available for $79.99 at Comfort Inn Cedar Rapids, 390 33rd Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404; (319) 363-7934.




Meet IAC's Newest Board Members
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has appointed four people to the Iowa Arts Council Board.


Appointees are Carmen Darland, Eldridge; Vicki Sukup, Clear Lake; Dr. Randall Lengeling, Dubuque; and Dr. Sean O'Harrow, Davenport. The appointments were announced July 5. The Governor selects board members for their knowledge, appreciation, and/or support of the arts and cultural heritage of Iowa. The primary responsibility of board members is to promote policies and viewpoints that benefit the arts throughout the state.


Carmen Darland

Carmen Darland of Eldridge has served as executive director of Quad City Arts since May 2008. With the dual roles of presenting and supporting the arts and humanities in a six county bi-state region, Quad City Arts serves more than 350,000 people annually from the Quad City Arts Center in Rock Island, Ill.


Vicki Sukup

Vicki Sukup is a former teacher and guidance counselor who actively donates her time to nonprofit organizations in and around Clear Lake. She currently serves on the boards for the Clear Lake Arts Center and Opportunity Village.


Dr. Randall Lengeling

Born in Carroll, Dr. Lengeling graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 1977; completed his residency in 1980 and a fellowship concentrating on  gastroenterology in 1981 also at UI. He is board certified in internal medicine and practices gastroenterology and internal medicine at Dubuque Internal Medicine. He is a passionate collector, researcher, curator and lecturer on Grant Wood who has served on the board of the Dubuque Art Association (now the Dubuque Museum of Art) for more than 25 years. He has donated 30 Grant Wood works to the museum over the last 10 years, helping the museum build a world class collection and become nationally accredited. He also belonged to a cultural consortium that acquired the entire Edward Curtis Collection for the art museum.


Dr. Sean O'Harrow

O'Harrow has served as director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art since 2010, after serving over three years as the executive director of the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. In addition to working at several universities and museums in his career, he has also spent a number of years as an executive in the investment banking and technology sectors in London.  Originally from Hawaii, he earned his doctorate in art history from Cambridge University in 1997 and an undergraduate degree with honors in art history from Harvard University in 1990. 




Living the Arts in Iowa with Larassa Kabel

Larassa Kabel is a professional artist working in Des Moines. Her photorealistic drawings, paintings and prints range in subject from gender signifiers to child mortality and have been included in corporate collections and numerous exhibitions including the Iowa Artists shows of 2009 and 2010 at the Des Moines Art Center. She will be a panelist during the No More Starving Artists III conference Sept. 17 in Cedar Rapids.

Tell us a little about your work.
I use highly detailed methods to create work about a variety of subjects that I can't stop thinking about. I call it the Larassa Filter. What it means to be a boy vs. a girl, child mortality, body building... the difficult, weird and wonderful aspects of life that I'm trying to understand better. Most photorealists are mostly about the method and have little psychological content. Me, I'm all about the content and it just happens that I naturally gravitate to a method that allows me to look as deeply as I want. I am in love with details, but I don't see much point to them if they don't say something emotionally compelling as well.

What inspires you about Iowa?
I love Iowa. I moved here from Michigan when I was in high school, and initially all I could see was that there was a lot of space, not nearly as many people and not a lot going on. After moving away and coming back again, I still see that there is a lot of space and not all that many people, but I don't really see that as a negative anymore. There isn't the cut-throat competition here that you get in a more populated state, and that means there's room to grow and create your own opportunities and it isn't nearly as expensive to live here. That has been a key aspect to being able to do my art full time. I can't imagine how I could afford my studio space in New York or Chicago. And the people that are here are wonderful. I love having Des Moines as my home base.

What do you tell out-of-town friends about Iowa?
I pretty much tell them what I said in the last question, but I also add on that Des Moines has a lot of new fun stuff to do and that it's absolutely fantastic that even with a traffic jam you will be able to get across town in 45 minutes. Life is too short to spend it sitting in traffic everyday. We were recently visited by friends who moved here from the east coast and then moved to South Carolina. They want to retire here. They said, "The people are so nice. Our Iowa friends turned into family."

Who's your favorite Iowa artist?
Well, I'm pretty partial to the visual arts, and there are some really great ones around. I love Ignatius Widiapradja's paintings as well as Alex Brown's work, but right now I'm pretty excited about Stephanie Brunia's photography. I bought two of her photos and commissioned a family portrait from her. She's got beautiful, dark, and enigmatic imagery that I never get tired of looking at.

What does the phrase "Live the Arts" mean to you?
I guess I'd say it means a real dedication to the arts, and for me that means you're willing to sacrifice for it. As an artist, I've asked my family to make financial sacrifices so that I could have my career. As a consumer, it would mean that you actually put your money into the arts by buying work or going to see performances. And as a taxpayer, it means that even though times are tight, this aspect of our society is necessary and needs to be supported. The world would be a poorer place without the arts. I think in their best forms they embody the most cherished aspects of our humanity.

What did you do last Friday night?
We had friends visiting from out of town. Good food was eaten, beer was raised in welcome, and then we watched a Jeff Beck video with the most amazing musicians playing a show dedicated to Les Paul. Food for the ears and the soul.




Profile: Dr. Janet Heinicke, Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Superintendent
By Sarah Oltrogge


Dr. Janet Heinicke received a volunteer service award from Governor Robert Ray in 2007.

It would be fair to say that over the last 10 years, Dr. Janet Heinicke's tenure as the Iowa State Fair Fine Art Superintendent has strengthened the quality of exhibitions inside the Cultural Center.


A native Midwesterner and seasoned artist herself, Heinicke holds advanced degrees in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and in painting from Northern Illinois University. In 2001, she retired after 20 years serving as chair of the art department at Simpson College in Indianola, though she continues teaching at the Des Moines Art Center and the Senior College of Greater Des Moines. Prior to her tenure at Simpson, she taught in Illinois.


Though it might sound like a dream job for some, preparing for a million Fairgoers to walk through the doors of the Cultural Center every year can be taxing. As superintendent, Heinicke recruits jurors, oversees a staff of 10-15 paid workers and implements plans for volunteers who assist during the Fair.


As superintendent, she is constantly seeking to strengthen the quality of the exhibition, and has implemented new strategies to target emerging artists. Last year, entries were allowed to be submitted electronically in the hopes of having a wider geographic state representation. New media techniques are introduced and demonstrated and media categories for adult exhibitors have been expanded to include work in new technology. She has also secured sponsorships that allow for monetary prizes. Her goal is to raise the level of artistic quality while remaining relevant to anyone who might walk through the door.


"I remain deeply committed to the idea of an all state showcase for Iowa artists that is accessible to the average citizen of the state," she said.


In May, Heinicke was awarded an Iowa Arts Council mini grant that will pay for the production of a DVD to play during the 2011 Iowa State Fair. The video will document the process of putting together the Iowa State Fair Fine Art Exhibition, help artists who enter the competition understand the jury process and help exhibitors understand the aesthetic standards used in competitive art venues.


"Every year, the exhibition attracts an unusually large and extremely diverse viewing public," she said. "Unlike other viewing publics in traditional arts venues, this representative public offers a rare opportunity for telling the story of the importance of visual art in the fabric of our state. Visitors should better understand what Iowa artists are doing and what they are communicating about life in Iowa."


Another of Heinicke's passions is her active involvement in Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit organization that manages the official relationships established by the Governor of Iowa with foreign states. She has exhibited her work internationally in venues in Eastern Europe, Japan and Malaysia. In 2007, she received the Governor Robert D. Ray Service Award for her outstanding volunteer work with Iowa Sister States. Recently, she was notified that one of her paintings has been selected by the Yamanashi Committee of Iowa Sister States as a gift to the Governor of the Japanese prefecture when he visits Iowa in August.



Art on the River Unveils 2011-2012 Selections
The city of Dubuque unveiled its most recent selections for Art on the River, a temporary public art exhibit located along the Riverwalk in the Port of Dubuque.


Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Iowa Arts Council Administrator Matt Harris and IAC Public Art Program Coordinator Bruce Williams were in attendance July 22 for the unveiling.


In its sixth year, the temporary public art exhibit drew 70 entries from 39 artists in 12 different states and one foreign country. The exhibit will be on display through June 2012. The exhibit is free, can be viewed sunrise to sunset year-round, and is accessible.


For more information or to download a brochure and map, visit www.cityofdubuque.org.


Nominate a Cultural Organization for the 2011 Iowa Tourism Awards

The Iowa Tourism Office and Travel Federation of Iowa will host the 2011 Iowa Tourism Conference Oct. 19-21 in Okoboji. Every year, Iowa's most outstanding attractions, events, communities, organizations and individuals are honored for having positively contributed to the experience of Iowa visitors and Iowans' quality of life.


The Iowa Arts Council encourages nominations for big and small cultural organizations that epitomize these qualities. Self-nominations are accepted. The Iowa Tourism Awards are open to all individuals, private businesses, for-profits and nonprofit organizations offering a tourism product or service in Iowa.


The deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. Winners will be recognized during the conference. For the complete guidelines and nomination form, visit www.traveliowa.com.




NASAA Releases Preview of FY12 State Arts Budgets
The National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has released the State Arts Agency Fiscal Year 2012 Legislative Appropriations Preview report. The document summarizes how state arts agencies fared during this year's budget deliberations and includes information on the appropriations each state arts agency expects to receive for FY2012.
This report provides a forecast of state government funding for the arts in the year ahead as budgets for FY2012 are being finalized and national funding trends are beginning to emerge.


Read the full report.  



ARTicles...of Note
"Stitch to Bind Young and Old," The Argus (July 6, 2011): A new program in Dundalk, Ireland has older adults teaching the community the art of knitting. The "Knit in-Sit" program pairs experienced knitters with small groups in the community, allowing the older adults to mskr sure these keepers of culture continue to pass along their knowledge.  The program will be well-photographed and the resulting pictures will be used to promote Positive Aging Week in late September.


"NEA: Research Proves Value Added by Cultural Industries," (July 19, 2011): Cultural industries are economic powerhouses and states have the data to prove it, according to a new analysis from the National Endowment for the Arts. Drawing on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Arts and the GDP: Value Added by Selected Cultural Industries is a new NEA research note that examines the value added by three selected cultural industries.


"Musicians Are Probably Smarter Than the Rest of Us," The Huffington Post (July 20, 2011): Want to keep your mind healthy and sharp throughout your life? Pick up an instrument. A new study found that musicians might have brains that function better than their peers well into old age. Bet you wish you stuck with those piano lessons after all.


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.