Pictured, from left: Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Tiffany Cownie, Caitlin Brainard, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Governor Terry Branstad, Luke Kottemann, Caylin Graham, Kayla Pierce. (Not pictured: Betsy Guthrie)




Governor Branstad Presents 2013 Scholarship for the Arts |

Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds presented the 2013 Iowa Scholarship for the Arts awards to five Iowa high school seniors Wednesday, May 22 during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Des Moines.


The Scholarship for the Arts is awarded annually to select Iowa high school students with a proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theater, traditional arts or visual arts who plan to attend an Iowa college or university during the next academic year and pursue a major in the arts. The students recognized will receive $1,500 toward his or her 2013-2014 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.


The Scholarship for the Arts award is administrated by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The list of this year's recipients follows:


Betsy Guthrie of Hopkinton (Maquoketa Valley Senior High School) will attend Drake University and major in Music.


Caitlin Brainard of Mason City (Mason City High School) will attend the University of Northern Iowa and major in Studio Art.


Caylin Graham of Ogden (Ogden High School will attend the University of Northern Iowa and major in Studio Art.


Kayla Pierce of Ames (Gilbert High School) will attend the University of Iowa and major in English and Theatre.


Luke Kottemann of Iowa City (Iowa City High School) will attend the University of Iowa and major in Music Composition and Engineering.




Matt Harris


Since 1967, the Iowa Arts Council has been enriching the quality of life in Iowa through support of the arts, navigating an ever-changing operating environment while remaining committed to our mission and the constituents we serve. Today, we are excited to find ourselves amid a period of renewal with new faces and new opportunities, poised to build on a legacy more than 45 years in the making.

We are thrilled to welcome the addition of two new members to the IAC team. David Schmitz and Joseph Piearson bring a depth of knowledge spanning the arts, grant making, community development, non-profit administration, technology and more that will grow our capacity to deliver on our mission. Joining Grants & Programs Specialist Veronica O'Hern and Grants Manager Linda Lee, David and Joseph are eager to help move us forward in pursuit of the ambitious goals we have set.


These goals can be found in the latest Iowa Arts Council Strategic Plan, a plan that reminds us of our role as a catalyst for the arts without forgetting our roots as the state arts agency for Iowa. Progress on these goals is already being made and I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our new quarterly grant cycle, check out our Arts Opportunities Calendar or find us on Facebook or Twitter.


With your help, we look forward to accomplishing these important goals and advancing the cause for the arts in Iowa.  





Joseph Piearson, Community Resources Specialist |


Joseph Piearson has joined the Arts Council staff as an arts programmer. In this role, he serves as a resource for local arts agencies and organizations across the state in capacity building and organizational development, as well as manages the Cultural Leadership Partners program and the Cultural Trust.


Joseph previously served as Program Coordinator for the Iowa Council of Foundations, a membership based organization that serves grantmakers that provide funding support to charitable projects and programs in Iowa and strives to strengthen, promote and facilitate effective philanthropic grantmaking in the state. Joseph has also worked as a technology and social media consultant for AMICI Espresso and the Dekko Foundation. Joseph is actively involved with the Friends of Drake University Arts. Joseph has a BA in Public Relations with a minor in Theatre Arts from Drake University.


David Schmitz, Community Resources Specialist |


David Schmitz has joined the Arts Council staff as an arts programmer in community arts development and public art and design. In this role, he serves as a resource for artists, local arts agencies and arts organizations, and public art programs across the state, as well as manages the Art in State Buildings and Iowa Public Art Network programs.


David previously served as Membership Manager for the Des Moines Art Center and brings a wealth of knowledge to the IAC through experience working with the Chicago Artists' Coalition, Project Spaces public art initiative, and Metro Arts Alliance Artist Advisory Council, as well as the UNI Gallery of Art, Waterloo Center for the Arts, and Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, Florida. David received his BFA in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa and MA in Arts Management from Columbia College in Chicago.




Two Iowa Institutions Receive National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Congratulations to both the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, one of 56 arts and culture organizations recognized by the Iowa Arts Council as a Cultural Leadership Partner, and the Marshalltown Public Library on receiving the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The two institutions were among only 10 recipients presented with the medals by First Lady Michelle Obama in early May. Details are available from The Des Moines Register, and the full awards ceremony is available to view on the White House YouTube channel. 





Talking Trees by Brooke Joyce |

Talking Trees is an interactive outdoor sound installation at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, IA created by composers Brooke Joyce and Harvey Sollberger. The project provides a walk through the forest that mixes composed music with natural sounds like rushing water and birds chirping. The type of music and sounds being played varies according to the time of day and atmospheric conditions. There are canopies placed along a trail at Seed Savers, each equipped with four speakers that are powered with solar panels and battery energy. Talking Trees debuted on May 4th at Seed Savers Exchange. The sound installation will be open for seeing and listening until May 31. Support for Talking Trees was provided by an Iowa Arts Council Project Grant. Preview the installation on Joyce's Web site





IAC Opportunities |

July 1: Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award

August 1: Project Grant Application Deadline

August 1: Job Creation Grant Application Deadline


Arts Opportunities |

May 31: French-American Jazz Exchange  

June 4: Call for Artists: A Celebration of the Art & Design of the Automobile

June 6: Call for Artists: ArtPrize

June 7: Hands-on Experience for Aspiring Arts Managers


Job Opportunities |

May 31: Curator, African American Museum of Iowa

May 31: Interpretation Specialist, University Museum, ISU

May 31: Manager of Interpretation and Collections, Brucemore








Mark Your Calendar |

Life is busy, and the last thing anyone needs are more dates to keep track of. But the IAC wants to help. It's nothing fancy, but we have a Google Calendar to keep track of dates we think might be of interest to you. Check out the calendar for local, state and national funding deadlines, call for artists, job opportunities and Iowa Arts Council Grantee events. 




Kickstarter Expects to Provide More Funding to Arts Than NEA |


A Page from Creative Capital's Handbook: Developing a Promotional Strategy |





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.




Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs | 600 E. Locust | Des Moines | IA | 50319