ArtHaus received grants from Iowa Arts Council

Post Photo for ArtHaus received grants from Iowa Arts Council

Posted: May 18, 2020

ArtHaus works on beautification of their new location on the corner of Washington and Broadway with the help of grants from the Iowa Arts Council.  In June ArtHaus received a Capacity Building Grant which helped with new signs from Letterwerks and marketing materials with their new address of 107 West Broadway.  This May they received a relief grant to help with the financial impact of being closed during Covid-19.  While the space is not open to the public ArtHaus continues to work on projects led by volunteers beautifying the outdoor space and is doing online orders of art supplies and virtual classes.

“Iowa is becoming known as a culturally vibrant state with world-class arts and cultural offerings, where engaging experiences revitalize communities with unique characteristics and local charm,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Art, film, history and culture are vital factors that business leaders, families and millennials consider when choosing where to set up shop or settle down to live, work and play. Cultural programs help boost the quality of life and promote economic growth.

To support those efforts statewide, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has awarded more than 200 grants and designations that will serve as catalysts for new community initiatives, creative projects, cultural organizations and small businesses.

The $2,107,102 in grant funding was made through several programs overseen by the department’s divisions: the Iowa Arts Council, the State Historical Society of Iowa and Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media production. This year the department received a slight increase in funding from state and federal officials, a reflection of widespread support for Iowa art, film, history and culture. Grants announced in this release are funded with appropriations from the Iowa Legislature and through funding as a state arts agency from the National Endowment for the Arts.

These grant programs support community projects, artist-led initiatives, historic preservation, cultural education and more. The following summary is divided into three broad categories.

In addition ArtHaus received a relief grant to help with the substantial hit they have taken as a result of Covid-19.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) awarded $191,000 in grants to Iowa artists and small nonprofit arts organizations who are reeling from the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The first-round relief grants were limited to artists and small nonprofit arts organizations.

The list of recipients includes community theaters, choirs, youth arts groups, a documentary filmmaker and a blues musician who has entertained Iowa audiences for more than 40 years.

In all,156 Iowa artists and creative workers each received a $1,000 award to support their artistic career. In addition, 14 Iowa nonprofit arts organizations each received a $2,500 grant to support their operations. The IDCA received a total of 285 applications in this funding round.

Applicants cited a range of financial losses resulting from canceled performances, festivals, residencies, commissions, teaching opportunities and more. Organizations lost revenue from admissions and gift-shop sales, as well as canceled classes, programs and fundraising events.

“Iowa’s creative professionals and cultural organizations have been deeply impacted by the current crisis,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “Our industry is incredibly resourceful and resilient, but with so many revenue sources threatened at once, it’s extraordinarily challenging for the creative workforce to navigate.”

Kramer added, “The economic loss to arts organizations is estimated at over $4.5 billion nationwide. Here in Iowa in a typical year, the creative sector accounts for 2.3 percent of our economy and more than 42,000 jobs.”

This was the first round of grants from the new Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, which is administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grants awarded through this fund are intended to support the Iowa artists and nonprofits that have suffered the most, serving as a bridge between severe financial loss and other state and federal assistance.

“Artists and community arts organizations have been hit particularly hard by this emergency and are some of the most vulnerable members of our industry right now,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “We want to help Iowa artists and these arts groups bridge the gap, so they can sustain a basic living until audiences and patrons return.”

In a recent survey conducted for Iowa by Americans for the Arts, 255 arts and cultural organizations across the state reported a total financial loss of $2.85 million as of April 7. On average, those organizations lost approximately $11,000 due to closures, cancellations and increased expenses.

Nearly all of the respondents reported that they have canceled performances and other events, affecting an estimated 100,000 audience members and participants.

Sixty-two percent of respondents expect the pandemic’s impact on their organization to be “severe” or “very severe.” A quarter of the organizations have reduced staff or payroll.

Round Two

The Iowa Arts Council will accept applications for a second round of emergency grants April 24 through May 1 from all Iowa arts and cultural organizations that have existed for at least three years, maintain a 501(c)3 nonprofit status and had an operating budget of at least $10,000 during the past fiscal year. The details and application will be posted online at

Funding for this second round of grants comes from the National Endowment of the Arts, through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The grants are intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to thousands of cultural organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of its communities.


Thank you,



Connecting people through creativity. 


Shannon Dallenbach Durbin

Executive Director



ArtHaus facility is currently closed due to growing concerns over COVID-19.


ArtHaus staff will be operating remotely during this closure, but all activities, classes, and events have been canceled or postponed. Meetings will be rescheduled to remote formats.


Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns you’d like to discuss.


107 W Broadway St.

Decorah, IA 52101


563 382 5440


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ArtHaus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

All contributions and donations to ArtHaus are tax-deductible.