FMAAA, Burlington groups get state ARPA grants

Art Center gets $5,000 from Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Area Arts Association and two Burlington groups were recipients of funding from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs’ America Rescue Plan Act funding, in an announcement made Wednesday afternoon.

FMAAA received $5,000 under a request to add staffing to the center.

FMAAA Director Lori Illner Greene said she had requested $20,000 to put an assistant that had been being paid through a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program grant, back on payroll.

ILLNER GREENE

“I asked for $20,000. I really wanted to hire an assistant. But the RSVP evaporated and hadn’t returned. That, coupled with the city’s hotel/motel tax funding matrix changing, impacted the hours we had,” Illner Greene said.

“That funding change made the director a part-time director, so I’m a part-time staff person. The biggest bang for our buck would be an assistant and that $20,000 would have funded that person through the end of June.”

But Illner Greene said she was grateful for the funds and would put them to good use. She said there were a couple people that were volunteering that she might be able to get to hang around a little longer if she could hire them temporarily.

The center has also applied for Tourism money through the county’s allocation of America Rescue Plan Act funding. The county received $6.5 million to use to mitigate the negative economic impact of the pandemic.

The Capitol Theater in Burlington received $7,500 for COVID staff recovery efforts, while the Players’ Workshop received $1,500 to help offset cleaning costs at the playhouse.

In total, 236 individuals and organizations – representing 70 communities across 56 Iowa counties – will benefit from $1,527,814 in one-time grant funding, made possible through the agency’s state/federal partnerships with Arts Midwest, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities with federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The department received more than $4.1 million in requests to help support a portion of about 1,600 arts jobs.

“It’s encouraging to see the return of the arts and culture sector, part of the broader tourism industry working to rebound after a challenging year,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “We’re proud to be able to award these grants through our agency’s state/federal partnerships.”

“These recovery grants represent a significant investment in Iowa’s creative workforce,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “In addition to the grants awarded directly to artists, many arts organizations received support to hire or bring back artistic personnel, many of whom lost jobs, gigs, and income during the pandemic.” 

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