Arts & Culture Operating Support Grants Announced

The Dubuque City Council recently approved the recommendation from the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to award $247,072 in operating support grant funds to 19 of Dubuque’s 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations.

The City’s Arts and Culture Operating Support funding program allows established 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations located within the city of Dubuque to request up to $30,000 or 6% of their previous year’s operating budget. Nineteen organizations, with operating budgets ranging from $17,251 to $5.4 million, applied for this year’s funding cycle, collectively requesting $314,744. The funding program is designed to support organizations that contribute to the cultural vibrancy and vitality of the community through year-round arts and culture-related programming. Applicants must demonstrate a record of financial and management stability, and provide evidence of how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) learning and practices are integrated into the applicant’s planning, programming, and organizational development.

Organizations were awarded funding, listed in order of scoring, as follows:

  • Bell Tower Productions – $17,900
  • Dubuque Chorale Inc. – $2,899
  • Dubuque County Historical Society – $30,000
  • Dubuque Arboretum – $10,083
  • Legion-Aires Drum & Bugle Corps (The Colts) – $30,000
  • The Grand Opera House – $27,537
  • Dubuque County Fine Arts Society – $6,268
  • Rising Star Theatre Company – $4,506
  • Northeast Iowa School of Music – $10,019
  • Dubuque Downtown Cultural Corridor by Dubuque Main Street – $8,666
  • Dubuque Museum of Art – $25,547
  • Dubuque Symphony Orchestra – $30,000
  • Heritage Works, Inc – $8,351
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival – $9,479
  • Fly-by-Night Productions Inc – $598
  • Creative Adventure Lab – $17,557
  • Dubuque Arts Council – $2,395
  • Convivium Urban Farmstead – $4,792
  • Dubuque Ch A010 of the Barbershop Harmony Society (Music Men) – $474
  • Total FY21 Operating Support Grant Awards – $247,072

Last year, these 19 arts and culture organizations collectively employed 86 full-time and 212 part-time or seasonal workers paying out $4.9 million in employee wages, not including benefits. They also contracted with an array of talent, including actors, musicians, artist, arts educators, lecturers, and others, issuing over $283,000 in contracts to workers in the creative sector.

According to an Americans for the Arts 2012 study, Dubuque’s non-profit arts and culture sector, generates $47.2 million annually in economic activity for our community and contributes $5 million in local and state government revenues.

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