City of Dubuque Distributes $497,774 in Arts Operating Recovery Subgrants to 22 Nonprofits

The Dubuque City Council approved recommendations from the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to award $497,774 in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds to twenty-two Dubuque’s arts sector nonprofit organizations and programs. Funding sources include a National Endowment for the Arts Local Arts Agency subgrant award and general ARPA allocations.

The Arts Operating Recovery subgrant program is a one-time, restricted funding opportunity aimed at assisting the health and diversity of Dubuque’s nonprofit arts programs in response to the economic and community impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program invited organizations located within the city of Dubuque, demonstrating a commitment to serving the community through access to arts, arts education, arts activities, and artistic experiences, to request up to 50% of the entity’s arts-focused operations costs, not to exceed $25,000. Twenty-two eligible organizations with arts-focused operating expenses ranging from $20,000 to $1.7 million during the period of performance (January 1 – December 31, 2023) applied, collectively requesting $497,774 in support.

Funds are restricted to the support of day-to-day arts-focused operations expenses and were requested as follows:

  • 46.03% for full or partial salary support for one or more staff positions.
  • 33.31% for fees or stipends for artists or other contractual personnel for services.
  • 12.39% for facilities costs such as rent and utilities.
  • 6.28% for marketing and promotion costs.
  • 1.49% for indirect costs not to exceed 10% of the request.

Organizations to receive funding, listed in order of award amount, include:

  • Bell Tower Theater – $25,000
  • Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dubuque – $25,000
  • Colts Youth Organization – $25,000
  • Creative Adventure Lab, Inc. – $25,000
  • Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens – $25,000
  • Dubuque Arts Council – $25,000
  • Dubuque Chorale, Inc. – $25,000
  • Dubuque Museum of Art – $25,000
  • Dubuque Symphony Orchestra – $25,000
  • Heritage Works Inc. – $25,000
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival – $25,000
  • Key City Creative Center – $25,000
  • Northeast Iowa School of Music – $25,000
  • Rising Star Theatre Company – $25,000
  • The Grand Opera House – $25,000
  • University of Dubuque – $25,000
  • Voices Productions – $25,000
  • St. Mark Youth Enrichment – $21,010
  • The Dubuque Area Arts Collective – $20,000
  • Fly-By-Night Productions, Inc. – $14,062
  • Dubuque County Fine Arts Society – $12,327
  • Dubuque Chapter of SPEBSQSA – $5,375

The organizations above receiving support through the Arts Operating Recovery subgrant program collectively report:

  • Employing 51 full-time and 344 part-time or seasonal workers
  • Enlisting the expertise and service of nearly 1,800 volunteers
  • Collaborating with a talented array of over 5,800 actors, musicians, artists, arts educators, lecturers, and other workers in the creative sector
  • Engaging over 340,000 plus community members and visitors through their annual programming

All eligible applications were reviewed and scored by volunteer reviewers who have expertise in the arts, community engagement, education, business, administration, or civil service experience. Scoring and funding scenarios were presented to and formulated by the City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, leading to a funding recommendation reviewed and approved by City Council.

The Arts Operating Recovery subgrant program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources ($435,000) and City ARPA funds ($62,774). ARPA is designed to fuel the nation’s recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit For additional information, visit or contact City of Dubuque Communications and Grants Administration Assistant Laura Merrick at or 563.581.4666.

Comment here