Local Creatives Receive $19,881 in NEA-ARPA Funded Creative Empowerment Round 1 Subawards

The Dubuque City Council approved a recommendation from the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to award $19,881 in National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Local Arts Agency American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds to 10 local creatives in support of elevating their creative pursuits and efforts to enhance the vitality of the arts in Dubuque.

The Creative Empowerment subgrant program is a one-time, restricted funding opportunity supporting individual creatives in producing public-facing, tangible, arts-based projects. Such projects are intended to strategically advance their career while deepening their community connections through meaningful public programs and activities with measurable impact.

The Creative Empowerment subgrant program consists of two application and funding rounds. The rounds are offered at different times to align with two independent yet overlapping periods of performance. Round 1 of the program invited Dubuque-based practicing creatives that met all eligibility requirements to apply for consideration of projects occurring June 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024. No match was required, and requests were limited to $500 – $2,000.

Fourteen eligible creatives presented public-facing tangible arts-based projects collectively requesting $27,013 in support.

Funds are restricted to direct support costs associated with specific activities or work such as performances, presentations, exhibitions, training, research, and/or creation of artwork with tangible outcomes and were requested as follows:

  • 29.47% for artist’s time
  • 24.01% for professional services
  • 0.46% for fees
  • 18.70% for materials/supplies
  • 16.42% for production costs
  • 6.96% for marketing and promotion
  • 3.98% for travel

A reallocation of NEA-ARPA funds resulted in an increase of total funds awarded over both program rounds to $27,000 from $15,000, directing $19,881 to Round 1, leaving a balance of $7,119 in funds to award in Round 2. Creatives and projects to receive Round 1 funding, listed in alphabetical order, include:

  • Aaliyah Herrion for “Naomi” Publication – $2,000
  • Andonia Giannakouros for “GRID,” 100 Mini Paintings – $2,000
  • Brianna Thompson for “Liberation for Arts” Documentary – $1,994
  • Brion Bowman for “Album of Musix” – $2,000
  • Catherine Goodman for “Fading Elegance: A Tribute to Good Grammar, Style, Manners, and Jazz ala Cabaret” – $2,000
  • Dale Campbell for “Black Lives On The Upper Mississippi” – $2,000
  • Erin Kono for “Portraits of Service: Dubuque’s Founding Females” – $1,937
  • Gail Chavenelle for “Black History is America History,” a sculpture design project – $1,950
  • Luke Tyler for “Music for All” Concert Series – $2,000
  • Michele Chillook for “Emergence of Spirit: Souls of Sorrow” – $2,000

All eligible applications were reviewed and scored by volunteer reviewers with knowledge of the arts, actively participating in the arts, and possessing professional experience in fields such as nonprofit, business, or medicine.

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