IOWA Department of Cultural Affairs
Iowa Arts Council
State Historical Society of Iowa
Mary Cownie, Director
Chris Kramer, Deputy Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 8, 2015 Contact: Jeff Morgan, 515-281-3858
DCA invests $1.3 million in six communities to spur cultural development
Des Moines’ Sixth Avenue Corridor, Grinnell, Linn County, Manning, Waukee’s
Raccoon River Valley Trail and Hamilton-Webster Counties receive grants
DES MOINES – The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) continues to build and sustain a more culturally vibrant Iowa by awarding more than $1.3 million for projects in six communities designated Iowa Great Places.
DCA approved an Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board recommendation to designate and award funding to the following five communities as Iowa’s newest Great Places: Sixth Avenue Corridor (Des Moines), Grinnell, Linn County, Manning and the Raccoon River Valley Trail (Waukee). Hamilton-Webster Counties was named an Iowa Great Place in 2010 and received additional funding for a new project during this most recent grant round.
This year, the board reviewed applications from nearly a dozen Iowa communities requesting approximately $3 million. Common themes identified across the communities awarded funding include an emphasis on creating livable, walkable communities, revitalizing downtowns and urban neighborhoods, and capitalizing on outdoor recreational corridors.
“The Department of Cultural Affairs is committed to empowering Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities,” DCA Director Mary Cownie said. “These communities awarded funding recognize their own unique sense of place and we are proud to invest in projects that foster economic growth and enhance the cultural identity of Iowa.”
“These awards represent a diverse group of hard working Iowans who recognize the value of capitalizing on their most authentic community assets,” said Nick Glew of Marion, chair of the Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board. “The board was truly impressed by the local and regional collaborations these project demonstrate and the private sector investment they are leveraging.”
The Iowa Great Places program challenges Iowans to create community development proposals that exemplify bold thought and innovation; encourage creativity and entrepreneurship; foster a sense of place and identity; and demonstrate a commitment to enhancing community vitality and quality of life. Proposals are submitted to and reviewed by the 12-person Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board, which looks for the following criteria in making its recommendations:
• a guiding vision plan and interrelated set of strategies
• broad-based support for projects that include multiple local and regional partners and public-private partnerships
• strong organizational capacity demonstrated by financial and programmatic performance and service to constituents
The list of new Iowa Great Places announced today and projects receiving funding follows. Information about the presentation of the Iowa Great Places designations and funding will be announced as it is confirmed.
Great Place Designee: Manning
Applicant: City of Manning Grant Award: $150,000
Trails, Public Art, Milwaukee Trestle Park
• Project description
Iowa Great Places funding will advance the vision of Manning, a rural community of 1,500 near Carroll in Northwest Iowa, to offer increased recreational, transportation, and social opportunities. Great Places support coincides with other major initiatives in Manning involving the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Drake University and the Iowa Restaurant Association. Manning’s proposal will reinforce its unique sense of place while encouraging creativity and highlighting its most historic attractions. Plans call for bronze statues and sculptural elements to be placed throughout the community and the creation of a new park around the historic Milwaukee Trestle Bridge. Additionally, a Park/Hospital trail connector will improve pedestrian access from a regional hospital to the community’s historic Main Street, supporting the community’s economic development goals. All of the projects are supported by multiple local and regional vision plans and partnerships with Iowa State University and Trees Forever.
“The Manning community is very grateful for the Iowa Great Places designation and funding. Not only will it help fund three public art projects, two trail segments, and the new trestle park, it will help showcase some of the developments that make Manning one of the great places of Iowa.” – Dawn Rohe
Dawn Rohe, City of Manning, 712-655-2176