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How the American Rescue Plan is supporting Iowa artists and their communities

The grants provided by the American Rescue Plan can be given to individual applicants or businesses related to arts and the humanities

DES MOINES, Iowa — Broadway is back.

OK, maybe not in Iowa, but still—the arts are coming back in a big way after the industry struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And now they're getting some additional support. 

Grants for people working in art-related fields or the humanities are up for grabs, thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act. Each grant can be worth up to $20,000, so there's lots of money to go around.

"We're able to put those back to work in our state, supporting jobs and supporting humanities programs. At a time when people are really looking to increase their workforce and gear back up with with programming," said David Schmitz, an administrator with the Iowa Arts Council.

That emphasis on working people is the key. In a typical year, Iowa's creative workforce employs more than 42,000 people— but that's taken a hit recently.

"More than 4,500 positions have not come back yet, and so this is a really important investment to help organizations recover and bring back some of those jobs," Schmitz said.

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It's not just artists reaping the benefits of the grants, either. An investment in the arts can pay dividends for everyone.

"One of the things that's important to recognize is when arts organizations and artists do well, the whole community benefits. That means more people attending shows, more people going to local restaurants, staying at hotels and supporting their local economy," Schmitz said.

Funding for all of the grants being given out should be distributed by the end of the year. Applications for the arts grants close on Oct. 1, and the humanities grants close on Nov. 1.  

Anyone interested in applying for one of the grants can do so by clicking/tapping here.

Watch: Local 5 Artist Spotlight features on our YouTube channel

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