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MacNider Museum receives $10,000 in state aid related to Covid-19

MASON CITY – On December 2, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds allocated $7 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for the purpose of providing economic relief to Iowa’s arts and culture industry. This funding was administered by the Iowa Arts Council, on behalf of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, through the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund. Competitive grants were accepted the first week of December for cultural organizations and artists. A survey by the American Alliance of Museums this summer estimated one third of all museums are at risk of permanent closure within a year due to the pandemic.

555 requests, totaling more than $37 million, were received from Iowa nonprofits, businesses, and artists during this round, which included the $7 million in available program funding. The Charles H. MacNider Museum is pleased to announce they have received $10,000 from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs from this program. Grant funds will support work the staff have done directly related to the pandemic specifically: modifications to programing, additional cleaning requirements, increased online programing, and community art kits to name a few.

The MacNider Museum has an annual budget on average of $546,000 and receives one-half of this funding from its parent organization, the City of Mason City. The Museum must raise additional funds from classes, donations, sponsorships, gift shop sales, rentals, and its annual fundraiser for the remainder. “Due to the pandemic the Museum has struggled to raise the remaining estimated $250,000,” said Director Edith Blanchard. “Many of our traditional revenue streams, although varied, have all been greatly reduced due to the impact on travel, ability to hold classes due to positivity rates, and overall economic conditions surrounding the pandemic. We are so grateful that this funding has been provided not only for the MacNider but for all Iowa cultural organizations and artists.”

Support is provided by Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, through the federal CARES Act. To view all of the Museum’s online outreach programing due to the pandemic go to the MacNider’s website at and select “MacNider at Home.”

The MacNider Museum is open; however we are encouraging visitors to practice social distancing if they choose to attend and to limit groups to smaller than 25. The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, located at 303 Second St. S.E. in Mason City, is free and open to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. More information can be found at the museum’s website at

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