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Mason City’s MacNider Museum scores annual grant for operational expenses

MASON CITY – The Charles H. MacNider Museum was awarded a Cultural Leadership Partner Grant which is a 3 year, $15,000 a year grant for operational expenses for Museums in Iowa that server to be anchors and community allies in the Arts.

More than 200 Iowa organizations and individuals working in arts and culture, film and media, and history and historic preservation will receive a boost from $2.3 million in grant awards announced today by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The grants are funded through the annual appropriations passed by the Iowa Legislature and signed into law by Governor Reynolds, effective July 1, 2021. The state’s investment is enhanced by funding from two federal agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and administered by the department’s three divisions: the Iowa Arts Council, State Historical Society of Iowa and Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media production.

“The annual funding has never been more important than this year’s investment, which will help fuel the resurgence of Iowa’s arts, film, heritage, humanities and creative sectors,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “Audiences and visitors are eagerly returning to museums and historic sites, concerts and cultural festivals this summer, even as our industry continues to rebound from substantial financial losses from the pandemic.”

Iowa’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry lost 4,500 jobs between February 2020 and April 2021, according to figures from Iowa Workforce Development. Iowa’s nonprofit arts and culture sector lost nearly $50 million, according to Americans for the Arts.

In a typical year, arts and culture employ more than 43,000 Iowans and account for 2.3 percent of the state’s economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In this round, the department made 244 grant awards for community initiatives and creative projects across the state, arts and cultural organizations, individual artists and filmmakers and historic preservation efforts in 46 counties and 71 communities.

The department also designated 58 of Iowa’s leading arts and cultural organizations as Cultural Leadership Partners, a competitive process that occurs once every three years. Cultural Leadership Partners receive annual operational support in recognition of their role as community and cultural anchors that maintain high standards of excellence, generate tourism and support high-quality jobs.

“The quality and diversity of art being made and presented across our state is remarkable,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “Even during the pandemic, Iowa artists and arts organizations found new ways to create and connect to Iowans, often in ways that brought them closer to the communities they serve. We’re only beginning to see the results of these strengthened relationships.”

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