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Putnam, Figge, others get grants to make up for income lost because of COVID-19

DAVENPORT, IOWA – Iowa’s cultural institutions — museums, music venues, theaters and arts councils — have lost a combined total of at least $46.4 million in income since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a news release Tuesday from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

In response, the department also announced on Tuesday the awarding of $7 million in grants to a total of 267 organizations, including 20 in the Quad-City region to make up for lost income. The funding came from the CARES (Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

In Davenport, the top four recipients were the Putnam Museum and Science Center, $175,000, the maximum awarded; the Figge Art Museum, $111,500; the River Music Experience, $79,700; and the German American Heritage Center, $41,500. The Family Museum of Arts and Sciences, Bettendorf, received $41,800.

Other Davenport recipients were the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, $2,500; BrickStreet Theatre, $3,700; Galvin Fine Arts Center Auditorium, St. Ambrose University, $27,300; Genesius Theatre Foundation, $5,000; German American Heritage Center, $41,500; Junior Theatre, $5,000; Mississippi Valley Blues Society, $5,000; and New Ground Theatre, $5,800.

The one-time grants are to provide relief to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that demonstrated lost income and extra expenses incurred because of the pandemic. The grants may be used to offset operating expenses, as well as costs associated with reopening in person or adapting programs to virtual formats.

Muscatine: the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, West Liberty, $5,000, and the National Pearl Button Museum, Muscatine, $11,500.

Clinton: the Clinton Symphony Orchestra, $7,000, and The Sawmill Museum, $21,200.

Jackson: Codfish Hollow Barnstormers, $5,000; Maquoketa Art Experience, $2,500; and Ohnward Fine Arts Center, $19,200.

A total of 267 cultural organizations and 152 artists serving 118 Iowa communities were awarded the grants. The department received more than 550 requests totaling more than $36 million by the Dec. 11 deadline. Of those, 75% were granted.

“These grants provide relief for thousands of Iowans whose jobs and livelihoods have been impacted this year,” Chris Kramer, cultural affairs department director, said in the release.

Because the creative sector relies on income from admissions, ticket sales and events, it has been devastated by the pandemic. Applicants for the grants said they had lost a combined $46.4 million in income since the pandemic began.

In a typical year, Iowa’s creative sector accounts for 2.3% of the state’s economy, according to research by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Iowa’s arts, culture, history and creative industries, including film and media, employ more than 42,000 Iowans working in more than 5,000 nonprofit and for-profit businesses statewide.

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