ArtHaus continues site beautification

(Submitted photos)

ArtHaus, of Decorah, is working on beautification of its location on the corner of Washington and Broadway, with the help of grants from the Iowa Arts Council.

Last June ArtHaus received a Capacity Building Grant which helped with new signs from Letterwerks and marketing materials with its new address at 107 West Broadway in Decorah.

In May it received a relief grant to help with the financial impact of being closed during COVID-19.

Importance of the arts

“Iowa is becoming known as a culturally vibrant state with world-class arts and cultural offerings, where engaging experiences revitalize communities with unique characteristics and local charm,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA).

“Art, film, history and culture are vital factors that business leaders, families and millennials consider when choosing where to set up shop or settle down to live, work and play. Cultural programs help boost the quality of life and promote economic growth,” Kramer continued.

First round of relief

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) awarded $191,000 in grants to Iowa artists and small nonprofit arts organizations that are reeling from the fi-nancial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The first-round relief grants were limited to artists and small, nonprofit arts organizations.

The list of recipients includes community theaters, choirs, youth arts groups, a documentary filmmaker and a blues musician who has entertained Iowa audiences for more than 40 years.

In all, 156 Iowa artists and creative workers each received a $1,000 award to support their artistic careers. In addition, 14 Iowa nonprofit arts organizations each received a $2,500 grant to support their operations. The IDCA received a total of 285 applications in this funding round.

Effects of COVID on arts

Applicants cited a range of fi-nancial losses resulting from canceled performances, festivals, residencies, commissions, teaching opportunities and more. Organizations lost revenue from admissions and gift-shop sales, as well as canceled classes, programs and fundraising events.

“Iowa’s creative professionals and cultural organizations have been deeply impacted by the current crisis,” Kramer said. “Our industry is incredibly resourceful and resilient, but with so many revenue sources threatened once, it’s extraordinarily challenging for the creative workforce to navigate.”

This was the first round of grants from the new Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, which is administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Grants awarded through this fund are intended to support the Iowa artists and nonprofits that have suffered the most, serving as a bridge between severe financial loss and other state and federal assistance.

“Artists and community arts organizations have been hit particularly hard by this emergency and are some of the most vulnerable members of our industry right now,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “We want to help Iowa artists and these arts groups bridge the gap, so they can sustain a basic living until audiences and patrons return.”

ArtHaus Hours

ArtHaus facility is currently closed due to growing concerns over COVID-19. Staff will be operating remotely during this closure; but all activities, classes, and events have been canceled or postponed. Meetings will be rescheduled to remote formats.

ArtHaus is located at 107 W Broadway St., Decorah, IA 52101. For more information call 563-382-5440 or visit