The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has awarded a $300,000 grant to the City of Grinnell for the Grinnell Veterans Memorial Building, designated as an Iowa Great Places project.
Dan Agnew, Mayor of Grinnell, reports, “The funding supports the completion of our Central Park in Grinnell by assisting with the renovation of the Grinnell Veterans Memorial Building to house a unique national arts and veteran program, making Grinnell a stronger community.”
The grant was one of $1 million in four awards approved by the Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board during its meeting last month in Des Moines. The other grant recipients and projects are: Mason City, The Willow Creek Riverwalk; Sioux City, Downtown Riverfront Vision Plan; and Grow Cedar Valley (Waterloo-Cedar Falls), Building a Connection to the Rivers.
In addition, Strengthening Communities Grants totaling $250,000 were also awarded to nine communities – designed to provide support for organizations that strengthen communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
“We are excited about this terrific endorsement of statewide support and interest for this project,” said Dr. Teresa Coon, chair of the Grinnell Veterans Memorial Commission. “It is good to see momentum building for this campaign that will support veterans and the arts, through an artist residency with a special focus on veterans, as well as create a place that brings community together for the betterment of Grinnell.”
The commission’s initial fundraising goal of $1.9 million for the building will be reviewed as actual bids begin being received early this year. The $300,000 Iowa Great Places grant boosts the total already raised or pledged to approximately $940,000.
“We are very appreciative of the work by the City and Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation in submitting this Great Places grant request,” said Tom Lacina, co-chair of the Create a New Calling capital campaign to renovate and repurpose the building. “Together with the supporting tax levy already approved by the Grinnell community, receipt of the Great Places grant puts us into a good position for pursuing other significant grants this year, most of which invite applications based upon various progress levels toward the fundraising goal. In addition, we will continue to ask people throughout the state and community to support this effort.”
Through the Iowa Great Places program, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs recognizes communities that have developed bold visions for the future and formed the plans, partnerships and projects to make those visions a reality.
“These programs help Iowans re-energize their communities, making them more attractive to businesses, families and young professionals who are choosing where to set up shop or settle down to live, work and play,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said.
“We appreciate the Iowa Legislature’s ongoing support for these proven strategies to help Iowans boost quality of life and stimulate economic growth.”
With the commitment of the Iowa Legislature, the State of Iowa has invested nearly $21 million in a total of 44 designated Iowa Great Places over the past 15 years, leveraging millions more in local and private investment.
Donations for the Grinnell Veterans Memorial Building campaign will help current and future generations recognize and appreciate the role of veterans, the arts and historic preservation in improving the lives of Iowans. There are opportunities for naming rights for specific areas of the building, starting with donations of $10,000 or more. Learn more about the project by visiting www.prairiestarresidency.org. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the campaign through the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation at www.GreaterPCF.org.
The Iowa Great Places and Strengthening Communities Grant programs are administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at www.iowaculture.gov.
by J.O. Parker
Wyatt Hunter, a senior running back for the Grinnell Tigers, has been named to the Des Moines Register All-Iowa Football Elite Team.
The Register Elite Team features the very best players from the 2020 season. Four of the six classes are represented in this year’s class.
Hunter finished the 2020 gridiron campaign with 2,301 rushing yards at 9.1 yards per attempt in 11 games. His longest run was 90-yards. The Register noted that he was one of seven players from across the state with 30-plus rushing touchdowns. He also had seven catches for 148 yards and three touchdowns.
“It’s a nice honor,” said Hunter. “I had a great season and got to play some great games with some great teammates.”
The Tigers finished the season with an 8-3 record.