By J.O. Parker
The Grinnell Veterans Memorial Building Artist Residency for Veterans Renovation Project received a boost in early December when the Enhance Iowa Board awarded $350,000 to the project.
The award was part of $5,168,458 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants awarded to 16 Iowa communities by the Enhance Iowa Board.
Tom Lacina, co-chair of the Create a New Calling Capital Campaign to renovate and repurpose the building, said as of early December 2021, project funds were at $1,924,602, with funds drawing closer to the $2 million mark in recent weeks.
Lacina said construction bid packets should go out soon.
“I suspect we’ll open the bids in March and know where we are as to any gap (in fundraising),” said Lacina. “Assuming we can fill the gap, work should begin this summer.”
The goal, he said, is to open the artist residency in 2023, possibly by Memorial Day.
“A lot will depend on schedules provided by the contractors,” he said.
Lacina said he hopes to run the first artist residency during 2023.
Lacina added that the project has received a remarkably diverse amount of local support with nearly 400 donors.
“The key support from the State of Iowa through the three grants—Iowa Great Places for $300,000; Rural Renovation for $20,000; and Enhance Iowa for $350,000—have made a key difference,” said Lacina. “What it shows it that the projects unique blend of veterans and the arts struck a chord with the state. I believe the facility will have significant veteran and community use, and at the same time, provide a program of engagement between national artists and our local community thereby further developing the downtown creative activity.”
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.
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