Hardacre Theater, Public Space One, local artist wins state grants

Cedar County’s Hardacre Theater, Iowa City’s Public Space One and Cedar Rapids hip-hop artist Antonio Chalmers have been awarded funds from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) to renovate, create projects and spark conversation.

On Jan. 10, the IDCA awarded $1,573,997 in grants out of seven departmental programs.

“Across Iowa, these projects are connecting Iowans to arts, culture and heritage programming and their local communities’ authentic character,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said in a statement. “They represent the quality of life people value today when choosing culturally vibrant places to live, work and raise their families.”

Two organizations and one individual from the Corridor will receive grants, according to the release.

Cedar County received $348,700, the largest sum going to one recipient as part of this round of IDCA grants. It includes a challenge-matching grant for the renovation of downtown Tipton’s Hardacre Theater, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

According to Hardacre’s website, the theater received a $100,000 catalyst grant in 2020 and earned two other major donations from the community totaling $150,000 in 2021.

Public Space One will receive $5,300 to collaborate with the Global Food Project on a publication and public event to spark converation around “food and cultural identity in the context of migration.” Public Space One is an artist-run, nonprofit organization founded in 2002 offering space for screenings, readings, workshops, performances and art projects.

Antonio Chalmers, CEO of recording studio T1 Entertainment and founder of the Iowa Music Awards, is planning to use $2,500 to record, distribute and market an album entitled the “Black Excellence Project.”

Mr. Chalmers has written music for former Iowa basketball players Keegan Murray and Luka Garza, as reported by KCRG.

In August, the IDCA selected 11 Iowa arts, culture, history and humanities organizations to participate in its first Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort program running until June 2024. Public Space One was one of the selected organizations.