Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs launches nonprofit leadership program

Iowa Arts Council

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has selected 11 Iowa arts, culture, history and humanities organizations to participate in its first Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort program.

Iowa City’s Public Space One, an artist-led, community-driven art center, is one of the selected organizations.

According to a news release, the two-year program runs now through June 30, 2024, and is designed to help participants build leadership skills and increase organizational capacity in areas including operations, sustainability and programming.

The program is jointly administered by two department divisions, the Iowa Arts Council and State Historical Society of Iowa, and will address challenges these organizations face by providing training, networking and technical assistance.

“We’re pleased to establish the Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort as a skill-building program to help cultivate Iowa’s next generation of arts and cultural leaders,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said, in the release. “Our goal is to offer training and resources so organizational leaders can successfully run the museums, arts centers and other cultural institutions that drive tourism and experiential learning in their communities across the state.”

Although some of the participating organizations are in larger cities, the program will also help nonprofits in rural areas, where arts and culture can play an especially vital role in economic and community development.

Thirty-five organizations applied to participate in the pilot program, which is designed to primarily serve small and mid-sized organizations.

This round’s participants are:

  • Council Bluffs, Historical Society of Pottawattamie County
  • Des Moines, After School Arts Program
  • Forest City, Winnebago Historical Society
  • Fort Madison, Fort Madison Area Arts Association
  • Grinnell, Grinnell Area Arts Council
  • Iowa City, Public Space One
  • Maquoketa, Maquoketa Art Experience
  • Oskaloosa, George Daily Auditorium
  • Oskaloosa, Mahaska County Historical Society
  • Swedesburg, Swedish Heritage Society Foundation
  • Winterset, Madison County Historical Society

For more information about the Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort program, visit