Colts Receive Grants From IDCA, DRA, And City Of Dubuque

August 19, 2021

Iowa Arts Council logo
National Endowment for the Arts logo

The Colts returned from their 2021 tour to find both operating and capital needs grants to assist with programming for this year and beyond. We are humbled by the continued support for the arts and nonprofits throughout the Dubuque community.


This year, the Iowa Arts Council awarded $1,632,495 in grants to 192 projects across the state. In response to the pandemic, the Iowa Arts Council consolidated some of its previous grant programs into a new Iowa Arts & Cultural Resilience Grant program to give individuals and organizations more flexibility. With a focus on accessibility and inclusion, the Iowa Arts Council also hosted online office hours, conducted interviews with applicants via videoconferencing, and increased the diversity of its volunteer grant review panels.

The Colts were pleased to be awarded $10,000 for expanding their current steel drum program into a more global world percussion program. Plans are in the works to connect with other community partners to explore the areas of Latin percussion, Japanese taiko drumming, steel drums, African drum circles, and more. The grant will provide the seed money for instruments and instruction.

Funding for the Resilience Grant program is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


The Dubuque City Council recently approved recommendations from the City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to award $250,700 in operating support grant funds to nineteen of Dubuque’s 501(c)(3) arts and culture organizations.

The Operating Support funding program is designed to support nonprofit organizations that focus on contributing to cultural vibrancy and community resiliency through publicly accessible arts, arts education, and cultural heritage programming. The Colts were honored to receive an Operating Support Grant of $28,000.

Prior to COVID-19, arts and culture organizations receiving operating support from the City of Dubuque employed 86 full-time and 212 part-time or seasonal workers collectively paying out $4.9 million in employee wages, not including benefits annually. They also contracted with an array of talent, including actors, musicians, artists, arts educators, lecturers, and others, issuing over $283,000 in contracts to workers in the creative sector.

According to an Americans for the Arts (AFTA) 2012 study, Dubuque’s nonprofit arts and culture sector generates $47.2 million annually in economic activity for our community and contributes $5 million in local and state government revenues.


The Dubuque Racing Association, a 501(c)(4) organization, announced grant awards totaling $1,006,462 to 93 area charitable organizations.

The grants awarded ranged from $1,000 to $25,000 for individual organizations and $5,000 to $125,000 for the school districts of Dubuque, Western Dubuque, Holy Family, and Monticello. The average grant award was $8,960.69 with 21 organizations receiving at least 90% of their request. Organizations within the City of Dubuque were awarded 76% of the funds and 91% of the funds supported organizations within Dubuque County.

The Colts Youth Organization was awarded $15,000 to use toward vehicle fleet upgrades. Specifically, the grant will assist with the purchase of a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia semi-tractor from Truck Country here in Dubuque. With the Colt Cadets now traveling in a 53’ semi-trailer for both their instruments and kitchen, there is a greater need to have a tractor available all year long.

The Dubuque Racing Association (DRA) has been a vital part of the community since its inception in 1985. The DRA is operated by a volunteer board comprised of 21 directors who work together to guide operations at Q Casino. The DRA holds the license for casino-gaming operations of Q, and is the co-licensee for the Diamond Jo Casino.

Our thanks go out to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Dubuque’s Arts & Culture Commission, and the Dubuque Racing Association for their continued support of our mission!

You can read the Iowa Arts Council press release here.

You can read the City of Dubuque press release here.

You can read the Dubuque Racing Association press release here.

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