As a Cultural Leadership Partner, Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, is pleased for the opportunity to receive a $20,000 grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for operating support.

Arts and culture organizations play a vital role in communities, providing a significant boost to the local economy through programs and events—especially in rural areas.

“Vesterheim Museum fulfills that role by acting as a catalyst, bringing over 15,000 visitors to our state and community with our exhibitions, folk art classes, and events. While Covid-19 has placed in-person activities on pause, we are actively connecting with folks near and far, and we look forward to a time when it is safe to gather,” Marcia McKelvey, Vesterheim Director of Administration, said. “The museum extends our sincere appreciation for the Iowa Arts Council’s service and dedication to uplifting arts and culture in our state,”

McKelvey added. In all, the department awarded $2,018,052 through 176 grants across the state for community initiatives, creative projects, cultural organizations, small businesses, and individuals.

“These funds are critical to help sustain arts, film, heritage, and cultural vibrancy across the state and showcase Iowa’s world-class cultural programs and destinations with help from our state’s hard-working artists, historic caretakers and creative business owners,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “It is important that we support our creative economy when this sector needs it more than ever."

“Through this funding we hope to provide cultural experiences in our rural communities and larger cities with a challenge to promote diversity and inclusion,” Director Kramer added.

With world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings in Decorah, Vesterheim, the National NorwegianAmerican Museum and Folk Art School, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience.