Central Iowa Water Trails Project Awarded $125,000 NEA Grant for Shoreline Signals

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Central Iowa Water Trails Project Awarded $125,000 NEA Grant for Shoreline Signals

Grant to support integration of public art at water trails access points

Polk County and Bravo Greater Des Moines are pleased to announce they are recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “OUR TOWN” grant in the amount of $125,000. Our Town projects integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and social outcomes.

The NEA grant will fund the development of “Shoreline Signals,” a project that will integrate public art with Central Iowa Water Trails (CIWT) access points. A key feature of the CIWT, Shoreline Signals will educate users on issues of water safety and quality, visually connect the waterways, and show how and when to engage the rivers that surround and connect the area.

“NEA funding is a huge endorsement for this project which advances regional cultural priorities,” said Sally Dix, Executive Director of Bravo Greater Des Moines. “Bravo is committed to arts integration as essential to planning and development, and the Shoreline Signals project champions art as a tool for problem solving, innovative education and outreach, and cultural celebration.”

“Two of our guiding principles of this project are water safety and diversity and inclusion,” says Hannah Inman, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Outdoors Foundation, the fundraising arm of Central Iowa Water Trails. “Our water ways provide a universal platform to engage in nature no mater your nationality, background, or ethnicity. Being able to communicate current water safety and educate about other water principals in a way that transcends language is crucial our community. Art is the perfect lens to be able to do that. We are so grateful for this grant as well as our partners, Bravo and Polk County, to make this iniative a reality.”

Polk County and Bravo thank local supporters for endorsing the grant application: Governor Kim Reynolds, Great Outdoors Foundation, Capital Crossroads Incubator, Des Moines Area Metropolitain Planning Organization, Polk County Conservation, Polk County Emergency Management, and Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa.

To learn more about the goals of Central Iowa Water Trails, visit centraliowawatertrails.org

About Bravo Greater Des Moines

Bravo Greater Des Moines leverages community resources to maximize impact of arts, culture and heritage to advance regional priorities. Seventeen local government partners contribute financially to the Bravo investment strategy that supports the arts, culture and heritage in our region.

About Central Iowa Water Trails

The Central Iowa Water Trails project will connect more than 150 miles of water trails and 86 access sites throughout the region. This multi-year project is led by the Central Iowa Water Trails Incubator. The Incubator is supported by a coalition of regional organizations working together through Capital Crossroads, including Catch Des Moines, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Great Outdoors Foundation, and the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. For more information, visit centraliowawatertrails.org.