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Iowa West Foundation Awards nearly $6.5 Million in Grant and Initiative Funding

March 14, 2017

(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved nearly $6.5 million in grants and initiatives funding to 22 nonprofit organizations and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

For the second year, the Foundation awarded $1.8 million in multi-year funding to seven nonprofit organizations in Pottawattamie County. The multi-year funding program is designed to provide essential general operating funds over a three-year period to organizations who fulfill the most critical roles in Pottawattamie County. The organizations include Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, FAMILY, Inc., Green Hills AEA, Heartland Family Service, Justice For Our Neighbors, Lutheran Family Services and the MICAH House.

“Multi-year funding is a commitment to support organizations in our community that are identified as crucial to the stability of our community,” said Pete Tulipana, President, and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “It’s also a commitment by the organizations to engage in recommended ongoing capacity building to strengthen the development of their organizations.”

Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE), a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening, developing and promoting art, cultural, and historical institutions and activities in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County, received an installment of $1.2 million in funding as part of the Foundation’s $7 million commitment to the initiative, for the proposed renovation of the historic Harvester II building in downtown Council Bluffs into an arts and culture center.

“PACE is the result of our strategic planning sessions with the arts community, which revealed a strong consensus that there needed to be an arts and culture organization that would showcase our history, provide high-quality performance space and offer education opportunities for all,” Tulipana said. “When this facility is built, it will be transformational not only for the arts community but also for our entire region.”

PACE Executive Director Judy Davis said construction is expected to start early next year.

“The community has been so supportive of our efforts,” Davis said. “We are finalizing building plans now and hope to announce the name of the facility and all the partnering organizations very soon.”

Also in the Foundation’s “placemaking” focus area, The Nature Conservancy received $400,000 to acquire more than 500 acres of the Loess Hills Natural Area near Council Bluffs, while the City of Council Bluffs received $175,000 for Loessfest 2017. The recently announced lineup for the Memorial Day weekend events can be found at

“The 5th annual Loessfest will showcase our community to the region, highlighting what makes it unique in the Loess Hills as well as the current and future amenities along the Missouri Riverfront,” Tulipana said. “Placemaking grants are the Foundation’s investment in creating an attractive community where families desire to live, work and play.”

In addition to placemaking quality of life grants, the Foundation also awarded a placemaking infrastructure grant to the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors for the CITIES program. Collectively, the communities of Macedonia, Minden, Treynor, and Walnut received $921,525 for projects including façade upgrades, streetscape enhancements and water main and well construction.

“In September of 2014, the City of Minden began a downtown revitalization program we coined “Investing in our Future,” said Teresa Tenner, Minden City Clerk. “Now, thanks to the Iowa West Foundation and the CITIES program, we’re excited to keep the momentum going by making our business district viable and attractive with new walkways, railings, lighting and increased parking.”

The Foundation also awarded nearly $30,000 to three Pottawattamie County fire departments as part of its ongoing commitment to rural southwest Iowa communities. The Lewis Township and Hancock Volunteer Fire Department received $10,000 and Carson Volunteer Fire Department received $9,852, all for equipment upgrades.

The Letter of Inquiry period for the Cycle 2 grant application process opened on March 1 and will close March 15. Applications are due April 17, due to the 15th falling on a weekend. Grant application and initiative decisions will be made in June. Please see the Grantmaking section of our website for more information.

About the Iowa West Foundation

The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $400 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program. Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA is the license sponsor for Ameristar and Harrah’s and the license holder for Horseshoe-Bluffs Run. The Foundation targets resources into programs and projects that focus on economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families.

Cycle 1 2017 Grants and Initiatives

City of Council Bluffs
Loessfest 2017

City of Macedonia
CITIES Program: Downtown Façade Upgrades

City of Minden
CITIES Program: Streetscape

City of Treynor
CITIES Program: Water Main Upgrades

City of Walnut
CITIES Program: Well Construction

Inclusive Communities
Youth Programming Support in Council Bluffs

Dropout prevention program in Council Bluffs Schools

Iowa Public Broadcast Network Foundation
Repainting & Lighting replacement for KHIN tower in Red Oak

Iowa Western Community College
Fitness & Wellness Center

Omaha Botanical Center, Inc.
Railroad Days 2017

Omaha Children’s Museum
Outreach, field trip programs and subsidized memberships for Pottawattamie County families

Omaha Community Foundation
Nonprofit Capacity Building Program

Pottawattamie Gives! Incentives

Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Arts and Culture Center

Pottawattamie County Community Foundation
Building Endowment for Community Betterment

The 712 Initiative
General Operating Support

The Durham Museum
Top Secret: License to Spy Exhibition

The Nature Conservancy
Acquisition of 506-acre Loess Hills Natural Area near Council Bluffs

United Way of the Midlands
Annual Campaign and Convening Efforts in Food Security

Multi-Year Funding Designees

*Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands
General Operating Support for Council Bluffs Club

Birth-Three Parent Education Programming in Pottawattamie County/General Operating Support

*Green Hills AEA
Pottawattamie County Preschool

*Heartland Family Service
Iowa Family Works

Homeless LINK

Substance Abuse Prevention

*Justice For Our Neighbors
Legal Assistance for low-income Immigrants in southwest Iowa

*Lutheran Family Services
Pottawattamie County Center for Healthy Families
RSafe Program

*MICAH House
Homeless Services for Families/General Operating Support

Media Inquiries:

Nicole Lindquist
Director of Communications
w: 712-309-3004
c: 402-981-2289

OUR VISION is a community where families choose to live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its quality of life and standard of living.


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