Since 1992, Legion Arts has been bringing outstanding artists, from across America and
around the world, to exhibit, perform and otherwise share their work with Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa.
At the same time, if somewhat less noticed, we’ve been providing support to area artists
— not only in terms of opportunities to exhibit and perform, but through conferences,
publications, networking, workshops and technical assistance.
With an expanded and renovated facility since the flood, and a growing concentration of
artists in and around New Bohemia, we now have the opportunity to increase that
support. As we move into 2013, Legion Arts will be rolling out exciting new services to area
artists and arts groups, including:
• For up to six small and emerging arts organizations, residency in the Arts Incubator at CSPS Hall.
• For working artists, The Work of Art, a ten-class curriculum providing them with the professional skills and know-how they need to advance their careers;
• For organizations, individual artists and special projects in need of fundraising and administrative assistance, Legion Arts Fiscal Sponsorship;
• For individual artists, arts administrators, and their families, a free Artists’ Health Fair in April 2013, combined with ongoing referrals and resources.
• For individual artists in need, the Iowa Artists Relief Fund, providing one-time grants in the case of disaster, fire, health crisis or other emergency.
• Networking, counseling, mentoring and other support.
See below for basic information about these programs, but we want to hear
from you as well. Send us your ideas, questions, frustrations, enthusiasms. Let’s work together to build a strong, vibrant artist community in Eastern Iowa.
— F. John Herbert
In the spring of 2013, Legion Arts will launch the Arts Incubator at CSPS Hall. Designed to
provide support and a home base for Eastern Iowa artists and arts organizations, this exciting project is a collaboration with Springboard for the Arts, St. Paul, and has received initial support from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
The incubator will include six new office spaces, approximately 75 square feet each, each
incorporating carpet, built-in desktop and cabinets, independent climate control, power, and LAN network and wireless connections. We anticipate renting each space for $250 a month, utilities included.
In addition, tenants will have preferred access to the adjacent classroom and to C Space, a
flexible, 75-seat black box theatre; free access to career counseling, professional development opportunities, and artist networking events; free mail and package delivery service; and at-cost access to printing, fax and copying services. We hope to be able to offer — eventually if not immediately — box office, bookkeeping, fiscal sponsorship, grantwriting, health insurance, and other services at negotiated rates.
We anticipate that the incubator and related activities will be managed by an artist services coordinator, who will be a dedicated employee of Legion Arts, though trained by and affiliated with Springboard for the Arts.
A key component of the incubator program will be, The Work of Art an acclaimed series of ten workshops developed and offered by Springboard for the Arts staff. We plan to offer the entire, ten-workshop sequence twice each year, starting in the spring 2013. Each tenant organization will be required to enroll one representative each time the series is offered, with tuition included in their rent. Additional representatives, as well as unaffiliated artists and organizations, will also be invited to enroll.
How do I apply? Potential tenants are asked to submit a letter of interest, go through one or more interviews, and commit to a twelve-month contract. After the initial year tenants will sign annual contract extensions, with an evaluation three months before the contract expires to determine the continued value to the tenant of their participation in the program.
During the pilot year, tenants will be expected to participate in occasional meetings to
evaluate and help build the program. Tenants will receive a $25 honorarium for each planning meeting in which they participate.
In 2013 Legion Arts will begin providing fiscal sponsorship for arts groups and individual artist projects that do not want (or are not ready) to become tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.
In other words, we’ll make it possible for groups to receive tax-deductible grants and donations as they grow. In addition, fiscally-sponsored artists and projects will receive support for their fundraising and marketing efforts, plus legal referrals and networking support.
Note: Participants in the Arts Incubator will not necessarily have Legion Arts as a fiscal
sponsor, nor will every fiscally-sponsored project be resident in the Arts Incubator. The two can be combined, but they need not be.
How can I apply? We’re in the process of developing a handbook and application form for
this program. Let us know of your interest and we’ll let you know when they’re ready. Contact us at email@example.com.
In the spring of 2013 Legion Arts will present Iowa’s first Artists’ Health Fair, a free event for individual artists, arts administrators and their family members. Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 13, the one-day event will feature free screenings and vaccinations, referrals and resources from healthcare providers and insurance agents, workshops, presentations and question and answer sessions. The Artists’ Health Fair is based on a model developed by Springboard for the Arts and funded in part by a grant from Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a program of the Ford Foundation. Alongside the Artists’ Health Fair, related resources will be available on an ongoing basis through the Arts Incubator.
How can I participate? We expect that plans for the Artists’ Health Fair will be finalized
by January. Watch for announcements.
IOWA ARTISTS RELIEF FUND
Founded in 2008, the Iowa Artist Relief Fund makes strategic grants to artists dealing with catastrophe, from natural disasters to health crises. Grants have tended to be in the range of $1000 to $1500, and have been processed and awarded quickly. Initiated after the flood of 2008, the fund is nearly depleted at this point, but we are planning to replenish it. How can I apply? Contact us at 319.364.1580 or firstname.lastname@example.org .