A mural and a statue are shown in Downtown Iowa City.

The Iowa City Public Art Program's mission is to enhance our public spaces, to capitalize on Iowa City's reputation as a cultural center, and to build on Iowa City's image as a vital place to live and work. By providing Arts and Culture programs that educate, entertain, stimulate and engage the public, Iowa City works to support the vitality of its diverse population, preserve and interpret Iowa City’s rich heritage, and enhance the desirability of Iowa City as a residence and destination.

The Public Art Advisory Committee was established to oversee the operations of the Public Art program and advise the City Council on potential sites that can be enhanced by the addition of public art and also recommend various pieces of artwork.

Iowa City Public Art Brochure 2018

Iowa City Public Art Strategic Plan 2019

Iowa City Public Art Management Plan

Sign-up to receive public art news and information at www.icgov.org/e-subscriptions

Public Art Matching Funds

Application are being accepted 
through Friday, August 21, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Online Application

The Public Art Matching Fund is available for residents of the Iowa City community to submit beneficial ideas that merit consideration for possible funding/support. The Matching Fund Program is available for art projects (visual, audio or performance based) that are located in Iowa City and accessible to the general public.

Deadline for submissions:  Friday, August 21, 2020 – 5:00 PM

If all funds are not committed through this funding cycle, the applications will be reopened again with a deadline of Friday, January 22, 2021.

Maximum request for matching funds is $2000.

Submissions are reviewed by the Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) which typically meets on the first Thursday of the month at 5:30 PM in the Helling Conference Room of the Iowa City City Hall, 410 E. Washington St. or by remote meetings through ZOOM as necessary.


  • Publicly accessible and viewable within Iowa City– on public or private property (approval of owner required).
  • Murals, sculpture, installations that are permanent or temporary that will withstand human and weather elements associated with the installation location.
  • Visual, audio or performance-based projects.
  • Projects that will be installed/completed by December 31, 2020 (with possible extension due to COVID restrictions)


  • Materials and supplies necessary for the creation of the artwork
  • Wages/stipend for artists/performers to create the work
  • Contract labor for installation such as site prep, concrete pouring, tile installation


  • In-kind services
  • commodities
  • other grants
  • personal contributions
  • other donations


  • Events or performances that are a part of an applicant’s regular programs
  • Those that do not have the arts as their primary focus
  • Those intending to influence public policy or to proselytize a belief
  • Those that advertise or promote a for-profit business
  • Those for which patrons will be charged admission
  • Fees to secure a site (permits, purchasing land)
  • Food/Beverages
  • Events with a primary focus of fundraising


Organizations, schools, individuals and government units located within Iowa City such as:

  • Individual artists
  • Nonprofit 501(c) (3) arts organizations
  • Privately owned/operated businesses


Artwork proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the Public Art Advisory Committee on the following criteria:

  • Verification that the location of the artwork is secured and publicly accessible.
  • Ability of the artist/applicant to complete the project within the proposed time frame and budget.
  • Commitment of proposed partners involved in the project. Application should include verification of that support and a clear explanation of the responsibilities of each entity involved in the project.
  • Ability/willingness of the artist/applicant to work with the PAAC /staff.
  • Ability of the applicant to provide matching funds.
  • Artwork meets design, funding availability, and appropriateness of the artwork for the site and how well it "contributes to the identity and viability of the community and promotes the image of Iowa City".
  • Verification that temporary art displays will not permanently impact location of installation or adequate funds are available to make necessary repairs to bring the site back to the original condition.


Online Application

(All submissions must be submitted through the online application process)

  • Artist background information including samples of relevant past work or documentation of like-experience and skill.
  • A narrative statement to demonstrate that the artwork will be accessible at a location that is open and freely available to the general public.
  • A narrative of the artist’s concept including project details, if applicable:
  • Size, weight, medium, materials
  • A site plan with building and grade elevation and/or images of building facades showing the placement of the proposed artwork within the site proposed.
  • Installation details (foundation, mounting, distance to street)
  • Maintenance requirements of permanent installations and commitment of applicant to carry out that maintenance for a period no less than 2 years.
  • Visual representations of the artwork will be submitted in one of the following formats: ▪ jpgs (image resolution 1800 pixels on longest side);
  •  A model of the artwork, or
  • A graphic or artist illustration depicting several views of the artwork.

The artist will acknowledge that ownership will be considered at time of review.

For questions or additional information, please contact Marcia Bollinger at marcia-bollinger@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5237.