The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $20,000 in operational support as part of the Cultural Leadership Partners (CLP) from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Funding for the Cultural Leadership Partners Program Operating Support Grant is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Cultural Leadership Partners program is a competitive process that occurs once every three years. The River Museum was designated as a CLP in 2021, and upon successful annual performance reviews, will last through 2024. There were 286 organizations that applied for the awards, and only 58 received funding to support operating and programmatic costs throughout the three-year cycle.
Funding for fiscal year 2024 will directly support the River Museum’s Interpretive Planning Pre-Work Assessment. As a result, the Museum will gain an increased understanding of visitor knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes, reflect community need and connectivity, inform evaluation practices to best serve community, and creatively integrate the goals of both historic and living collections in exhibits and programs. Equally, funding will support the Museum’ s diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiatives and service trainings to provide DEAI-forward solutions to ensure an inclusive-visitor experience.
With an educational focus on History, STEM, and Conservation, the River Museum is a leading informal learning institution in the region serving 205,000 annual visitors from all 50 states and 70 countries and provides educational outreach to nearly 75,000 nationwide. The River Museum has contributed to the vibrancy of the Port of Dubuque, serves as a key informal learning partner to regional schools, as a critical conservation network partner, and employs 153 persons of all ages and from diverse backgrounds.