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Current Bureau Community Grant Recipients

2019 Bureau Community Grant Recipients

The Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau awarded over $83,000 in funding on behalf of their Community Grant Program to assist local businesses and organizations in promoting and implementing 28 special events and programs in the Ames area for 2019. Each grant was awarded according to its intent to attract new visitors to the Ames area, enhance visitor experiences and improve the quality of life for area residents. With this latest addition of grant recipients, the Bureau’s Community Grant Program has awarded more than $713,500 to help fund nearly 282 events and projects throughout the area since its establishment in 2007.

Note: Current Community Grant Awardees are required to complete the Community Grant Final Report form found here.

WinterFest – December (2018)

Sponsoring Organization: WinterFest

WinterFest at Iowa State University is an annual weekend celebration of the winter season! This mostly free event hosts dozens of activities in partnership with a variety of Iowa State University student clubs and organizations. WinterFest provides a unique combination of winter themed games, activities, and traditions to help students relieve stress before finals. It also provides a great opportunity for the students to connect with the Ames community. Community grant funds go toward hosting additional activities involving food and beverage, novelties, giveaways and stress relief. The funds greatly enhance the event experience for everyone who participates.

Days of Service – Multiple Dates (1/21,2/9-17,4/6)

Sponsoring Organization: Volunteer Center of Story County

The Days of Service are community-wide volunteer events. The purpose of these days is to provide a fun and productive way to engage people in the community through volunteer service. They hope participants enjoy volunteering, meeting new people and learning about various organizations and causes in the community, and identify new ways to be engaged. This year’s Days of Service are Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Random Acts of Kindness Week and Stash the Trash. Grant funding will help provide additional supplies and promotion of the various events, as well as cover costs to mobilize the maximum number of volunteers.

Goldfinch Room – Opening Night – January 26

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Community Arts Council

This first-time event will launch a new branded space – Goldfinch Room – in Stephens Auditorium’s Celebrity Café for Iowa performing artists. It’s a listening room patterned after the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville. The Goldfinch will be a songwriter’s performance space where they perform their own songs – some of which may have been recorded by chart-topping artists. This will be an ideal venue for intimate performances and will serve as a destination for fans and a place for local/regional musicians to connect. Grant funds will be used for marketing/advertising and visual art for the event to add uniqueness to the space and its mission as a listening room.

Art on Campus Self-Guided Tour Map – February

Sponsoring Organization: University Museums, Iowa State University

Iowa State University is home to the largest campus public art program in the United States. Over 600 major public works of art are located across campus in buildings, courtyards and open spaces. This Art on Campus Self-Guided Tour Map will allow University Museums to broadcast this Ames cultural asset and assist with accessibility of our world class art collection. This will attract visitors and provide them with more knowledge of the Art on Campus. This map element will serve as a key navigational tool for visitors to Ames and Iowa State University. Grant funding will be spent on printing costs for the redesign of the map to help reach a wider audience and increase the quantity of maps printed.

Festival of Personal Geographies – February-March

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Artist- Tibi Chelcea

Festival of Personal Geographies” explores how art can be used to create personalized maps. The festival includes an exhibition (to be scheduled at Design on Main Gallery in Ames, IA) and four workshops held in Ames, IA. These workshops will teach various ways of creating personal maps using computer programming, robotics, sound mapping, and mindful walking. Both the exhibition and the workshops will be free and open to the public. The festival aims to provide participants with novel ways of creating maps, and with new venues for creative involvement in their community and surroundings. Funding for this event will provide the artistic materials for the workshops, renting a van for the sound workshop, printing posters to advertise the festival and partially covers the cost of shipping artwork for out-of-state artists.

Play with Words – March 1-3

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Public Library, Ames Children’s Theater, Iowa State Center

Play with Words is a unique collaborative venture between city (Ames Public Library), state (Iowa State Center/ISU), and community (Children’s Theater) organizations. These organizations are working together to showcase the creative talents of Ames’ youth. The students will be involved in all aspects of the production. Performances will take place in the newly remodeled Celebrity Café in Iowa State Center’s Stephens Auditorium. This community grant will allow for a more professional look in the production itself, as well as help better communicate the scope of the project through additional advertising. \

Midwest Children’s Choir Festival – April 26

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Children’s Choirs

The Midwest Children’s Choir Festival was created to provide the opportunity for young Iowa singers to hear and perform with acclaimed choirs, performers and conductors. MCCF has become one of the most highly regarded youth choral festivals in Iowa. The evening festival concert will be attended by the family and friends of the participants and those in Central Iowa who enjoy music and are supportive of the arts. These grant funds will allow the Ames Children’s Choirs to reach a target market in Central Iowa that is supportive of the arts and youth. The funds will be used to advertise the event and cover printing costs.

Reggie’s Sleepout – April 27

Sponsoring Organization: YSS

YSS is bringing back Reggie’s Sleepout Ames in April 2019, a significant event that creates awareness and raises funds for homeless youth in Iowa. Participants will sleep overnight at the Cyclone Sports Complex, where there will be planned activities throughout the night. Reggie’s Sleepout will improve the quality of life for Ames residents by bringing awareness of youth homelessness to the forefront in our local communities. The event is open to the public at no cost. The community grant funds will allow for expanded advertising outside of Ames and to bring more awareness to the issue of youth experiencing homelessness in Story County and beyond.

Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market – May-October

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Chamber of Commerce

The Ames Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate the Main Street Farmers’ Market want to build on the success of our expanding and successful 2018 market. The Market showcases locally produced food along with other handmade products crafted by local artisans. Their goal is to help make Ames a destination place on Saturday mornings to bring a wide variety of people – families, students, young professionals, retirees – from Ames and surrounding communities together in the heart of our downtown. Grant funds will be used to help keep reaching out to new and potentials visitors and vendors through marketing and advertising efforts.

A Bevy: Studio Curiosities – June 7

Sponsoring Organization: ISU College of Design

ISU Design on Main will participate in the 2019 ArtWalk in downtown Ames by hosting an art show called A Bevy: Studio Curiosities, exhibiting the work of local and regional artists. The opening reception will take place during the ArtWalk and the gallery will be transformed into a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ compiled from gathered items which inspire each individual artist. Visitors will get a behind the scenes look at what inspires the artists in their studios and will be regaled by the stories behind each item. Community grant funds will provide necessary marketing materials to promote the Bevy exhibition. It will also provide funds for hosting a reception and purchasing vinyl for the front window display.

Theatrical Workshops – 6 Saturdays every other month

Sponsoring Organization: ACTORS

ACTORS would like to start an education program to encourage people across Central Iowa to get involved in ACTORS or their local community theaters. There will be a series of six Saturday afternoon workshop topics such as; Auditioning, Stage Managing, Producing, Directing, etc. The goal is to make participating in live theater approachable and inviting. Participation is open to all areas and ages. Grant funds will be used to conduct the workshops and to market them so that the effort is justified.

Season Announce Reception – June 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30

Sponsoring Organization: ACTORS

For the third year, ACTORS will be hosting a reception prior to each performance of the June musical, “Curtains”. The reception gets the audiences to the performance sooner and makes it more of an event. It also gives the audience time to purchase their season ticket and yearly membership. The receptions before the show give the patrons a chance to meet, network and reinforce the idea that theater is something that can be enjoyed by all. This grant funding will help pay for the groceries and upscale foods that are served during the preshow receptions and announce celebration.

6th Annual Iowa Able Run – June 22

Sponsoring Organization: Iowa Able Foundation

The Iowa Able Foundation is holding the 6th Annual Iowa Able Run on June 22, 2019 at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. In addition to the races, there will also be several other activities ranging from a photo booth to Cy, exciting food, kids entertainment, a DJ and more. They will offer awards, a silent auction, and a raffle. This is an event for the whole community! Grant funding will be used to offset the cost of the t-shirts that participants receive when they register for the event.

Ames Fireworks – July 3

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Ames Fireworks display is an annual event sponsored by the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Community Grant Program. It is supported by the Young Professionals of Ames, City of Ames and Iowa State University. The 2019 fireworks will take place on July 3rd in the Iowa State University parking lots G6-G8. Spectators may view the display from the parking lots surrounding Jack Trice Stadium and the Iowa State Center. The funding received will be used to secure the services of J&M displays to provide an outstanding firework display for Ames residents and visitors. It is a safe, free, family-friendly event that offers exceptional entertainment to celebrate the Independence Day holiday!

Friendship Ark 5k on the 4th – July 4

Sponsoring Organization: Friendship Ark, Inc.

Friendship Ark Home and Community Services holds a 5k race at Ada Hayden on July 4th each year. Approximately 150 runners and walkers participate, and this event is looked upon as the way to start the 4th of July Holiday off right. This event is an opportunity for Friendship Ark to share with and educate the community on the services Friendship Ark provides while offering a fun event for everyone. As a not-for-profit, this grant assists in covering the costs associated with putting on a well-run race, which includes professional timing and the cost of t-shirts.

4th of July Dog Dock Jumping Competition – July 4

Sponsoring Organization: Model Farm

DockDogs is a series of competitive dog jumping events held across the nation each year. The competition has been held in Ames for the past two years and has provided 4th of July entertainment for both human and canine. The Ames competition is unique because it is held downtown rather than outside of town or on a soccer field. This attracts more visitors from neighboring states due to the different atmosphere and excitement of the event. They even had to add a third day because there were so many participants! Spectators are invited to enjoy the jumping, food vendors, and Ames atmosphere. Community grant funds will be used to cover the cost of the contracted expenses and to also improve the overall spectator experience through better bleachers, tents and portable toilets.

Iowa Games Athlete Jamboree – July 19

Sponsoring Organization: Iowa Sports Foundation

The Summer Iowa Games kicks off the main weekend of the Games with the Athlete Jamboree and Opening Ceremony outside Jack Trice Stadium. The Athlete Jamboree is a family-oriented event, designed to bring together athletes, their families, coaches, fans, volunteers, officials and community members. The Athlete Jamboree is free for everyone and open to the public. Everyone from the community is encouraged to attend! Funds for the Athlete Jamboree will assist in providing a more fun and memorable experience by enhancing the entertainment and activities – specifically national, regional and local talent. The funds will also allow expansion of the interactive games and inflatables offered.

25th Annual Senior Variety Show – August 16-17

Sponsoring Organization: Senior Variety Show Organization

The Senior Variety Show is a creative, community tradition with many purposeful outcomes and they are delighted to celebrate their silver anniversary of the 25th year of the show. (Not bad for a show planned to be a one-time event!) Along with encouraging senior talents in the performing arts, it inspires the community with the joy of aging and an uplifting and enjoyable afternoon/evening of entertainment. The show also serves as a successful fundraiser for senior projects in the community. Funding for this event will be used to honor the legacy of past participants through families to represent their memory as part of the show. It will also be used to provide transportation to elderly audience members from both in and out of town from the parking lots to the auditorium. Grant funds will also expand the publicity of the event.

2019 Lincoln Highway Days – August 22-24

Sponsoring Organization: Lincoln Highway Days Committee

The Lincoln Highway Days was started in 1983 to celebrate the overpass along Lincoln Highway. It is a festival complete with a parade, mechanical rides, business vendors, food and entertainment, along with the Lincoln Highway Rodeo. This summer favorite event is a wonderful way for families to enjoy low cost fun! Funding from this grant will be used to add to the mechanical rides/inflatable selection so that families can have an even better experience at Lincoln Highway Days.

Friday Around Campustown (FAC) – Fridays of September

Sponsoring Organization: Campustown Action Association

Friday Around Campustown (FAC) is a special event held to introduce newcomers to both Campustown and the Ames community. Participants are encouraged to explore what the district has to offer through a passport of deals. These completed passports are turned in for prize drawings! The FAC event showcases Campustown as welcoming and inclusive, plus it provides information in a positive manner and encourages participants to feel at home in the Ames community. Grant funding will be used to produce a greater number of passports and make them more readily available prior to the event. It will also help market bigger-ticket items as prizes to help draw a larger crowd. The funds will also help bring in additional organizations from the community and allow the non-profits to participate without additional costs to them.

Uncorked: The Spirited History of Alcohol in Ames – August-December

Sponsoring Organization: Ames History Museum

Ames History Museum is planning back-to-back exhibits for the anniversaries of the 18th and 19th amendments. The alcohol exhibit, “Uncorked: The Spirited History of Alcohol in Ames”, will explore the entire history of the community’s relationship with alcohol – from dry covenants to prohibition in the 1920’s to more recent disturbances associated with alcohol and VEISHEA. It will also explore the relationship between prohibition and women’s suffrage. Their programming provides education, entertainment and socialization for all attendees. Grant funds will be used for design and installation of the exhibit, as well as marketing and entertainment for the annual benefit dinner and additional programming.

Ames Pridefest 2019 – September 7

Sponsoring Organization: Ames Pride

Ames Pridefest is a family-friendly event celebrating LGBTQIA+ people and culture in the City of Ames and surrounding communities. The event features all day local and regional state entertainment, vendors and educational sessions. This important event draws in folks of all ages from Ames, surrounding areas and even other states. This family-friendly festival fills a LGBTSIA+ niche in Iowa that can’t be found in other communities. Grant funding will be used to assist in the event’s outdoor entertainment capacities. It will also be used to provide more educational sessions from more recognized local and regional entertainment.

Octagon Art Festival – September 22

Sponsoring Organization: Octagon Center for the Arts

The Octagon will celebrate its 49th annual Octagon Art Festival on September 22nd, 2019. The Art festival is one of Iowa’s longest running annual festivals that celebrates a wide variety of arts. This one-day event is the largest held in Downtown Ames and is free for the public to attend. It is family friendly with free entertainment and plenty of activities throughout the day. There will also be food and beverage vendors for attendees to enjoy while they support the arts and admire their work. As a non-profit community art center, the grant funds will be directed towards increasing the coverage of marketing and promoting the event throughout Iowa.

Run for the Roses – October 13

Sponsoring Organization: Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority/Ames Area Running Club

Run for the Roses is a 5K, 10K and kids race held at the Ames Middle School, followed by a complimentary omelet breakfast. The race experience is intensified by many unique activities; the singing of the National Anthem, a silent auction and an opportunity to win one of the many door prizes. This event is open to all ages and is a fall tradition for many of its participants. It improves quality of life and promotes physical activity. It is also a charitable event which supports the philanthropy of the Apha Omicron Pi to The Arthritis Foundation. These grant funds will be used to enhance advertising and promotion via attractive posters, brochures, radio announcements and door to door recruiting.

The “Bells of Iowa State” Gala Anniversary Concert – October 27

Sponsoring Organization: Iowa State Center

This historic concert will celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the Stanton Memorial Carillon; the 25th anniversary of the University Carillonneur, Dr. Tin-Shi Tam; the 50th Anniversary of the Stephens Auditorium and The Ames International Orchestra Festival Association (AIOFA), and the 65th Anniversary of the Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation. This special evening will unveil the new Campanile-Carillon Model, designed by cross-cutting ISU senior classes, and will feature the Stanton Carillon, Iowa State Singers and Alumni, ISU Symphony Orchestra, and ISU Wind Ensemble.

In honor of Stephens Auditorium’s 50th Anniversary, there will be a special presentation during the concert, as well as tours of the building after the concert. 50th Anniversary videos will be shown in Celebrity Café.

ISU Homecoming Parade 2019 – October

Sponsoring Organization: ISU Alumni Center/SALC

As early as 1923, the well-loved tradition of the ISU Homecoming parade has been recorded. Now that the parade has been revived since 2016, it has brought back a sense of unity, spirit, celebration, engagement and entertainment to Ames and the surrounding communities. It is the kick-off event for all of Homecoming Week. The ISU Homecoming Parade is a positive leisure activity which is free and open to the public. Community grant funds will be used for increased promotional expenses, as well as free food and complimentary shuttle service for attendees.

Spirits in the Gardens 2019 – October

Sponsoring Organization: Reiman Gardens

This is a two-day event that includes trick-or-treating, a craft activity and a Jack O’ Lantern walk – complete with over 650 hand-carved pumpkins lit and displayed throughout the Gardens. Spirts in the Gardens is a one of a kind event and believed to be the largest display of hand-carved jack o’ lanterns in the state of Iowa. With this event, Reiman Gardens provides an exciting and unique trick-or-treating experience and fills the need for a safe and cultural Halloween experience for people of all ages. Community grant funding will go towards creating an inclusive experience for all by providing more candy and alternative treat options for those sensitive to food allergies. It will also go towards adding entertainment for the children between treat stops and continuing to increase awareness of the event through paid advertising.