Forest City designated an Iowa Great Place

July 8, 2016

Forest City received an Iowa Great Places designation and $157.000 in grant funding from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs The grant money will go toward the construction of the Forest City Fine Arts Center and the Forest City Welcome signs.

We are very excited to be selected for the designation, as it opens the door to future funding from the IDCA for Forest City Projects.  Beth Bilyeu of Forest City Economic Development wrote the grant on behalf of the Fine Arts Center and the Grow Forest City Welcome Sign Project.  The Forest City Fine Arts Center is a development project that partners Waldorf University, Forest City Community Schools and the City of Forest City to complete the Center.  Forest City leadership gathered on June 21st to offer a community tour and presentation to the Iowa Great Places Selection Committee.

The distribution of the grant money is as follows: $150,000.00 toward the Forest City Performing Arts Center and $7000.00 toward the new Forest City Entryway signs.

Please contact Beth Bilyeu, 641-585-5560 with questions.


Below is the press release from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2016 Contact: Michael Morain, 515-725-1141, DCA awards 
nearly $1.7 million to seven Iowa Great Places communities Five new and two current Great Places receive grants 
for cultural development projects Bondurant, Dubuque, Forest City, Madison County, Malvern, Manning and Maquoketa 
DES MOINES - The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced nearly $1.7 million in grant funding for cultural
 development projects in five newly designated and two current Iowa Great Places communities. Today's announcement 
follows DCA's approval of an Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board recommendation to designate and award funding 
to the following five communities as Iowa's newest Great Places: Bondurant, Washington Street and North End Neighborhoods
 (Dubuque), Forest City, Malvern and Maquoketa. DCA also approved funding for projects in two current Iowa Great Places, 
Madison County and Manning. "The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs supports Iowans as they continue to build and 
sustain cultural vitality in our state," DCA Director Mary Cownie said. "The grants announced today will help these 
communities enhance quality of life and generate economic growth and job opportunities. I am proud of these partnerships 
and I encourage Iowans to join me in congratulating them on today's announcement." The Iowa Great Places program 
challenges Iowans to create community development proposals that exemplify bold thought and innovation; foster a sense 
of place and identity; and demonstrate a commitment to enhancing community vitality and quality of life. Proposals are 
submitted to and reviewed by the Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board. The program aligns state and local resources 
to cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of Iowa neighborhoods, districts, communities and regions in order to 
make them great places to live and work. The program supports projects that are integrated with a shared vision and set 
of strategies, involve significant partnerships and collaboration, and focus on the development of local and regional 
assets. The list of new Iowa Great Places announced today and projects receiving a total of $1,679,165 in grant awards 
follows: (Iowa Great Place) (Project) (Applicant) (Contact Info) (Grant Amount) (Project Description) New Great Place 
Designees City of Bondurant Gateway to Chichaqua Bondurant Development Inc. Laura McNichols, bdi@bondurantdevelopment.
com $220,200 Bondurant Development will develop local assets including trails, parks and public art to make the City of 
Bondurant a family-centric, recreational destination. Washington Street and North End Neighborhoods, Dubuque Steeple 
Square Community Revitalization Steeple Square Ellen Goodman Miller, $399,665 Steeple 
Square will redevelop the historic Saint Mary's Campus into a multi-purpose community and cultural center for the 
Washington and North End Neighborhoods. City of Forest City Expanding Arts & Opportunities City of Forest City Beth Bilyeu $157,000 The City of Forest City will provide access to arts and culture by developing a community 
fine arts center and enhancing wayfinding to community assets. City of Malvern Streetscaping and Public Art Transformation
 Malvern Area Betterment Association Deb Breeding, $292,900 Malvern Area Betterment Association 
will strengthen community development initiatives in the City of Malvern through downtown streetscaping and public art. 
City of Maquoketa Main Street Pedestrian Enhancements City of Maquoketa Jenna Soyer, $400,000 The City of
 Maquoketa will enhance the community by revitalizing downtown public space and connecting the community to regional 
recreational initiatives. Current Great Places Designees Madison County John Wayne Birthplace Museum and Trail Madison 
County Chamber of Commerce Heather Riley, $41,500 The Madison County Chamber of Commerce will 
increase accessibility to the John Wayne Birthplace through site development, landscaping and property restoration. 
City of Manning Trestle Park Expansion and Trail City of Manning Dawn Rohe, $167,900 The City of
 Manning will enhance community revitialization initiatives by expanding Trestle Park and developing the Trestle Trail
. Created in 2005, the Iowa Great Places program has awarded nearly $17 million to 41 designated Iowa Great Places. 
The Iowa Great Places program is administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural 
Affairs. For more information, visit or call 515-281-5111. ### The Iowa Department of Cultural 
Affairs and its three divisions - the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa-State Office of Media Production and the State 
Historical Society of Iowa - empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to 
the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department's work enables Iowa to be recognized as a 
state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and 
communicated to connect past, present and future generations.