Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Iowa Cultural and Entertainment Districts

Areas certified as an Iowa Cultural and Entertainment District (CED) are well-identified, walkable, mixed-use, compact areas of a city or county in which a high concentration of arts and cultural facilities serve as the anchor.
CEDs attract a diverse and engaged workforce – a key incentive for new and relocating businesses. CEDs also attract residents and tourists who support adjacent businesses such as restaurants, lodging facilities, retail stores and entertainment venues, enhancing property values, the profitability of surrounding businesses and the tax base of the area.
The goals of the program are to distinguish those districts that have created unique cultural centers and prioritized visitor experiences, promote the districts and their supported activities, and provide technical assistance and professional development opportunities.
Who Qualifies?
All applicants for certification must represent a public-private partnership.

  • Private element
    • Nonprofit community organization: Federally tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated and physically located in Iowa; or
    • Local For-Profit Community Organization: Must be physically located in Iowa
  • Public element
    • Community: All cities and counties located in the State of Iowa are eligible to provide the Public Element, and two or more cities or counties may apply jointly if the district extends across a common boundary.
Program Benefits
Once certified, the State of Iowa, through IEDA, shall endeavor to promote projects and initiatives implemented by CEDs through established networks.
  • Designated CEDs will be included in the Iowa Creative Places Network, which provides opportunities for connection through networking and learning opportunities with Creative Places across Iowa.
  • Additionally, IEDA staff will provide technical assistance to CEDs, including communication on grant opportunities and professional development workshops.
How do I Apply?
  • Applicants must complete an online application by May 3, 2024, on for the period July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2034.
  • Please review the grant guidelines found under the resources below for additional information on eligibility requirements, reporting requirements and review process, as well as application questions and the scoring rubric.
Manage Your Certification
Beginning one year after certification, CEDs are required to submit an annual report to IEDA due August 1 each year. The report will document the status of the CED, including an update on the number of new businesses, activities and promotional efforts within the past year.