Iowa City Tourism Grants Awarded 

November 2, 2022 |

IOWA CITY, IOWA (November 1, 2022) – Two new events have been awarded funds via the Iowa City Tourism Grant program. The Refocus Film Festival and the Iowa Golden Gloves State Championships are the first two applications to receive funding approval by the program which just opened in September. 

“These are two vastly different events, but both will bring unique audiences to Iowa City,” said Nick Pfeiffer, Vice President of Public Affairs at Think Iowa City. “The Refocus Film Festival will continue to build on the momentum from their inaugural event this year and the Golden Gloves will bring hundreds of visitors to Downtown Iowa City in early April.” 

The Refocus Film Festival is organized by FilmScene and takes place over 4 days in the Fall. It consists of over two dozen films and performances, plus unique conversations with filmmakers, and art installations. 

ICOR Boxing of Iowa City intends to host the 2023 Iowa Golden Gloves State Championships the first weekend in April in the ballroom of the Graduate Hotel in Downtown Iowa City. This is a unique event never before seen in Iowa City. The location will provide an Atlantic City feel for the competitors and spectators. 

The Iowa City Tourism Grant Program funds projects and events that spur visitor spending in the City of Iowa City. The application is open to both nonprofits and for-profit entities. The applicants are not required to reside in the City of Iowa City, but any events or programing requesting funding must take place within the city limits to be eligible. 

Up to $30,000 is available for new events or initiatives and up to $5,000 is available for existing events or initiatives. The funds are for specific reimbursable expenses which can include marketing, promotion, and infrastructure. The grant may fund up to a 50% of qualified expenses. 

“The travel and tourism industry was obviously one of the most greatly affected sectors by the pandemic,” said Josh Schamberger, President of Think Iowa City, the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This is a great use of ARPA funds to spur new economic activity by visitors to Iowa City.” 

The City of Iowa City contracted with Think Iowa City to administer a tourism and visitor recovery grant program to spur visitor and economic activity in Iowa City. The program is funded through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The contract agreement was approved by the Iowa City City Council in June, making $125,000 available by the end of 2026. 

The application is available at Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Funds are available until 2026 or until exhausted, whichever comes first.