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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release November 9, 2011

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Six Iowa communities graduate from Great Places program

Governor Terry Branstad to speak at Great Places reception Nov. 21

DES MOINES – SixIowa communities – Charles City, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Decorah, Perry and Valley Junction of West Des Moines – will be recognized at a reception in Mason City this month to mark their graduation from the Iowa Great Places program.

Governor Terry Branstad will deliver remarks during the reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Historic Park Inn, 15 West State Street in Mason City. The public is invited. Tickets are $15 through Midwestix.com or at the door. Contact Sarah Murphy at sarah.murphy@iowa.gov or 515-281-7471 for more information.

These communities are completing their three years as formal partners with the state, but they will continue to hold the Iowa Great Places designation, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Tiffany Cownie said. I congratulate these communities and I encourage them to continue their efforts as we move into the future.

Administered by DCA, Iowa Great Places is a program that calls on state agencies to partner with Iowans by combining state resources with local assets to make communities, neighborhoods, districts and regions great places where people want to live, work and raise a family.

The program asks communities to develop proposals that address seven unique and authentic dimensions that make places special: engaging experiences; rich, diverse populations and cultures; a vital, creative economy; clean and accessible natural and built environments; well-designed infrastructure; a shared attitude of optimism that welcomes new ideas; and based on a diverse and inclusive cultural mosaic.

State agencies work with Iowa Great Places to achieve their visions by identifying technical assistance and existing programs such as grant and financial aid programs, and the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.

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The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.
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