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$390,000 in Grants Awarded at Celebration of Community event

November 4, 2022

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa announced $390,000 in grants at its annual Celebration of Community event on Friday, November 4, at the Diamond Event Center in Cedar Falls. The grants were awarded to four organizations including Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, City of Waterloo, North End Cultural Center and Lime Springs Betterment Foundation.

“This celebration and the grants announced tonight are a great reminder of the difference we can make in our community when we work together,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA president and CEO. “The Community Foundation is only able to impact communities because of the partnerships of people and organizations who truly care about where they live, and we are thankful to be part of fulfilling this vision of creating vibrant communities of thriving people.”  

The University of Northern Iowa Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center received a $250,000 grant toward its recently announced capital campaign to renovate and expand current facilities. The $14.9 million project will feature event space additions, upgrades to the facility’s interior and exterior, and improvements to seating. The project will create approximately 14,000 square feet of new and renovated space. These upgrades will elevate the Gallagher Bluedorn to a state-of-the-art facility that will continue to provide world class performing arts for the Cedar Valley and the state of Iowa.

The City of Waterloo Leisure Services Commission received a $100,000 grant to its Make a Splash campaign to transform Gates and Byrnes parks. Pools at each park are over 40 years old and $8 million in renovations will be made at each park. Plans for Gates Park include a splash pad, inclusive playground, lighted basketball courts, a multipurpose soccer field and more. A new aquatic center will be built at Byrnes Park and will include a four-lane, 25-yard lap pool and 0-depth entry play pool. These improvements encompass community input and are focused on enhancing the quality of life of all residents of Waterloo.

North End Cultural Center received a $30,000 grant to help build capacity for the volunteer driven organization focused on restoring pride in the diverse cultures of Waterloo’s northeast side. The funding was directed to hire the organization’s first full-time staff person to expand its impact. This organization focuses on Waterloo’s Black community, building on its strengths, amplifying diverse voices and viewpoints, and provides access to all residents.

CFNEIA also awarded a $10,000 grant to the Lime Springs Betterment Foundation, a group committed to improving the quality of life in Lime Springs to attract and retain citizens of this rural Iowa community. The funds were directed to the Lime Springs Endowment Fund, a fund of the Howard County Community Foundation, which is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. The $10,000 grant was part of an incentive program to help the community-led effort to reach a $100,000 goal for the fund designated to supporting community betterment activities in the Lime Springs area.

“These organizations are taking bold moves to make our communities better places for all people and we are honored to be part of their work,” said Englin. “As a local funder, we know we must also take action to lead. The grants awarded tonight are one way we carry out our commitment to our community, especially in our initiative areas of enhancing the arts, advancing racial equity and nonprofit capacity building.”

Since 1956, CFNEIA has granted over $114 million to organizations across its 20-county region and holds assets totaling over $143 million. To learn more about the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa and its impact go to

See event photos on our Facebook page: