Arts Engagement

colorful photo of yarn bombing project in Ames, Iowa

As the Community Arts Specialist, I work with communities to use art as a vehicle for community and economic development.

According to the Iowa Small Towns Project, local civic engagement ranks as one of the highest indicators of quality of life in rural Iowa communities. When residents get involved on a local level, their sense of belonging and empowerment increase.  Residents feel more empowered to create real change where they live, which benefits the entire community. Community art projects create fantastic opportunities for strengthening these positive community ties.

Delivery Method/Target Audience:school children with squares they knitted for a yarn bombing project

Rural or urban, each Iowa community in Iowa is comprised of unique stories and voices. As they say, “if you’ve been to one Iowa community, you’ve been to one Iowa community.” I value the local expertise of community members, and I work collaboratively with Iowa communities to co-create outcomes and creative possibilities in their towns such as: 

  • assistance in community mural projects
  • strategic planning for community arts programming
  • presentations on the value of community art
  • presentations on how to get started with community art

I’ve also created free, downloadable community art toolkits to assist you in designing and implementing your own creative community projects. And I write a weekly blog on all things art and community.


Fees vary according to the scope and complexity of the work.  Contact Jennifer Drinkwater for details about fees.

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Contact me

photo of Jennifer Drinkwater


Jennifer Drinkwater