Cultural District

By: News Release
Sep 2nd, 2020

Main Street Elkader is pleased to announce that it has been designated an Iowa Cultural & Entertainment District by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The designation recognizes Main Street Elkader for having a variety of arts and cultural attractions, including Sharp Art Gallery, G's Closet & Gallery, Arthur Geisert art and print-making studio, Treats on Bridge Street Bistro Gallery, Twisted Alley, Elkader BNB Gallery, and more. Elkader also has an impressive collection of public art, including murals, 3-D installations, and the Art in the Alley project. Downtown Elkader's listing on the National Register of Historic Places includes 62 contributing sites and 11 sites that are listed on the register in their own right, including the Historic Opera House, the Carter House Museum, and Keystone Bridge. 

The Iowa Cultural & Entertainment Districts program seeks to recognize well-identified, walkable, mixed-use, compact areas of a city or county in which a high concentration of cultural facilities serves as the anchor. This designation enables Main Street Elkader to become eligible for marketing opportunities, promotional programming and technical assistance from the Department of Cultural Affairs and program staff. 

“We offer thanks for this honorable designation. We value all of the partnerships it takes to develop a Cultural & Entertainment District. Our 

community and business leaders deserve much of the credit for the efforts it takes to establish and grow our assets. We encourage more people to participate, get involved, and volunteer to help grow and enhance our district as we move forward. The efforts towards establishing a Cultural & Entertainment District are significant components of community success. We are creating a sense of place here in Elkader, driving economic vitality.” 

-Kate Lower, Executive Director of Main Street Elkader 

The Iowa Cultural & Entertainment Districts program was established in 2003 and to date has recognized 35 Iowa Cultural & Entertainment Districts. More information on the Iowa Cultural & Entertainment Districts program is available by visiting


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.