Grin City is a collective of artists that works in teams with Midwestern communities on a variety of creative projects. We specialize in public art installations, workshops, gatheringspop-up art shows,and literary projectsOur current work focuses on the role of contemporary art, storytelling, music and creativity in the rural Midwestern identity.

We think of our projects like potlucks. At a potluck, each person brings a different food that together makes a single delicious spread and a day of engaging conversation. Grin City uses the collaborative act of making--a sculpture, a play, a dinner, a garden--to bring communities together. Grin City believes that when a community comes together to share experiences, skills or stories, it is more likely to invest personally in the collective improvement of that community and the people who share it. 

Grin City believes that when art-making is integrated into a community, that community thrives. Grin City believes that when an artist experiences new communities and narratives, that artist thrives. In bringing these two groups together, Grin City strengthens both artists and the communities we care about. 


Our Story

Founded in 2006, for its first ten years, Grin City Collective existed as an artist residency program of the Grinnell Area Arts Council. During the decade, the program provided 200 artists the time and space to work on their independent projects. At the same time, Grin City began to develop its community-based creative work with projects like the Grinnell Public Art InitiativePublic Writing, Public Libraries and theRurally Good Festival. In 2016, Grin City discontinued its artist retreat on the Lacina Farmstead and now focuses entirely on community art projects. Learn more about the history of Grin City.

In 2017 – 2018, Grin City Collective will focus its programming in and around its home base of Grinnell, Iowa.

Do you also believe in the potluck model of building communities through collaboration and conversation? Then you too are a citizen of Grin City! We have accomplished much in our first decade in rural Iowa and we are only going to do more in our next decade. Hit the ground running with us bymaking a contribution to Grin City Collective!