DRA Completes First Phase in New Core Grant Funding Process

Dubuque, IA – May 24, 2022 – The DRA announced today that 160 different organizations from Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois successfully submitted applications during the first phase of this year's Core Grant funding process. The application deadline for these grants of up to $50,000 was May 20, 2022.

As a group, the applicants have requested more than $4.5 million in funding for projects and initiatives under the new Core Grant category, which was first announced back in April. All requests for funding in this category should involve capacity-building proposals that tie to the DRA's mission of "People Attraction: Population Growth, Retention and Tourism."

“We are just now beginning to look closer at the proposals that have been submitted, but it appears as though there are some good examples of organizations really taking to heart our call for bigger, capacity-building ideas," said Alex Dixon, President & CEO of the DRA and Q Casino. "The DRA has a long history of having a positive impact on the local economy, so we look forward to continuing this legacy by making further investments that will help drive growth and change in area communities."

The DRA is the non-profit entity that owns and operates Q Casino and is the co-licensee for Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque. Since 1985, the DRA has awarded 5,000-plus grants – totaling more than $52 million – to over 1,500 organizations in the tri-state area (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois). The organization has pledged $2,976,000 in 2022 for community organizations to tap into for grant opportunities.

“The next step in the process involves the five-member review committee - all of whom are board members - going through the applications in more detail. They will narrow down the pool and make recommendations for the entire DRA board to vote on,” offered Kathy Buhr, Director of Strategic Philanthropy & Schmitt Island Development for DRA. “Our goal is simple. We want to partner with organizations and provide the financial resources that can be a catalyst for positive change in communities, so we are excited to dive-in and see what exciting proposals groups have submitted.”

Recipients of this year's Core Grants will be announced on July 26, 2022. In addition, the portal for new Mission Grants (requests for $50,000 to $500,000) will be available on June 27 at

DRA’s commitment to the community is made possible by proceeds that come from both Q Casino and the Diamond Jo Casino – both of which attract thousands of visitors to Dubuque each year from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and beyond.

About the DRA

The DRA, through its gaming and entertainment facilities provides for social, economic and community betterment and lessens the burden of Dubuque city and area government, while contributing to the growth and viability of Dubuque area tourism.

The organization has been a vital part of the community since its inception in 1985 and is operated by a volunteer board comprised of 21 directors who work together to guide operations of Q Casino. The DRA holds the license for casino-gaming operations of Q Casino and is also the co-licensee for the Diamond Jo Casino, both of which are located in Dubuque. For more information on DRA and its community-minded mission, visit