Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Iowa Music Project

The Iowa Music Project (IMP) is a 501©3 nonprofit organization that supports live music and musicians in the state of Iowa. IMP is currently running a songwriting showcase to promote new and unique Iowa voices. IMP also has plans to provide free instruments and music education to low-income youth, and is developing a podcast series to highlight music venues and venue owners throughout the state.

What is the IMP Songwriting Showcase?

The IMP Songwriting Showcase is a songwriting showcase organized by IMP with support of the Iowa Arts Council and other local partners. Artists and/or bands have the chance to record an original song at Flat Black studios as well as perform at a concert at the Des Moines Social Club on June 2, 2016.

Does the song have to be about Iowa?

No, however songs must be original works that have not been previously released.

How are songs selected?

Songs submitted by March 15 will be reviewed by a committee. Two Listener’s Choice tracks will be selected by online voters on Little Village magazine. Stay tuned to learn more about the listener’s choice selections.

Is the showcase for Iowa artists only?

The showcase is available to anyone from Iowa or who has a strong Iowa connection. That can mean a range of things: maybe you lived here for sometime and then moved away; maybe you have family here and spent summers visiting them growing up, etc.

In the case where the individual’s tie to the state is not as clear-cut as say growing up or living in Iowa, we encourage artists to devote special attention to explaining their connection on the submission form.

Can I submit something that was on a self-released (and barely distributed) CD?

We do accept self-released songs, provided the distribution of those songs was minimal. Our preference, however, is that submissions are not available or published anywhere else, with the exception of pre-existing Soundcloud files or YouTube videos.

Does IMP maintain publishing rights for the songs included on this project?


If my song is selected, can I include it on a future album?

IMP requests one year of exclusive rights following the album release. If you have any further questions, please contact us at

I am considering entering a song I composed into the showcase, but I’m an instrumentalist who also appeared on a song my friend submitted previously. Do your entry rules allow for this?

Yes. Instrumentalists can appear on multiple submissions, provided there is a clear distinction between the bands/artists.



Participants can submit entries to the IMP Songwriting Showcase from January 6 to March 15. Artists must submit an original song and be from or have a unique connection to the state of Iowa. Winners will be announced by April 1.


After including a link to your song, use the subsequent text field to introduce yourself, tell us where you’re from, your connection to Iowa and describe your relationship to music. Introduce your song and briefly detail the story of the song’s origins.

Send additional questions to

Visit the IMP Songwriting Showcase submission page.