Community Heart & Soul

Community Heart & Soul™ is a community engagement process that reconnects people with what they love most about their town and translates those personal and emotional connections into a blueprint that serves as the foundation for future community decisions. It's a barn-raising approach to community planning and development designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each place.

Why Heart & Soul?

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is working with the Orton Family Foundation to use the innovative Heart & Soul process with rural communities in Iowa and surrounding Midwest communities. We believe that the strength of a community lies in the hands and the hearts of the people who live there, and that the community’s heart and soul is the common cause that they will rally around. Communities that acknowledge and value their heart and soul are able to take action to strengthen it.

There is something special about every town—the old downtown, the pastures or woodlands, a get-it-done spirit, or an everyone-is-welcome ethic. Whether they are places, traditions, or attitudes, these community characteristics are the things that really matter to people. They draw people to a place and make them care about where they live. Such characteristics are a community’s heart and soul.


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Our Regional Programs

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is creating the Heart & Soul Midwest Network, a "hub" that will provide resources and support for rural towns in Iowa and the surrounding Midwest region to use the Heart & Soul process to identify what matters most in their communities.

Communities will assess their own readiness and participate in a proposal process that will determine how local leadership teams and coordination will be implemented.

Connect with communities in our region working on Heart & Soul

Monticello Heart & Soul

Leadership Team:

Great Jones County Fair, City of Monticello, Monticello Express


Jean Sullivan


Phone: 319.651.5393

Bellevue Heart & Soul

Leadership Team:

Bellevue Community School District, Marquette Catholic School, City of Bellevue, Bellevue Arts Council, Jackson County Economic Alliance, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce


Karen Langseth

Phone: 563.542.5212


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Our Newsletter

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Jason Neises
Title Heart & Soul Coordinator
700 Locust Street
Suite 195
Dubuque, IA 52001