For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Day
Tel: 515.271.0344 (o)
515.612.0775 (m)

DES MOINES, IA (December 2023) – The Des Moines Art Center has announced the appointment of Caleb Hegna as the new Senior Director of Development. Hegna brings a wealth of experience in planned giving, capital campaigns, and endowment creation, which will be used to oversee a development plan rooted in the core values and mission of the Art Center. Under Hegna’s leadership, development initiatives at the Art Center will allow the museum to continue to build a stellar collection of art, curate ground-breaking exhibitions, offer free admission, and design innovative educational programming.

“The opportunity to join the Art Center team and work with Director Kelly Baum to engage donors who are passionate about the incredible work happening within and beyond the walls of the Des Moines Art Center is exciting. To build upon the impressive work of the past 75 years and be part of the next chapter of the Des Moines Art Center is truly an honor,” stated Hegna.

Hegna has served in progressively more senior roles for the last seventeen years at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Foundation. He’s currently Senior Director of Development and Gift Planning, a position he’s held since 2015. Between 2009 and 2015, he was Director of Development for the John Stoddard Cancer Center and Methodist West Hospital. Hegna holds a BA in art from Simpson College and an MBA from the University of Iowa Tippie School of Management. He currently serves as a member of the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council, where he acts as Board Member Education Chair.

As a collaborative and engaging leader, Hegna joins the Art Center with a proven ability to cultivate and steward relationships with donors and supporters within the Greater Des Moines community, the region, and beyond. Notably, he provided strategic support for the $50 million Wishes Endowment Campaign for Blank Children’s Hospital, and leadership for capital campaigns to build both Methodist West Hospital and the new William C. Knapp Emergency Department at Iowa Methodist Medical Center.

“Caleb’s role as Senior Director of Development will be pivotal in driving growth and realizing an ambitious plan for the Art Center’s future. This is especially timely as we embark on a new five-year strategic plan, building on the strong foundation that’s been established over the museum’s 75-year history,” expressed John and Mary Pappajohn Director, Kelly Baum. “Caleb brings particular expertise in strategic partnerships, fundraising programs, and major gifts, as well as genuine affection and enthusiasm for the power of art in general and the Des Moines Art Center in particular,” said Baum. “Both I and the members of the Art Center’s interview panel were inspired by Caleb’s sincere connection to our institution and our mission.”

The son of a woodworker and a fabric artist, the arts have played an important role in Hegna’s life. He’s been a regular visitor to the Art Center since his first visit while studying at Simpson College. Since then, he’s participated as a member and also taken studio classes in printmaking and stained glass.

“Since my initial visit to the Des Moines Art Center as a student, it has remained an important part of my life,” Hegna shared. “It is frequently a place where I find retrospection, contemplation, and inspiration. I fully believe in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the tenet of ensuring access to the appreciation and making of art.”

Hegna is set to begin his new role on January 8, 2024.

For more information, contact Director of External Affairs Amy Day at 515-271-0344 or

About the Des Moines Art Center
The Des Moines Art Center is a vibrant, AAM-accredited institution located in the capital city of Iowa that welcomes over 270,000 visitors annually from across the country and around the globe. Its historic campus consists of three buildings designed by major architects of the 20th century—Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier—incorporated into the natural landscape of Greenwood Park. The Art Center is home to one of the strongest collections of 20th and 21st century art in the region, and it hosts a series of ground-breaking exhibitions and lectures each year featuring artists known regionally, nationally, and internationally. The experimental spirit of the art for which the Art Center cares for is reflected in its creative offerings, including a celebrated education program that prioritizes access and collaboration, an art school with studio classes for all ages, and the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, situated on 4.4 acres in downtown Des Moines. The Art Center is committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which are incorporated into every facet of its mission and identity.