For Immediate Release
Contact: Sarah DeSantis or Jordan Powers
Tel: Sarah DeSantis or 630.470.5136 (m)
Email: or


DES MOINES, IOWA (JULY 2020) – The Des Moines Art Center is pleased to announce that it has received a Cultural Leadership Partners Operating Support grant for $20,000 from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grant funds will cover general operating costs that support the Art Center’s free museum admission program and studio education classes through its Art Access program.

The Community Leadership Operating Support grant supports organizations that demonstrate an investment in a rich cultural environment that improves the quality of life for all Iowans. The grant award is distributed over a three year period; 2020 marks the final year for this award round. This funding is part of more than $2 million dollars awarded by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to 176 organizations and individuals statewide.

“The staff and board of the Des Moines Art Center are thrilled that the Iowa Arts Council has continued to support our work to provide transformational art experiences,” said Director Jeff Fleming.  “This funding allows us to respond and adapt to our current challenging times and continue to engage audiences as we strive to be a welcoming and equitable cultural resource.”

Through this investment and partnership, the Iowa Arts Council and the Des Moines Art Center are working hand-in-hand to engage, educate, and make available to the Greater Des Moines community and region free access to the cultural resources of the state.


About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center, an AAM-accredited institution, has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect—Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn provided funding for and donated 31 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, and Richard Serra, and Joel Shapiro is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collaboration of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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