Supporting Arts and Culture in Central Iowa

During the first Capital Crossroads implementation cycle, the Cultural Capital focused on three components: Communication, collaboration, and sustainable funding and capacity. These categories were inspired by the recommendations of a Community Cultural Plan that Bravo Greater Des Moines commissioned in 2012.

Building off of the 2012 work and ongoing Cultural Capital efforts, Bravo now is leading the development of a new Regional Cultural Assessment. This assessment will give us insight into the current state of the region’s cultural assets and identify actions that can be taken to promote arts and culture that will improve quality of life and boost economic development. The Cultural Capital strategies for Capital Crossroads 2.0 are scheduled for release in mid-2017.

This assessment will help us continue to assess and support the growth of arts and culture entities in the community like the Des Moines Social Club, institutions like the Des Moines Arts Center and Des Moines Performing Arts, the Des Moines Arts Festival, and Mainframe Studios, a 160,000 square foot facility with space for over 180 affordable arts studios accommodating a variety of disciplines.

BBC named the High Trestle Trail one of the eight most eye-catching footbridges in the world

April 2015

Once a Union Pacific Railroad crossing of the Des Moines River in Iowa, the High Trestle Trail Bridge was reopened in 2011 as part of a 25 mile-long trail. Half a mile long and 130 ft high, it rests on a series of concrete piers.

Making a More Creative Des Moines

It’s the goal of many leaders and young professionals to elevate Greater Des Moines to an arts and culture-centric destination like Portland or Austin. We’ve set our expectations high, and we plan to continue setting them high during our Regional Cultural Assessment outreach and development. The ambitious young leaders in this community and the cultural strides Greater Des Moines has made in recent years give us faith that we’ll continue to support the best and the brightest in the Midwest and beyond.

Boosting the importance of arts and culture

Recommendations emerging from the forthcoming Regional Cultural Assessment will be effectively implemented to maximize the role of arts and culture as vital contributors to Greater Des Moines’ quality of life and economy.

Our Flourishing Regional Arts Sector

Greater Des Moines’ arts and culture sector already has a strong influence on quality of life and economic activity in the region. A recent Bravo-commissioned study found that organizations funded by Bravo had a combined regional economic impact of $120.9 million in 2015, were responsible for the direct and indirect employment of 2,336 people, and engaged over 3.7 million attendees and participants.

Desired Goal

Attainment of arts and culture goals approved through the Regional Cultural Assessment process.

Provide ongoing support for arts and culture organizations and producers

Multiple museums, theaters, arts centers, performance venues, and arts companies and thousands of employees and sole practitioners comprise Greater Des Moines’ arts and culture sector. A number of funding and coordination organizations also exist to support the vitality of the arts and culture economy and community. Before and after the delivery of the Regional Cultural Assessment, these entities will continue to require funding, patronage, and support.

How We'll Do It

  1. 1

    Ensure arts entities contribute effectively to the cultural ecosystem

  2. 2

    Support arts-related facilities, programs, and events

Develop and implement a cultural assessment for the region

Working closely with a Steering Committee led by Drake University’s president, Bravo is coordinating the Regional Cultural Assessment to serve as Greater Des Moines’ and the Cultural Capital’s strategic plan for the duration of its implementation cycle.

How We'll Do It

  1. 1

    Effectively support and implement the region’s Cultural Assessment

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