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From Art to Action: Dream Cube Calls on DSM to Create a Better Future

Dream Cube

December 7, 2020

Art allows us to see complex issues through new lenses.

The Dream Cube project takes this sentiment to a new level, striving to bridge the gap between art and action. If you want the next generation of Greater Des Moines (DSM) leaders to solve community issues and become active participants in helping DSM grow and thrive, they must be given the means to dream. But what about those who must instead focus on their basic needs?

2020 Dream Cube

A collaborative structure by artist Kub Stevens, Dream Cube’s purpose is to bring those who have experienced homelessness and those who have not together for a conversation on bettering the local community. Visitors to the structure, featuring white pillows piled on top of one another, were asked to consider what it takes to create that improved future. The Dream Cube was stationed in three Downtown DSM locations: Wellmark YMCA, DART Central Station and Cowles Commons over the course of three days. The installation featured a story, illustrated by graphic artist Taylor Carlson, that highlighted aspects of youth homelessness.

Dream Cube is hoped to be the first of many art experiences using creativity to accelerate civic and social progress, and centers on the possibilities that can unfold when young people are given safety and comfort. Forthcoming projects would also align art with various regional priorities. The Dream Cube project would not have been possible without its many partners, including: Youth Action Council, Group Creative Services, Polk County Continuum of Care, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, Bravo Greater Des Moines, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Iowa Arts Council and Capital Crossroads. Learn more about the cube and the organizations behind it here.

See a video from the October 2020 exhibit below:


Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.