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Experience DSM Arts + Culture in New Ways

DSM Arts and Culture During COVID-19

April 24, 2020

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has made significant changes in the lives of everyone across the world, personally and professionally. Seemingly overnight, artists, performers and designers (the list could go on) have suffered the news of canceled bookings and gigs, postponed events and paused campaigns.

To gain more insight on this matter, I had the pleasure of listening to Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and Sally Dix, executive director of Bravo Greater Des Moines, speak about COVID-19 impacts on DSM arts and culture.

Putting Things Into Perspective

More than an annual contribution of $185 million to the reginal economy (not including individual artists or for-profit creative businesses), there is no doubt that arts, culture and heritage put the “Great” in Greater Des Moines (DSM). With roughly 72,000 workers that are employed by art, cultural, heritage, innovation and design-related organizations, you can imagine there are significant ramifications caused by the recent pandemic.

In what is the busiest time of the year for many of these artists and organizations, workers have quickly reworked budgets, cultivated new ways for the community to continue experiencing the arts and have put their problem-solving skills to the ultimate test. Even agencies have had to rework phone systems to keep up with the amount of support and resources needed.

Rebuilding Starts with You

The DSM Local Challenge and #DSMstrong initiatives are just a couple ways that DSM residents have shown their support for local businesses. From the safety of our own homes, we have engaged in live concerts, food delivered to our doorsteps and virtual exercise classes from local fitness centers.

There is no question that people are eager to get out and enjoy these activities again with others. While it may be unclear as to when we will do so, one thing is for certain: we need to continue to find ways to support these organizations.

Here are a few ways to appreciate the arts from home:

Resources for the Arts

Whether you are an individual artist, nonprofit or for-profit organization, there are many places to turn to for support.

Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts offers information on grants, webinars and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. For individual artists, and all other arts and cultural organization be sure to complete the American for the Arts COVID-19 Impact Survey.

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is committed to providing local resources and support for artists, cultural organizations and small businesses. Find more information regarding funding resources here.

National Endowment for the Arts

From freelance artists to writers, the National Endowment for the Arts has a comprehensive list of resources and information regarding the CARES Act program. For more information, click here.

Watch the complete webinar with Chris Kramer and Sally Dix below:

You can also read Sally’s recent blog post on COVID-19’s impact on DSM arts and culture here.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Abby Doster

Abby Doster is production manager for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Abby works on events such as the DSM Book Festival and the World Food & Music Festival.