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Impact Lives Through the Arts in 2020

Des Moines Arts Festival 2020

June 25, 2020

I have the best job. It is also one of the most misunderstood jobs. A lot of people think that because I work in festivals and events that I only really work at the event or the days leading up to it. Well, let me tell you it’s a year-round, full-time, exhausting and exhilarating job to bring major events to life, and I love it too much to ever call it “work.”

One of the festivals that I am privileged to contribute to is the award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival®. Each June, thousands of guests view exceptional artwork from 180 professional artists, dine on delicious Festival bites, engage in art activities, sway to the beat of live music and savor cold drinks. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer day … or night.

Upcoming Art Events

The Festival’s mission is to Impact Lives Through the Arts, and although we can’t bring our community physically together this year, we aren’t letting what we can’t do interfere with what we can do. This year our organization will continue to strengthen our vibrant and creative economy in new ways. Here’s a glimpse of what’s available this week:

Emerging Horizons

Emerging Horizons is a new curated art show on view at O-L Living Room, an alternative new space at Olson-Larsen Galleries. Curator Chaden Halfhill assembled the show with work by eight artists who have successfully planted the seeds of inspiration and collaboration amidst personal and artistic transformation. These artists exemplify the ability to pivot their art. Threads of change and evolution weave throughout this exhibition and expose deep values embodied within the body of each artist's work, even as they refocus and reestablish a new trail of exploration. The O-L Living Room is located at 201 5th Street in West Des Moines' Valley Junction. To view in person or by small group, call (515) 277-6734.

ThrowBack 2020

The ThrowBack 2020 presented by MediGold takes guests through the Festival’s over 60 years of development from the 1958 All Iowa Art Fair to the current Des Moines Arts Festival®. It amazing to see how the Festival has grown, as well as the evolution of Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Student Art Exhibition

Hubbell Homes, the Des Moines Art Center and the Des Moines Arts Festival are proud to host the Student Art Exhibition. The program goes online on Friday, June 26 and will be on display at the Des Moines Central Library Monday, July 6 to Wednesday, September 2. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy art from 144 students representing 36 schools.

Interrobang Film Festival

The Interrobang Film Festival presented by GreenState Credit Union is three days of films and engagements with film makers. The audience — whether cinema enthusiasts or curious newcomers — can experience curated screens from films around the globe. This year, Interrobang will be available in real time using the Vimeo platform June 26-28, 2020. Anyone with a Smart TV, tablet, phone or other device that allows apps can download the free Vimeo app. The full schedule is available on desmoinesartsfestiva.org. I’m looking forward to watching “His Name is Randy.” This one has a local tie that anyone who spends time in the Downtown DSM skywalks will recognize.

The Festival team has more exciting endeavors coming up in the months ahead. Stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter or following us on social media.

We can’t wait to be back on the streets in June 25-27, 2021 — admiring art, tapping our toes and savoring those cold beverages on hot summer nights.

Named as the #13 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #7 Best City for Living the American Dream, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Colleen Murphy

Colleen Murphy is former downtown events director at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and blogs about major events in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Murphy oversaw the World Food & Music Festival, DSM Book Festival, Out to Lunch and Holiday Promenade in the Historic East Village, as well as worked as the sponsorship manager for the Des Moines Arts Festival® and assisted with sponsorship for the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market.