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Three Ways to Make the Most out of Your Weekend at Des Moines Arts Festival®

Des Moines Arts Festival in DSM USA

May 18, 2017

This year is an especially anticipated year for the Des Moines Arts Festival® as we gear up for our 20th celebration. More than 200,000 guests will flock to Western Gateway Park in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) from June 23 to 25 for our four-time Gold Grand Pinnacle Award and Bravo Encore Award-winning festival that features 180 of the nation's best artists and the 2017 emerging Iowa artists.

We invite you to #GoWhereItTakesYou and come be a part of this wonderful arts and culture experience. But with all that comes with a festival of this magnitude, you may wonder where to begin! Here are three tips to ensure you take in as much as you can during the three-day celebration at #DMAF20.

Des Moines Arts Festival Tips

Plan Ahead

Make sure to visit our website to plan out your days and pick up a map when you arrive. It will show you where to go to find artists' booths, try your hand at interactive arts and workshops, purchase commemorative items at the Arts Festival Shop, catch live entertainment, and fill your stomachs at the booths of various food vendors. You can also visit our artist gallery in advance to scope out your favorite artists.  

Take Time to Visit With the Artists

This year's selected artists come from 29 states and the countries of Argentina and Canada. They are coming equipped with not only outstanding professional works of art, but great information about the inspiration behind their work as well as stories of their experiences in the art world. You'll also want to chat with the 2017 Emerging Iowa Artists, who are Iowa residents currently enrolled in an institution of higher education. Engaging in conversation with both the professional artists and the Emerging Iowa Artists is the best way to make the most out of your weekend at #DMAF20.

Become a Patron

Our friends over at Silent Rivers Design+Build have created an entirely new hospitality experience with their tastefully designed VIP Club for our patrons. The space includes great views of the Hy-Vee Main Stage, access to air-conditioned portable bathrooms, terrace seating, high-value networking, BOGO drink tickets, discounts on Festival merchandise, and a 2017 Commemorative poster. Becoming a patron is the best way to become an integral part Iowa’s arts and culture. Your contribution will help ensure that this celebrated community festival remains free to attend and continues to enrich the quality of life in central Iowa. Learn more here.

Want more? Learn more about great Downtown DSM events at downtowndesmoines.com/events.

Stephen King

Stephen M. King, CFEE, is the executive director of the Des Moines Arts Festival® in Des Moines, Iowa. Projects throughout his career in events have garnered more than 200 industry awards from the likes of the International Festivals and Events Association and the International Downtown Association. King currently serves as Chair of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) World Board of Directors. He also serves on the IFEA Foundation Board of Directors, IFEA World President's Council, Bravo Greater Des Moines Board of Directors and is a past director for the National Association of Independent Artists.