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Painting the Picture: 50 Years of Making Greater Des Moines Better Together

GDSM Mural Painting USA

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Celebrates 50 Years 

The opportunity to celebrate 50 years of making the region better together doesn’t happen every day. That is why, as the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines prepared to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2019, the organization wanted to give a birthday gift to the community that has grown alongside the organization over the last half century. 

When visionary leaders came together to start the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines in 1969, they did so with a shared dream. They recognized if Greater Des Moines (DSM) was to grow and develop in a way that has high quality of life, a vibrant cultural sector, quality education for all, innovative businesses, desirable recreational opportunities and a strong workforce, charitable giving must play critical role. Establishing the Community Foundation provided a unique opportunity to create a charitable giving resource and leader for the future of Greater Des Moines. 

The Spirit of Giving

Fifty years later the Community Foundation is proud that in Greater Des Moines giving back to the causes and communities we love isn’t just icing on the cake, it is a key ingredient that makes our region a place we love to live, work and play. And to thank the community for embracing this spirt of giving, the Community Foundation wanted to give a gift back to all those who call Greater Des Moines home. 

The Community Foundation’s mission is to improve quality of life for all by promoting charitable giving, connecting donors with causes they care about and providing leadership on important community issues. For the past 50 years it has been our privilege to grow alongside Greater Des Moines. We know that strong communities start with a strong foundation and we wanted to thank the place that has made us better together.

The Mural

Working with local artist, Ben Schuh, the Community Foundation commissioned a mural on the west side of the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel in celebration of Greater Des Moines and the role the Community Foundation has played in painting the canvas of the place we love. 

Each image illustrated inside the letters of DES MOINES represents a project the Community Foundation has been proud to support through grantmaking and community leadership efforts.

D – World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

E – Lauridsen Skatepark and the WOW skateable art

S – Principal Riverwalk

M – Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens

O – 80/35 Music Festival

I – B-cycle Program & Jackson Street Bridge

N – Vibrant arts and cultural amenities

E – Gray’s Lake Park

S – Central Iowa Water Trails

Better Together, Better Forever

We are privileged to be able to give this mural to the community we love and have the opportunity to tell a bit of our story within the mural’s design. But we don’t want this piece to just be our story. We want it to be a place where you can tell yours. A place where everyone can interact with the piece and enjoy a beautiful back-drop as we all celebrate our stories. Greater Des Moines is a special place and we are proud of the ways we continue to come together to face the big challenges and dream the big dreams to make our community better together and better forever.

Named as the #3 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #7 Best City for Living the American DreamGreater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.