June 23 - 25, 2017 Western Gateway Park Friday & Saturday 11AM - 10PM I Sunday 11AM - 5PM
20 Years!

Interactive Arts



WINNER - Best Children's Programming
~ International Festivals & Events Association

Throughout the Festival, guests of all ages have the opportunity to get creative and hands-on with art, music, dance and more! These activities can be found throughout the Festival at sponsor booths and the Creative Family Zone.


BOOM ART! Suspended 30 feet high from their all-new, all-electric bucket truck, MidAmerican Energy presents BOOM ART, an Interactive Mural Project. Taking our fascination with doodling to a whole new level, join other festival guests as you illustrate our unique pattern design and watch as the finished mural rises above the streets during the three-day festival.

Paint Your Own T-Shirt

It's much more fun to paint your own t-shirt. Grab some fabric paints and enjoy this hands-on activity while creating your very own signature Festival t-shirt. New this year is backpacks!

Principal Street Team

FREE ART! What is better than being handed a beautiful new piece of original art! The Principal Street Team will be looking for you on the streets of the Festival. The Principal Street Team will be sharing Principal swag with festival guests and answering general questions about the festival. You can find them around the Festival all weekend or near one of the four information kiosks. They will be wearing shirts with the new Principal logo. Snap a pic with your Principal swag (or even with a street team member!) and share to social media using the hashtag #DMAF2016. Your submission will enter you for a chance to win a piece of art created by an emerging Iowa artist sponsored by Principal. Yes, it’s that easy!

Pinot's Palette

Pinot's Palette offers a relaxed, fun environment to get expert guidance from local artists. This year, Pinot's is bringing the studio back to the Des Moines Arts Festival! Join us for our self-guided painting sessions during the day, or join us Friday and Saturday night for a full artist-led class! 

Friday night we will be painting "Lilacs in Bloom," from 7-9pm, and Saturday night is DATE NIGHT from 6-9pm, where we will be painting the ever popular "Which Path Do You Choose?"

Secure your seat today by clicking the button below -


StreetCred Studios @ ArtForceIowa

Try your hand at printing your own shirt with StreetCred Studios @ ArtForceIowa. ArtForceIowa offers supportive, arts-based community to at-risk youth in Des Moines.  This project that allows these youth to gain skills and work experience. Check out their studio on Grand @ 13th Str.

Creative Family Zone

Homemade Dog Toy: Make a homemade fleece toy for your favorite dog!

Flower Planting: Learn how to help living things grow and thrive by planting your own flowers in a decorated flower pot.

Homemade Cat Toy: Make a cat toy for the shelter cats at the ARL!

Headband: Color and decorate a Cassowary Casque to attach to a headband to wear!

Glittery Henna: Get a body glitter Henna inspired temporary tattoo.

Popsicle Stick People: Create popsicle stick people to represent your family!

Animal Puppets: Make some animal puppets from paper plates!

Coupon Book:  Create an entrepreneurial coupon book or business and get your photo taken using the Downtown Chamber’s giant scissors in a mock ribbon cutting ceremony.

Christmas in June: Make your very own Christmas ornament.

Marble Making: Join them for a marble painting activity!

Design a Meal: Craft a MyPlate meal by designing and creating your own food.

Butterflies: Create and decorate a butterfly made of pipe cleaners, tissue paper and clothes pins.

Bubble Painting: Spin the wheel, face painting, and bubble painting!

Hunger Tree: Create your own hunger tree to start combatting and finding a solution to hunger.

Memory Book: Create and decorate a book of memories to honor a loved one.

Obstacle Course: Dance, color or complete a small obstacle course.

Canvas Painting: Help paint a canvas focused on a daily question on “life,” “love” or “legacy” or decorate your own heart with “what fills your heart.”

Red Carpet Walk: Act like the inner Hollywood star that you are and walk on a red carpet and watch a festival show reel.

Colorful Art: Create scratch off ornaments or some colorful spin art.

Button Making: Color a picture of a farm animal and have it made into a button to wear.

Oragami Heart: Choose your favorite rainbow color and learn how to make an origami heart.

Thumbprint Art: Help with a collaborative painting using your thumbprint.

Get Your Dance On: Guests of all ages have the chance to watch and learn Latin Dance with Salsa Des Moines.

Box Kite: Create a box kite with a paper bag and colorful ribbons!

But Let's First Take a Selfie: Take a selfie with a famous piece of art!

Des Moines Storytellers Project

Join presenting sponsor Register Media and the Des Moines Arts Festival for a special night of the Des Moines Storytellers Project. 2016 exhibiting artists Will Armstrong, Deborah Mae Broad and Audrey Heller join former Emerging Iowa Artist, Madison Rey to share their story about how creativity has shaped their lives. It’s an evening of raw, intimate storytelling at the Temple Theatre on Thursday, June 23 at 6:30p.m. For details log on to www.DesMoinesRegister.com/CraftTickets