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G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts Award Recipient Announced

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts Award Recipient Announced

Des Moines, IA – May 25, 2017 – The Des Moines Arts Festival® proudly presented the second annual G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts Award at tonight’s 2017 Preview Celebration. Local entrepreneur, artist, educator, and sustainability advocate Chaden Halfhill is this year’s recipient of the prestigious award.

The annual G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts Award recognizes an individual or organization that fully embodies innovation within the arts. “David Hurd was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart. He was passionate about Des Moines and its success,” said Stephen King, Executive Director of the Des Moines Arts Festival. “It was David’s passion and vision that made our community a better place to live, and that drives us each day to think outside the box to create opportunity.”

About G. David Hurd:

G. David Hurd was the former CEO of Principal Financial Group and an influential community leader. During his life, Hurd chaired the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation, the Des Moines Development Corp. and the Downtown Partnership, organizations that eventually became the Greater Des Moines Partnership. He also was a longtime member of the Des Moines Arts Festival board of directors. Dave was described as a progressive thinker and a leader who was ahead of his time.

About Chaden Halfhill:

Chaden Halfhill, the second recipient of the G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts Award, is a Des Moines entrepreneur, artist, educator, and sustainability advocate. After earning a fine arts degree from Connecticut’s Wesleyan University and spending two years in Colombia University’s architecture school, Chaden returned home to Des Moines. He found work building outdoor spaces, and thus began his passion for designing and building. From there, his studio became a construction workshop, eventually becoming Silent Rivers Design+Build in 1993. For the last 24 years, Chaden has been motivated to continue growing his business by making things better through “the art of building, and the building of art.” Chaden also co-founded the Center on Sustainable Communities, Iowa's educational resource for sustainable building, to help foster a green building community and marketplace where none previously existed. Additionally, Chaden has developed educational curriculum and served on teaching rosters for the Iowa Arts Council, Metro Arts Alliance, and Partners Unlimited.

“Chaden is a visionary leader who exemplifies David’s spirit of building community,” said Stephen King. “In more ways than I can count, Chaden is always thinking forward. Whether it’s in his business, volunteer leadership roles, or being a dad.He embraces life and lives his passions.”

Receiving this award is special on multiple platforms for Chaden, as he grew up living across the street from G. David Hurd. As neighbors and friends, they stayed connected until his death in 2016. The pair had many things in common, including their love of Des Moines and the arts. 


The Gold Grand Pinnacle Award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival® is a free annual three-day arts and culture Festival the last weekend in June surrounding the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The Festival invites you to ‘go where it takes you…’ by engaging with 180 invited professional visual artists, emerging Iowa artists, the cutting-edge Interrobang Film Festival, live music, performing arts, interactive arts activities, award-winning community outreach programs, live artist demonstrations, artisan food, and beverages for every taste. For more information please visit us online at www.desmoinesartsfestival.org or socialize with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DesMoinesArtsFestival, Twitter at @DMArtsFestival, and Instagram at @desmoinesartsfestival. #DMAF20 #GoWhereItTakesYou

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