For Participating Artists

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We are pleased to offer the opportunity to suggest booth placment during the 2015 Des Moines Arts Festival. Please take some time to read the Helpful Hints document as it provides answers to the most asked questions about the Festival site.

Booth Selection Helpful Hints.  This document provides “insider information” about our festival site. 

2015 Festival Map. The map is a pdf, so if you do not have Adobe pdf, you will be required to download - here is the link.

You will want to increase the size of the map by either clicking the “+” button in the top menu of the pdf document or while holding down the Control Key scroll your mouse.   The map will allow you to see specific booth numbers and the location of other activities (Music Stage, Performing Arts Stage, sponsor booths, food courts, etc). You may also change the orientation of the map if you perfer to see it with North at the top of the page. Simple hold down the CTRL+SHIFT+MINUS. Or, under the View Menu item, select Rotate View, then Counterclockwise.

Important Notes:

  1. Please review the attached Helpful Hints document.
  2. We do NOT accept “same as last year” as a booth choice.  If there is not a number on the submitted sheet, you will be assigned last and at random.
  3. If you would like to utilize a Satellite image of the festival site, type 1400 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa into your Search field. Click on Satellite.
  4. Use the number on the booth.  We use a system related to the area of your booth space.  For example, the prefix “G” refers to Grand Ave. “15” refers to 15th Street.  The prefix “L” refers to Locust Street. A “C” is a corner booth.” So, GN7C refers to Grand Ave, North side of street, number 7 on a corner. It makes sense once you understand the lingo. 

Please note that we will begin assigning booth numbers immediately, so please return the document ASAP.  Our goal is to have all assignments completed by end of April, if not before.

To request a specific booth or range of booths, click on the link to the BOOTH REQUEST FORM.  Complete the information and then click on SUBMIT FORMThis is the only viable way to submit a request.  After "submitting" the form, you will receive an email receipt of your choices.

2015 Booth Request Form.  This is a fillable form and the only mechanism to offer input.



Please socialize with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. #GoWhereItTakesYou  #DMAF2015



2015 Artist Planning Guide

The following documents were sent via email and art to be completed and returned:

Exhibitor Agreement and Release Form   It is the Festival’s policy not to ask for Social Security Numbers on the Artist Application, however, we ask for this information on your Exhibitor Release Form in order to get pre-approval for Iowa Sales Tax. All participating artists must pay sales tax and securing the appropriate paperwork is something we assist you in obtaining prior to the Festival.  If you would rather accomplish this on your own, simply state this on the form. But, the form must be returned to us.

Booth Payment Form   Complete this form and return with the appropriate payment.  Please make special note that we require a separate check if requesting a corner booth.  This form is NOT for booth placement requests or special requests.  That information and request will come at a later date.

COMMUNICATIONS   You will receive periodic emails from us with updates. We encourage you to read them so there will be no surprises upon arrival.  Please make note of our mailing address and contact information -

601 Locust Street, Suite 700 (temporary)
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 515.286.4950 (general line)

Stephen King, CFEE, Executive Director
515.286.4927 (Direct)
515.419.7265 (Cell)

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL SITE   The site of the Festival  surrounds the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.  Dedicated on September 27, 2009 the $40 million park holds  over 20 pieces of important contemporary sculptures.  The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located in the thirteen-acre Western Gateway Park, home to the Des Moines Arts Festival®. The park is located from 10th to 17th Streets between Grand Avenue and Locust Street at the west entrance into the city’s downtown.  The park includes various small businesses, restaurants, Des Moines’ Central Library, Pappajohn Higher Education Center, Arlington-Hallett Apartments, Temple for Performing Arts, and the corporate headquarters for Meredith CorporationWellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Nationwide.  If you would like an aerial view of the site, Google 1400 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA – click on the satellite view.

During the past couple of months there have been a number of developments regarding the Western Gateway Park.  Kum & Go, a Midwest convenience retailer, has purchased (the last remaining) land surrounding the park on Grand Ave. and Locust Street. Three buildings along Locust are currently being rehabilitated into office space, restaurant and business storefront. (for those of you who have exhibited with us before, this is the “earthquake” parking lot and the two older buildings on both sides).  We expect all construction to be completed and a new restaurant to open in time for the Festival in June.  The area along Grand Ave. between 14th and 15th Street will become home to the new corporate headquarters of Kum & Go. We anticipate demolition of the existing buildings in March.  What is unknown at this time is timing of construction.  We will know more in February. We do know that Kum & Go has retained the firm of Renzo Piano, which is very exciting for our community and marks a start to the process.

ARTIST BOOTH SPACE   DMAF offers the following booth opportunities:

Single Booth Fee: $395
Double-WIDE Booth Fee1: $790
Corner Booth Fee2: $545
Double-DEEP Booth Fee3: $545
Double-DEEP Corner3: $695

All booths accommodate storage behind the assigned booth area. There is two feet (2’) between each interior booth.  You are permitted vehicle access for load-in and load-out. All booths are located on concrete/asphalt streets where staking is prohibited by the city.

FEES & TAXES   A standard 10’x10’ booth fee is $395 with all other options charged accordingly.  A corner booth is an additional $150 paid with separate check and is due, along with your signed Exhibitor Agreement and Release on or before January 16, 2015.  Artists retain 100% of their sales. 

Each artist is responsible for the collection and reporting of all applicable taxes. A temporary Iowa Sales Tax Permit form will be included in your Welcome Packet that you will receive upon check-in at the Festival.  These are provided for your convenience and it is your responsibility to submit these to the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance. You do not need to do anything before the Festival to have a sales tax permit if you complete and return the attached forms. We will notify the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance before your arrival.

REFUND POLICY   Invited artists who have completed a contractual agreement with the DMAF and have paid their booth fee in full may request a refund in writing on or before May 1 , 2015. The request must come in written form by the artist only (no agent, friend, spouse, etc.) and must state the reason for the refund request. If sent electronically, both DMAF and the artist agree an electronic signature is sufficient for verification.  After May 1, 2015 no refunds of any amount will be issued.

RENTALS   Any and all rentals must go through our authorized supplier – Classic Events and Parties.  No other tent company or vendor will be permitted on the Festival site.  There will be absolutely no exceptions to this policy.  We will turn away any vendors that are not authorized by the Festival upon their arrival. If you wish to engage Classic, please contact Steve Card at 515.266.3223 or  (This is a safety and security measure; the DMAF does not in any way benefit from the rental of tents.  The contractual agreement is between you and Classic.)

CHECK-IN INFORMATION   Check-in and set-up begins on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 9 a.m. (closes at 6 p.m.) and continues Friday, June 26, 2015, beginning at 8 a.m.  Ours is a leisurely set-up. We do NOT require you to sign-up for an appointed check-in.  All set-up must be completed no later than 10 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015, at which time all vehicles must be off the site in preparation for the 11 a.m. opening.  At the time of check-in you will receive a parking permit, Festival credential(s), schedule of events and site map.

Check-In Procedures    A photo ID of each artist on the application materials is required at check-in.  This means any and all lead artist and partner(s).  Proxy or “helpers” are not permitted to check-in for you or arrive early to set-up your booth in your absence. No artist may set-up until they have checked-in.

Artists may check-in and set-up anytime between the following hours:

Thursday, June 25  9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (set-up ENDS at 6 p.m.)

Friday, June 26  8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

You must check-in BEFORE setting up. Check-in is quick and easy. To do this, drive through the check-in area located on Grand Avenue; just West of 11th Street. Enter onto Grand off 10th street and travel West.  Follow the signs to Artist Check-In where our Artist Relations Team will greet you.  You don’t even have to get out of your car!!  At check in you will receive your Welcome Packet with information, artist credential, booth sign, maps, parking information, and more.  After you check-in you may proceed to your booth for unloading and set-up.

REGARDING PARTNERS: All artists must check-in with current photo identification before setting up.  This includes the lead artist as well as the partner listed on the application.  We will not allow exceptions to this rule.  If both artists are not available for check-in you will be turned away and not be permitted to set-up OR exhibit during the weekend of the show.  Absolutely no consideration will be made to refund any associated fees including the application and booth fee or travel expenses. 

If you would like to map the check-in location, use the following information:

The physical address of Artist Check-In is 1200 Grand Avenue

1100 Grand Avenue is the address of the entrance to the Festival site for Artist Check-in. If using a navigation device, use the following coordinates:

PARKING   Dedicated artist parking is available in the Meredith remote parking located at SW 16th Street and MLK Boulevard.  It is a remote lot.  At the time of this publication we are working on recruiting volunteers to provide a shuttle on Gators back and forth from the lot.  Parking in the downtown is free of charge after 6 p.m. on Friday and all weekend.  However, we do ask that you leave the streets surrounding the Festival open for our guests/your buyers.

AWARDS JURY    The Awards Jury will begin on Friday, June 26, at 11 a.m. when the Festival opens to the public.  Jury members will visit each booth sometime on Friday or Saturday morning.  Awards are announced on Sunday morning at the Artist Awards Breakfast.  

ELECTRICITY   Electricity is provided to each artist’s booth at no additional charge. You must bring your own lighting and outdoor-approved extension cords at a minimum length of 50 ft. If you use multiple outlets you will need to provide your own power strip. You must attach the power strip so it is not lying on the ground. The maximum wattage available to each artist booth is 500 watts.

EXHIBITOR EQUIPMENT   Artists are responsible for providing their own booth, equipment and insurance.

SECURITY   The Des Moines Police Department and a private security company will provide 24-hour security, working to assure the highest possible security of the Festival site at all times. We insist you close and secure your booth each night and secure any and all personal belongings during the day and night. The DMAF is not responsible for theft or damage as identified in the Artist Agreement.  Additionally, if you are a jeweler and would like an escort to your hotel or vehicle after closing, please contact an Artist Relations EMT member to make arrangements.

WEB SITE   All exhibiting artists will have their No. 1 image featured on the DMAF Online Gallery. In addition, we will link from your image to your Web site address, provided we have your information.

QR CODES   Every artist with a URL will have a QR code printed on their booth sign.  This code is a direct link to your website.  If you do not have a website registered with us, let us know if there is an alternative link. Otherwise, you will not have one on your sign.

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION   Off-hour emergency notification is done by cell phone through an automated emergency notification system.  We will register your cell phone number with our system and should there be an emergency or qualified reason to contact all artists, we will use this system.  The message is, don’t turn off your cell phone during the overnight hours!!

WiFi    Thanks to our sponsor CenturyLink, the entire Festival site is outfitted with WiFi. Artist areas are outfitted with dedicated WiFi connections to enhance the signal.

HOME HOSTING   DMAF invites you to our Home Hosting Program.  The Program is designed to assist you with your accommodations while in Des Moines.  The Home Hosting Program is in response to your needs to help curb your costs of doing shows.  Residents of Des Moines will open their home and provide accommodations to you free-of-charge.  The program is managed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The following guidelines are to ensure the program runs smoothly:

 - The DMAF will match local hosts with visiting artists based on their questionnaire. DMAF will never issue a list of hosts and their contact information.

- Once you have been matched with a local host, please be in contact with them immediately and then follow-up as needed prior to your visit.

- Confirm your parking requirements before arriving.

- Do not expect meals unless invited by your host.

- Confirm your length of stay with your host.

The Home Hosting Program is chaired by DMAF board member, Barbara Kirk.

If you are interested in being hosted locally, download the Home Hosting Form and return to Barbara.

ACCOMODATIONS    Following is a list of hotels in the area of the festival site. We are currently working with each to provide special rates to Festival artists.  You can always change your reservation should any of these offer a special rate. We will provide special rate information if it becomes available via email. We are also providing information on one local camping facility.

Des Lux Hotel
800 Locust Street - Two blocks East of Festival site.

Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Avenue - Three blocks East of the Festival site.

Embassy Suites Hotel Des Moines Downtown
101 East Locust Street – 13 blocks East of the Festival site. 515.244.1700.

Hampton inn & Suites
120 SW Water Street 866-538-0251 - .9 miles to Festival site.

Hotel Fort Des Moines
1000 Walnut Street 866-538-0315 - two blocks from Festival site.

Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus
1050 6th Ave - one mile North of Festival site.

Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown
418 6th Ave. - Four blocks East of Festival site.

Quality Inn & Suites
929 3rd Street – 13 blocks East of the Festival site.

Renaissance Savery Hotel
401 Locust Street – Nine blocks East of the Festival site.

Residence Inn by Marriott Des Moines Downtown
100 SW Water Street  - .8 miles from Festival site

Camping Information
Adventureland Campground (located 15 miles from downtown Des Moines)
305 34th Ave. NW
Altoona, IA 50009
800.532.1286 for reservations


In addition to these downtown hotels and camping alternative are the following two hotels on the city’s south side (5 minutes from downtown) offering a good rate plus amenities. They are nice, clean and offer a number of amenities:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines
6800 Fleur Drive (next door to the Fairmont)

Fairfield Inn & Suites Des Moines Airport
6880 Fleur Drive

RULES (from Artist Prospectus)    The DMAF considers its enforcement of the rules our exclusive right and responsibility.  Festival officials will visit all displays at intervals throughout the Festival to ensure that exhibitors comply with all Festival rules, including but not limited to checking identification.  Your submitted application and signature on the Artist Agreement (for those invited) is your indication that you agree that noncompliance can result in expulsion and ineligibility for jurying, awards and participation in future Festivals. If an artist is removed from the show for non-compliance of the rules, no booth fee refunds will be issued nor compensation made, and the artist will be ineligible to exhibit for a period of at least two years.   

1. All work exhibited must be original art produced by the exhibiting artist(s). Work done by a production studio, in classes or workshops, “Buy-sell” and/or imports, work from kits, commercial designs, and derivative work is prohibited. Artists selling work that is not their own will be expelled from the Festival.

2. It is the work by the artist that is juried, therefore any change in the overall body of work by the artist after the jury process accepts the juried work is not considered juried and may not be exhibited until approved by the director of the show.  Please see the description of our New Directions program below.  Absolutely no consideration will be made if the work is of a different discipline.

3. Artists may only exhibit work in the medium(s) in which they are accepted (juried).

4. Prints may only be exhibited by artists accepted in the Printmaking category. Prints must be produced in signed, limited editions of no more than 250, which are hand-pulled by the artist.
5. No reproductions are allowed.  If it’s a copy of any kind, regardless of medium, don’t bring it.  (If a work exists as a painting, watercolor, drawing, etc. and is copied by digital or photographic means and printed on an offset press, a serigraph press or through a computer by means of an ink jet or electrostatic printer, this would be a reproduction. This includes giclees.)
6. All artists associated with the juried work must be present to exhibit.  If artists apply as partners, each artist must be present.  If each artist is not present, the artist who is present will not be permitted to set-up or exhibit.  No proxy of any kind is permitted.  If artists working as partners are found to apply as a single artist, the artist will be disqualified without a refund regardless of the calendar of stated deadlines.

7. Booth and display must remain intact during all hours of the show. .8. A picture ID is required at artist check-in by all artists, including partners, accepted to exhibit. In addition, the Festival reserves the right to check ID each day of the Festival to ensure the artist is present.  Artists may NOT set-up or have their booth set-up until they have provided proof of their presence.
9. Artists may not sell promotional items such as postcards, notecards, calendars, t-shirts or photocopy and/or offset reproductions of any kind.  The sale of non-original promotional items is prohibited.  Artists may display for review portfolio or bound publications.  These may not be sold but may be given away.
10. Artists are responsible for proper insurance and protection of work and setup.  The DMAF will not be responsible for damage to work or setup for any reason.  All artists are encouraged to maintain insurance.
11. Only artists accepted in the jewelry category may display and sell jewelry. 
12. Artists are responsible for collecting and reporting all taxes, including 6% Iowa sales tax.
13. All work submitted for jury must be for sale at the time of the jury.

14.  We do not allow sharing of booths except under extraordinary circumstances and ONLY if prior approval is provided in writing from the director.  Absolutely no consideration is given if the request is made at the time of set-up or during the show.

15.  Artists are not permitted to use light-weight accordion style pop-up tents and each tent must be weighted properly to ensure the highest degree of safety to themselves as well as their neighbor and guests.  


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