Community Outreach Program

Des Moines Arts Festival® Community Outreach Program

Winner of the Gold Pinnacle Award for Best Community Outreach Program
from the International Festivals & Events Association.


The mission of the Des Moines Arts Festival® is to add vibrancy to Central Iowa by creating opportunities for people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds to celebrate the arts. By continuing to expand the children’s programming, and encouraging all on-site participants to offer even more creative and interactive arts activities, the Festival fulfills this mission.

The Community Outreach Program offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to participate on-site at the Festival and to share their mission to thousands of guests free of charge. In exchange for their free promotional space, each organization either offers an interactive arts activity for guests or provides volunteers for the Festival.

These amazing non-profit organizations participated in the 2014 Community Outreach Program. Be sure to click on their names to learn more about each organization and their contributions to our community!

AARP Iowa     Des Moines, IA
AARP is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age.  We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through advocacy, service, and information.

Arts Activity: Come create art reminiscent of Milagros style engravings using craft foil and a wooden stylus!

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport Desoto, IA
AHeinz57 is a foster based pet rescue organization, closing the gap between traditional animal shelters and no-kill rescue centers. We are committed to saving homeless companion animals, assisting other shelters/rescues through rescue transports, offering in-home training to keep dogs in their current homes, and educating the public on the issues of pet over-population, responsible pet ownership and puppy mills.

Arts Activity: Make homemade toys for your favorite dog, or have your face painted.

Anawim Housing Des Moines, IA
Anawim Housing has been providing safe, affordable and permanent housing to underserved families for 27 years. Anawim's goal is to get families into quality homes they can afford, and help them reach stability.
Arts Activity: Show what home means to you by making a home shaped piggy bank!

Animal Lifeline of Iowa     Carlisle, IA
Animal Lifeline of Iowa, Inc. is a special needs, no-kill animal shelter that accepts un-owned dogs and cats who are handicapped, injured, have a serious medical condition, pregnant or nursing, and orphans that need to be bottle fed.
Arts Activity: Come enjoy our custom coloring table where you can draw your favorite animal or play our bean bag toss game. 

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.     Des Moines, IA
Our mission is to promote animal welfare, the human animal bond, and prevent the overpopulation of pets.
Arts Activity: Decorate masks or get your face painted!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Iowa     Clive, IA
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Arts Activity: Customize a BBBS button to wear on your shirt or backpack.

Blank Park Zoo     Des Moines. IA
The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education and recreation.

Arts Activity: Celebrate Asian species by creating red panda masks!

Central Iowa Shelter & Services     Des Moines, IA
The mission of Central Iowa Shelter & Services is to provide free shelter and meals to homeless adults regardless of physical or emotional conditions, and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency.
Arts Activity: Help us in our ongoing need for socks by decorating a pair that will be given to someone in need.

Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce  Des Moines, IA
The Downtown Chamber of Commerce is a community of businesses and nonprofits focused on Downtown vitality.
Arts Activity: Create a public work of art by putting paint and other mediums on a blank canvas.

 Des Moines Music Coalition     Des Moines, IA
The mission of the DMMC is to aggressively advocate, sponsor and develop an independent and progressive live music economy in Central Iowa for the purposes of urban revitalization, regional economic development, and securing the future of our region by attracting and retaining young adults to this region.

Arts Activity: Design and launch an 80/35 themed rocket!

Des Moines Social Club Des Moines, IA
The Des Moines Social Club provides a home for local artists, offers unique programming spanning all arts disciplines, and brings people of every age and background together under one roof — all for the purpose to use the arts as a catalyst to create unprecedented community engagement. 
Arts Activity: Join us for a marble painting activity.

DMARC/Move the  Des Moines, IA
Our mission is to make sure everyone in the Greater Des Moines area has enough nutritious food to eat.
Arts Activity: Illustrate your idea of a "well balanced meal" based on guidelines and recommendations from the USDA's "Choose My Plate" model.

HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurses Services of Iowa     West Des Moines, IA
Our mission is promoting dignity, independence and quality of life for all through education, compassion and effective community-based care.

Arts Activity: Complete and decorate pre-assembled foam memory books. 

Iowa CASA Des Moines, IA
CASA advocates for the safety, permanency and well-being of Iowa children under the court's jursidiction. Many children have been abused or neglected by their parents or caretakers.
Arts Activity: Join us in making and decorating origami houses!

Iowa Dance Theatre Des Moines, IA
The Iowa Dance Theatre is an educational dance group that sponsors performance and workshops in the community.
Arts Activity: Come create wrist shakers using fabric for our creative dance activity!

Iowa District Optimists West Des Moines, IA
Our mission is to bring out the best in kids. We do this by working in local communities to help children reach their full potential and empower them to become leaders.
Arts Activity: Join us in creating spin art.

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers     Des Moines, IA
Iowa Homeless Youth Centers works to eliminate homelessness among children, youth and young families in Polk County.  We believe with support and assistance, homeless individuals and youth can live independently and attain self-sufficiency.

Arts Activity: Make colorful flowers out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners!

Living History Farms     Urbandale, IA
Living History Farms is an interactive outdoor history museum which educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences.

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

Reach Out and Read Iowa  Johnston, IA
Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud to develop critical early reading skills in children.
Arts Activity: Illustrate a booklet using a wide array of mediums!

Salsa Des Moines     Des Moines, IA
We provide high quality dance education experiences for all ages and levels in order to expand the dancer community through technique and knowledge. We coordinate with local organizations, institutions, and venues to provide social dancing opportunities for the community and the students.
Arts Activity: Take mini classes of salsa, bachata, merengue, and cha cha to learn about the different styles of Latin dance.

Science Center of Iowa     Des Moines, IA
The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. Our goal is to be a quality community resource for informal science learning where children, families, school groups and individuals come to explore science and technology.

Arts Activity: Build a Doodle Bot! Bots are simple, battery powered robots that attach to crayons or pencils and used to create a piece of art.

Susan G. Komen Iowa  Des Moines, IA
The Iowa Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure raises funds to support Komen’s mission to empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Our goal is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment
Arts Activity: Participate in the Kids for the Cure Art Contest! The winning entry will be on the t-shirt for our Kids for the Cure participants.

Teaching Leaves  Des Moines, IA
Teaching Leaves connects and engages with the community in several educational programs.
Arts Activity: Join Teaching Leaves in celebrating Native American culture with song, stories, and art!

Walnut Creek Church     Des Moines, IA
Walnut Creek Church’s mission is to bless the city, its people and to glorify God.

Arts Activity: Create a mosaic using tissue paper and light glue.

Westside Early Education     Des Moines, IA
Westside Early Education seeks to provide a quality preschool program for students ages 1-4 and strives to provide a loving environment where children develop their ability to listen, communicate, share, care, and learn.

Arts Activity: Create your own sunshine using paper plates, pipe cleaners, beads, and more!

Youth Emergency Services & Shelter Des Moines, IA
Youth Emergency Services & Shelter provides crisis intervention, shelter and counseling services for childern, newborn through age 18.
Arts Activity: Decorate a rubber duck to commemorate YESS' Emergency Shelter Expansion!

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