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

Community Outreach Program


WINNER - Best Community Outreach Program
~ 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 interactive programming, and encouraging all on-site organizations to offer even more creative and interactive arts activities, the Festival fulfills this mission.

The Prairie Meadows Community Outreach Program offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to exhibit 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 offers an interactive arts activity for guests of the Festival.

Applications for the 2016 Prairie Meadows Community Outreach Program are now closed. Please check back next year!

Thanks to everyone who applied to be part of this year's program. Watch this space for the announcement of who among the applicants will be invited to be part of this year's Festival!

Click here to download the 2016 Community Outreach rules. 

Participating Organizations

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, Inc.

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue is a unique rescue organization that exists to bridge the gap between traditional animal shelters and no-kill rescue centers. They 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 overpopulation, and responsible pet ownership and puppy mills.

Arts Activity: Make a homemade fleece toy for your favorite dog!

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

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.
The mission of Animal Rescue League of Iowa is to promote animal welfare, the human animal bond and prevent the overpopulation of pets.

Arts Activity: Make a cat toy for the shelter cats at the ARL!

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

Arts Activity: Color and decorate a Cassowary Casque to attach to a headband to wear.

Candeo is a non-profit organization supporting Polk County adults with intellectual disabilities, brain injuries and chronic mental illnesses to work and live independently within their communities. We aspire to build a community empowered by the contribution of all.

Arts Activity: Get a body glitter Henna inspired-temporary tattoo.

Children and Families of Iowa
Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) is a private, non-profit, human services organization dedicated to restoring hope, building futures and changing lives for Iowa’s most vulnerable children and families.

Arts Activity: Create popsicle stick people to represent your family!

Community Support Advocates
CSA program was formed to assist persons with mental illness, intellectual disabilities or other developmental disabilities in gaining access to appropriate housing, needed medical services and interrelated social, vocational and educational services.

Arts Activity: Make some animal puppets from paper plates!

Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce
The Downtown Chamber of Commerce is a community of businesses and non-profits focused on Downtown vitality.

Arts Activity: Guests can create an entrepreneurial coupon book or business and get their photo taken using the Downtown Chamber’s giant scissors in a mock ribbon cutting ceremony.

Des Moines European Heritage Association
Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and we provide cultural heritage organizations with resources and tools to maintain and grow their memberships.

Arts Activity: Make your very own Christmas ornament.

Des Moines Social Club
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 of using the arts as a catalyst to create unprecedented community engagement.

Arts Activity: Join them for a marble painting activity!

DMARC’s Move the Food
MovetheFood is a DMARC-led community initiative to address the entire food system in Greater Des Moines, building on nearly 40 years of food assistance work, catalyzing fresh generations and engaging new constituencies to further support a vision for a day when everyone in Polk County has enough to eat. In 2013, MovetheFood provided short-term food assistance for about 34,000 people; nearly half of whom were children and youth under 25 years of age.

Arts Activity: Craft a MyPlate meal by designing and creating your own food.

Employee and Family Resources
Employee & Family Resources (EFR) is dedicated to helping people manage life's challenges so that they can reach their full potential.

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

Eyerly Ball Community Mental Health Services
The goal of Eyerly Ball is to provide excellent behavioral healthcare services that empower individuals and families to live healthy and successful lives in the community.  We offer a variety of levels of behavioral health services and have locations in 5 counties.

Arts Activity: Spin the wheel, face painting and bubble painting!

Food Bank of Iowa
Food Bank of Iowa is dedicated to alleviating hunger through food distribution, partnership and education. They work with about 400 partner agencies and operate direct service programs designed to provide food to those in need throughout their 55-county service area.

Arts Activity: Create your own hunger tree to start combatting and finding a solution to hunger.

HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurses Services
The mission of HCI Care Services is to promote dignity, independence and quality of life for all through education, compassion and effective community-based care.

Arts Activity: Create and decorate a book of memories to honor a loved one.

Iowa Dance Theatre
Iowa Dance Theatre is a collective of dance educators who gather together and promote unity in our community through larger stage productions and outreach events.

Arts Activity: Dance, color or complete a small obstacle course.

Iowa Donor Network
Iowa Donor Network (IDN) is a non-profit organization that operates as the primary contact for organ, tissue and eye donation services for the state of Iowa. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have certified IDN to function as the single organ procurement agency in the state.

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

Iowa Motion Picture Association
The Iowa Motion Picture Association is a non-profit 501(3)c professional and educational organization which promotes excellence in the talents and skills of their membership and the entire Iowa production community.

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

Iowa Shares
Iowa Shares is a statewide coalition of social change, environmental and cultural nonprofit organizations raising funds through workplace giving.

Arts Activity: Create scratch off ornaments or some colorful spin art.

Living History Farms
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.  

One Iowa Education Fund
One Iowa is the state’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization working toward full equality for LGBT individuals in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education.

Arts Activity: Choose your favorite rainbow color and learn how to make an origami heart.

Pulse 101.7FM
Pulse 101.7 is a non-profit Christian music radio station that serves the Des Moines metro area with music with a positive, upbeat message.

Arts Activity: Help with a collaborative painting using your thumbprint.

Salsa Des Moines
Salsa Des Moines provides high quality dance education experiences for all ages and levels in order to expand the dancer community through technique and knowledge. They coordinate with local organizations, institutions and venues to provide social dancing opportunities for the community and the students.

Arts Activity: Take a short dance lesson of salsa, cha cha and bachata.

Stage West Theatre Company
The Stage West Theatre Company seeks to provide high-quality entertainment while increasing the understanding and enjoyment of life, society and the world by cultivating new opportunities for artists and audiences, through the presentation of contemporary theatre.

Susan G. Komen Iowa
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. Their mission is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.

Arts Activity: Create a box kite with a paper bag and colorful ribbons!

Walnut Creek Church
Walnut Creek Church is a vibrant multi-site Christian community that is passionate about Jesus and desires to love people practically and see all grow in a meaningful, rich relationship with God.

Arts Activity: Take a selfie with a famous piece of art!