Bravo Greater Des Moines Awards $490K to Support Culture and Art Projects

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A dozen nonprofits and local communities have been awarded grants to grow culture and art projects across the Des Moines metro.

Bravo Greater Des Moines awarded a total of $490,250 through the Capital Project Grant and Public Art Grant Funds.

Executive Director Sally Dix said, “The thing that is most important to us is that the organization or community has defined a strategy and can clearly identify how the funds that we are investing are going to help them advance their strategy.”

This is the first year for a Public Art Grant from Bravo Greater Des Moines.

Dix said the majority of the money came from local government partners that gave a portion of their hotel/motel tax revenue to invest in arts and culture organizations.

Those partners include Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Des Moines, Grimes, Indianola, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Polk County, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines, and Windsor Heights.

One of the nonprofit recipients is the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Dix said they are using their original HVAC system from 1979 and it is at the end of its life.

“We funded their HVAC system. They are putting in a new high-tech HVAC system to make sure that the organization is sustainable and the offerings that they offer to the public are available for a long time to come,” Dix said.

Dix said the new system will create an ideal living environment for its living collection.

2019 Capital Project Grant Recipients include:

  • Des Moines Children’s Museum – $9,000
    • Renovating its special events/ party space in new location
  • Central Iowa Wind Ensemble – $15,000
    • Purchase a set of percussion instruments
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden – $100,000
    • Replacement of original 1979 HVAC automation control system
  • Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation – $150,000
    • Construction of three new spaces; a three-story addition including educational, classroom and rehearsal space, green rooms, ADA compliant dressing rooms, laundry and shower facilities, administrative offices; a new restroom annex; a supplemental concession area

2019 Public Art Grant Recipients include:

  • City of Altoona – $20,000
    • Relief tax and imagery sourced in part from community contributions will be cast in iron tiles to illuminate a contemporary documentation of Altoona’s oral history. The community is welcome to participate in iron pore.
  • City of Bondurant – $5,000
    • Design and install murals on the school bus bars. Project collaboration is with the city of Bondurant, Bondurant Community Foundation and Bondurant-Farr School Art Program.
  • City of Johnston – $30,000
    • Unveil first major public art piece at Terra Lake Park. In conjunction with its year-long 50th Anniversary celebration.
  • City of Norwalk – $17,250
    • Add nine-foot metal art sculpture at the north end of the newly constructed nature trail at Elizabeth Holland Park
  • City of Pleasant Hill – $50,000
    • City commissioning artist Juanji Novella to install a sculpture in the new 100-year park.
  • City of Urbandale – $20,000
    • Douglas Avenue beautification project at the I-80/35 interchange. Includes two sculptures on the east and west side of the bridge
  • Clive Public Art Commission – $9,000
    • Art Along the Trail is a temporary public art exhibit of nine artworks displayed along the Clive Greenbelt and in Clive parks
  • West Des Moines Parks & Rec Department – $50,000
    • The Amphitheater Public Art Project involves a visual work of art to be commissioned by the city’s Public Arts Advisory Commission and installed in the proposed amphitheater on the West Des Moines Civic Campus


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