Art and Economic Development? Learn How to Make it Work at the Iowa Arts Summit

Art and Economic Development? Learn How to Make it Work at the Iowa Arts Summit

In the seven years since the Pappajohn Sculpture Park was built in downtown Des Moines, the surrounding area has spiffed up in remarkable ways. Trendy restaurants replaced run-down auto shops. Shiny corporate offices lined up shoulder to shoulder. Just last weekend, the area hosted the Des Moines Arts Festival and more than 200,000 visitors.

It’s a great example of creative development, right?

Right. But what if your city doesn’t have the same resources? What if nobody in town has a $40 million of sculpture just lying around?

The Iowa Arts Summit can help. Community leaders, nonprofit groups, artists and filmmakers from across the state will gather on Aug. 5 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines to swap ideas and learn from national experts about the best ways to catalyze the arts for civic and economic development – no matter how many assets you already have. Whatever your community looks like now, the Arts Summit can help make it better.

Want to start a public-art project? Summit presenter Kirstin Wiegmann from Forecast Public Art in St. Paul, Minn., will show you how to locate a site, involve the public, attract proposals and find the funding.

Wish you could host an artist-in-residence? Brad Kik from the Alliance of Artist Communities in Providence, R.I. will show you how – and how it could transform your community.

Hoping to add the arts to your community’s strategic plan? Learn how from Jamie Bennett of the New York-based ArtPlace America, which has invested $85 million in 233 projects across 155 cities and towns of all sizes.

The summit schedule also includes a session called “Flashes of Iowa Innovation,” when presenters from across the state will share 3-minute success stories about ideas and projects that have worked in their communities and could work in yours. (Iowans aren’t big on bragging, but here it’s allowed.)

For the full lineup of presenters and sessions, please visit Standard registration for the summit is $50 and just $35 for artists, filmmakers and students. Discounted hotel rates at the Hyatt Place Downtown are available through July 9.

Don’t miss this chance to find creative solution for your community. Register today.


Michael Morain, Communications Manager – Iowa Arts Council

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