The Des Moines Arts Festival graces the western gateway of downtown this weekend, and event organizers have spent the past year preparing for another beautiful weekend. Behind the scenes, the event management team of forty four volunteer leaders continue to refine and improve this signature international event, together with the guidance of a small, exceptional staff. With well over 1400 volunteers, this summertime festival is nothing short of amazing and each year it celebrates creativity on all levels.
Here are some examples from this year:
Sustaining The Future
One such improvement is the development and adoption of a comprehensive sustainability plan, created in part with students in the Capstone Program at Drake University. The Festival’s new sustainability committee brought together stakeholders from across the metro, including key suppliers to the event as well as environmental leaders within the region, to discuss how to best standardize policies and procedures and minimize the environmental impact of this 200,000 person event. Besides significantly reducing the environmental impact of the festival, staff and volunteers mutually aspire to define a model solution for best managing operations and audiences large scale events like the Des Moines Arts Festival.
Of course, part of sustaining any free community event is fiscal responsibility! Creating smart consistent services that serve diverse audiences while ensuring recurrent revenues can be a daunting challenge, but strengthening a base of support is imperative.
Arts Festival leadership continues to maintain creative and engaging programming, and does so with the foresight to broaden its capacity to engage both small businesses and individual or family membership audiences. Ensuring a financially sound future for any non profit organization can be a tall task, but so often it requires building a foundation of longstanding relationships with community members through memberships, added-value services and regular communications. The Des Moines Arts Festival recognizes this importance of doing so and as a result initiated the VIP Hospitality Suites in 2013 to provide additional opportunity for the local business community to entertain clients and staff while supporting the Festival doing so. Similarly, the VIP Services Tent offers additional value to Patrons of Des Moines Arts Festival, if only a shaded destination to duck away from the sun and have a drink while listening to some great music!
Just like the impact of 1000+ volunteers, engaging festival participants in membership and providing added value and services helps ensure long standing success of the festival and maintains its ability to be free community service.
Go Where It Takes You!
The arts encourage expression.