ART SUMMIT: Des Moines To Play Host

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The Pappajohn Sculpture Garden has become one of downtown Des Moines’ most recognizable landmarks.

An upcoming summit hopes to put even more attention on the arts in Iowa. It’s been a decade since the state had an effort like that.

Monday, leaders from various state and local groups announced Des Moines will host the Iowa Arts Summit June 6th.

The Des Moines Arts Festival has brought national prominence to Iowa, but leaders want an even broader focus by connecting various departments and organizations statewide to push the importance of arts.

Supporters say it can be difficult to measure the value of a vibrant arts scene but they say employers use it as a recruiting tool.

“It’s really important that we’re listening to the needs of this sector. What do they want to learn more of in terms of connecting those dots, building that network and utilizing others across the state for that synergy, those resources,” says Mary Cownie, director of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Cownie expects around 200 people to attend and says she hopes to make the summit an annual event to further develop the state’s commitment to the arts.