Activity-packed agenda planned for Des Moines Arts Festival’s 25th anniversary

The Des Moines Arts Festival presented by Nationwide has announced the lineup of interactive arts programming and special happenings at the 25th anniversary Festival, June 24 – 26, 2022. The award-winning Festival will be held in Western Gateway Park surrounding the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Many of the activities are free as is admission to the Festival. 

Planned events include both hands-on and stop-and-watch activities open to Festival guests of all ages for the duration of the three-day Festival. To get the most of your visit, the Festival suggests signing up for e-blasts, downloading a free event guide at and visiting the Festival’s digital artist gallery. Printed guides will be available at Festival information booths located throughout the event site. 


The Creative Zone

Location: Grand Ave. between 15th and 16th Streets

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; Festival Hours on Sunday 

Community Outreach Program presented by MidAmerican Energy Company

The Community Outreach Program presented by MidAmerican Energy Company provides 20 area non-profit organizations a forum to share their mission with Festival guests through a range of free kid-and-family-friendly interactive arts activities—such as painting kindness rocks, creating their own comic strip, and contributing to a giant community heart. Find out more here.

BOOM ART! With MidAmerican Energy Company

One of the festival’s don’t-miss activities is the at the popular BOOM Art! interactive mural project sponsored by MidAmerican Energy Company, offers Festival guests the chance to contribute to an enormous coloring-book styled mural; as each 10-foot section comes to life, the mural is hoisted up to 30 feet in the air by MidAmerican’s zero-emission/all-electric bucket trucks. Markers provided, no skills required, and don’t be surprised if MidAmerican mascots Sniffie the Sniffasauras and Louie the Lightning Bug drop by to join the fun. After the Festival, the final mural (which can extend up to 100 feet) displays at events around the community.

Prairie Meadows Spin Art

Kids of all ages can create colorful masterpieces using paint and a rotating canvas, no skills required. Sponsored by Prairie Meadows and the Altoona Lions Club. 

Across the Festival Site

Create Your Own Apparel

Locations: Festival Art Shops – 15th St. and Grand Ave. and 13th St. and Locust St.

Have fun with fabric paints as you create your very own customized festival t-shirt or backpack. 

Interrobang Film Festival

Location: Central Library – 1000 Grand Ave.

This celebration of cinema features three days of curated film screenings, focused on jury-selected independent movies from around the globe. View the screening schedule here.

Live Art Demonstrations

Location: Artist booths across the Festival site

You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to watch and listen to professional and emerging artists at work in a range of mediums, including ceramics, painting, drawing, and mixed media. View the artist information and schedule here.

Culinary Arts

Locations: Festival Food Courts – Locust St. between 10th and 12th Streets, 15th St. between Locust St. and Grand Ave. – and individual locations across the Festival site.

Arrive hungry (and thirsty), because you won’t want to miss the eclectic, international offerings from the Festival’s two food courts and sweet treats scattered throughout the event. Here’s a delicious preview.

Live Entertainment

Locations: Hy-Vee Main Stage is on the Western Gateway Park lawn. The Roots Stage is located off Locust St. between Des Moines Radio Group and Flynn Wright.

Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the festival’s free concerts, featuring everything from indie rockers to singer songwriters to ballroom dancing and more. Check out this year’s lineup here.