The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created to engage, inspire and enrich lives by advancing the best of public art.
Public Art Program
On 22 October 2001, by the passage of an Ordinance No. 14,005, the Des Moines City Council established the City Public Arts Program, with a goal of annually funding the City’s Public Arts Program at a level equal to 1.5% of the general obligation funds of the City appropriated for capitol improvements in the Capitol Improvements Program.
Before Foundation’s incorporation, the program operated as a City of Des Moines governmental unit, then known as the Public Art Commission. The enabling ordinance was crafted over a two-year period by a 20-member Public Art Task Force, appointed by then Mayor Preston Daniels, with a membership representing a diverse cross-section of city residents.
In 2003, the City of Des Moines and Greater Des Moines Community Foundation began a series of discussions to transfer the public art program, governing body, and financial resources to the Community Foundation. A 2004 agreement with the City of Des Moines formally transferred the administration and associated private fundraising to the Community Foundation. That same year the Community Foundation established a new organization called the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation to in part fulfill these obligations. The Community Foundation appoints members to the Public Art Foundation Board of Directors, provides administrative support services to the Public Art Foundation under a customary service fee schedule, and administers the trust account to hold funds transferred by the City of Des Moines for the purpose of public art.
Today, the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is responsible for advancing and administering the affairs and activities of the community’s public art program and serves as an advisory body to the Des Moines City Council. It is also provides a process for the public to more easily support the acquisition of public works of art.
Board of Directors
The number of directors constituting the initial Board of Directors was sixteen (16). The Board must consist of no fewer than eleven (11) people. Each director is appointed to serve a three-year term and may serve for a maximum of three terms or nine (9) consecutive years. After a one-year hiatus, former directors may be nominated to serve a new term.
The officers are President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Each of whom is biennially (once every two years) elected by the current Board of Directors. The positions of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person. The Executive Committee is comprised of the officers and up to four other members of the Board of Directors named by the President.