Arts Alliance Closing Its Doors After 42 Years

Aug 21, 2017

The Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines is ending operations after nearly 42 years, citing a lack of grant funding. 

The alliance is perhaps best known for arts education programming and the annual Jazz in July series, which celebrated its 35th year this summer.

Executive Direct Angela Ossian wouldn't say whether the drop in funding was from government or private sources, or both.

"Longtime funders and grantors have changed direction or changed strategy," she says. "That does affect the nonprofit, that does affect us." 

Before the alliance officially closes, it is trying to find a new steward for the jazz series. It also hopes another organization will step up to serve as the Iowa affiliate for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts.

"It’s a residency model," she explains. "So during a classroom residency a teaching artist and an early child hood educator partner together to translate preforming arts strategies into the classroom curriculum. They work together, they collaborate and they use arts integrated lessons."  

Ossian says meetings to find homes for these programs will begin in the next week.