Since 2014, the Wells Fargo Foundation has supported DMMC by sponsoring the Community Village at 80/35 and our Youth Music Program. Wells Fargo Foundation has helped to strengthen the Des Moines creative community through their years of supporting community events and education. The Community Village showcases area artists, non-profit organizations and services providing an opportunity to connect the public with the great work happening in our region. 

During the 2019-2020 school year, DMMC was able to expand its music education program to include after-school Rock Band classes at Merrill Middle School. This is thanks in part to the Wells Fargo Foundation. Wells Fargo has a long history of community support and we are excited for the opportunity to recognize the Foundation’s legacy of generosity by presenting them with the David Hurd Community Support award at the 2020 Backstage Ball!

Purchase tickets to Backstage Ball here!

Backstage Ball: What is the mission and vision of the Wells Fargo Foundation?

Micah Kiel: Pave a path to stability and financial success for individuals, families, and underserved communities by applying resources and a problem-solving mindset to three areas critical to economic advancement: housing affordability, financial health and small business growth.

BB: Wells Fargo Foundation has been a supporter of 80/35 and the DMMC’s Youth Music Program since 2014. How has Wells Fargo Foundation seen the arts community in Des Moines, and across greater central Iowa, evolve over the years?

Steve Carlson & Micah Kiel: Wells Fargo is proud of our support of 80/35 and the DMMC’s Youth Music Program. Since 2014, we have invested $69,000 as the sponsor of the 80/35 Community Village and the Youth Music Program. The music festival and the Youth Music Program truly enrich our community!

We are most excited about the integration of public art into the fabric of daily living. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was a leader in integrating public art into our community’s daily experience. Now, we see public art going into bus stop in the urban core and Drake University.  We also seek to integrate art into our projects. For example, last year we partnered with the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department to renovate Whitmer Park in the northeast corner of the East Village. Inspired by the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, we selected playground equipment that is abstract art, making this an appealing playable art experience for the neighborhood. We hope our community continues this trend and we look forward to supporting new efforts in the future.

BB: What are the Foundation’s goals and initiatives for the future of the arts community in Des Moines and across greater central Iowa?

Steve Carlson & Micah Kiel: In June 2019, Wells Fargo announced three focus areas for the Foundation: housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth. Much of our investment in these areas will be in central Iowa neighborhoods and communities that have the greatest financial challenges. The arts are such a vital and life-giving force in our community, and we aim to integrate them more into the projects we support.