Welcome to Mainframe Studios

A new nonprofit model for providing permanent affordable workspace for artists of all disciplines. Phase 1 features 65 artists studios, 5 nonprofit offices, event rental venue, commercial kitchen and common areas. The waiting list for Phase 2 is growing. Those who fill out our pre-lease application will be prioritized.

Links: Mainframe Studios Casebook // Mainframe Studios Pledge Form


Mainframe Studios is a 501(c)3 whose mission is to provide permanent affordable workspace to artists of all disciplines


Transform Central Iowa’s art scene by creating a financially self-sustaining economic and cultural driver, serving as a national model that stands the test of time

Project Sponsors

Mainframe Studios (originally DesMoinesArts) was formed by Justin and John Mandelbaum, principals at Mandelbaum Properties. Mandelbaum Properties is a Des Moines based family-owned real estate investment, development and property management firm. The Mandelbaums are donating their time and services, in addition to funds, and will not profit from Mainframe Studios. View project renovation photos here.

Board of Directors

Connie Boesen – Des Moines City Council, At-Large
Angela Connolly – Polk County Supervisor
Jeff Fleming – Des Moines Art Center, Director
Justin Mandelbaum – (President) Mandelbaum Properties, Principal
John Mandelbaum – (Vice President) Mandelbaum Properties, Principal
Kathy Murphy – Wells Fargo, Retired Vice President of Community Affairs
Stephen Orr – Meredith Corporation, Editor in Chief, Better Homes and Gardens
Scott Ruba – Principal Financial Group, Retirement and Investor Services at Principal Financial Group Director
Lee Running – Artist
Toni Urban – Community Volunteer

Mainframe Studios Staff

Siobhan Spain – Director


Initial fundraising is essential for purchasing and renovating the Mainframe Studios location at 900 Keosauqua Way. Rents are priced to cover operating expenses and a reserve fund, with remaining operating income to fund an endowment. Once the building is fully operational, the non-profit is designed to be financially self-sustaining, allowing Mainframe Studios to stand the test of time.

Fundraising Cabinet

Honorary Chairs
Fred & Charlotte Hubbell

Fred & Emily Weitz 
Nic & Virginia Lauridsen

Campaign Co-Chairs
Cara Heiden
Steve Lacy
Suku Radia

Cabinet Members
Emily Abbas
Kim Butler-Hegedus
Nora Everett
John Koehn
Cyril Mandelbaum
Matt McDermott
Mary Lou Neugent
Connie Wimer

Thank you to our leading financial supporters:

    • Lauridsen Family Endowment
    • QuikTrip
    • Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle
    • Meredith Corporation Foundation
    • Principal Financial Group
    • Steve & Cathy Lacy
    • Wells Fargo
    • Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
    • Bravo Greater Des Moines
    • Edwin T. Meredith Foundation
    • Tom & Holly Harty
    • Fred & Charlotte Hubbell
    • Bruce & Susy Kelley
    • John & Cyril Mandelbaum
    • Prairie Meadows
    • Polk County
    • Fred & Emily Weitz
    • Bankers Trust
    • FBL Financial Group, Inc.
    • John Deere
    • John Ruan Foundation Trust
    • Jim & Ellen Hubbell
    • Bob & Jane Sturgeon
    • Easter Family Fund
    • Jim & Allison Fleming
    • Natalie G & William H Brenton
    • Cara & Kurt Heiden
    • Mary K. & Daniel M. Kelly Family Foundation
    • Pat McFarland

Mainframe Studios owes additional significant thanks to its Advisory Committee, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Bravo Greater Des Moines and the Des Moines Social Club for providing initial encouragement, perspective and guidance.

Advisory Committee: 2010-2014

Matt Anderson – Assistant City Manager, City of Des Moines
Angela Connolly
– Polk County Supervisor
Jeff Fleming – Director, Des Moines Art Center
Michelle Book – President and CEO, Food Bank of Iowa
Christine Fleming Halbrook – Des Moines Attorney
Chris Hensley – Des Moines City Council Member
Fred Hubbell – Insurance Executive and Community Philanthropist
Jim Hubbell – Businessman and Community Philanthropist
MD Isley – Dean of Business & Information Technology, Des Moines Area Community College
Mary Kelly – Community Leader; Board of Directors Des Moines Art Center
Tim Leach – Vice President Economic Development, Downtown Community Alliance
Kim Poam Logan – Former Executive Director, Metro Arts Alliance
Gerry Neugent – President & COO of Knapp Properties
Cynthia O’Brien – Design 515
Suku Radia – President, Bankers Trust
Craig Shadur – Nephrologist
Mike Simonson – Owner, Simonson & Associates Architecture
Connie Wimer – Owner & President of Des Moines Business Publications
Steve Zumbach – Attorney, Belin McCormick Law Firm


  1. Carolyn Tew
    April 3, 2018

    Is Mainframe Studios open to the public? Can you purchase art there?

  2. siobhan
    April 4, 2018

    Yes it is and the best time to visit is during our First Friday Open Studio events. Each month we host a uniquely themed evening that is free and open to the public.

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