Match that Million / 2021 Achievements

Match that Million / 2021 Achievements Siobhan Spain, Mainframe Studios | 12/23/2021

In another year of challenging times, Mainframe Studios is pleased to share news of making a positive impact on our community - demonstrating that Des Moines not only appreciate the arts, but produces it too.

Thanks to our amazing donors and a region full of talented creatives, Mainframe Studios reached a major milestone in 2021. Completing another floor of renovations to add 58 more artist studios set off a chain reaction of newsworthy stories. 

One More Floor // We ask you to help us cross the finish line by making a donation today. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $1M by the Lauridsen Family Foundation.


Your contributions are in good hands and we're pleased to share our latest stats:

  • 4 of 5 floors are now renovated.
  • Our studio total is now at 131, ranging in size from 160 to 3600 square feet.
  • Occupancy is 100% with some studios being shared, which brings our tenant total to over 170 creatives and nonprofits.
  • Our waitlist is back up to 85 applicants already and continues to grow.
  • Tenants comprise of 78 small businesses/entrepreneurs, 50 fine artists, 11 nonprofits and 38 different disciplines.
  • 16% of occupants are Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) and our goal is 25% by 2023.
  • Over 35% of our events featured and/or engaged BIPOC creatives and this will continue to be a priority.
  • Total occupancy nearly doubled and we beat 2021 rental income projections, which means Mainframe Studios is becoming financially self-sustaining! [View our campaign operating budget]
  • Over 10,000 visitors stepped through our doors during a pandemic year.
  • We held over 46 events, tours and presentations.

What else!? We have an updated logo designed by Chad Owen, produced a new quarterly printed directory, completely renovated our front sidewalk plaza, upgraded humidity controls, added an ionization air purification system, and developed two meaningful programs that support our Black Lives Matter long-term commitments:

  1. Iowa Creative Incubator
  2. Reframing Racial Justice in Creative Communities

Are we missing anything?! Oh, yes that amazing mural marking our territory to say #arthappenshere.

Why does all this matter?Mainframe provides the infrastructure for local artists to thrive. Research shows that communities with a vibrant cultural scene are more desirable to live in, have greater economic stability, and attract a more diverse and educated work force. 

Read about Mainframe artists, organizations and partners making headlines such as Marquas Ashworth, John Ravet, Jill Wells, SEEDS, Jordan Weber, Pi515 and Deshara Bohanna.

By giving, you’ll be championing not only our mission, but also the many creative professionals and entrepreneurs on our wait list eager to make their mark on Central Iowa’s equitable, resilient and prosperous future. 

Match that Million

Thank you for donating today to ensure artists have a rightful place in the heart of our city for generations to come.And, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $1M by the Lauridsen Family Foundation. Contributions support the renovation of our final floor of studios - its rental income will fund Mainframe's endowment! 

  • Online | PayPal
  • By check | Send to Mainframe Studios, 900 Keosauqua Way #100, Des Moines, IA 50309

Wait, There's More!  

It is time to start properly acknowleding our amazing donors.  Work has begun on an exciting, and unique, donor wall to be located in the atrium of Mainframe Studios. Artist Alex Braden is creating a ten-channel sound installation consisting of ten speakers, custom electronics, custom lathe cut vinyl records, a record player, and a rotary telephone.

The sounds of the installation will be a patchwork of recorded statements by donors and sampled recordings from inside artist studios. The covers of the accompanying vinyl records will feature artworks by different Mainframe artists.

Add your voice!  We are asking our donors to add their voice to Mainframe’s new sound installation. Your donation is a demonstration of the many reasons the arts improve our lives, connect us to our communities, and create thriving civic conditions.

Please call 888-816-1748, a designated telephone number to reflect on a time when art or culture impacted your life.

Learn More (PDF)