Marshalltown Representation on The Des Moines Arts Festival Jury


The Arts + Culture Alliance is excited to share their Executive Director, Amber Danielson, served as a juror for the 2024 Des Moines Arts Festival. The Alliance is dedicated to representing the creative community on a local, state and national level. Over the course of three days, the jury reviewed nearly 900 applications for the Festival.

Last week the panel of five jurors completed the process of reviewing and selecting artists for the Des Moines Arts Festival® presented by Nationwide to be held June 28 – 30, 2024. The artists were selected through a rigorous Blind Jury process led by two peer jurors Marina Terauds and Thomas Tyers, and jurors Lawrence W. Oliverson, David Schmitz and Amber Danielson.

“It was an incredible honor to be asked to serve on the jury for the Des Moines Arts Festival®. The process was an amazing experience and something I will always remember. The Festival is one of my favorite Iowa events and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it,” shared ACA Executive Director, Amber Danielson.

Over three days, the Jury reviewed applications, in a variety of mediums, from a pool of 895 artists from across the country and will invite 172 of those applicants to the June Festival. Those invited will join another 14 artists already invited because of an award they received in 2023. The Jury was only privy to images of the artwork with associated pricing, booth images, and an artist statement; no other information was provided. The Jury used a 1-7 scoring system for the first round, followed by rounds of voting, eventually narrowing down, and composing the final show. The results of the Jury will be announced on March 7th at REVEAL presented by Foster Group and then will be made public afterward.

In addition to the professional visual artists, the Jury compiled a list of emerging artists to exhibit as part of the Emerging Iowa Artist program and the Emerging Artist program. Since 2003, the Emerging Iowa Artist program has offered a unique opportunity for visual artists who are Iowa residents and currently enrolled in an institution of higher education to showcase their talents at one of the nation’s most decorated arts festivals. The Emerging Artist program began in 2023 and offers the opportunity for individuals who are making a new career in art fairs at any stage of their lives.

The Des Moines Arts Festival® traces its beginnings to 1958 when the Des Moines Art Center hosted the All Iowa Art Fair to help celebrate their 10th anniversary. Between 1958-1982, the event was given many names including All Iowa Art Fair, Iowa Artists Exhibition, Iowa Artists Annual Show, and Iowa Art Show. In 1983, the festival was officially identified as Art in the Park. In 1992, the event was moved from the grounds of the Des Moines Art Center to the Iowa State Fairgrounds until in 1998 it was moved downtown along the Des Moines River. The festival went through another name change to become the Des Moines Arts Festival.

​The first All Iowa Art Fair attracted a little more than a few hundred people. Nearly five decades later, the Festival has established itself as the signature arts and culture event in Iowa and one of the most prestigious and admired festivals in the world. With an annual attendance exceeding 200,000, the Festival has welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors since moving downtown in 1998, garnered more than 350 awards, and generates an estimated $8 million economic impact annually.


Together, with your support, we can create opportunities for a thriving and vibrant community. Make a 100% tax deductible donation* online today.

*The Arts + Culture Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have any questions, please contact us.