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Des Moines Arts Festival presented by Nationwide
Artist Planning Guide 03.07.2024

UPDATE 04.09.24

We are holding on distributing booth assignment information. The City of Des Moines recently began some cosmetic work on one area of the festival site. We are not confident their work will affect the layout, so we want to wait until the work is complete to measure and identify any impact.

UPDATE. 03.28.2024


Just Announced. Des Moines Arts Festival has partnered with the Iowa Lottery and the Iowa Lottery VIP Club to provide the Ultimate Art Experience at the 2024 Des Moines Arts Festival. Among the prizes is $10,000 in Art Bucks! 10 lucky winners will receive $1,000 each to spend purchasing art during the 2024 festival. 



Congratulations on your selection to the 2024 Des Moines Arts Festival® presented by Nationwide. We look forward to welcoming you June 28-30 in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The Artist Planning Guide is designed to assist you in planning your time in Des Moines.

As an exhibiting artist, there are some necessary administrative hoops to jump through as we prepare you for your time in Des Moines. Please read the information below. There is NO advantage to skipping ahead. In fact, missing this important information will create some unintended consequences, so please read through the information.

The Artist Information Form, Artist Agreement, Artist Release and booth fee are due on March 31, 2024. Please let Stephen know if the booth fee due on March 31 is a challenge.


You will receive periodic emails from us with updates that will also be uploaded to For Exhibiting Artist page. We encourage you to read them so there will be no surprises upon arrival. Please make note of your direct contact related to the festival:

Stephen King, CFEE, Executive Director

515.416.6134 (Direct)
515.419.7265 (Cell)

About the Festival Site

The site of the Des Moines Arts Festival surrounds the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Dedicated on September 27, 2009 the $40 million park is home to over 20 important contemporary sculptures. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located in the thirteen-acre Western Gateway Park, home to the Festival. The park is located from 10th to 17th Streets between Grand Avenue and Locust Street at the west entrance into the city’s downtown urban core. The park includes various small businesses, restaurants, Des Moines’ Central LibraryPappajohn Higher Education CenterArlington-Hallett ApartmentsTemple for Performing Artsdotdash MeredithWellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, the Renzo Piano Workshop-designed corporate headquarters for Krause Group, and Nationwide, our presenting sponsor. If you would like an aerial view of the site, Google 1400 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA – click on the satellite view.



Artists retain 100% of their sales. 

Once you have completed reading and acknowledging this information, completed the Artist Information Form, and signed the Artist Agreement, you will be taken to the payment form page.

Single (10' x 10') Booth Fee: $535
Corner Fee*: $160
Double-WIDE Booth Fee**: $1070 (limited to those artists juried in two mediums)
Double-DEEP Booth Fee***: $970 (available only on the North side of Grand Ave.)

* We do not have enough corner booths for every person who requests one.


**Double-wide booths are offered only to artists invited to exhibit two separate mediums. Otherwise, we do not offer double-wide booth spaces. If you require additional square footage, please select the double-deep booth option.

***We offer a limited number of double-DEEP booths. These booths are 10' wide by 20' deep and are located on the north side of Grand Ave. An additional $160 check is required for a double-DEEP corner.

All booths accommodate storage behind the assigned booth area. Some booths provide more storage than others. There are two feet (2’) between each interior booth. You are permitted vehicle access for load-in and load-out. All booths are located on concrete/asphalt streets. Please note that staking is prohibited by the city.

All fees may be paid by check, cash (money order, Cash App [$dsmarts]), or credit card. Service fees are applied to credit card usage. Checks must be drawn on U.S. funds using a U.S. bank.


All artists are required to apply for an Iowa Tax Permit individually. The application is free and can be accessed on the following page: . 


All artists exhibiting in the festival are required to provide a Certificate of Insurance naming Des Moines Arts Festival at address 900 Keo Way, Studio 431, Des Moines IA 50309 (or P.O. Box 1434, Des Moines, IA 50305) as an additional insured pursuant to a general liability insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000. This proof and certificate are due in our office before June 1. This policy must cover June 27-30, 2024. This coverage includes set-up day. If you prefer a three-day policy, you may set up on Friday before the festival’s 11 a.m. opening. Please note that artists will not be permitted on-site or to exhibit without this certificate. There will not be any exceptions.

Please note that the certificate MUST include the information as provided, not a variation of the information provided. Failure to meet this threshold will result in the certificate being sent back for correction.

Should this coverage not be available with your current carrier, there are inexpensive options available including Kaliff Insuranceand ACT Insurance. You or your agent may email the certificate to

To expedite the certificate, you may use this pdf to send to your agent; DMAF Insurance Requirement


Refund Policy

Invited artists who have completed a contractual agreement with the Des Moines Arts Festival (DMAF) and have paid their booth fee in full may request a refund in writing on or before May 1, 2024. For your security and ours, the request must come in written form by the artist only (no agent, friend, spouse, etc.) and must state the reason for the refund request. If sent electronically, both DMAF and the artist agree an electronic signature is sufficient for verification. A service/administrative fee will be deducted from any refund. If you paid by credit card, the appropriate refund will be returned to the original credit card used for payment. If you submitted a check, your refund would be issued by check. Between May 2 and May 15, the festival will consider a refund based on the written information provided and the festival's ability to fill the space being vacated. All refunds will be affected by an administrative fee based on the timing of the request and only after the space has been filled. After May 15, 2024, no refunds of any amount will be issued.


Any and all rentals (tents, tables, chairs, weights) must go through our authorized supplier – Classic Events and Parties. No other tent company or vendor will be permitted on the Festival site. There will be absolutely no exceptions to this policy. We will turn away any vendors not authorized by the Festival upon their arrival. If you wish to engage with Classic, please contact Steve Clemp at (515) 266-3223 or (This is a safety and security measure; the DMAF does not benefit from the rental of tents. The contractual agreement is between you and Classic.)


Check-in Information

All artists listed on the application are required to check in with a photo ID before setting up. This means any lead artist and collaborator(s). Proxy or “helpers” are not permitted to check-in for you or arrive early to set up your booth in your absence. No artist may set up until they have checked in. We will not allow exceptions to this rule. If both/all artists are not available for check-in, you will be turned away and not permitted to set up OR exhibit during the weekend of the festival. Absolutely no consideration will be made to refund any associated fees, including the application and booth fee or travel expenses.

Check-in begins on Thursday, June 27, 2024, at 12 p.m. (closes at 6 p.m.). Check-in re-opens Friday, June 28, 2024, beginning at 8 a.m. We do NOT require you to sign-up for an appointed check-in. You must check in BEFORE setting up. You may continue to set-up after 6 p.m., but registration/check-in will be closed. Updated information on the location for check-in will be emailed at a later date. 

To do this, drive through the check-in area located on Grand Avenue; just West of 11th Street. Enter onto Grand Ave. off 10th street and travel West. Follow the signs to Artist Check-In where our Artist Relations Team will greet you (you don’t even have to get out of your car!) At check-in, you will receive your Welcome Packet with information, artist credential, booth sign, maps, parking information, and more. After you check-in, you may proceed to your booth for unloading and set-up.

Check-In Hours of Operation

Thursday, June 27: 12 - 6 p.m.

Friday, June 28: 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

If you would like to map the check-in location, use the following information:

The physical address of Artist Check-In is 1200 Grand Avenue



Set-up is permitted only after you have checked in. Ours is a leisurely set-up. We do NOT require you to sign-up for an appointed check-in. All set-up must be completed no later than 10 a.m. on Friday, June 28, 2024, at which time all vehicles must be off the site in preparation for the 11 a.m. opening.

Set-up may continue on Thursday after Check-in closes at 6 p.m. However, we may ask that vehicles be moved so festival load-in may continue. Volunteer support will be unavailable after 6 p.m.. Please make your plans accordingly.

Awards Jury

The Awards Jury will begin on Friday, June 28, at 11 a.m. when the Festival opens to the public. Jury members will visit each booth sometime on Friday or Saturday morning. Awards are announced on Sunday morning at the Artist Awards Breakfast presented by Centro.


Electricity is provided to each artist’s booth at no additional charge. You must bring your own lighting and outdoor-approved extension cords at a minimum length of 50 ft. If you require multiple outlets, you must provide your own power strip to be used inside your booth.  The power strip must be elevated and protected so as not to lie on the ground. You will have one point of connection for power.  All receptacles supplying power at the festival are GFCI by electrical code.  Please be sure to test electrical equipment in a GFCI receptacle before arriving at the festival.  The maximum wattage provided to each artist booth is 500 watts.


Exhibitor Equipment

Artists are responsible for providing their own booth, equipment and insurance.



The Des Moines Police Department and a private security company will provide 24-hour security. We insist you close and secure your booth each night in a safe and secure manner. Secure any and all personal belongings during the day and night. The DMAF is not responsible for theft or damage as identified in the Artist Agreement. If you would like an escort to your hotel or vehicle after closing, please contact an Artist Relations EMT member to make arrangements well before closing.


Website/Social Media

PLEASE HELP US TO HELP YOU! All exhibiting artists will be featured on our Online Gallery. The gallery includes an image of your work, website URL, and email.

In addition to the website, we have an aggressive social media campaign. On the attached Artist Information Form, we request any social media links you have so that we may push these out to our audience. If you have not “Liked” our social media pages, do so now so you and your work will be featured. Do not miss out on this opportunity for FREE publicity!


QR Codes

Every artist with a URL will have a QR code printed on their booth sign. This code is a direct link to your website. If you do not have a website registered with us, let us know if there is an alternative link. Otherwise, you will not have one on your sign.


Emergency Notification

ALL emergency notifications are executed by cell phone through an automated emergency notification system. We will register your cell phone number with our system and should there be an emergency or qualified reason to contact all artists, we will use this system. Don’t turn off your cell phone during the overnight hours! We will also run emergency notification messages on our website.

Important Dates

March 31, 2024 - Deadline to confirm participation/Agreement and booth fee due
May 1, 2024 - Refund* Deadline

Load-In - Thursday, June 27, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. & Friday, June 28, 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.
June 28-30, 2023 - Des Moines Arts Festival presented by Nationwide

Rules (from the Application)

The Des Moines Arts Festival considers its enforcement of the rules our exclusive right and responsibility.  Festival officials will visit all displays at intervals throughout the Festival to ensure that exhibitors comply with all Festival rules, including but not limited to checking identification. Your submitted application and signature on the Artist Agreement (for those invited) is your indication that you agree that noncompliance can result in immediate expulsion and ineligibility for jurying, awards and participation in future Festivals. If an artist is removed from the show for non-compliance of the rules, no booth fee refunds will be issued nor compensation made, and the artist will be ineligible to exhibit for a period of at least two years. 
1. All work exhibited must be original art produced by the exhibiting artist(s). Work done by a production studio, in classes or workshops, “Buy-sell” and/or imports, work from kits, commercial designs, and derivative work is prohibited. Artists selling work that is not their own will be expelled from the Festival.

2. It is the work of the artist that is juried. Therefore, any change in the overall body of work by the artist after the jury process accepts the juried work is not considered juried and may not be exhibited until approved by the director of the show.  Please see the description of our New Directions program above.  Absolutely no consideration will be made if the work is a different discipline.

3. No reproductions are allowed.  If it’s a copy of any kind, regardless of medium, it may not be exhibited.

4. All artists associated with the juried work must be present to exhibit. If artists apply as partners, each artist must be present. If each artist is not present, the artist who is present will not be permitted to setup or exhibit. No proxy of any kind is permitted. If artists working as partners are found to apply as a single artist, the artist will be disqualified without a refund regardless of the calendar of stated deadlines.

5. Booth and display must remain intact during all hours of the show. 

6. A photo ID is required at artist check-in by all artists, including partners, accepted to exhibit. In addition, the Festival reserves the right to check ID each day of the Festival to ensure the artist is present. Artists may NOT setup or have their booth setup until they have provided proof of their presence.

7. The sale of non-original promotional items is prohibited. 

8. Artists are responsible for proper insurance and protection of work and setup. The DMAF will not be responsible for damage to work or setup for any reason. All artists are required to maintain and provide proof of insurance before they can setup and then exhibit.

9. Artists are responsible for collecting and reporting all taxes, including Iowa sales tax.

10. We do not allow sharing of booths except under extraordinary circumstances and ONLY if prior approval is provided in writing from the director. Absolutely no consideration is given if the request is made at the time of set-up or during the show.

11.  Artists are not permitted to use cheaply made, light-weight, accordion-style pop-up tents. The tented structure must be commercial or professional grade with at least 40 pounds on each corner and with stabilizing maneuvers that provide maximum safety to artists and guests. Any variation is prohibited and will result in the artist being excluded from the Festival without compensation or consideration.
In addition to the rules of exhibiting, the following guidelines/restrictions apply to the jury process:
Artists may submit multiple applications with a distinctly different body of work. Applications may NOT be of mixed work. Artists whose work is selected in multiple mediums are eligible for a single, double booth space.
Artists may submit multiple applications with a distinctly different body of work. Applications may NOT be of mixed work. Artists whose work is selected in multiple mediums are eligible for a single, double booth space. Upon receipt of the application, the Festival reserves the right to return any application if it is deemed non-compliant or does not provide the information requested.  If you submit an application that does not follow the criteria as requested, your application may be returned to you for modification. Application fees will not be returned or refunded. Artists may choose to submit the application as-is with the understanding that the Des Moines Arts Festival is fully within in its rights to reject the application from jurying or a full point may be deducted from the artist’s final first-round score for not adhering to the guidelines set forth in this application after being offered the opportunity to make a change.

PLEASE NOTE – REGARDING COLLABORATING ARTISTS: If you are submitting an application as a collaborating artist/partner, you must submit the name(s) with the application. Please follow the instructions provided on ZAPP. You may not add a partner after the jury. If you have any questions or difficulties registering the partner, please contact the ZAPP office before submitting your application.


Thank you for reading the Artist Planning Guide. You may refer back to this Guide at any time by visiting our website and clicking on For Exhibiting Artists located at the bottom of each page of the website.


By clicking the button below, you are acknowledging you have read the Artist Planning Guide and agree to be navigated to the Artist Information Form and Artist Agreement.


You may find accommodations on our website or the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors website

You will find other accommodations on our website or the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors website.

Hotels offering special rates specifically for artists exhibiting at the Des Moines Arts Festival:


Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton. The Official Hotel of the Des Moines Arts Festival.

The Des Moines Arts Festival is proud to partner with the Hotel Fort Des Moines. Located just one block from the Festival site, the Hotel Fort Des Moines is a modern hotel with over 100 years of history. The perfectly preserved hotel pays tribute to its illustrious past, with each room and suite adorned with 1920s-inspired bronze light fixtures, eclectic art, and luxuries that inspire and invigorate.  The hotel sports a Speakeasy, along with a coffee shop (with coffee from locally owned Horizon Line Coffee, a staff favorite) and a restaurant that is open late. Please note that pets are not allowed at this hotel.


​Special rate of $134 King, $139 QQ. Use this BOOKING LINK



Other hotels offering a special rate for Des Moines Arts Festival Artists (in order by distance to the festival site):

Des Moines Marriott Downtown

700 Grand Avenue (0.2 mile to festival site)


Reservation: Call 1-800-321-2211 or 515-245-5500

Rate: $159+ available until June 6, 2024

Parking: Valet Only, $36 plus taxes, unlimited

Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet $18 per person


Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
401 Locust Street (0.4 mile to the festival site)

Rate: $149+ until May 30, 2024

Parking: Fee parking in multi-level garage

Breakfast: Information coming soon


Holiday Inn Express & Suites

333 SW 11th Street (0.6 mile to the festival site)

Book a Reservation:  1 888 HOLIDAY (1 888 465 4329)

Contact Front Desk:   1-515-657-8181

Rate: $189+ 

Parking: Free, flat lot

Breakfast: Complimentary Breakfast Buffet


Hilton Des Moines Downtown
435 Park St. (0.7 mile to festival site)

Rate: $170+ available until May 30, 2024

Parking: $25 per night garage, but nearby alternatives are also available

Breakfast: Available for purchase at the on-site restaurant - Park Street Kitchen & Bar 


Residence Inn Des Moines - Downtown

100 SW Water Street (0.8 mile to the festival site)

+1 515-288-4500

Rate: $169+ available until April 28

Parking: $15 per day, garage parking

Breakfast: Complimentary hot breakfast


Hampton Inn & Suites

120 SW Water St. (0.9 mile to the festival site)

(515) 244-1650

Rate: $169+ available until April 28, 2024

Parking: $15 per day, garage

Breakfast: Hot breakfast included


Comfort Inn & Suites Event Center

929 3rd Street (1 mile to the festival site)

(515) 282-5251

Rate: $149+ available until June 7, 2024

Parking: Free, flat lot

Breakfast: Complimentary hot breakfast


Holiday Inn Downtown Mercy Campus

1050 6th Avenue (1 mile to the festival site)


Rate: $159+ available until June 13, 2024

Parking: Free garage parking (upper deck and lower deck available)

Breakfast: Included



CAMPING (the following information is retrieved from Google searches. For confirmation of services and hours, please contact the campground directly)

Adventureland Camping.

26  Adventureland Parkway, Altoons, IA

Located in Altoona, a suburb of Des Moines, Adventureland Camping offers 310 RV sites with full hookups Published rates are $35-$45.


Iowa State Fair Campground

3000 E Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA

515-262-3111 ext 284

Walnut Woods State Park

3155 Walnut Woods Dr., West Des Moines, IA

Timberline Campground

31635 Ashworth Road, Waukee, IA


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