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Throughout the Festival, guests of all ages have the opportunity to get creative and hands-on with art, music, dance and more! These activities can be found throughout the Festival at sponsor booths and the Creative Zone.


Suspended 30 feet high from their all-new, all-electric bucket truck, MidAmerican Energy presents BOOM ART, an Interactive Mural Project. Taking our fascination with doodling to a whole new level, join other festival guests as you illustrate our unique pattern design and watch as the finished mural rises above the streets during the three-day festival.
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Snap your photo at the Nationwide booth to be included in the 2019 Des Moines Arts Festival Photomosaic. Experience technology like never before with this interactive photo engagement. Your image will be included with hundreds of others to create one giant mural. Be part of history. Visit the Nationwide booth located on Grand Ave. near the 13th street intersection.

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Interactive Art Alley

NEW for 2019 is the Interactive Art Alley. Join us to create your very own masterpiece. Have you ever wanted to sit in the middle of the street and draw? Well, here's your chance. Join hundreds of other guests to paint the street!


Make your mark on a HUGE mural. Join the community to help create a giant mural based on the drawings of Des Moines-based artist, Jenna Brownlee. Located on 13th street between Grand and Locust.

Street Mural

Kathleen Roling

Kathleen Roling is a multi-award winning, professional chalk artist who travels all over the United States creating entertaining glimpses into an imaginative world with her vivid chalk for businesses, festivals, and unique events.

"I love street art because it is for everyone to enjoy. My art isn’t closed inside four walls for only a few to see. And it can be viewed by people of every class, not only ones who can afford original artwork. I love watching the children walk up to my drawing as I’m working. Many of them want to join in! It makes my day to see their faces light up when they see my drawings."

Kathleen will start her mural on Friday and finish up on Saturday. Be sure to stop by throughout the two days to watch the artwork come to life.

The Knotty Nail

Visit The Knotty Nail tent and discover the latest art trend - string art! Using a hammer, nails and string, you'll be guided through a step-by-step art experience and finish with a unique art piece for your home. Choose from several patterns and unlimited colors to customize your design. Perfect for children and adults! The Knotty Nail tent is located on Grand Ave and 13th Street.

Mask Making

Join the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to design your own cat, dog, or rabbit mask with cardstock and cut-up paper to create a unique mosaic design.

Seed Balls

Get your hands dirty with the Blank Park Zoo and make your own seed ball from clay and prairie seeds.

Rock Painting

Paint your own rock of kindness. Decorate your rock with paint, pens and Sharpies to show the world your idea of kindness.


Have fun at the “Let Your Spirit Soar” photobooth and sketch your own image into a foam board then transfer it onto a separate sheet of paper. Write what you would like to be when your grow up on a rubber band that will be woven together to create a fabric.

Metal Jewelry Making

Create your own masterpiece necklace from different sizes of metal washers and leather cords.

Miniature Broom Making

Create your own little broom in tradition of La Befana, The Italian Christmas Witch, to hang in your room or on your Christmas tree.

Design a Home

Create and decorate your own 3-D version of a home.

Bookmark Making

Create a pig corner bookmark by folding colored paper and glueing on eyes, ears, and a nose.

Performance Art

This booth features lots of movement! Activities include homemade hair ribbons, a stretch band maze, Hulu-hoops, and sidewalk chalk.

Pom-Pom Puppies and Cat Puppets

Create your own pom-pom puppy or paper bag puppet cat! Then engage in demonstrations on safe dog interactions and meet therapy dogs during certain times of the day.

Egg Shakers

Have fun creating your own egg shaker that can be used to keep rhythm while enjoying music and movement activities.


Create your name in braille by tracing the outline of your name in puff paint on a notecard to take home.

Make Your Own Instrument

Make your own tambourine, harmonica or tom-tom drum while learning a song about solfege.

Butterfly Creations

Use the freedom of your imagination to create a beautiful butterfly by sticking multicolored craft paper together to create colorful wings.

Stress Ball Making

Create your own tactile sensory stress ball or your own intention stick.

Design Your Own Keychain

Make your own soccer ball, baseball, or basketball bead keychain.

Upcycled Apparel

Get creative using up-cycled t-shirts to create headbands, bracelets, and necklaces.

Thumbprint Art

Design your own unique creation using your own thumbprint.

Dance it Out

Put your moves to the test as Salsa of Des Moines teach the art of Latin dancing.

Galactic Art

Use your imagination and colored construction paper to create your own unique planet and galaxy while focusing on the “Beauty Above.”
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