Above: Never one to blow its own horn, Metro Arts raised funds to provide free concerts and education programs.
We at dsm were saddened to learn that the 42-year-old Metro Arts Alliance is ceasing operations, the result of “financial realities that left few options,” according to board president Rick Ballinger.
Over the years, Metro Arts became best known for its annual Jazz in July, which featured free concerts at parks and other outdoor venues throughout the city. Lesser known but just as important was the organization’s commitments to various arts education programs that served thousands of children a year, including one we particularly appreciated: the “Green Art” joint initiative with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that integrated art and environmental conservation.
Given the vibrant growth of the city’s arts and cultural scene, we’ll remain optimistic that Metro Arts’ legacy will be carried forward. As Ballinger noted: “The board is focused on finding a way for the organization’s experience and resources to continue to serve the community.”