Outstanding Contributions in Arts, Culture and Heritage Honored During the 14th Annual Bravo Awards

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bravo Greater Des Moines honored the Des Moines Community Playhouse, Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation and the Fred Maytag Family Foundation during the 14th Annual Bravo Awards Gala held Saturday, Feb. 2 at Hy-Vee Hall. Laura Jackson, Executive Vice President of Health Care Innovation and Business Development at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Jeff Russell, President and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa, were featured as the gala’s honorary co-hosts and welcomed more than 1,500 guests to the annual event.
During the awards ceremony, the Encore Award was presented to Des Moines Community Playhouse in recognition of the organization’s high-quality theatrical presentations, fulfilling volunteer experiences, and life-long educational opportunities. This organization produces more than 250 theatrical performances a year powered by more than 1,700 volunteers annually and has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally as a place where creativity shines and lives are transformed.

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation received the Standing Ovation Award, honoring an organization that has seen tremendous programmatic development and operational excellence over the past one-to-two years. Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation was established in 2004 to bring art beyond galleries and museums to enhance streetscapes, parks, building and thriving communities. Through the beauty and power of art, individuals and society are educated, enlightened and inspired, this year more than ever with completion of “A Monumental Journey,” a 30-ft high sculpture honoring the courage of African-American lawyers who founded the National Bar Association in Des Moines in 1925. Designed by the internally recognized artist Kerry James Marshall, the sculpture reminds us to continue the “monumental journey” towards human dignity and justice for disenfranchised and politically oppressed people of the world. Located in the heart of Des Moines, “A Monumental Journey” strengthens the artistic climate within which we operate every day.

The Fred Maytag Family Foundation was honored with the Bravo Award which is given each year to an individual, family, foundation or institution whose contribution has helped to amplify the impact of arts, culture and heritage in the entire region. The Fred Maytag Family Foundation was created in 1945 by Fred Maytag II, who was then the Maytag Company President and Board Chairman. It was modestly endowed in the early years, with a particular focus on supporting charitable causes in Newton and central Iowa. After Mr. Maytag’s death, the Foundation’s direction was continued by his wife Ellen Pray Maytag, followed by their two sons, Fritz and Ken Maytag, who have been directing programs since their mother’s death.  Contributions from the Foundation enrich our community and our state by supporting the work of a broad and diverse scope of organizations including the Des Moines Art Center, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines Metro Opera, Des Moines Symphony, Iowa Youth Chorus and Living History Farms. 
Awards presented at the annual Bravo Awards Gala recognize organizations and community members that consistently exemplify Bravo’s six guiding values – collaborative, accountable, regional, opportunistic, passionate and inclusive – in their impact on, and support of, arts and culture in Central Iowa.