Regional Cultural Assessment

The purpose of the Regional Cultural Assessment was to identify opportunities to leverage arts and culture as essential drivers of quality of life and economic development in Central Iowa. 

About the Regional Cultural Assessment:
Bravo Greater Des Moines (Bravo) commissioned a Regional Cultural Assessment in 2016 to further strengthen the role of arts and culture as vibrant contributors for powering growth, progress and change. Drake University President Marty Martin led a nine-member Steering Committee of community leaders alongside project consultants, Creative Community Builders.

The Assessment builds on the extensive community planning work already completed, particularly Greater Des Moines’ Capital Crossroads effort, launched in 2012 and refreshed in 2017. With these regional planning priorities and input from more than 800 Central Iowans though surveys and in-person meetings, the Regional Cultural Assessment focused on identifying ways arts, culture and heritage can help advance, support and grow these efforts.

Four Cultural Priorities Identified:
From the research, community input, stakeholder conversations and Steering Committee leadership, four cultural priorities emerged as the most strategic opportunities to advance regional catalyst priorities. Although presented as separate and in a particular order, these four are deeply interconnected and success in one will directly affect success in others. 

A Vision for the Future:
With strong economic growth and deep appreciation for quality of life as key ingredients to Central Iowa’s success, now is the time to build on the region’s strong social connectedness and desire to strengthen and build community with arts and culture at the center.

The Cultural Capital of Capital Crossroads 2.0 will coordinate and convene ongoing activities to support the Assessment’s priorities. Entities like Bravo Greater Des Moines, Drake University, Capital Crossroads funding partners and others will continue to take leadership roles to support existing organizations, programs and resources and nurture new efforts that advance the priorities in our region.