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Des Moines Arts Festival
Artist Planning Guide

Congratulations on your selection to the 2023 Des Moines Arts Festival® (DMAF). We look forward to welcoming you June 23-25 in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The Artist Planning Guide is designed to assist with 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 form, agreement, release, and booth fee are due on March 28, 2023. Please let Stephen know if the booth fee due on March 28 is a challenge.

Important Dates

March 28, 2023 - Deadline to confirm participation/Agreement and booth fee due
May 1, 2023 - Refund* Deadline

Load-In - Thursday, June 22, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. & Friday, June 23, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
June 23-25, 2023 - Des Moines Arts Festival presented by Nationwide


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)

Meet the entire team HERE.

About the Festival Site

The site of the Festival surrounds the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Dedicated on September 27, 2009 the $40 million park is home to over 20 pieces of 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. The park includes various small businesses, restaurants, Des Moines’ Central Library, Pappajohn Higher Education Center, Arlington-Hallett Apartments, Temple for Performing Arts, and 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.

Artist Booth Space and Associated Fees

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.

Artists are not permitted to use cheaply-made, lightweight, accordion-style pop-up tents. The tented structure must be commercial or professional grade with at least 40 pounds of weight securely fastened (not dangling-no bungee cords) 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.

Fees may be paid by check or credit card (please note additional processing fees apply for the credit card convenience option). Once you have completed reading and acknowledging this Guide and signed the Agreement, you will be taken to the payment form page. You are not selecting a booth placement at this time.

Single (10' x 10') Booth Fee: $510
Corner Fee*: $160
Double-WIDE Booth Fee**: $1020
Double-DEEP Booth Fee***: $1020

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


**Double-WIDE Booths are offered only to artists that are 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/payment is required for a double-DEEP corner.


All artists are required to individually apply for an Iowa Tax Permit. The application is free, and can be accessed on the following page: . Choose the online or PDF application for the Iowa Business Registration for Tax Permit form under the “Sales Tax Permit Information” header.

Below is a guide for filling out the form.


  • Legal Business Name: Your personal name.

  • Business Trade Name: Your business’s name. If you sell your work under your legal name and/or don’t have an “also known as” name to list, leave this section blank

  • Business Location, City, and Zip code: Your personal residence. Must be a street address, not a Post Office box.

  • Location County:

o Iowa residents – choose the county associated with your personal address.

o Non-Iowa residents: select “Out of State – 00”.

  • Date business was established: If you do not know the exact date when you began selling your work, approximate a close guess.

  • Primary Phone: Your preferred personal/business phone number.

  • Primary Activity (Product/Service on paper form): Artwork


  • Type of Business Ownership: Sole Proprietor OR Individual single-member LLC.


  • Social Security Number: Your personal SSN.

  • Date which business was established: If you do not know the exact date when you began selling your work, approximate a close guess.

  • State in which business was established: Your home state.


  • Iowa Permit Type Needed:

o Iowa Residents: Sales Tax Permit

o Non-Iowa Residents and Non-U.S.A. Residents: Retailer’s Use Tax

  • Starting date for making sales in Iowa: MM-DD-YY (first day of the Festival. Example: 06-22-18)

  • How much use tax do you expect to owe (applies to both Sales Tax Permit and Retailer’s Use Tax applications): Annually – collect less than $120 tax/year.

Use the green question mark boxes on the form for help.

If you have further questions, call the Iowa Department of Revenue at (515) 281-3114 or 1-800-367-3388.

Each artist is responsible for the collection and reporting of all applicable taxes.


All artists exhibiting in the Festival are required to provide to the Festival 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 (COI) are due in our office no later than June 1. This policy must cover June 22-25, 2023. This coverage includes set-up day. If you prefer a three-day policy, you may set-up on Friday morning in advance of the festival’s 11 a.m. opening. Please note that without this certificate, artists will not be permitted on-site to exhibit. There will not be any exceptions.

Please note that the certificate MUST include the information as provided, not a variation of the information provided (e.g. correct address and name of organization). 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 Insurance and ACT Insurance. You or your agent may email the certificate to

Refund Policy

Invited artists who have completed a contractual agreement with the DMAF and have paid their booth fee in full may request a refund in writing on or before May 1, 2023. 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 – 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, 2023, 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 that are not authorized by the Festival upon their arrival. If you wish to engage with Classic, please contact Steve Klemp at (515) 266-3223 or or Traci Auch at (This is a safety and security measure; the DMAF does not in any way benefit from the rental of tents. The contractual agreement is between you and Classic.)


All artists listed on the application are required to check in with a photo ID before setting up. This means any and all 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. If both/all artists are not available for check-in you will be turned away and not be 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 22, 2022, at 11 a.m. (closes at 6 p.m.). Check-in re-opens Friday, June 23, 2023, 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. Check-in is quick and easy. 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 22: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Friday, June 23: 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 23, 2023, 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, absolutely no vehicles are allowed to be on-site after 6 p.m. and all volunteer support will be unavailable. Please make your plans accordingly.

Awards Jury

The Awards Jury will begin on Friday, June 23, 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 scrumtlicious Artist Awards Breakfast.


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 use multiple outlets you will need to provide your own power strip. You must attach the power strip so it is not lying on the ground. The maximum wattage available 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, working to ensure the highest possible security of the Festival site at all times. 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. Additionally, if you are a jeweler and would like an escort to your hotel or vehicle after closing, please contact an Artist Relations EMT member to make arrangements well in advance of closing.

Website / Social

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

In addition to the website, we have an aggressive social media campaign. The Artist Information Form (that you will complete next) requests 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 AND you can share your work and that of others exhibiting in the festival. 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.


You may find 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. 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 restaurant. Please note that pets are not allowed at this hotel.

The Hotel Fort Des Moines is proud to offer a rate of $149++ to exhibiting artists and 20% off their best rate for Des Moines Arts Festival guests. Artists wishing to take advantage of this special rate will need to follow these directions:


1. Click on the Booking Link below.

2. Once on the page, edit the dates.

3. Click on Update.


If you have difficulties, please contact the hotel directly:

McKenna Cox
O: 515-329-3489

The rate is available until May 15, 2023






Surety Hotel Des Moines (new hotel)

206 6th Ave. (five blocks to festival site)


Offering a special rate of $159+ for exhibiting artists. 


Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel

401 Locust Street (six blocks to the festival site)



Des Moines Marriott Downtown (newly remodeled)
700 Grand Avenue (three blocks to festival site)
Reservation: Call 1-800-321-2211 or 515-245-5500

Holiday Inn Downtown Mercy Campus

1050 6th Avenue (one mile to festival site)


Offering a special rate of $119+ to exhibiting artists


AC Hotel by Marriott - East Village

401 E. Grand Avenue (one mile to festival site)


Offering a special rate of $149+ to exhibiting artists.


Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown

101 E. Locust Street (10 blocks to festival site)


Offering a special rate of $219+ to exhibiting artists

Other hotel options in Des Moines

We continue to work with each of these hotels on an artist rate. However, at this time, our best advice to to book a room and if we receive the rate, you can make the necessary adjustment:

Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown
201 E. Locust Street (one mile to festival site)

Des Lux Hotel
800 Locust St. (one block to festival site)

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Des Moines Downtown Hotel (new hotel)
207 Crocker Street (20 blocks from festival site in downtown)

Hilton Des Moines Downtown
435 Park St. (8 blocks to festival site)

Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown
418 6th Ave. (four blocks to festival site)

Rules (from the Application)

The DMAF 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 artists 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 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 in future festivals.

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. Additionally, the sale of non-original promotional items is prohibited.
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. Artists are responsible for proper insurance and protection of work and setup. The DMAF is not responsible for damage to work or setup for any reason. All artists are required to maintain and provide proof of insurance before they are allowed to setup and exhibit.
8. Artists are responsible for collecting and reporting all taxes, including Iowa sales tax.
9. 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.
10. 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 of weight 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.

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.

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