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Community Foundation announces Leadership Grant recipients


A project to renovate a historic depot in the East Village and build an adjoining community events center has gotten funding support from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. 

The $75,000 Leadership Grant, funded by the foundation’s Better Together Fund, is one of three projects that will receive money this year from the annual Leadership Grant grantmaking round. The foundation also awarded a $100,000 Leadership Grant to support One Economy, a nonprofit that addresses a broad scope of racial equality issues in Polk County, and a $75,000 grant to help launch the Kids First Law Center in Des Moines. 

The community foundation’s award to the Des Moines Heritage Trust supports a capital campaign by the trust to renovate the 1909 Des Moines Union Depot as part of the planned Des Moines Heritage Center. The center will serve as a collaborative home to support a variety of heritage organizations with shared office space, board room and gallery spaces, officials said in a release. 

“The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Grant demonstrates the support that the Des Moines Heritage Center project has achieved,” said Tim Waddell, vice chair of the Des Moines Heritage Trust board. “The historical and heritage organizations that will be housed at the Des Moines Heritage Center will benefit from this support as we work toward synergies among the organizations. The center will become an access point to the Market District section of the Historic East Village and this grant will help to make that possible.”

The $100,000 grant to One Economy will assist the program’s aim to close the racial wealth divide for black households in Polk County. “The Directors Council is thrilled to be a recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Community Foundation,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, chair of the Directors Council. “This Leadership Grant will make a lasting impact on black households in Greater Des Moines as we work toward a future where the disparities that exist in our community are overcome.”

The $75,000 grant to the Kids First Law Center will help give children a voice in divorce, custody and other high-conflict events by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. The overall goals for Kids First are to create stability for children of high-conflict divorce, lessen the effect of family conflict on children, connect families to support systems and needed resources, and make children’s voices heard.

To read a Business Record Insider story about the Des Moines Heritage Trust and the community center project, click here.

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