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Des Moines Performing Arts sees historic revenue in 2019


Des Moines Performing Arts had its strongest fiscal year on record in 2019 with a gross operating revenue of over $25 million. 

Part of the revenue within the fiscal year, which ended June 30, was generated by ticket sales for the Broadway hit “Dear Evan Hansen.” The show marked DMPA’s highest grossing single-week engagement with over $1.9 million in ticket sales. 

Over the course of the 2019 season, 480,000 guests came to the organization’s four venues; 45% of those engaging with the organization came from outside Polk County. More than 75,000 individuals from across the region were served by DMPA’s education and community engagement initiatives.  

In addition to operating revenue, the organization raised more than $3 million in 2019 to support mission-based and subsidized programs including the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards and the Applause Series, which offers specialty performances for school field trips. Funding comes primarily from individuals and area businesses. 

“The arts are a cornerstone of our community, both from a quality of life and a business standpoint,” said Jeff Chelesvig, DMPA president and CEO.  

DMPA’s programming delivers more than $36 million in local economic development annually based on calculations from Americans for the Arts. Its four venues are the Stoner Theater, the Temple Theater, the newly renovated outdoor space Cowles Commons and the Civic Center, which celebrated 40 years this June.

“This has been a great year. We appreciate the decades of loyalty and support from our friends and neighbors, and we look forward to serving our community for many more to come,” Chelesvig said. 

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