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Mainframe Studios meets deadline to receive $1M matching funds


Mainframe Studios announced that it has raised enough money to qualify for $1 million in matching funds pledged by Nix and Virginia Lauridsen for continued renovations to its building. Photo by Ryan Damman Photography

Mainframe Studios has raised $1 million that will be matched by Nix and Virginia Lauridsen to renovate the organization’s final floor, adding up to 50 workspaces to the building.

The Lauridsens pledged in 2021 to match all contributions raised by Mainframe Studios, up to $1 million, by July 1. Mainframe announced today that it had met that goal.

Officials with the nonprofit said the renovations will make the agency the largest nonprofit studio building in the country. The agency currently has more than 130 workspaces on four of its five floors. It has an occupancy rate of 100% with 100 applicants on a waiting list.

Mainframe Studios provides permanent, affordable workspaces and opportunities for artists of all disciplines and backgrounds. According to a release, it is working to transform Central Iowa’s art scene by creating a financially self-sustaining economic and cultural driver in the community.

The 160,000-square-foot Mainframe Studios facility underwent a face-lift last year with a colorful mural now covering the building’s exterior along Keosauqua Way south of Interstate 235.

The nonprofit, founded by Justin Mandelbaum, raised about $15 million to buy the building in 2014 and to renovate it into a creative workspace for the local arts community.

“I am very grateful to our generous donors  and the Lauridsen family in particular  for believing in our vision, and in our ability to make this vision a reality,” Mandelbaum recently said. “Their generosity has enabled Mainframe Studios to become … a cultural asset that can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Officials with Mainframe Studios said they will acknowledge its many donors with an art installation by artist Alex Braden.

Photo: Nix and Virginia Lauridsen announce matching funds up to $1 million in 2021 for Mainframe Studios. Mainframe announced it had raised $1 million to qualify for those matching funds. Photo by Urban Couture

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