Des Moines, IA – May 14, 2013 – When organizers of the Des Moines Arts Festival® approached Debra and Neil Salowitz about hosting a Festival artist in their home four years ago, the West Des Moines couple jumped at the chance. With necessity being the mother of invention, a hotel room shortage that year prompted Festival organizers to reach out to the community. The effort was a great success, resulting in an ongoing home-hosting program that has become just one of many volunteer opportunities at the Des Moines Arts Festival.
“We gladly hosted the same artist for two years,” said Debra Salowitz, whose company, Strategic Relocation Solutions, helps local employers successfully recruit and relocate executives and their families to the Des Moines metro. “We are hosting again this year. Participating families enjoyed it and the artists do as well.
“It’s a wonderful way to extend the reach of the Festival beyond the event grounds. It also lets the visiting artists experience the community and all we have to offer. It’s a win-win,” Salowitz added.
This year’s volunteer program, sponsored by ARAG®, is a great way to be part of the Des Moines Arts Festival June 28-30 in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. The Festival offers hundreds of volunteer opportunities, which has enabled Des Moines’ resident Lora Fraracci to “grow” her volunteer involvement as her family grew.
“In the early days, I was hands-on helping families in the Art Center booth with the kid’s art activity,” said Fraracci, a Festival volunteer since 1998. “I grew up going to festivals and craft events, and I wanted my children to be a part of that here in Des Moines.”
This year, Fraracci will volunteer for the Iowa Craft Beer Tent as a fundraiser for Des Moines’ Cowles Montessori where her children, now ages 12 and 15, have attended school.
“A portion of the sales and tips will go directly to fund arts in the school,” Fraracci noted. “Many arts experiences for our students would not be possible without this kind of volunteer opportunity. Family and friends of the school come together as a community and really enjoy being part of the event this way.”
“The Des Moines Arts Festival runs on volunteers,” said Stephen King, Executive Director. “From our board members to information booth greeters, without volunteers the event we plan all year would not be possible.” “Volunteering – whether the whole three-day event or just a couple of hours – offers a different way of experiencing the Des Moines Arts Festival and using VolunteerLocal makes it so easy and efficient,” adds Fraracci.
VolunteerLocal has been supporting the volunteer program since the website’s inception. Those interested can sign up by visiting desmoinesartsfestival.org/volunteer.php. By registering, volunteers can review volunteer assignments and pick their opportunity. All volunteers receive a special Des Moines Arts Festival volunteer t-shirt.About ARAG® ARAG, with North American operations based in Des Moines IA, is a global provider of legal solutions. The company has an international premium base of almost $2 billion and protects 15.5 million individuals and their families worldwide. ARAG offers comprehensive legal plans that provide a smart and trusted path for resolving legal issues. This enables people to protect their families, finances and futures. About VolunteerLocal VolunteerLocal was launched in 2003 to give volunteer coordinators a better online resource to coordinate and communicate with volunteers. Volunteer coordinators use VolunteerLocal software to create jobs and shifts which can be claimed by volunteers via an easy-to-use website. Based in Des Moines IA, VolunteerLocal offers a free online volunteer management solution that allows the coordinators to focus on the real work instead of the paperwork. About the Des Moines Arts Festival® The Des Moines Arts Festival® invites you to ‘go where it takes you…’ by experiencing the kinetic energy of art as manifested in 205 artist booths, artisan food and beverages, the cutting-edge Interrobang Film Festival, national performing acts on the Festival’s main stage and interactive arts opportunities. Your journey will take place around the renowned Pappajohn Sculpture Park in the heart of downtown Des Moines, June 28-30th and will invite you to catch the spirit of Des Moines as you experience one of the nation’s best art festivals. The Des Moines Arts Festival® is presented by Register Media, founded by the Des Moines Art Center, sponsored by Principal Financial Group and Prairie Meadows, and produced by the Downtown Events Group. For more information visit www.desmoinesartsfestival.org.