Music News

Metro Arts Alliance ceases operations

A long-standing Des Moines organization near and dear to thousands of jazz and arts fans in the metro area is closing its doors.

Metro Arts Alliance, the 42-year-old organization known for its hugely popular Jazz in July event and a number of other local arts-based projects, has shut down as of Aug. 16, according to a statement released by Board President Rick Ballinger.

“The board faced financial realities that left few options other than to find ways for the organization’s legacies to live on by finding successor organizations that can continue to fulfill the mission of the Metro Arts Alliance,” Ballinger said. “The board is focused on finding a way for the organization’s experience and resources to continue to serve the community. ”

Ballinger added that an effort is underway to find a suitable replacement organization that can provide a similar community benefit.

“Closing down an organization and its programs is not an easy decision for nonprofit
leaders to make,” says Angela Ossian, executive director at Metro Arts Alliance.
“It required tough decisions about services, personnel, and — most importantly
— the communities and constituents served by Metro Arts.”

Most recently, Metro Arts was in the process of becoming Iowa’s first affiliate of Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts.

Metro Arts’ signature event, Jazz in July, had recently marked its 35th consecutive season of presenting locally acclaimed and emerging jazz musicians throughout Greater
Des Moines.

Ballinger said efforts are being made to keep the annual event a part of the Des Moines arts landscape.

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