Des Moines-Based Mainframe Studios Slated To Become The Largest Nonprofit Art Studio Building In The Nation

Greater Des Moines Partnership
2017-10-20 08:13 1082

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Des Moines, Iowa (DSM) based Mainframe Studios is on course to become the nation's largest affordable workspace of its kind for artists with the completion of phase one of renovations.

The space features 65 non-residential artist studios, five arts-related nonprofit offices, a commercial kitchen and a 4,700-square foot rental venue. With two more floors to renovate, the 160,000-square foot facility will feature 180 artist studios in total.

"We're excited that, once complete, Mainframe Studios will become the largest non-profit art studio building in the U.S.," said Mainframe Studios founder Justin Mandelbaum. "Des Moines already has a vibrant arts scene but by adding a further 180 artist studios in the region, we're ensuring that the arts will continue to flourish as the region grows."

Learning from firsthand experience, Mainframe Studios founder Justin Mandelbaum realized why artists continue to be priced out of neighborhoods across the nation as cities are revitalized. Landlords regularly face mounting pressure to convert their artist-occupied buildings to a "higher and better use." Mandelbaum believes he found a solution: critical mass, low pricing, a creative and collaborative environment, monthly open studio events, and most importantly a self-sustaining nonprofit structure. Mainframe Studios purchased the former CenturyLink facility at 900 Keosauqua Way in 2014 to transform it into a modern hub of creativity -- one that stands the test of time, ensuring that artists are never priced out of DSM.

"Mainframe Studios is harnessing the impact creative professions have on innovation, economic growth and placemaking," said Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Jay Byers. "The space is a great addition to Des Moines' vibrant Downtown."

Studies continue to substantiate the role creative professions have in strengthening communities. The recent Americans for the Arts' Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report states that the arts and culture sector in DSM is a $185 million industry.

Once Mainframe Studios is fully operational, affordable studio rental rates are priced to cover operating expenses and a reserve fund, with remaining operating income to fund an endowment, eliminating the need for annual fundraising. In the meantime, Mainframe Studios is fundraising to pay for building acquisition and renovation costs. Halfway to its goal of $12M, the nonprofit's vision is resonating with funders. The Lauridsen Family Endowment recently contributed a lead gift of $1M.

A standard studio is priced at $7.00 per square foot per year plus utilities with some artists paying as little as $114 per month for space. The waiting list for the next phase of renovations is growing.

An inaugural open studio event is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. The public is invited to discover the talent of its artists representing 24 art disciplines.

About Mainframe Studios
Mainframe Studios is a 501(c)3 non­profit whose mission is to provide permanent affordable workspace to artists of all disciplines. We are transforming Central Iowa's art scene by creating a financially self-­sustaining economic and cultural driver, serving as a national model that stands the test of time. Open since August 2017, our nonprofit is exceeding expectations in revealing local hidden talent, delivering remarkable building renovations and affordability, attracting new residents, fostering collaborations and ensuring artists never get priced out of Des Moines. More at: // // @mainframearts

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership
The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and more than 6,000 Regional Business Members, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes Des Moines as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at

Siobhan Spain, Director,, (515) 707-2783
Sam Hoyle, Media Relations Manager,, (515) 286-4919

Source: Greater Des Moines Partnership