The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) is expanding its network of bus shelters and incorporating public art into their design with the help of a funding partnership with Bravo Greater Des Moines and a statewide call for artists issued by the Iowa Arts Council.
DART has identified more than 70 existing bus stops throughout its service area as potential locations for art shelters, including high ridership stops that service key routes as well as locations where public art can complement local streetscape improvement projects. A $250,000 regional investment from Bravo Greater Des Moines will help support costs to incorporate public art into DART’s standard shelter design and create opportunities for artists to participate in the process.
“The Bravo Board of Directors is excited to invest in increased access to every day, everywhere art through our partnership with DART,” said Sally Dix, Executive Director of Bravo Greater Des Moines. “This is an opportunity to build on central Iowa’s public art success while supporting the positive community outcomes expanded mobility can bring about for our region.”
Planning for art shelters has been underway since 2018 and aligns with a variety of regional efforts that address expanded mobility, neighborhood and corridor improvement, age-friendly livability as well as increased access to public art. The initiative builds on several art shelter pilot projects in progress along University Avenue and the 6th Avenue Corridor in Des Moines. The support from Bravo, as well as other local, regional, and federal funding sources, has been key to moving forward with plans to bring art shelters to more communities served by DART.
“DART is committed to investing in the needs of riders and the infrastructure that supports access to convenient and affordable mobility options,” said Matthew Harris, DART Business & Community Partnerships Manager. “Shelters are DART’s most requested service amenity and we’re excited to collaborate with our community partners to unite creativity and accessibility in this unique way.”
DART is collaborating with its member communities and local public art stakeholders to recruit qualified artists to participate in upcoming art shelter projects. Artists interested in participating in DART’s art shelter program can learn more about this opportunity and submit their qualifications to the Iowa Arts Council at iowaartscouncil.slideroom.com.
More information on public art at DART is available at here.