The mission of the Des Moines Symphony & Academy is to create extraordinary, live musical experiences and outstanding educational opportunities. We will engage, enrich, educate and inspire a broad and diverse audience in Central Iowa with excellent teaching, innovative programming and performances of great symphonic music played at the highest professional standards resources allow.

Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan guides our organization in four key areas.

Grow and Strengthen Our Artistic Standard of Excellence

  • Perform diverse, innovative, and media-rich programs that include important works featuring historically underrepresented composers and guest artists, ensuring they are supported by a culture conducive to their success and sustainability
  • Support a high-quality, welcoming, and safe venue and provide programming which engenders a genuine sense of belonging to a growing and more diverse audience
  • Increase performance opportunities for musicians, including digital platforms, that help ensure equitable accessibility to our audiences of all kinds by expanding the creative and cultural lens and perspective
  • Attract and retain accomplished and professional musicians from a diverse local, regional, and national pool
  • Identify opportunities to integrate the Academy as part of the Symphony performances

Develop an Expanded and Diverse Audience

  • Create and expand programming that welcomes and reflects Central Iowa’s increasingly diverse and growing population
  • Create affordable, accessible and inclusive opportunities to engage with the Symphony and Academy
  • Create personalized connections with new and existing audiences through improved data management and communication tools.
  • Create unique opportunities for under-represented audience segments to interact with the Symphony and Academy and collaborate with other community organizations when appropriate
  • Continue innovating the concert experience to remove barriers and welcome new audiences while serving our core audience
  • Grow future audiences through cultivation of youth and families

Engage with our community

  • Increase awareness and engagement of the Symphony and Academy in our communities
  • Create opportunities for the Symphony and Academy to engage and collaborate with more diverse communities
  • Ensure inclusive leadership, within the Symphony, Academy, and in all community activities, accompanied by a consistent, supportive, and collaborative culture where all individuals have a voice 
  • Grow appreciation for symphonic music, music education and the value of the arts in Central Iowa and beyond
  • Commit to providing access to Symphony and Academy programs to all children and families in our communities

Grow Intensive, One-of-a-Kind Music Education Opportunities

  • Provide unique, rewarding learning and performance opportunities that reflect and support diverse perspectives and experiences
  • Engage highly qualified music educators and professional musicians to serve as faculty and who reflect the makeup of our community
  • Provide a safe, welcoming and nurturing learning environment that supports diverse perspectives and experiences
  • Expand our visibility and accessibility to a wider geographic area while building better connections between our students and the Symphony

Where We Stand

The Des Moines Symphony & Academy stands with those calling for inclusion, diversity, equity and justice. We strongly believe music and art can bring people together and heal a community. We pledge to listen, to learn, and to use our platform to inspire profound social change by engaging diverse artists, making equitable programming decisions, and broadening our community reach. We stand in solidarity with those who are fighting for a more equal and just future. Black lives matter.

We invite you to explore the following resources to learn more about these important issues.