Latest News

ASAP Piano Lab Thrives at Willkie House

Dr. Michael Elsbernd, organist and director of music at St. John’s Lutheran Church and ASAP board member, is directing ASAP’s Piano Lab program at Willkie House, one of the oldest African American community-based organizations in Iowa. Elsbernd meets twice weekly during the school year with a dozen students in two cohorts, first-year and second-year piano […]

ASAP Halloween Family Fun at King

King Elementary School’s Halloween Fun Fest event takes place Friday, October 29, 2021. ASAP will be on hand with ample supplies for kids of all ages to make their own masks, embellished with color, stickers, rhinestones, feathers, and more. Masks can then be worn as costumes for trick-or-treating, a beloved children’s tradition in Des Moines.

ASAP Expands After-School Programs to West Des Moines

ASAP is excited to announce a new partnership with West Des Moines Community Schools that will connect students in grades K–6 at Clive Learning Academy and Hillside Elementary School with ASAP’s quality arts enrichment opportunities. ASAP’s multi-week arts classes are offered free of charge to students and their families. Initial offerings include mixed-media self-portraits, painting […]

ASAP, the After School Arts Program, receives grant from Variety—the Children’s Charity

Des Moines, Iowa – ASAP, the After School Arts Program, has received a grant from Variety—the Children’s Charity to fund art supplies for ASAP’s studio programs during the 2021–22 school year. ASAP is a nonprofit organization serving greater Des Moines with free arts enrichment programs for children who would otherwise not have access to high-quality […]

ASAP Partners with Libraries on NEA Big Read

Longtime ASAP program partner Des Moines Public Library invited ASAP to collaborate during Banned Books Month by being part of their NEA Big Read program, focusing on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. ASAP created make-and-take art project kits inspired by the Bradbury novel. Kits include supplies and instructions to create paper lanterns using actual book pages, […]

ASAP at Impact Afterschool Conference

ASAP is an exhibitor at the annual Impact Afterschool Conference, which draws out-of-school-time professionals from around the state, including most of ASAP’s school program partners in Des Moines. The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is dedicated to developing strong statewide systems of support for high quality, affordable, and accessible before school, afterschool, and summer programs in Iowa.

ASAP Fall Studios Kick Off September 13

ASAP kicks off the 2021–22 school year Monday, September 13, with 36 after-school arts enrichment classes at 14 DMPS elementary schools. Fourteen paid ASAP Teaching Artists offer a wide range of arts experiences this Fall 1 session, from collage, sculpture, and storytelling to origami, clay, and African dance.

Staff Updates at ASAP

Make Art with ASAP at Riverview Ruckus

ASAP hosts a hands-on art outreach at the inaugural “Riverview Ruckus” back-to-school event organized by Young Variety. The event, held Saturday, August 7, 2021 at Riverview Park, supports Findley Elementary students and families as they prepare for the return-to-school season. Participants can enjoy making two art projects with ASAP: beautiful bookmarks made with liquid watercolors; […]

ASAP is Hiring! ASAP seeks candidates for the Program Coordinator position

ASAP currently seeks candidates for the Program Coordinator position. The Program Coordinator (PC) position is fast paced, independent, and requires a high degree of efficiency. The PC is responsible for all aspects of program delivery, maintaining inventory of ASAP supplies, coordinating and empowering ASAP’s Teaching Artists to work directly with students while adhering to ASAP […]

2021 ASAP Summer Arts Camp

No Savor Event in 2020; Year-End Giving to ASAP Has Potential Tax Benefits

Gathering for a fundraiser dinner this fall was out of the question because of COVID-19. Instead, we are reaching out to our friends and supporters, thanking you for your past support and asking you to contribute to ASAP’s work with a tax-deductible donation. Funds will directly support ASAP programming, giving hundreds of children a safe, […]

#GivingTuesday Campaign Reaches 222% of Goal; Raises $3,335 for ASAP Programs

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. GivingTuesday is held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is widely promoted on social media. For the past […]

ASAP Takes Mobile Piano Lab to Willkie

In January 2019, ASAP piloted a mobile Piano Lab program with generous support from the Meier Bernstein Foundation. Students at Stowe Elementary in Des Moines participated in weekly lessons, and the program culminated in a recital in May for nine children who performed for their families and friends. Building on that successful pilot, plans were […]

ASAP Grateful for New Volunteer Partnership

As part of its new virtual program model, ASAP is providing individual supply kits for students enrolled in ASAP studios in the 2020–21 school year. Each kit contains all the materials the student will need to complete all the projects in their multi-week studio; for some classes that might include more than a dozen items, […]

Project7 Design Honors and Supports ASAP through “Do Good Things” Campaign

Project7 Design is an independent, full-service design studio offering branding, print, web, writing, social media, and animation services. Throughout the month of July, Project7 offered limited edition t-shirts and keychains with cool designs and a beautiful message—DO GOOD THINGS—and pledged to donate all profits to ASAP. Thanks to a robust response, Project7 was able to […]

ASAP Receives $4,400 Grant from Variety—the Children’s Charity

ASAP received a $4,400 grant from Variety—the Children’s Charity to fund ASAP’s art supply kits for the new digital programs. The Variety grant will be used to purchase supplies needed for ASAP studios in the Fall 2020 session. To comply with pandemic safety recommendations, studio supplies are not being shared among groups of students this […]

ASAP Pilots Online Instruction through Public Libraries

ASAP is partnering with Des Moines Public Libraries to provide an art activity for youth stuck at home this summer. ASAP Teaching Artist Jill Wells is the featured instructor in a 10-minute painting lesson that is available to Library patrons via their facebook page. ASAP prepared 180 supply kits for the lesson, distributing 30 to […]

ASAP Hosts 12th Annual Summer Arts Camp—outdoors and masked!

ASAP is encouraging children to imagine life beyond COVID-19 by attending the 12th Annual Summer Arts Camp in Evelyn K. Davis Park this week. The camp is themed Into the Future, and features hands-on studios in Painting, Music, Creative Movement/Dance, Sculpture, and Yoga. Students may choose up to three studios per day. The camp is […]

ASAP Pivots with COVID-19 Nonprofit Adaptation Grant

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has been a pillar upon which organizations have leaned through the COVID-19 crisis. Weekly Community Conversations have been an invaluable source of news and information, networking, and problem solving ideas. Among the many resources the Community Foundation offers, funding is an important one for nonprofits as they thoughtfully […]

ASAP Programs Sidelined by COVID-19

The global pandemic has sent students home from schools and canceled nearly all in-person programming in 2020, and ASAP has not been an exception. ASAP’s Spring Break Staycation and the entire Spring session of classes were canceled. The ASAP Callanan Drama Club’s production of Game of Tiaras, including two performances, was canceled. Summer programs in […]

ASAP Video Featured on dsm Culture Cast

At the invitation of Bravo Greater Des Moines, ASAP produced a short video for dsm magazine’s online series, Culture Cast, intended to connect people sheltering at home with an engaging art activity they could do with items they likely already had on hand. ASAP Teaching Artist E. J. Frye demonstrated a beautiful and fun sculpture […]

ASAP Hosts Arts Outreach

While many ASAP leaders were at the Bravo Greater Des Moines gala, ASAP’s outreach work kept marching on, with the help of dedicated volunteers. For the second year in a row, ASAP was delighted to partner with the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department to provide arts experiences for attendees at the Father–Daughter […]

ASAP Receives Spotlight Award at Bravo Gala

ASAP was a featured organization at Bravo Greater Des Moines’ 2020 Gala, which more than 1,500 people attended to celebrate outstanding contributions in the arts, culture, and heritage. The Spotlight Award was a new award in 2020, to shine a light on inspiring work happening in the community because of Bravo’s investments through its granting […]

ASAP Remembers Dr. King at Forest Ave Library Event

ASAP Teaching Artist Jill Wells designed and led a community art project as part of the Forest Avenue Branch of Des Moines Public Library’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King. The annual event takes place on the MLK Day holiday and features guest speakers, a reception, and—for the past two years—an interactive art experience for […]

ASAP Continues Work on DMPS Community Partners Equity Team

For the past two years, ASAP’s Executive Director Michelle Bolton King has participated on Des Moines Public Schools’ Community Partners Equity Team, supporting the district’s work to identify causes and possible solutions for some of important issues revealed by student data. Three input teams were established in 2017, comprising families, students, and community partners.

ASAP Storytelling Program Culminates with Veterans Day Student Performance

ASAP piloted a new storytelling program in fall 2019, in partnership with Cowles Montessori (DMPS) and the City of Windsor Heights. ASAP Teaching Artist Maureen Korte led a group of 4th–6th-grade students as they learned how to interview six U.S. veterans, write and dramatize their stories, then plan and present a performance (including musical interludes […]

ASAP Receives Grant from Variety—the Children’s Charity

ASAP Annual Report 2018–19

Come “Into the Fold” with ASAP’s Savor Event — Monday, October 21, 5:30–8:00 pm

Save the Date!

ASAP’s annual fundraiser dinner, Savor, is set for Monday, October 21, 2019, at the Windsor Heights Community Center in Colby Park. Please plan to join us at this special event that supports ASAP’s arts enrichment programs for the kids who need them most! Tickets on sale soon … Stay tuned!

and the Winner (of Golf Balls) is …

As a first-time grantee of Variety—the Children’s Charity, ASAP was delighted to participate as a hole sponsor in the 41st annual Miller Lite Variety Charity Golf Outing on May 16, the hottest day of 2019 so far! The ASAP team greeted more than a hundred golfers, who entered a drawing to win a dozen ASAP-logoed […]

Call for Arts Camp Volunteers July 15–18, 2019

ASAP Summer Arts Camp Explores Iowa Change Makers

ASAP Hires New Program Coordinator: Welcome, Monica Cohen Lenoff!

ASAP Seeks Program Coordinator

ASAP Annual Report 2017–18

Join ASAP for Savor Dinner October 22

Call for Volunteers: June 18-22, 2018

ASAP Summer Arts Camp relies on dozens of volunteers who enjoy (or at least can tolerate) good messy fun outdoors. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday, June 18-22, 2018, at Evelyn K. Davis Park on Forest Avenue at 15th Street in Des Moines. The Park features ample on-site parking in a shared lot with the […]

ASAP Summer Arts Camp Takes Flight June 18!

ASAP’s 10th annual Summer Arts Camp takes place in Evelyn K. Davis Park on Forest Avenue in Des Moines Monday through Friday, June 18–22, 2018. This year’s theme, Take Flight, allows children of all ages to explore the theme of flight through a variety of hands-on arts studios: painting, drumming/music, dance, creative play, sculpture, and […]

ASAP Classes Canceled Thursday, January 11, 2018

Severe weather has caused Des Moines Public Schools to close today, meaning all before and after-school activities are canceled. ASAP classes at all locations are canceled for this day. Programming resumes when schools reopen. Stay safe out there!

Jacqueline Poole Joins ASAP as Program Coordinator

ASAP is delighted to welcome Jacqueline Poole as the new Program Coordinator, replacing DeAnna MacDonald. In her new role, Poole coordinates all aspects of program delivery at ASAP’s twenty program sites in 2017–18. Poole is a graduate of Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, with a degree in Fine Arts, and has a strong background […]

ASAP is Hiring Teaching Artists

Reserve Now for Savor, October 16, 2017

You do not want to miss this special evening. Bring friends! To reserve your place at Savor and/or for sponsorship opportunities, email 

Join us for Mid-May Monday Music!

Reserve Now for ASAP Savor • October 25, 2016

Watch for our Tenth Anniversary Event, Party Like a Ten Year Old May 4, 2018           You do not want to miss this special evening. Bring friends! To reserve your place at Savor and/or for sponsorship opportunities, email:                         […]

ASAP Adapts to Meet Demand

For the 2016–17 school year, ASAP will implement only its Push-in model of programming, offering arts studios in partner schools rather than at the flagship St. John’s location in downtown Des Moines. St. John’s Lutheran Church established the After School Arts Program in 2007 as an outreach ministry to children in nearby neighborhood schools who […]

After Work Entertainment

  Gather your friends and co-workers, and stop by after work on Monday, April 25, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Noce Jazz Cabaret, 1326 Walnut, Downtown Des Moines. Hear live music performances by a steller line-up including Gina Gedler, Ken-Matt Martin, and Zander Morales in Des Moines’ newest jazz venue! Light snacks will be […]

No More Starving Artists! Snack Sponsorships now available

ASAP Snack Sponsorship Program Corporate and Group Service Opportunity Most of us can relate to the discomfort and difficulty of trying to concentrate on work when our stomach is empty and rumbling. For children living with food insecurity, those feelings occur all too often and are a barrier to their success—but not at ASAP. Please […]

Attend ASAP’s Signature Event “Savor” Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, at Hoyt Sherman Place

ASAP, about to begin its eighth year of programming, has grown exponentially each year and has repeatedly been recognized for exemplary arts education in each of its five program-delivery systems. Because of funding from corporate and private sponsors, as well as fund-raisers such as Savor, the After School Arts Program can provide arts education to […]

ASAP Honored with Governor’s Arts Award for Impact and Accessibility

ASAP, the After School Arts Program, has been awarded the 2014 Governor’s Arts Award for Impact and Accessibility in the Arts. Executive Director Michelle Bolton King accepted the award from First Lady Chris Branstad and Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie on Friday, June 6, as part of the closing ceremony of the […]

ASAP Features Special Global Arts Session

The Winter 2014 session of ASAP is a special Global Arts-themed session, giving students a taste of arts from around the world. The session is organized in partnership with CULTUREALL and is funded in part with a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National […]

ASAP Seeks Volunteers for Fall 2013

ASAP is gearing up for the new school year and needs your help! Because of the two-fold expansion of the program this year, more volunteers than ever before are needed to serve as opening activity leaders, studio assistants, and transportation helpers. The Fall session runs seven weeks, October 14 through December 5, with no classes […]

ASAP To Add Six More Schools

ASAP is adding six more partner schools to the program starting in Fall 2013, vastly expanding the program’s reach in the Des Moines metro. The growth is funded in part by two separate Department of Education 21st Century Learning Centers grants through Des Moines Public Schools. ASAP enrolls twenty students per session from each grant […]

ASAP Job Opening: Part-Time Program Coordinator

ASAP, the After School Arts Program, seeks a qualified Program Coordinator to manage the on-site program at St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown. Program Coordinator must be present 2:00–6:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons throughout the school year, and will work off-site an additional 8 hours per week on average. No office space is provided, but […]

Join ASAP for Savor dinner July 29!

ASAP Gets Jazzed About Summer Arts Camp

The fifth annual ASAP Summer Arts Camp takes place in Evelyn Davis Park the last week in June, June 24–28, 2013. This year’s camp features the theme of JAZZ, planned in conjunction with John Terpkosh of the Parks and Recreation Department/Evelyn Davis Park. Kids of all ages can enjoy two free classes per day, each […]

Fall Session of ASAP Starts October 23rd/25th!

ASAP will welcome students on two days per week from five elementary schools this fall: Capitol View, McKinley, Monroe, King, and Moulton. The expanded program is made possible thanks to funding from a 21st Century Learning Centers grant through the Des Moines Public Schools, an ELCA Domestic Hunger grant, and support from Principal Financial Group, […]

Art and Soul Event October 14th Benefits ASAP

The second annual ASAP benefit concert, Art and Soul, takes place at Ritual Café on 13th Street downtown Sunday evening, October 14, 6–9 p.m. with music provided by Mary McAdams, Mary Beth Mardis-LeCroy and David Ruhe, Ashpalt and Stained Glass, Rob Lumbard, and the Grape Ape Trust. This year’s event also features a silent auction […]

ASAP to Take Part in Davis Park Fall Festival September 8th

For the fourth consecutive year, ASAP will be part of the Fall Festival in Evelyn Davis Park on Forest Avenue, which celebrates the Mid City community. As in previous years, ASAP will host a hands-on activity for children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s activity helps children turn egg cartons into tiny elephants—following […]

Join ASAP for Brunch at Americana August 18th

Americana Restaurant & Lounge offers a portion of one day’s brunch proceeds for select non-profits, and ASAP’s day is Saturday, August 18th. Please join us and be sure to print out the coupon on our facebook site to let your server know you are with ASAP. Thanks to Americana and thanks to you for participating!

ASAP Gets Stamp of Approval from Bravo

ASAP is thrilled to have received a Cultural Enrichment grant from Bravo Greater Des Moines. Each year, Bravo awards financial support for operations and programming to eligible arts, culture and heritage organizations in Greater Des Moines through Cultural Enrichment Grants (CEG). These grants are funded by a percentage of the hotel/motel tax revenue received from […]

ASAP to Take Part in Jazz in July Event July 19th

ASAP is pleased to offer a hands-on paper cut-out art project for children attending the Jazz in July event July 19th at the Polk County Community Building at 19th and Forest. Jazz in July is a program of Metro Arts Alliance. ASAP is delighted to be invited to take part in the summer fun.

Join us June 18th for “Let’s Eat A.S.A.P.” at Proof

Join us Monday, June 18th at Proof (1301 Locust Avenue, Des Moines) for “Let’s Eat A.S.A.P.”, a dinner for the After School Arts Program. The evening will feature a three course culinary delight to support our inner-city future innovators. A portion of each dinner price and all tips will be donated to A.S.A.P. Reservations First […]

Volunteers Needed for ASAP Summer Arts Camp, June 25–29, 2012

Come join the fun in the park at the 4th annual ASAP Summer Arts Camp! Volunteers are needed for ASAP’s Summer Arts Camp on June 25-29, 2012.  No artistic talent or experience is necessary, just a willingness to encourage kids and help them get hands-on with art. The Summer Arts Camp is held at Evelyn […]

ASAP Welcomes Summer Intern Kelcy Smith

ASAP is one of the fortunate community partners of Drake University’s Service Learning division to receive a summer intern through the Summer of Service and Social Justice program, supported by the Slay Fund. Kelcy comes to Drake from Minnesota, just finished her freshman year, and will work with ASAP for about two months, assisting with […]

ASAP is Expanding!

ASAP, the After School Arts Program, will expand its after-school program offerings starting with the Fall 2012 session, increasing its school partnerships from two to six Des Moines Public Schools and adding another day of programming. ASAP is a partner in DMPS’s 21st Century Learning Grant, which will allow the program to double its scope […]

ASAP’s Summer Schedule is Out

ASAP has a full slate of events planned in the coming months!  We hope you can join us for one or more of these great opportunities this summer. June 18 Let’s Eat   ASAP dinner @ Proof, 1301 Locust June 25-29 ASAP Summer Arts Camp @ Evelyn Davis Park July 19 ASAP at Jazz in July @ Casady Bldg, […]

The Year in Review 2011

The After School Arts Program has many reasons to celebrate at the close of this year. Here are some highlights:  

ASAP Spring Session Begins March 29

ASAP’s spring 2012 session takes place Thursday afternoons, March 29 – May 10.  Staff orientation date and time wil be announced soon.  Please consider volunteering a little time to help ASAP.  Imagine yourself getting to know a great group of kids while serving as a studio assistant, artist assistant, opening activity table host, snack coordinator, […]

ASAP Winter Session Begins January 19

ASAP’s winter 2012 session takes place Thursday afternoons, January 19 – March 8, with staff orientation on January 12.  Please consider volunteering a little time to help ASAP.  Imagine yourself getting to know a great group of kids while serving as a studio assistant, artist assistant, opening activity table host, snack coordinator, resident photographer, or […]

ASAP Needs Volunteers for Fall Session

ASAP, the After School Arts Program, seeks volunteers for its fall session, to assist in arts classes for 3rd through 5th graders. The program takes place at St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown (600 Sixth Avenue) and meets Thursdays, 3:30 to 5:30 for 7 weeks. Orientation is Thursday, October 13, 4:00–5:30. Total time commitment for the […]

Art & Soul: A Benefit Concert for the After School Arts Program

Sunday, July 17th at Ritual Café Downtown on 13th between Grand & Locust ASAP, the After School Arts Program, is a multi-disciplinary arts enrichment program for 3rd–5th graders in the Mid City area of Des Moines. Since 2007, ASAP has connected more than 700 students with teaching artists in studios ranging from painting, ceramics, and […]