Des Moines Metro Opera Receives $1 Million Campaign Gift from the Lauridsen Family Foundation and $2 Million in Additional Leadership Gifts

Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO) recently received a $1 million gift from the Lauridsen Family Foundation in support of the Company's Words & Music at the Carnegie Capital Campaign. Other leadership gifts have been received from Charlotte and Fred Hubbell, Nancy Main, Kathleen Picken, Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey, Ardene and Bob Downing, The Laverty Foundation and Cherie and Bob Shreck. The $3.5 million campaign was begun in June of 2016 and in less than a year more than $3 million has been raised.

The Words & Music at the Carnegie Capital Campaign will support the restoration and expansion of DMMO's headquarters-the historic Carnegie Library in Indianola, Iowa-to better support the Company's performances and its education and community engagement efforts. DMMO has owned the Carnegie Library since it purchased the facility from the City of Indianola in 1985. The integrity of this historic library will be maintained while renovating, upgrading and expanding the facility to enhance rehearsal space, create new community engagement areas and improve accessibility, efficiency and productivity for DMMO staff, artists and volunteers.

The Lauridsen Family Foundation is the Season Presenting Sponsor for Des Moines Metro Opera's current 45th Anniversary Season and has a distinguished history of philanthropy, supporting a number of arts, culture and social service organizations across Des Moines. "DMMO continues to build upon a rapidly expanding reputation for artistic excellence, both in Des Moines and across the United States. The organization has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Nix and I are pleased to support that growth through our gift to the Words & Music at the Carnegie Capital Campaign. We hope that others will do the same," said Virginia Croskery Lauridsen. The Lauridsen Family Foundation has also provided leadership support for DMMO's premiere of a new performing edition of Benjamin Britten's rarely performed Billy Budd during the 2017 Summer Festival Season.

Michael Egel, General and Artistic Director of Des Moines Metro Opera, said, "This generous support from our most loyal donors is a great boost to our efforts. Their philanthropy in support of DMMO has launched our campaign in the most positive way and encouraged others to support the campaign as well. We currently have raised over $3 million of the $3.5 million goal. We will be forever grateful to them. As we prepare to launch our ambitious 45th Summer Festival Season, the success of the campaign thus far puts tremendous wind in our sails."


Des Moines Metro Opera is a nationally recognized, progressive opera company that has taken its place among America's leading opera festivals. Founded in 1973, it is the state's largest performing arts organization, annually producing over 100 performances in the metro and around the state and region. Last year 94,000 people experienced Des Moines Metro Opera programming via mainstage performances, educational programs and statewide television and radio broadcasts. In 2013 Opera News magazine called Des Moines Metro Opera an "Essential Unexpected U.S. Summer Opera Venue."

The Company's Summer Festival Season runs from May through July of each year during which three operas are performed in repertory for 15 mainstage performances. The Summer Festival Season takes place in the intimate 466-seat Pote Theater at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola, Iowa. Each season the Company welcomes audiences from 38-42 states, most Iowa counties and several foreign countries. The 2017 Summer Festival Season runs from June 23 through July 16, 2017. Featured will be Puccini's Turandot, Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Britten's Billy Budd.

The Company develops audiences of all ages through five educational programs. The OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe and the Apprentice Artist Program for singers are two of the long-standing, flagship programs of the education division. Des Moines Metro Opera serves more than 40,000 people each year across the state through its educational programming.

Des Moines Metro Opera serves its city as a cultural leader through unique community programming and collaborations. The 2nd Stages Series creates collaborative performances designed to engage audiences in creative spaces. This season's 2nd Stages Series productions will feature David T. Little's Soldier Songs at Camp Dodge and Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires at the Temple Theater in downtown Des Moines.

More information about Des Moines Metro Opera is available at Follow Des Moines Metro Opera on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube!

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