words and music capital campaign

Words & Music at the Carnegie



Renovation & Expansion of the Carnegie Library: from Historic Library to Opera Center

Des Moines Metro Opera has grown and flourished over the past four decades, expanding its performances, creating statewide educational opportunities for thousands of students and reaching out to underserved populations that otherwise would have no possibility of experiencing an opera.

For the past 30 years the Carnegie Library has served as the administrative home to Des Moines Metro Opera. The time has come, however, to address pressing and significant building needs and to transform the library into a functional, accessible OPERA CENTER to support the program, education and outreach components of DMMO.

To achieve this vision for the future, DMMO is embarking on a $3.5 million Capital Campaign which will:

Create new space for educational outreach and community engagement
• 400 additional square feet (1,200 square feet total) to enhance year-round educational programming and off-season rehearsals, expand DMMO’s statewide reach and allow overall growth of the organization.
• New 2-level, 1,800 square foot atrium to foster engagement with a variety of audiences—educational offerings, outreach activities and community meetings, none of which is currently possible.

Improve accessibility, functionality and safety to meet current standards
• ADA-compliant environment so that persons of all ages and capabilities can easily access the building and participate in DMMO activities.
• Efficiencies to improve work flow and productivity.
• Upgraded heating, cooling, energy efficiency, electrical systems and plumbing.

Preserve the historical stature of the building within the community
• A 110-year-old community icon whose historical significance is maintained and sustained for generations to come.

"To restore the Carnegie Library honors the rich history of Des Moines Metro Opera, and to convert it to an expanded Opera Center provides forward motion to support a growing organization for years to come. I am excited that the new Opera Center in the renovated Carnegie Library will provide an accessible, safe and efficient facility in which to support more than 200 Company members during Summer Festival, expand outreach through our 2nd Stages initiative and grow OPERA Iowa's education programs." -Michael Egel, General & Artistic Director

For more information on how you can help, please contact: Ellen Diehl, Director of Advancement and Operations, 515-961-6221 or ediehl@dmmo.org.

Designs by OPN Architects