Des Moines Metro Opera Foundation

Celebrating an industry-leading legacy

In 1993 a number of forward-thinking opera lovers began to see the value of an endowment that would secure the future of Des Moines Metro Opera.

That was the year that visionaries Doris and John Salsbury issued a $1 million “one to three” challenge gift, and campaign co-chairs Dan Krumm and Cherie Shreck led the charge to meet the challenge. Their goal: establish the Des Moines Metro Opera Foundation and persuade the area’s most philanthropic and arts-loving individuals and corporations to rise to the occasion and add their support.

Nearly twenty-five years later Des Moines Metro Opera is without peer in the area of fiscal sustainability. Its annual operating budget to endowment ratio is the highest in the opera field in the United States, which positions the Company to be a pioneer in sustainable funding for years to come.

There are many ways to support the Foundation and meet your own personal philanthropic goals. We hope you might consider supporting any one of the current funds within the Foundation to perpetuate your artistic legacy into the future for generations to come.

ROBERT L. LARSEN FUND FOR ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE funded by the Salsbury Challenge II, creates an endowment that will nurture and sustain the roots of the company while providing future artistic growth and financial stability.

21st CENTURY FUND supports unrestricted gifts resulting from Salsbury Challenge I that support artistic initiatives and special projects of Des Moines Metro Opera.

DOUGLAS DUNCAN MEMORIAL FUND supports contemporary and American opera productions.

WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST FUND FOR EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH supports the education and community outreach efforts of the company.

MICHAEL HERZFELD FUND supports underserved audiences to attend festival productions.

DOUG BROWN FUND supports the public broadcast of festival productions.

APPRENTICE ARTIST ENDOWMENT FUND provides tuition, housing, meals and stipends for 40 artists annually.

ROBERT L. LARSEN SCENIC FUND honors the co-founder of Des Moines Metro Opera by supporting the continued quality of our scenic productions.


Greater Des Moines Community Foundation

Additionally, donors may consider naming Des Moines Metro Opera as the beneficiary of an Endow Iowa Fund with our partners at the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation. This arrangement may give donors the opportunity to enjoy special tax advantages.

To learn how you can give a gift, contact Des Moines Metro Opera at 515-961-6221 or email Timothy McMillin at