INDIANOLA, IA (Nov. 20, 2017) — Des Moines Metro Opera’s (DMMO) Words and Music at the Carnegie Capital Campaign has raised over $4 million, exceeding its original $3.5 million goal. General and Artistic Director Michael Egel announced the news on November 9 at a donor recognition event to celebrate the campaign’s success.

More than 175 donors participated in the campaign, including supporters from both Des Moines and Indianola. This included a $1 million leadership gift from Nix and Virginia Lauridsen, a Des Moines-based couple with a distinguished history of philanthropy throughout central Iowa and beyond. Upon completion of the project, the building will be named the Lauridsen Opera Center.

Des Moines Metro Opera’s capital campaign began in June of 2016 with the goal of raising $3.5 million to renovate and expand the iconic 1904 Indianola Carnegie Library —DMMO’s administrative headquarters since 1985 —and transform it into a functional, accessible opera center. The renovation and expansion of the historic library will more effectively support the opera’s performances, education and community engagement efforts. The project is two-fold: to renovate the existing Carnegie Library and to construct a new 1,800 square foot addition on the north side of the library. Together the renovation and expansion will enhance rehearsal space, create new community engagement space and improve accessibility, efficiency and productivity for DMMO staff and volunteers.

The campaign was chaired by past DMMO board presidents Cherie Shreck and Nancy Main as well as Indianola leader Ardene Downing. Michael Egel, General and Artistic Director, stated, ”This was a wonderful collaborative effort between Des Moines Metro Opera supporters and the community of Indianola. There was great synergy as the group worked to raise dollars to restore the iconic Carnegie Library and transform it into an opera center for our nationally recognized Des Moines Metro Opera company. This project will preserve an iconic treasure in the Indianola community while also allowing Des Moines Metro Opera to grow its education and community engagement efforts.”

OPN architects has created the design for renovation and expansion with the project slated to begin in the spring of 2018. In August of 2017 the Carnegie Library gained acceptance onto the National Register of Historic Places. 

For more information or to interview DMMO’s General and Artistic Director, Michael Egel, please contact Scott Arens at or 515-961-6221. High-resolution and web-ready imagery can be found HERE.