ASAP, the After School Arts Program

bringing to life — through the arts — the dignity and wonder of imagination within every child

Equitable access to the arts

Fueled by a commitment to affirm young people through the arts, ASAP has been working since 2007 with a singular focus on improving equity of access to the arts for kids.

We know that the arts are essential tools for human communication and are a necessity for the development of the whole child. All children, regardless of circumstance or abilities, should have opportunities for artistic exploration and creative self-expression.

A boy performing with a microphone

Eliminating barriers to the arts

The benefits of arts participation are well researched and documented. But access is not equitable, and many children in our community do not engage with the arts because of barriers such as cost, transportation, language, and perceived non-belonging. ASAP eliminates those barriers by bringing the arts to kids where they already are in out-of-school times. ASAP forges cross-sector collaborations — with public schools and libraries, city parks and recreation, YMCA, and several family services organizations — and involves those partners in setting ASAP priorities, with the goal of most effectively meeting kids’ needs.

Year-round arts enrichment

ASAP is the only organization of its kind in Greater Des Moines, providing year-round, no-cost, multidisciplinary arts enrichment led by paid Teaching Artists, in dozens of locations all over the city. ASAP studio classes, camps, piano labs, drama clubs, and outreach programs serve thousands of young people each year.

Two kids smiling and painting wearing yellow ASAP shirts

Because of ASAP…

“I have made more friends than I have had in my entire life.”

Because of ASAP…

“I have made more friends than I have had in my entire life.”

Two girls laughing and high fiving wearing ASAP shirts

Thank you to our generous supporters

ASAP is supported by Bravo Greater Des Moines, Meier Bernstein Foundation, Variety—the Children’s Charity, Birdies for Charity / Principal Charity Classic, the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Sammons Financial, Iowa Arts Council / Iowa Economic Development Authority, St. John’s Lutheran Church, BWA Foundation, and many generous individual and corporate donors.

Birdies for Charity Logo
Bravo Greater Des Moines Logo
Iowa Economic Development logo
Sammons Financial Logo
St Johns Lutheran Church logo
Variety, the Children's Charity Logo


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