Get to know our organization!
“Make no small plans!
For they do not have the power to stir men’s hearts.”
-Daniel Burnham, one of the architects of the Depot
The primary objective of this corporation shall be to provide a vehicle for coordination, advancement, promotion, and administration of all phases of the arts in Creston, Iowa, and the surrounding area.
The Creston: Arts Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit, has been serving this community since 1977. In 2011 a new group of volunteers took over and began art programming; such as Summer Art Camp, Chalk the Town, and the Depot Art Gallery.
Laura Granger, President
Brian Zachary, Vice-President and Secretary
Ash Hays, Board member
Cassie Ralston, Board Member
Brendan Millslagle, Student Representative
In late 2019, Iowa State Savings Bank gifted the building located at 411 W. Adams St. in Uptown Creston to the Creston Arts Council to be renovated as a community art center. The building was in need of major restoration. In 2020, we launched our Capital Campaign for the building renovation. In 2021, the renovation is almost complete as we move forward with programming.
Having our own building will allow us to expand our existing programming and create more art opportunities in the community. We will be able to increase the number of weeks that we offer Summer Art Camp and bring back Open Mic Night. Community donations are what make this possible. Click the link to donate today!
Chalk the Town: We partner with the Creston Chamber to decorate the town for thousands of visitors who come for Independence Day celebrations. This program incorporates youth by inviting them to help create chalk murals for local businesses all over town. We give out over 300 packs of chalk to kids to create these amazing murals. Our downtown “Walk of Chalk” is a way to proudly represent all the great businesses that help to build our community. This opportunity provides a chance for youth to participate in the community while also showing support to local businesses.
Summer Art Camp: Held in the Art Center in the last three weeks of June, this program is the perfect way to keep your child exploring their creativity during the summer. Classes start with kindergarten to fifth-grade students in the morning and sixth to eighth-grade students in the afternoon. High school students are invited to volunteer and work on leadership skills. Art Camp is a place where we celebrate diversity and inclusion among our students, assistants, and instructors. All are welcome and encouraged to express themselves and their culture through art. At Art Camp, students explore a variety of projects incorporating several different media and art forms. Many of these activities focus on using found and repurposed objects. Send your kids to camp and see what they can create!
The Depot Gallery: The gallery is housed at 116 W. Adams St. in Creston’s Restored Depot. The Depot was built in 1899 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 when it was restored as Creston’s City Hall. The gallery is a place to showcase local talent and bring in visiting artists. The Depot Gallery is free and is open 6 days a week or by appointment. We host an artist’s reception at the gallery on the first Friday of each month 6-8 pm in the evening. Currently, we are working with The Young Professionals group and other uptown retailers to stay open late and have special events on the first Fridays of 2021. Artists, call Brian Zachary at 641-247-1663 to schedule a show.
Public Art: The Mentor Mural Mash-up Program has been a huge success, creating over 30 vibrant murals around the community so far! This program engages youth with community service hours. The group has worked with many artists locally and across the country to create these murals. This wouldn't have been made possible without Creston Arts, the Iowa Juvenile Court Services, the Iowa Department of Human Services, The Dwight and Marilyn Conover Foundation, The Iowa Arts Council, The Knock Family Foundation, Creston Community High School Arts, and Bailey and Blake Fry-Schnormeier. The program has even attracted the attention of Iowa PBS who has created a short documentary about the project. Check out the episode about the mural project filmed by Creston’s own Laurel Bower of PBS!
Skate for Awareness: Skate for Awareness was established after 7 suicides in Creston in 2010 and after the suicide of a long-time skateboarder in the Creston community. The group is dedicated to providing suicide awareness, education, and an opportunity for the community to come together to learn and grow in positive ways. The Skate for Awareness project is addressing a lack of information regarding suicide prevention and awareness and doing so utilizing an activity that is supportive and encourages participation by all.
GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance): The mission of the Creston Arts GSA is to provide a caring and supportive safe space that educates and informs others to create a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies for the CCHS District. The GSA group was created in 2019. As our mission statement states, we want to help inform others so that there can be a better understanding of LGBTQ+ struggles.
Creston Arts would like to give a huge thank you to these people and businesses that have made donations to our programs, furnished items for our Silent Auction, or donated time to our programs!