Des Moines Arts Festival
June 22-24: More than just art from local, regional and national artists, it’s also a weekend of fabulous food, drinks and entertainment. The free event, held in Western Gateway Park, is a juried art show which also features emerging Iowa artists, with more than 30 interactive art activities. Event perks also include 23 eclectic food booths, artist demonstrations, a performing arts stage, live music, a jazz and wine pavilion and the Interrobang Film Festival. Go to desmoines artsfestival.org.
June 23-24: Dubbed “The Other Art Show,” ArtFest Midwest is held the same weekend as the Des Moines Arts Festival and features more than 250 local and regional artists. ArtFest Midwest is offered as an alternative, affordable art show in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Admission and parking are free, and several shuttles provide easy transportation to the downtown Des Moines Arts Festival. Go to artfestmidwest.com.
Sept. 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29: The seventh annual Artstop takes both art newbies and aficionados alike on a casual tour of galleries, studios, restaurants and other creative spaces over three weekends. Each stop will host a performance, gallery, exhibit, demonstration and more. Plan your tour, then hop on the bus and travel at your leisure — buses run every half hour. Go to artstopinfo.org.
Des Moines Symphony Masterworks 7 Season Finale
May 12-13: Don’t miss the Des Moines Symphony’s last performance of the season. Tchaikovsky gold medalist Barry Douglas will make his Iowa debut playing Rachmaninoff’s “Third Piano Concerto.” Then, hear Marquez’s “Danzon,” which was performed last New Year’s Eve. The season concludes with Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” Go to civiccenter.org.
Civic Center of Greater Des Moines highlights
June 12-17: Set in a small town, “Billy Elliot the Musical” follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into ballet class. Go to civiccenter.org.
June 15-24: “The Divine Sister” takes a comedic look at several Hollywood films involving nuns, from “The Sound of Music” to “The Singing Nun” to “Doubt.” The production is staged by StageWest. Go to civiccenter.org.
Des Moines Metro Opera
June 22, 24, 29 and July 7, 12, 15: Considered by many to be one of the greatest operas ever written, in “Don Giovanni” Mozart recreates the legend of a profligate Spanish nobleman for whom life is a collection of empty amorous conquests, and who faces his final moments proud and unrelenting in the face of eternal damnation.
June 23 and July 1, 3, 6, 14: In “La Rondine,” Puccini pays tribute to the glittering world of operetta with the sparkle and glamour of Paris' Banquet Years providing a backdrop for this romantic tale of love won and lost.
June 30 and July 5, 8, 10, 13: “Eugene Onegin,” a drama of love and regret, is based on the classic Russian novel by Alexander Pushkin. Go to desmoinesmetroopera.org.