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Des Moines Art Center announces line-up of films and music for Summer on the Hill


Des Moines, IA (May 2017) — The Art Center’s popular “Summer on the Hill” is gearing up for its sixth season of free films on the lawn and live music in the courtyard. The events take place the first Thursdays and Fridays in June, July, and August (except for June 16).

FREE FLICKS is a series of eclectic and cinematic film classics screened on the Art Center lawn. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and refreshments. Food truck Curbin’ Cuisine, which specializes in fresh, globally-inspired foods, will also be on site for each film from 6 pm until the movie begins. All films begin at dusk; in case of rain, the film will be canceled. (Weather updates will be posted at

June 1 / Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Stanley Donen, director / 103 minutes / rated G

A musical-romantic comedy film choreographed by Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to “talkies.” Stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds.

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July 6 / Casablanca (1942) 75th anniversary of the film Michael Curtiz, director / 102 minutes / rated PG

Casablanca is a romantic drama set during WWII and focuses on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis. Stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid.

August 3 / The Wizard of Oz (1939) Victor Fleming, director / 102 minutes / rated PG

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home and help her friends as well. Stars Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, and Terry the dog (Toto).


Complimentary light bites by the Art Center’s café Chef’s Palette, cash bar, and world-class art and music set the stage for First Friday guests to kick-off the weekend with some of the best musicians in town.

5 – 7:30 pm / Art Center courtyard Admission $5 / members FREE

June 16 / Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels takes listeners on a nostalgic ride back to the start of rock and roll, 1950-1969, when one night could find Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis all on the same stage. An experience of the birth of rock music, with more than 50 songs from a time before music started its electronic shift, their repertoire is ever-growing while continuing to be true to the original sound. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is Josh Adams, Tyler Frazier, Will Locker, and Steven Rood.

July 7 / Max Wellman

Whether at Chicago’s stunning Drake Hotel or the historic Hoyt Sherman Place Theater, vocalist Max Wellman is enticing music lovers throughout the region. With a sound evoking the likes of Sinatra and Connick, Wellman’s recordings and performances promise that the Great American Songbook is alive and well for a new generation of listeners.

August 4 / Los Saltinos 

Los Saltinos plays Latin jazz with an energy and chemistry that is truly unique. Mixing popular music with Latin jazz, the group is led by percussionist Mike Pfaff on vibraphone with Jeff Karnowski on bass, John Kizilarmut on drums, and Ryan Mullin on Latin percussion. Los Saltinos is a truly unique musical happening. This is Latin jazz for the masses.

Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the nineteenth century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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