Renovate to Innovate

Please consider donating to the Renovate to Innovate project.

No amount is too small or too big!

Renovate to Innovate Donation Link

See our Vision in the VIDEO 

Watch the news story about our fundraising effort in this VIDEO

Dear Friends,

As a National Board Certified art educator and fine artist, I have watched students experience a powerful transformation through pottery. Not only do they learn critical, technical, and artistic skills, they also develop important life skills, such as persistence, patience, creativity, decision-making, and problem-solving.

The Academy’s Throwing program has grown so quickly, many students are turned away due to insufficient space. We simply need more space. Our current studio only allows us to serve 63% of the sophomores, junior and senior who request to take the class. To address this, the Renovate to Innovate project proposes to renovate Level A of the Central Academy building, a walk-out level space of 5,444 square feet that currently sits unused. This renovation would allow us to serve more DMPS high school students and host community education art programs for use during non-school hours, to create partnerships with the greater arts community.

We are almost there! The W.T. and Edna M. Dahl Trust has generously committed $400,000 over the next two years toward this exciting Renovate to Innovate project. While this substantial grant award covers 71% of project costs, we ask for your help to raise the remaining $160,000. Please consider donating to these one-time renovation costs. All raised monies will be used to fund the renovations of Level A and equipment needed to launch the expanded arts program.

I want to thank you again. We are so grateful for you and your commitment to the arts at Central Academy.


Dara Green

National Board Certified Teacher

Flipped Studio Instructor

Central Academy

Des Moines Public Schools


The studio gives me a place to be creative in a standardized world.           -Esther, age 15

Pottery has given me a way to channel my stress and in turn has helped my academic progress. -Logan, age 16

I am able to let my creative mind flourish and express myself in unique ways. -Luke, age 17

In the studio, I find peace within a hectic life. -Anna, age 16

Published on