Jeff has been supporting Des Moines Performing Arts for almost the entire 29 years he’s lived in Des Moines. His believes that Des Moines Performing Arts not only adds texture to his life, but is the “glue” that attracts and keeps people here.
What do you love most about Des Moines Performing Arts? The tremendous variety of experiences that I can have there. And the people who work at DMPA are amazing and very good at what they do.
Why do you think Des Moines Performing Arts is an important member of the Des Moines community? It makes Des Moines a “bigger” community. If I think about what Des Moines would be like without DMPA, I feel as though I would be seeking that added dimension somewhere else.
What is your favorite Des Moines Performing arts memory or experience? Having Idina Menzel walk out into the crowd and stand immediately behind me. I was nervous she was going to ask me to sing!
Shayla and Joel From: A Simple Bequest
Joel and Shayla From were surprised at how easy it was to include Des Moines Performing Arts in their estate plan. In fact, "it couldn't have taken more than two or three minutes with our attorney in his office," says Shayla From.
The Froms were already in the process of updating their will when they decided to include a gift to Des Moines Performing Arts. Their attorney said the bequest was easy to implement, and the Froms feel great about their decision.
"The choice to include Des Moines Performing Arts in our will was obvious to us," Shayla explains. "Des Moines Performing Arts elevates the cultural opportunities in central Iowa. They're also very committed to their education program. Being a former educator, I love seeing how Des Moines Performing Arts makes such a tremendous effort to provide affordable, quality theater experiences for kids."
Shayla also believes Des Moines Performing Arts serves an ambassador for Des Moines and the state of Iowa. "So many traveling companies come here, and many have never experienced Iowa before," she says. "They see the professionalism of Des Moines Performing Arts staff, how educated Iowans are and what an appreciative audience we are. It's remarkable, and it makes a lasting impression."
Doug and Debbie West: The Gift That Gives Back — to You
Doug and Debbie West have been fans of Des Moines Performing Arts since its beginning. "When Des Moines Performing Arts first opened its doors, we were on their doorstep," jokes Debbie.
After taking their kids to see many shows at Des Moines Performing Arts over the years, the Wests now enjoy bringing their grandchildren to Des Moines Performing Arts' Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Family Series. The couple also attend productions of the Willis Broadway Series, the Des Moines Symphony and The Dance Series. "There isn't much that goes on at Des Moines Performing Arts that we don't participate in," says Doug.
The Wests have supported Des Moines Performing Arts financially for many years. Recently, the couple extended their support with a charitable gift annuity.
"I'm in the financial planning business," Doug explains, "and I've always thought charitable gift annuities were good vehicles for financial planning and estate management. They allow you to get a current tax deduction plus a stream of tax advantaged income with attractive interest rates. There's also an eventual value to the charity down the road. It's a one-stop arrangement that offers many benefits as opposed to a straight gift."
"A charitable gift annuity is another good tool for financial planning," says Debbie. "And I really appreciate the idea that it will provide a benefit for Des Moines Performing Arts after we're gone—so they can continue the excellent programs we've shared with our kids, grandkids and friends over the years."