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2019 PIANO artists

City Sounds give a BIG thanks to the 12 artists that painted the 2019 pianos! Pictured above are are artists Hannah Claire, Monica Cohen, Maddy Fusco, Iven P Jones, Amber Hathaway, Katelyn McBurney, Ted Lyddon Hatten, Trey Reis, Mujo Ramic + Theresa MAcdonald, Momentum: A Community Support Advocates Program, Sue Weiser Penn Wood, and Mary Roth.

two new locations this season

We’re excited to reveal that the 2019 season will welcome two new locations! The newly constructed Kum & Go Headquarters at 1415 Grand Ave. It’s unique beauty sits on the edge of the Western Gateway park. Also joining the family is Captain Roy’s at 1900 Saylor Road. You’ll love the low-key patio atmosphere, food, live music and sunset view over the Des Moines River.

Our newest project: ICON

City Sounds paired 10 of Des Moines' finest photographers with 10 of Des Moines' world class musicians to create iconic photography in celebration of the rich and diverse musicians who call Des Moines home. These musicians are award winning, nationally touring figures who create incredible original music and perform at venues across Des Moines on a regular basis.

About Us

In 2014, City Sounds’ Founders Larry James and Kathryn Dickel worked with the City of Des Moines, West Music and a bevy of sponsors to place two pianos in downtown Des Moines. In 2018, we saw these highlights:

• Estimated 40k+ visitors to the pianos for the 2018 season.

• Received our largest ever Iowa Arts Council Grant.

• Collaborated with the Central Iowa Blues Society to have a mobile piano at their 2019 Winter Blues Festival.

• Held our first Piano unveiling Party at Mainframe Studios where all the pianos (including alternates) were introduced to the public and we awarded a “People’s Choice” to the artists who’s piano received the most votes at the event.

• Welcomed our first out of town artist, Brent Houzenga from New Orleans, to paint a piano.

• Welcomed three new members to the City Sounds Board.


Want to see more? Check out our galleries from previous years!

MISSION: City Sounds strives to transform the Des Moines community culture through music, animating common spaces and making artistic creation accessible to all.

“We want our community to experience music as part of their daily lives not just something they pay to see. Places where music is ubiquitous in the culture are healthier, happier and more harmonious. That is the real power of music. ”


“The whole purpose is to generate life on the street and generate activity. In other areas where they have done this, it has been a real boon to business because it gets people out on the street.”