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The founders of the Octagon visualized an art center that would foster active participation in the arts by providing a place where the arts are taught to people of all ages; to give serious practicing artists a meeting place to work together, exchange ideas, and discuss common interests; and to offer activities that would stimulate the appreciation of the arts.
The Octagon board and staff believe that the arts education is fundamental to achieving their public purpose. Arts education includes education through the arts, about the arts and creating art. While art education is critical for young people, continuing education in the arts can keep adult minds growing and older citizens engaged and vital.
Membership in the Octagon has grown to approximately 400 and our current service area includes Ames, Story County and also six surrounding counties as well. The City of Ames, through Ames Commission on the Arts, and the Iowa Arts Council generously provides general operation grants. Area businesses and individuals also support the Octagon by sponsoring exhibits, programs, and special events that otherwise might not be affordable.
For more than three decades, the Octagon has steadfastly worked to make the arts more accessible to the general public. We enhance people's lives by encouraging individual creativity, spirit, and potential. The Octagon continues to contribute to the quality of life and economic growth of the Ames community by making it a more livable and prosperous place.
The Octagon Center for the Arts is a non-profit community art organization located in downtown Ames Main Street Cultural District. The Octagon has been a cornerstone of the cultural scene in Ames since 1966. The Octagon serves more than 30,000 people annually through education classes and outreach programs, rotating exhibits, retail gallery shop, and special events such as the annual Octagon Art Festival. Come experience the arts at the Octagon!
- Emily Jespersen
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