PRESENTING | Consider the Meaningful

PRESENTING | Consider the Meaningful Mainframe Studios & Ballet Des Moines | 01/23/2023

Mainframe is pleased to host Ballet Des Moines and artist Akwi Nji for a special installation in our atrium entrance gallery created with responses from community members on the topic of caring.


Although George Balanchine (choreographer) and George Gershwin (composer) greatly admired each other, their plans to collaborate were left unrealized due to the composer's untimely death in 1937. Thirty-three years later, Balanchine chose seventeen of Gershwin's compositions for his ballet Who Cares? which premiered in 1970.

As Ballet Des Moines prepares to perform this iconic work on February 24 & 25, they'll introduce the participatory community art installation, consider the meaningful. This participatory artwork invites community members to reflect upon what is truly meaningful, highlighting how acts of caring help us to make meaning in the world.

In collaboration with multidisciplinary artist, Akwi Nji, and installed at Mainframe Studios, consider the meaningful prompts participation from community members throughout the month of February. We encourage you to join us on February 3 at Mainframe's First Friday event for the installation unveiling, a series of spoken word pieces created by Akwi Nji, and a night of community and care.

Special thank you to our partner organizations, Mainframe Studios, Des Moines Public Library, Des Moines Public Schools, Oakridge Neighborhood, The Des Moines Art Center and CultureALL.

About the artist, Akwi Nji | akwinji.com

Akwi Nji is a multidisciplinary artist creating in visual art, words, and voice. She was a 2016 Iowa Arts Council Fellow and has created art with and for communities across the country and in the state of Iowa including Ames, Decorah, Perry, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Iowa City, CedarRapids, and Des Moines. In addition to numerous group exhibitions, Akwi’s solo exhibitions include Homebound,The Remoir Project, and Enuf. Her work explores the intersectionality of gender, race, motherhood, and associations with spiritual and geographic home.She is the creator ofThreshold Gallery’sIn Living Color, an alternative arts experience which recently showcased 14 Iowa-based Black artistsand led to nearly $10,000 invested in those artists through the event. She is the creator of The Remoir Project, a nation wide audio and visual storytelling arts initiative; is an MFA candidate at the Chicago’s School of the Art Institute; is currently creating a multimedia project titled correspondence which is generously funded by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; and serves as an arts advocate on the boards of Brucemore and the Iowa Arts Council.

About Ballet Des Moines | balletdesmoines.org

Ballet Des Moines enriches lives through inspiring dance performances, inclusive education and outreach programs, and innovative community partnerships. Their work with the community is founded on the belief that art transforms lives: transcending language to communicate and understand, inspiring confidence and curiosity, and fostering dialogue and community through shared experience. 

Ballet Des Moines presents Balanchine+

Featuring the classic work Who Cares? by New York City Ballet’s co-founder and founding choreographer, George Balanchine,  set to the quintessential melodies of George Gershwin. Performances take place February 24, 25 at Hoyt Sherman Place | Tickets