PRESS RELEASE / Mainframe Studios Begins Final Renovations as $1M Lauridsen Family Matching Gift is Achieved

PRESS RELEASE / Mainframe Studios Begins Final Renovations as $1M Lauridsen Family Matching Gift is Achieved Mainframe Studios | 07/07/2022


Contact: Siobhan Spain, Executive Director
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Mainframe Studios Begins Final Renovations as $1M Lauridsen Family Matching Gift is Achieved

Des Moines, Iowa (July 7, 2022) – As of last week, Mainframe Studios met a momentous deadline that enables the arts organization to renovate its final floor and become the largest nonprofit studio building in the nation.

In 2021, Nix and Virginia Lauridsen announced a pledge to the organization in the form of a matching gift. The local philanthropists offered to match all contributions raised by July 1, 2022, dollar-for-dollar, up to a million dollars.

Already featuring over 130 creative workspaces on four of its five floors, Mainframe Studios will finish renovations by the end of the year to reach a total of 180 studios. Its occupancy rate has held steady at virtually 100% and there are over 100 applicants on its waitlist.

Local residents may have noticed the facelift the building received last year. A colorful mural now covers its entire exterior making Mainframe Studios stand out at its location just south of I-235 along Keo Way.

Founded by Justin Mandelbaum, the nonprofit purchased the 160,000 square foot former CenturyLink building in 2014 and has raised approximately $15M to finance the building acquisition and its extensive renovations.

“I am very grateful to our generous donors - and the Lauridsen family in particular - for believing in our vision, and in our ability to make this vision a reality,” Mandelbaum stated recently. 

“Their generosity has enabled Mainframe Studios to become a financially self-sustaining nonprofit, and therefore, a cultural asset that can be enjoyed for generations to come. I am excited to see how this unfolds and grows in the future.”

Mainframe Studios will acknowledge its long list donors with an art installation by artist Alex Braden. The most recent donations received include the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Catalyst Circle, The Ruan Foundation, Mary and Patrick Scanlan, Meredith Corporation Foundation, Fred and Emily Weitz, Jack Bell, Jim and Ellen Hubbell and others.

About Mainframe Studios

Mainframe Studios is a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing permanent affordable workspace and creative opportunities to artists of all disciplines and backgrounds. We are transforming Central Iowa’s art scene by creating a financially self-sustaining economic and cultural driver, serving as a national model that stands the test of time. The organization hosts popular First Friday open studio events that are free and open to the public. To learn more about Mainframe Studios and all its artists and events visit