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Governor of Iowa Announces $1 Million Vision Iowa Grant For Pappajohn Sculpture Garden
Archive photo of Iowa Governor Chet Culver. Photo: Courtesy of the Office of Governor Chet Culver & Lt. Governor Patty Judge.

DES MOINES.- Governor Chet Culver announced a $1 million Vision Iowa grant to support the new John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in Des Moines. The garden, appraised at nearly $30 million, will hold over 20 sculptures donated by John and Mary Pappajohn of Des Moines. Their Pappajohn’s gift is believed to be the single largest public donation of art in Iowa history.

The Pappajohn family is known worldwide for their passion of collecting art. ARTnews magazine recognized them in its top list of 200 art collectors around the world. They serve or have served on boards or committees for more than half a dozen of the most prestigious museums and cultural organizations in the country.

“I’m excited that Vision Iowa is joining forces with John and Mary Pappajohn to beautify Des Moines’s downtown area,” said Governor Chet Culver. “This public/private partnership demonstrates what can happen when Iowans lock arms and work for the common good. Thanks to the generosity of the Pappajohn’s, these world-renowned sculptures in the heart of our Capital City will continue Iowa’s transformation into a center for the arts and culture.”

“John and Mary Pappajohn are wonderful philanthropists,” said Vision Iowa Board Chairman Andy Anderson. “The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Garden adds to their legacy and sets a great example of how private citizens can leave a positive mark on their Iowa communities.”

Des Moines City Manager Rick Clark said, "The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Garden is a terrific public-private partnership leveraging over $30 million in local investment. The park will be a world-class installation of public art that will add to Des Moines' growing reputation as a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Vision Iowa Program has assisted in the funding of 14 major tourism attractions. Find more information on the program at

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