The Kimberly Moe Nelson Memorial Scholarship supports youth participation in Cain Center for the Arts' Community Music Lessons Program.

To celebrate Kimberly Moe Nelson’s memory, we have to bring music to the kids. 

Born in 1965, Kimberly grew up with music all around her. She started music lessons at age seven and immediately began thriving at the piano. While her family notes that she would have to be reminded as a youth to practice a sport, she never needed to be reminded to play the piano. She grew to play Sundays at church, direct her church’s children’s choir, and excelled as a soprano vocalist who regularly performed as weddings and stage events. Kimberly loved all kinds of music, but Gospel and Broadway music were her particular favorites. 

Kimberly’s creative energy caused her to appreciate the arts visiting museums such as the Guggenheim and the Louvre in Paris. She loved modern art but appreciated all forms of art. Personally, she loved to paint, sketch, and even tried pottery! There wasn’t any artform she was afraid to try, though music captured her heart the most. She loved Broadway plays and had season tickets in Des Moines. Passing on her musical talent, Kimberly had so much joy as she had the opportunity to watch her son in a vocal performance in Carnegie Hall. 

Kimberly worked as an interior designer for commercial projects in Des Moines for over 20 years after graduating from Iowa State University with her Masters in Design. She loved life and always had a positive attitude. In addition to her passion for the arts, she loved to read, take walks, garden and read books.

At age 50, Kim was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. When she was diagnosed, it was a very tragic time. Her strong faith, and the comfort she found in music, helped her take this diagnosis in stride and face the process with peace. She relied on music for comfort and peace throughout her life, but especially at the end. Sadly, Kim died at the age of 55. She is survived by her husband, Tom, her two children, Taylor and Michael, her parents, Tom and Vicki Moe, and her brother, Jeff Moe. 

Cain Center for the Arts is honored to celebrate Kimberly Moe Nelson’s vibrant life by partnering with the Kimberly Moe Nelson Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will enable students in need in the Lake Norman area to take music lessons at no cost. 

To support this program or any of Cain Center’s other community impact initiatives, please visit

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