& the Surrounding Area
As Iowa's capital city, Des Moines is a hub of government action, business activity, arts and cultural affairs. With a City population approaching 200,000 and a metro population of nearly 500,000, Des Moines offers some of the nation's best schools, superb public services, and friendly, caring neighborhoods. (Taken from the City of Des Moines website)
City of Des Moines
Des Moines takes its name from Fort Des Moines (1843–46), which was named for the Des Moines River. The French "des Moines" translates literally to either "monks" or "of the monks".
The City of Des Moines is a cultural center for Iowa and home to several art and history museums and performing arts groups. The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines routinely hosts the best Broadway shows and other live professional theater. Its president and CEO, Jeff Chelsvig, is a member of the League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. The Temple for Performing Arts and Des Moines Playhouse are other venues for live theatre, comedy, and performance arts.
The Des Moines Metro Opera has been a respected cultural resource in Des Moines since 1973. The Opera offers award-winning educational and outreach programs and is one of the largest performing arts organizations in the state.
Ballet Des Moines was established in 2002. Currently performing two productions each year, the Ballet also provides opportunities for education and outreach.
The Des Moines Symphony performs frequently at different venues. In addition to performing seven pairs of classical concerts each season, the Symphony also entertains with New Year's Eve Pops and its annual Yankee Doodle Pops concerts.
Wells Fargo Arena is the Des Moines area's primary venue for sporting events and concerts since its opening in 2005. Named for title sponsor Wells Fargo Financial Services, Wells Fargo Arena holds 16,980 and books large, national touring acts for arena concert performances, while smaller venues such as the Vaudeville Mews, People's, and the House of Bricks book local, regional, and national bands.
The Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater is an outdoor concert venue located on the east bank of the Des Moines River which hosts music events such as the Alive Concert Series. Blues on Grand is a venue for live blues music and was awarded with Blues Club of the Year from the Blues Foundation in 2002; Blues on Grand closed on Dec. 31, 2010.
Salisbury House and Gardens is a 42-room mansion on 10 acres (4 ha) of woodlands named after the King's House in Salisbury, England. Built in the 1920s by the Weeks family, the home contains authentic 16th century English oak and rafters dating to Shakespeare's days and a world-class collection of original art, tapestries, and rare books. Special events include Shakespeare on the Lawn, Salisbury Auto Classic, and the Holly and Ivy Tour.
Built in 1877 by prominent pioneer businessman Hoyt Sherman, Hoyt Sherman Place mansion was Des Moines' first public art gallery and houses a distinctive collection of 19th and 20th century artwork. Its restored 1,250-seat theater features an intricate rococo plaster ceiling and excellent acoustics and is used for a variety of cultural performances and entertainment.
Dedicated September 27, 2009, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park located in Western Gateway Park from 10th to 15th Streets and between Grand Avenue and Locust Street showcases a collection of 24 world class sculptures valued at more than $40 million donated by Des Moines philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn. Resting on 4.4 acres (2 ha) of green space, the sculpure park is designed as an outdoor art museum. Nearby is the beautifully restored and historic Temple for Performing Arts, reborn as a cultural center for the city. Next to the Temple is the 117,000-square-foot (10,900 m2) Central Library, with its ultramodern, freeform architecture and "organic" roof designed by renowned English architect David Chipperfield.
(information from Wikipedia)
To learn more about Des Moines, check out the Greater Des Moines: Convention and Visitors Bureau