Des Moines Social Club

The Des Moines Social Club is a cultural hub on the west side of Des Moines that offers a variety of different classes and events.

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IMG_1745Just a little ways away in downtown Des Moines, amongst the never-ending traffic and the dull, hazy winter, lies a building on the corner of Mulberry and 9th Street. While the weather outside is harsh and murky, within this building is warmth and the sound of constant, excited chatter. All who enter are met with bright smiles from The Des Moines Social Club staff and are welcomed in. Although they may not know it yet, they are members here.

The Des Moines Social Club (DMSC) is a local cultural hub that is located in the west side of downtown Des Moines completely focused on spreading art and creativity throughout the community. Although the word club may connote that the DMSC is a place of exclusivity, it is the exact opposite. Everyone is a member here. Housed in a former fire station, the nonprofit makes it clear that their mission is to create a conglomerate community where different people and personalities cross paths under one roof while creating art and furthering their learning in different areas of self expression.

 

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“All our efforts go towards supporting others and getting people involved in the community,” explained Zoey Miller Venue Coordinator at DMSC. In order to reach as many different types of people as possible, they must provide the community with a range of several different classes and events for all ages. “This is definitely a very important venue for budding artists of all types,” expressed Shawn Johnson, a marketing assistant at DMSC. “We’ve got teachers for break dancing, we’ve got people teaching culinary classes upstairs in the culinary studio. Even lunchtime circus classes.” The organization provides many types of workshops open for all ages from dancing to poetry to cooking to guitar lessons and acting, there is something for everyone. Not to mention, the dozens of events put on my DMSC in a given a week, which includes live music, trivia night, theater productions, and their Viaduct Gallery.

“from dancing to poetry to cooking to guitar lessons and acting, there is something for everyone.””

 

IMG_1732“It’s kind of like an a domino effect, once you start one thing, you start being like, “Oh, they do this!” And then you just do everything!” Shared Kathryn LeRoy, a recent attendee of a belly-dancing class hosted at DMSC. LeRoy is a proud supporter of DMSC and has worked at Capes Kafe, the coffee shop placed within the venue, for over 5 months now. Along with Capes Kafe, the social club also houses MALO, a Latin American restaurant known best for their array of festive fusion dishes.

The social club not only provides opportunities to those interested in sharing and expanding their abilities, but also for those interested in relishing in others hobbies. The Kum & Go Theater and The Basement allow customers to be whisked away in a wide variety of live shows. “I like our Basement venue, it’s a really intimate and cool room to see a show in,” explained Miller. “It’s fun to see the different kinds of talent that come into that space.”

IMG_1795The founder, Zachary Mannheimer, gave the building a Manhattan flare in hopes that it would influence Des Moines’s culture. Before settling in Des Moines, he had lived in and fallen in love with cities such as New York and London over the past decade. Mannheimer, as explained on the DMSC website, chose Des Moines to open the club out of twenty-two different cities. After 8 years of being the executive director, Mannheimer, achieving what he intended to with the club, resigned his position in December in order to focus on other ways to improve the city such as its transportation system. As for the club itself, it will continue to operate and remain as Des Moines’s cultural hub.

Having organizations such as DMSC, that are bursting with art and culture, it’s no wonder that Des Moines was ranked in the top ten most creative cities. “People are inspired to come here and are curious about the place., Amanda Phillips, the Culinary Arts Director, gushed. With such a blossoming, modern city, Des Moines continues to grow in culture and art, with the social club leading the way to creativity.