Cultural tourism

Sherry Gupta | Executive Director, CultureALL

The Idea: Des Moines has untapped talent in unexplored neighborhoods, specifically the cultural heritage sections of town. These communities and impressive people remain invisible to the broader, general public. And yet, in this ever-changing global society, we could learn so much from these individuals – and spur innovation. Simultaneously, people from other cultures come to visit their children and stay for as long as six months at a time. These are people who do not drive in the United States. As a result, they are stuck at home waiting for their children to return from work. They grow to dislike Iowa, feeling trapped with nothing to do. We should provide a sightseeing service to help locals and visitors explore the culturally rich diversity of Greater Des Moines. The service could highlight a variety of cultural experiences – Cooking Italian with Alessandra, Bollywood dance classes with Himanshu, roll out chapatis for the lunch service at the Sikh Temple, create sandscapes in a bottle with Mohamed from Jordan, etc. We could start with two target audiences: 1. Local residents ready and eager to explore the rich cultures thriving in Des Moines. 2. Extended families coming to visit. A tour/sightseeing service would develop a schedule, promote the sights and arrange customized packages. >