A- A+

Experience the World Food & Music Festival as a 2023 Volunteer

WFMF Volunteer

July 19, 2023

For Joe D’Souza, the World Food & Music Festival in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is the ideal way to give back to his community. His experience as a volunteer at The Festival continues to bring him back year after year to celebrate his own Indian culture and be a part of the ongoing efforts to elevate diversity in the region.

Volunteer Experience

D’Souza has volunteered in his DNA. After deciding to volunteer for the three-day Festival for the first time, he was spotted by Colleen Murphy, former Downtown Events Director for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, who offered him a spot on a special team of volunteers. Now in charge of Culinary Discovery Pavilion volunteers, he introduces chefs and acts as an extension of the events team.

What he loves about The Festival is how it can help people develop palates for other types of food, introducing them to new items they can learn to make themselves. He also can showcase foods from his own culture, broadening people’s perceptions of what Indian food is. While some Indian food can be spicy, it can also be delicious, and D’Souza loves to be able to emphasize these aspects of his country’s foods, while attending and volunteering at the event.

This year, D’Souza is excited for attendees to learn new cooking tactics and experience foods they aren’t used to. In the Culinary Discovery Pavilion, attendees can encounter items that are not everyday foods, for example, cooked insects.

Festival volunteers receive a free T-shirt to wear during their shift and two tickets for free food. All volunteers must be 16 years old and can volunteer to help with set-up, clean-up, the information booth, merchandising and more. Learn more about volunteering here.

Western Gateway in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is home to the World Food & Music Festival, where diverse cuisine, live music, cooking demonstrations and other performances offer a place to experience culture every September.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Molly Atkins

Molly Atkins is Events Specialist at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.