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Make Time to Visit Local Author Abena Sankofa Imhotep at the 2023 DSM Book Festival

Abena Sankofa Inhotep

For the past few years, Abena Sankofa Imhotep has worked on their first book, “Omari’s Big Tree and the Mighty Djembe,” gaining inspiration from becoming a grandparent and working in an afterschool literacy program. The idea for the book came after the Midwest derecho in August of 2020. The book has been a way to speak on environmental issues and share how even children can help improve our environmental condition.

Author Journey

Local artist Meanz Chan created the illustrations for the book. Chan and Abena worked on this first project together, which was published in August of 2022. Abena has traveled across the state to cities including Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, Ottumwa and others to introduce Omari to people of all ages and backgrounds. However, connecting with Black children through this character has been especially meaningful to Abena as it highlights culture, friendship and Black joy.

2023 DSM Book Festival

As a previous DSM Book Festival attendee, Abena understands the importance of connecting locally. Sharing your accomplishments in a big way at the festival, and events like it, help with networking and connecting with the local author community. These are people who can understand your experiences, both struggles and triumphs. Abena will be at the upcoming DSM Book Festival on Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. to connect with attendees and other authors. See the schedule of events for the day here.

Aside from writing a children’s book, Abena also creates space for lifelong learning with Sankofa Literary and Empowerment Group. This organization has an afterschool literacy incubator for emerging readers and other community initiatives that will take place this summer. Volunteer by donating your time to read to a child or find other ways to become involved at abenasankofa.com. More information is also available on Facebook or LinkedIn.

The DSM Book Festival brings together people who love books with the people who create them. VIP passes offer reserved seating for headlining authors, access to a VIP suite, autographed books and more, while writers’ workshops, kids programming and hands-on workshops make the Festival a not-to-miss event.

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.

More Downtown Des Moines (DSM) restaurants are opening all the time. Don’t miss out on bakeries, brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner, pizza, seafood, bars and breweries in downtown. Here’s the in on where to eat locally in Downtown DSM.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.