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Kick Off Women's History Month in March

2020 Women's History Month Events in DSM

March 3, 2020

March 1 kicks off Women’s History Month! In Greater Des Moines (DSM), you can celebrate the advancement of women in our community by visiting the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge, shopping at local female-owned businesses and attending inspiring women-focused events. Beth Coonan, Chair of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, says “Women’s History Month is a wonderful time to reflect on the work of women suffragists like Carrie Chapman Catt, Sue M. Wilson Brown and Gertrude Rush and to celebrate those women who have made lasting contributions for the betterment of women and girls in our state by nominating them for the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.” Applications for the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame and the Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice are being accepted throughout the month of March.

Take a Walk on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge

Iowa Women of Achievement BridgeLocated along the Principal Riverwalk, the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge recognizes Iowa women from history. These women are outstanding in their field and have contributed to the state, serving Iowans and advancing important causes. Honorees have included women like Carrie Chapman Catt, an Iowa State alum and leader of the American women’s suffrage movement; St. Bernadine Piper, CHM, a nationally renowned scientist of zoology and botany and educator; and Willie Glanton, the first African American woman to serve in the Iowa legislature.

Shop at a Women-Owned Small Business in DSM

DSM is home to many women-owned businesses which help ensure our community continues to prosper and include women in business. In the Historic East Village alone you’ll find a number of successful businesses run by talented women, including vintage apparel shop Preservation, bath and beauty shop Eden and Salon Spa W, named one of the top 100 salons in the U.S. by Elle Magazine.

Further west, near Western Gateway Park, is Art Terrarium. This houseplant shop contains a potting bar, houseplants and an ever-changing calendar of events. The shop is owned by Andrea Metzler, a female business owner with a knack for networking and building community. Read about how Andrea creates growth through collaboration.

Go north into Ankeny and shop for gifts at Walnut + Willow or XOXO Home + Gift (formerly Treasure House and re-opening in April 2020). Travel to West Des Moines and peruse the aisles of denim bar, Blond Genius, or find Iowa-inspired gifts at Heart of Iowa Marketplace. Go south to nearby Indianola and check out specialty gift store, adorn. Or try heading east to Pleasant Hill to clothing boutique Empress Threads.

Find more women-owned shops, restaurants and more by visiting this directory.

“She-roes” of Iowa

Local events celebrating Iowa women will take place throughout the month of March. Here are two not-to-miss events:

Iowa Women’s Conference 2020

Bethenny Frankel, self-made businesswoman, TV producer and bestselling author, will speak at the Iowa Women’s Conference (WOCO), along with entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg. The 2020 event will benefit Dorothy’s House, a safe house for teen girls and youth affected by sex trafficking. The conference will take place Wednesday, March 4 at the Iowa Events Center in Downtown DSM. Event Info>

NAWBO Celebrates Women

On Tuesday, March 10, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) will visit Terrace Hill to celebrate women. This member-only event begins at 4:30 p.m. with an hourlong networking session. NAWBO is an association that works to represent women entrepreneurs in all industries, empowering them to propel other women in business into economic, social and political arenas worldwide. Event Info>

To join NAWBO, fill out an application here.

19th Amendment 100th Anniversary Commemoration

Several events will take place throughout the month of March as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, including lectures from esteemed speakers and various documentary screenings. Event Info>

‘Illusive’ Art Exhibition

The State Historical Museum of Iowa is currently featuring Renee Meyer Ernst’s Iowa women’s art exhibition ‘Illusive’ through June 30. The exhibit displays digital collage work related to the artist’s story as a Korean adoptee. The exhibit is located in The Governor’s Office and is available by appointment only. Event Info>

‘Toward a Universal Suffrage: African American Women in Iowa and the Vote for All’ Travel Exhibit

The Central Iowa Community Museum will host the ‘Toward a Universal Suffrage: African American Women in Iowa and the Vote for All' exhibition Friday, March 6 at Iowa State University (free and open to ISU students, faculty and staff) and Wednesday, March 25 at Wakonda Club in Des Moines ($40 tickets). If you’re unable to catch it this month, it’ll be back in June and July at the State Historical Museum (free admission). Event Info>

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Sanjita Pradhan

Sanjita Pradhan is the director of diversity and inclusion at the Greater Des Moines Partnership where she leads our internal and external DEI strategies to ensure DSM USA is welcoming and inclusive to all individuals.