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William G. Stowe Foundation Working to Install Jordan Weber’s Water Curia in Des Moines Water Works Park

Water Curia Circular Pavilion

April 3, 2024

During his career, William “Bill” Stowe proved himself to be a visionary leader capable of bringing people together to make the community he served better. As Director of Public Works for the City of Des Moines and as General Manager and CEO of Des Moines Water Works, Bill was well known to Central Iowans. The William G. Stowe Foundation was formed in his honor to provide accessible environmental education and resources to the community.

In 2024, the Stowe Foundation is working to bring internationally renowned artist Jordan Weber’s Water Curia, a 20-foot-tall circular pavilion, to life in Des Moines Water Works Park. Water Curia will add to Downtown Des Moines’s (Downtown DSM’s) already impressive collection of outdoor art. If that wasn’t enough, Water Curia will be an outdoor classroom and gathering space, creating opportunities for youth and adults to engage with water in new and innovative ways, spurring imagination, growth, curiosity and renewed connections to the natural environment.

About Water Curia in Downtown Des Moines

Along Fleur Drive between Grays Lake and the Lauridsen Amphitheater, Water Curia will nestle in the trees of Water Works Park. The large natural stones at the base of the sculpture will give way to smaller ones, teaching how water is cleaned in the gallery system beneath the Park. During the evening hours, a halo of LEDs will cast soft, warm light and welcoming shadows across Water Curia as motorists make their way through this gateway to the city.

While Water Curia is undeniably art, its mission is education. It is intended to host educational displays and activities designed by a team led by the School of Education at Drake University. Bicyclists, walkers, concertgoers and students will find regularly changing exhibits focused on water and environmental topics. Every visit to Water Curia is meant to be different, inspiring further learning and exploration while intentionally leading Water Curia guests to explore not only the rest of Water Works Park but also the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Science Center, the soon-to-arise Iowa Confluence Water Trails (ICON), Des Moines Sculpture Park, Des Moines Art Center and other attractions that make Central Iowa great.

Water Curia

The William G. Stowe Foundation is committed to being a catalyst to bring people and organizations together for positive change. The artistic drama of Water Curia will draw people to one of Des Moines’ great natural treasures, Water Works Park. Once there, visitors will be treated to a learning experience that connects them to and helps them become better stewards of the environment. Water Curia at Des Moines Water Works Park is the latest example of how Central Iowa uniquely blends art, learning and living to the fullest as no other region can.

Water Curia is a permanent display that will be installed in the fall of 2024.

Find more information about Water Curia at stowefoundation.org.

Recently ranked a top 10 metro for number of economic development projects among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million, growth continues in and around Downtown Des Moines (DSM) in part thanks to unique public-private partnerships that allow community leaders to work together to invest in, grow and improve the city center. Learn more about other recent development projects in Downtown DSM.

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. Find event information and follow @downtownDSMUSA on Facebook and Instagram for other news, tips and events happening downtown.

Graham Gillette

Graham Gillette is Founder and Managing Director of Gillette Strategic Resources, LLC in Des Moines, Iowa. Gillette Strategic Resources, LLC, is a communications firm serving scientific, medical, technical, retail, power generation and public policy organizations. .