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Interactive Seesaw Activation To Add Welcome Surprise To Downtown Des Moines

April 3, 2024

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (April 3, 2024) – A new activation will add vibrancy and interactive public art to Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Impulse by CS Design & Lateral Office, an interactive work comprised of oversized seesaws of various sizes with lighting and sound, will be installed at Cowles Commons beginning on Thursday, April 18 and be available to the public until Sunday, May 19. The activation is a joint endeavor between Des Moines Performing Arts and Operation Downtown, in partnership with the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Impulse is a production of Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and distributed by QDSinternational. 

Impulse seesaws

“This activation adds to the energy and vibrancy of our region’s Downtown. We encourage residents, employees and visitors to create memories by experiencing this installation in Downtown Des Moines,” said Tiffany Tauscheck, President & CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Activations such as Impulse add welcome surprises, which help draw more people to discover our city’s amenities while supporting local restaurants and attractions. This strategy is in direct alignment with the Downtown DSM: Future Forward Vision Plan & Action Plan.” 

Part playground apparatus, part interactive installation, the 15 seesaws of Impulse transform the space with the sound and light emitted when people play on them. The installation and its streamlined design will delight children and adults as they play with the effects it produces, filling the space with sounds and lights.  

“Immersive theater and public art are two sides of the same coin and we are thrilled to present Impulse as part of our free outdoor family events. It will be wonderful to see those young and young at heart become directors of their own experience,” said Brooke Bridenstine, Programming Coordinator for Des Moines Performing Arts.  

The activations dates for Impulse will coincide with major Downtown events including the Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines which begins on Saturday, May 4, and Civic Center engagements including MJ playing Tuesday, April 30 through Sunday, May 5.  

“Operation Downtown is proud to fund and excited for the opportunity to partner with other organizations to bring this activation to Downtown DSM. Impulse will create an engaging destination that can be visited multiple times throughout the month-long installation period,” said Chris Della Vedova, Chair of the Operation Downtown Board of Directors. “We are excited to add vibrancy to Downtown DSM and encourage all to visit local restaurants and retailers while in the area.” 

About Des Moines Performing Arts 

Des Moines Performing Arts is a private not-for-profit organization celebrating over 40 seasons of presenting the performing arts to Iowa and the surrounding states on four stages in Des Moines – the Civic Center, the Stoner Theater, the Temple Theater and the outdoor space, Cowles Commons. Des Moines Performing Arts is a presenter of major Broadway and educational touring companies, performers and groups, and is home to many local and regional groups, including the Des Moines Symphony. All performances of the Broadway Series are supported by Willis Automotive Campus. All performances at the Temple Theater are supported by Prairie Meadows. All performances of the Family Series are supported by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. For more information, visit DMPA.org

About Downtown, DSM, Inc.

Downtown DSM, Inc. is part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and is dedicated to ensuring the continued growth of Downtown Des Moines (DSM). A strong region needs a strong Downtown. Downtown DSM, Inc. leads efforts to drive development, placemaking and events in Downtown DSM. It promotes a strong Downtown through integration of retail, restaurants, businesses, housing, events and placemaking.  

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 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

About Operation Downtown

Created to help make Downtown Des Moines (DSM) a safer, cleaner place to work, live and visit, Operation Downtown is classified as a Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID). The mission is keeping Downtown DSM safe, clean, welcoming and vibrant, in support of a positive experience. Programs include trash cleanup, flower planting and visitor assistance. Operation Downtown, a 501(c)6, was formed in 1998 by business leaders to provide enhanced services that are not provided by the City of Des Moines. Today, the Greater Des Moines Partnership is a partner of Operation Downtown and helps keep DSM among the highest-rated, most vibrant regions in the country.