Neighborhood

Des Moines: Culturally and Politically Important

Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Iowa. It is named after the Des Moines River, meaning the "River of the Monks." Des Moines is a major center of the U.S. insurance industry, and in fact, it was credited as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies", making it the third largest insurance capital of the world. It is also an important city in U.S. presidential politics because it is home to the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle. Hence, many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. The city of Des Moines is the cultural center for Iowa and home to several art and history museums as well as several performing arts groups. In addition, Des Moines plays host to a growing number of nationally acclaimed cultural events including the annual Des Moines Art Festival in June, the Iowa State Fair in August, and the World Food & Music Festival in September.