Des Moines Music Strategy

The Des Moines Music Task Force and Sound Diplomacy have partnered to develop a study and strategy to support the growth of the Des Moines music ecosystem. Released in late 2022, the report includes important information of the current health of the music economy and recommendations of where we go from here.

Learn more:

Executive Summary (recommended)

Full Report



Over the coming months, we will begin to implement the recommendations included in this report. Sign up for our newsletter to learn how you can get involved in making Des Moines a music city.


Did you know we have over 100 music-related businesses in Des Moines? Use our interactive map below to explore the local music ecosystem. You can dive deeper into the map by using Sound Diplomacy’s mapping tool.


What do famous American music cities such as Nashville, Austin, or New Orleans have in common? Beyond a critical mass of aspiring career musicians, each of these cities also have systems in place to support the interconnected web that make up a music ecosystem. This means: music venues can find quality audio engineers who may have access to local colleges or adult education courses in live sound, local musicians who want to release an album can shop around to local record labels, and music entrepreneurs can access affordable workspace and resources to grow their companies.

These are just a few examples of the infrastructure that can exist in a music city. Each music city is different, and while Des Moines currently does not have the type of critical mass of musicians and industry as places like Nashville or Austin, creating a strategy towards growing the music ecosystem in our town can help support the musicians and industry workers who live here and potentially attract and cultivate a larger and more sustainable music scene. The strategy will help us with a road map of where we go from here.


The Des Moines Music Task Force included representatives from the following organizations: Bravo Greater Des Moines, Hoyt Sherman Place, Capital Crossroads, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Public Radio, and the Des Moines Music Coalition. This study was a collaborative effort between Sound Diplomacy and Des Moines Music Coalition.

This project is made possible by a Strategic Collaboration Grant Program from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines with additional support from the Greater Des Moines Partnership.