What Does a Des Moines Social Club Intern Do?


At least once a week, someone asks, "But what do you do at Des Moines Social Club?" As you may remember, I started my internship back in early September and since that was quite awhile ago, I figured it was time for me to share about what I do there.

To briefly recap: I almost enrolled in culinary school this past September, but decided not to at the very, very last minute. I was literally sitting in orientation when I realized, "This is not for me." I don't think it would've been the worst decision to become a chef - I love food and hospitality - but I never felt peace about that decision. Sometimes that lack of peace is telling. 

Soon afterwards, this internship at DMSC fell into my lap quite serendipitously. It's weird how things work out. I think one reason I was leaning so heavily towards going to school was because it felt safe and for once, choosing the "safe option" felt like a good route to take. But the safe option isn't always the right option, ya know?

My mom used to say, "Today is not forever. Give things time to change." She was right. Within the span of one month I went from almost being a student to becoming an intern at a local non-profit. So if you're in a similar season of life and feeling kind of lost and/or frustrated, remember what my mama told me. Things will change eventually and doors will open.

More below. As always, photography by Liz Brown. Duhhhh. 

I'm down there around ten hours a week and during that time, I'm usually working with our program director, Katie, on a variety of projects. It's always something different, whether I'm making buttons, shopping for confetti guns, or hanging art in the office spaces. Lots to do!

This past month, I've been helping with the annual New Year's Eve Bash. I've never attended, but the human ball drop sounds pretty awesome and vaguely West Coast. The theme for the year is the 90's (MY DECADE) and it has been fun trying to come up with homages that feel authentic without being too corny.

Whenever I think of the 90's, I think of stuff like: green cans of Surge, Justin Timberlake's freaky blonde hair, dead Tamagotchi's, and Titanic sheet music. Seriously, though, everyone single girl I knew in 1999 had that sheet music sitting on their piano bench. It was as unavoidable as.....an iceberg. Ha! Jkjk.

One of the coolest events I've worked was when we had a traveling poster show setup shop in our gallery space. It was a one-night deal and the gallery was packed! It was cool to see so many different people coming together for something as inconsequential as posters. When comes to art, I don't think you ever know what will resonate with people until it's up on the wall. 

Driving back-and-forth between Ankeny and Des Moines has made me appreciate the size and accessibility of our little capital. It's not New York or Chicago, but I appreciate it for what it is. Also, it goes without saying that I love being so close to Horizon Line. I frequent the place often enough that they know my order and I'm not even going to pretend that it doesn't make me feel SO COOL. "Just the usual please..."

I love DMSC's value for community outreach and how they're pushing the boundaries of artistic expression in Des Moines. Plus, the building itself is an old fire station. Example: Malo is located where the engines used to park. Tell that to your friend the next time you grab tacos. 

All done! Hope you enjoyed this quick little tour, guys!