By Alex Schuman
From the magical land of Oz to the deep recesses below the Paris Opera House, the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines brings shows Iowans would otherwise have to travel hundreds of miles to see.
Convincing those productions to come to Iowa can be tough. Theatre groups across the country bid to have them visit and to help compete, they want a new name that does not sound like a town or county event center.
"When we are competing for shows, sometimes there's a little confusion. We, believe or not, still get phone calls to see how many people we seat for a tractor pull," said Jeff Chelesvig, Des Moines Performing Arts president.
After nearly two years of hurdles and focus groups, they decided to switch the name that oversees the Civic Center, Temple for Performing Arts, Nollen Plaza and Stoner Studio Theatre from the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines to Des Moines Performing Arts.
"Des Moines Performing Arts speaks more to what we are about," said Chelesvig.
The change does not mean they will repaint the doors. All the venues' names stay the same. It's their hope, the change will help them continue to expand their influence.
"It will really further amplify the significant growth that we've had and the role that we play in performing arts," he said. "Not only locally, but regionally and nationally."