Enriching, preserving, and supporting our community

Our Mission

The mission of the Des Moines Women’s Club is to improve the lives of our members through lifelong learning, to enrich our community through benevolent and scholarship activities, and to support the Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation in its efforts to preserve and enhance Hoyt Sherman Place.


I’m a lifelong learner, and Des Moines Women’s Club is a great place for me.
— A new member

Our History

FOUNDED IN 1885 BY A SMALL GROUP OF COMMUNITY-MINDED WOMEN. IN APPRECIATION OF THE CLUB'S RICH HERITAGE, CURRENT MEMBERS SHARE THE CONTINUED COMMITMENT OF THE EARLY MEMBERS TO PRESERVE HOYT SHERMAN PLACE AND ITS VALUABLE CONTENTS FOR THE ENJOYMENT, EDUCATION AND ENRICHMENT OF THE PUBLIC. 

COMMITTEES FUNCTION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO PLAN AND IMPLEMENT THE MANY CLUB ACTIVITIES. MEMBERS EXERCISE THEIR TALENTS AND CREATIVITY AS THEY PLAN INFORMATIVE PROGRAMS, FUND RAISING ACTIVITIES, SPECIAL LUNCHEONS, AND CARD PARTIES. THE CLUB AWARDS SEVERAL SCHOLARSHIPS EACH YEAR AND SPONSORS AN ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION WITH CASH AWARDS TO BOTH PROFESSIONAL AND NON-PROFESSIONAL AREA ARTISTS.

IN 1907, AN ADDITION TO THE ORIGINAL HOME WAS BUILT TO HOUSE ARTWORK OBTAINED BY THE WOMEN'S CLUB. THIS BECAME THE FIRST PUBLIC ART GALLERY IN DES MOINES.

HOYT SHERMAN PLACE IS A BEAUTIFULLY PRESERVED TREASURE OF THE VICTORIAN ERA WITH A 1253 SEAT THEATER RECENTLY RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL GRANDEUR. IT WAS PLACED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF  HISTORIC PLACES IN 1977.

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