An Introduction to Des Moines:
Heart of the Heartland
Join State of the Re:Union as the show travels to the surprisingly metropolitan and remarkably progressive city of Des Moines, Iowa. Discover an immigrant Iraqi family’s take on the American dream, hear how traditional farming techniques have once again become relevant to 21st century business and get a Middle-American take on the Gay Marriage debate in Heart of the Heartland.
The Entire Radio Episode
Coming to America
Former Director for the National Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Iraqi Arts Council, Amer Al-Obaidi”s life changed drastically when Saddam”s regime fell. After losing his son to a roadside bomb and receiving death threats from insurgents, Al-Obaidi”s family fled to Syria where they were in exile for 3 years. Last November, the family received refugee status from the UN and relocated to Des Moines. We look at how the city has welcomed this family from afar and examine their take on the American Dream.
The Des Moines Social Club
A local theater director in Brooklyn, New York, set off to try his hand at creating an art scene in a town he”d never been to. Three years later, the Des Moines Social Club is a 30,000 square foot center bustling with a wide range of activities, from opera to wrestling, and bringing together pockets of the community that wouldn”t otherwise meet.
Like many family farmers, Paul Willis was getting squeezed out of his vocation by large factory farms. With an entrepreneurial spirit and some marketing savvy, he found a creative solution using simpler methods to provide for a modern niche market.
The Envy Corps
Despite extensive touring in England and major label success overseas, this incredible band walked away from traditional success to create music they love and help shape the community that shaped them.
Happy in the Heartland
Iowa is the third state in the Union to allow Gay Marriage. We follow the host”s journey speaking with people affected by the law and his changing viewpoint on the subject.
Letters to the City
As with our previous two episodes, the Des Moines episode features residents reading their letters to Des Moines.