Jan 25, 2023 - Things to Do

How Jeff Chelesvig, CEO of Des Moines Performing Arts, starts his day

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Jeff Chelesvig, president and CEO of Des Moines Performing Arts. Photo courtesy of DMPA

Keeping thousands of theater-goers happy is a uniquely challenging role that Jeff Chelesvig, president and CEO of Des Moines Performing Arts, has been doing for 28 years.

  • But while he's rubbed shoulders with some of the industry's most famous names, one of the first things he reaches for in the morning is a word game, just like the rest of us (The New York Times' Spelling Bee, more specifically).
  • "I play it until I get the 'genius' because I have to get the genius," he said.

We asked Chelesvig about the rest of his morning routine:

โฐ Wake up: 6:30-6:45am. Usually he'd frequent the gym in the morning, but after a bout of COVID-19 over the holidays, "it's been a little hard to get back into."

๐ŸŒ Breakfast: Yogurt, cereal and coffee.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What he's reading: Several news sites and email follow-ups until he walks into work at the Civic Center.

Pro tip: He goes into work a little bit later and stays after most people are gone to better concentrate.

  • "I find it's a little quieter."
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