The Great Ape Trust is located in Des Moines, the capital of Iowa and home of the largest gold dome in North America. The metropolitan area for Des Moines is ranked 91st in terms of population in the U.S. and has been rated by Forbes magazine as No. 1 city for young professionals and No. 2 city for family life and jobs.

Nestled in downtown Des Moines is the 4.4 acre urban John and Mary Pappajohns Sculpture Park featuring 27 sculptures by internationally known artists such as Jaume Plensa, Louise Bourgeois, Judith Shea, Mark di Suvero, and Yoshitomo Nara to name a few.

The Des Moines Arts Festival is staged around the sculpture park and draws attendance of more than 200,000 people a year, and the Des Moines Art Center is recognized internationally as a museum with major emphasis on contemporary art.