Alumna enjoys work with Wet Monk Entertainment


by Kelly Gerdts

Simpson graduate Chelcee Cheers is making a splash in the local music scene with her new company Wet Monk Entertainment.

“Wet Monk Entertainment is a company that I started in attempts to get more local bands in front of an audience,” Cheers said. “I noticed that a few bands dominated the local concert scene but I was interested in finding out what other local talent was out there. Therefore, I went searching, and am continuing to do so. Not only is Wet Monk a chance for local bands to be put in front of the eyes of local talent buyers, but it is also a convenient way for talent buyers to find exactly what they are looking to book in their venue.”

Wet Monk’s first big event will be a local talent showcase Saturday, May 14 – Sunday, May 15 from 12 p.m.-10 p.m. each day at the Val Air Ballroom as a part of the City of West Des Moines’ month long A-May-Zing Days celebration.

The A-May-Zing Days Local Talent Showcase allows 30 different bands to get on stage and let the crowd enjoy their music in a festival-style showcase.

 “Not only are they going to be playing in front of concert goers looking to score a great selection of music over 20 hours for 10 bucks, but the bands will also be playing in front of local venue owners interested in purchasing talent,” Cheers said. “This showcase is serving as Wet Monk’s official launch party as well as an excellent opportunity for the community to witness and rally around the awesome amount of talent we are so fortunate to have in this area.”

Cheers started Wet Monk with her boss Chewi Lockhart, general manager of the Val Air Ballroom, as a secondary owner/advisor.

“It was obvious the concert industry was in her blood and she had her head on right,” Lockhart said. “She and I started Wet Monk Entertainment late last year. Then when my assistant position became available this spring at the Val Air, she came on board full time. We both share a very passionate love of live entertainment and we channel that through the Val Air and encourage it with Wet Monk. She keeps me on track and affords me the opportunity to focus on the big picture.”

Cheers’ time at Simpson has been very helpful in her work with Wet Monk and at Val Air. In her communication classes she learned the value of knowing what is important to the people she is trying to sell, market and promote too. Cheers also met a number of people in the regional music scene while at Simpson that helped her get a foot in the door.

“Chelcee always been the entrepreneurial sort,” said Brian Steffen, professor and chair of the department of communication and media studies. “I think she’s got the ambition, the motivation to pull something like this off. She strikes me as someone who’s not afraid to take risks, who may or may not fail but she’ll pick herself up, dust herself off and go on, so this doesn’t surprise me at all. We base our whole senior project in the multimedia journalism seminar on entrepreneurial journalism.”

Cheers’ better idea is to help venues find the local talent they are looking for. To join in on this idea, A-May-Zing Days Local Talent Showcase wristbands are available for $10 at the Val Air Box Office Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and are good for the entire weekend.