The sound


By Michael Swanger


Focus for 2009 Crossroads: ‘Urban Revitalization through Entertainment’

This year’s Crossroads Entertainment & Art Experience to be held Thursday, Dec. 3 and Friday, Dec. 4 in various downtown Des Moines venues promises a new name (formerly Crossroads Entertainment Conference and Showcase), a new theme (“Urban Revitalization through Entertainment”) and a newly created Foundation Award, but the same concerted effort to educate and unite music, film, theater, art and food communities in Iowa and the Midwest, say its organizers.

“The entertainment industry has taken the lead in transforming blighted urban areas into vibrant districts that support the economy and put their cities on the national map,” said Kathryn Dickel, the event’s founder-organizer and owner of IowaTix, when asked about this year’s theme.

Keynote panelists will discuss projects from five Midwest cities on Friday, Dec. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Des Moines Central Library to illustrate how entertainment districts have improved blighted urban areas. They include Jason Kulbel of Omaha, owner of Saddle Creek Records and The Slowdown; F. John Herbert, founder of the non-profit Cedar Rapids venue CSPS-Legion Arts; Brad Parks, chairman of the Iowans for a Better Future Board and co-founder of his own Dubuque multi-media company; Amedeo Rossi, owner of the Vaudeville Mews and The Lift and founding member of the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition; and Zachary Mannheimer, founder of The Des Moines Social Club. Rossi and Herbert, along with Mel Andringa, co-founder of CSPS, will also receive the event’s inaugural Foundation Award from Cyndi Petersen, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, during a Leadership Reception to be held Friday at 6 p.m.

“We changed our focus from quantity to quality with this year’s event,” Dickel said. “We really wanted every participant whether fan, speaker, industry professional or sponsor to walk away from this year’s event with a sense of value, i.e. they discovered a new artist, gained new business or fans, or met a potential collaborator.”

Of course, there is still plenty to do at this year’s Crossroads. Free instructional seminars and theater and film showcases, as well as a music showcase featuring several Iowa bands (as well as artists from Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee), an art showcase, and a new focus on local, sustainable and organic food production and marketing are included among the several activities of the two-day event. But Dickel said she isn’t focused on surpassing last year’s attendance figure of 1,110.

“We’ll be measuring success less on volume of attendees and more on value of attendees,” she said. CV


Caption: The Magazines, fronted by Bradford Johnson, formerly of the Rosefield Rivals and Stallions vs. Unicorns, headline the Boulevard Stage at the Des Moines Social Club on Friday, Dec. 4 at 12:15 a.m. for the 2009 Crossroads Entertainment & Art Experience.


2009 Crossroads Entertainment & Art Experience
Locations: 4th Street Theatre, Vaudeville Mews, The Lift, West End Architectural Salvage, Des Moines Central Library, Des Moines Social Club
Costs: Free seminars and theater and film showcases. Music, art and culinary showcases are $10 in advance through IowaTix and $15 at the door. VIP passes are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.


Schedule: For the complete lineup of events at the 2009 Crossroads Entertainment & Art Experience, visit


Music Showcase Lineup
All performances will be held on two stages at the Des Moines Social Club on Friday, Dec. 4 starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance through IowaTix or $15 at the door.


Boulevard Stage IowaTix Stage
8 p.m. Cashes Rivers 8 p.m. Mary McAdams with James Biehn
9 p.m. Alexis Stevens 9 p.m. Brother Trucker
10 p.m. Giano 10 p.m. The Speedbumps
11 p.m. Modoc 11 p.m. The Anytime
12:15 a.m. The Magazines 12:15 a.m. DD Sparks

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