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The Culture Buzz Launches “Importing Ideas & Inspiration” Initiative By Naming Award-winning Author, Artist, Educator, and Advocate John Schlimm as its First Visiting Cultural Exchange Ambassador and Cultural Catalyst for Iowa


Upcoming Visit to Des Moines and Dubuque: March 6-15

Des Moines, IA ~ Iowa’s leading cultural advocacy network The Culture Buzz is proud to announce that it has named international award-winning author, artist, educator, and advocate John Schlimm as its first Visiting Cultural Exchange Ambassador and Cultural Catalyst for Iowa. This appointment launches The Culture Buzz’s initiative “Importing Ideas & Inspiration” during John’s first of many upcoming visits to Iowa from March 6 to March 15 to the Des Moines and Dubuque areas.

In this role, John will bring his 25 years of multi-tiered, culture-based experience as the author of 20 books ranging in topics and genres; his work as a Participatory Art creator of such projects as THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours); his achievements as a Harvard-trained educator and university professor; his background in public relations, business, and hospitality, including as a member of one of the country’s oldest and most historic brewing families (Straub Brewery, founded by his great-great-grandfather in the 1870s); and his unbridled passion for advocacy efforts that span the Arts and Humanities, mental health and wellness, education and students/Gen Z, anti-abuse, rescue dogs, volunteerism, and much more.

“A quintessential culture leader and role model, John’s inspiring work in helping all people to embrace their best and happiest lives will be utilized to further establish productive partnerships within our state, and to shine a bright light on the amazing spectrum of cultural work being done by Iowans at every level, from grassroots upward,” Culture Buzz Founder John Busbee said. “From exchanging ideas to harnessing creative synergy, this fun guy from Pennsylvania is about to become Iowa’s new best friend and cheerleader!”

To kick-off his new role as Visiting Cultural Exchange Ambassador and Cultural Catalyst, John will road-trip the 14-hour drive from his small hometown of St. Marys, Pennsylvania, to Iowa in March for a series of events in the Des Moines and Dubuque areas. This visit will highlight the broad scope of what he and The Culture Buzz hope to eventually accomplish statewide through this ambitious initiative to help facilitate and celebrate the ever-expanding range of cultural endeavors happening everywhere in Iowa.

Prep Iowa


In Des Moines, John’s events will include:

  • Friday, March 6, _5:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Installation of John’s Participatory Art piece THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) at the region’s premier open house First Friday at Mainframe Studios (900 Keo Way, Des Moines);
  • Saturday, March 7, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Whiskey-tasting fundraiser at The Iowa Taproom (215 E. 3rd Street, Des Moines), benefitting the Puppy Jake Foundation;
  • Monday, March 9: Roundtable discussion about mental health and wellness with the team at NAMI Iowa;
  • Monday, March 9, 6:30 p.m.: Extraordinary Dogs Q&A and booksigning at Beaverdale Books (2629 Beaver Avenue, Suite 1, Des Moines);
  • Tuesday, March 10: Roundtable discussion with students at Drake University to discuss the issues facing Generation Z; and
  • Wednesday, March 11: Launch of John’s Participatory Art project titled City of Change with the youth artists at ArtForce Iowa.


In Dubuque, John’s events will include:

  • Thursday, March 12, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.: Extraordinary Dogs Discussion and booksigning at Loras College (Loras College Ballroom, 1450 Alta Vista, Dubuque);
  • Friday, March 13, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.: “Healing Through Animals” Presentation at Canticle of Creation Center (3390 Windsor Avenue, Dubuque);
  • Friday, March 13: Roundtable discussion with Psychology students at Loras College; and
  • Saturday, March 14, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.: “Dog (God) Moments That Heal” Presentation and debut of John’s Participatory Art project Planting PEACE at Canticle of Creation Center (3390 Windsor Avenue, Dubuque).

“I believe in meeting people where they are and helping them to rise from there to achieve their greatest potential,” John Schlimm said. “Iowa is the very heart and soul of the great American Heartland, and in this new role I look forward to being the state’s #1 fan while letting the rest of the country and world come along for the ride! The inspiring and impactful pulse that ripples from every corner of this very special place and the folks who live here remind me so much of my own hometown. The ultimate goal of this endeavor is to bring us all closer, so we can then rise together.”

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