Thursday, September 16, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

The Culture Buzz


There is a diverse and appealing array of cultural indulgences awaiting the Cultural Adventurer in Central Iowa. Leave the personal devices behind and savor the rich offerings that performing arts, exhibitions and more offer. Sally forth and reward yourself.

Featured Cultural Offering:

Des Moines Symphony’s next Masterworks concert will feature one of Iowa’s most celebrated international talents, Simon Estes. ‘Simon Sings Porgy & Bess,’ will be performed Sat Apr 27 at 7:30 PM and Sun Apr 28 at 2:30 PM in the Des Moines Civic Center. Find more information on our website:

More Cultural Considerations:

1. Marilyn Maye returns to Des Moines for another incomparable series of two musical performances at the Temple Theater Fri-Sat, Apr 26-27. Truly one of America’s grand singers, this legendary jazz singer shares her irresistible stage magic with audiences – a rare treat.

Prep Iowa

2. Treasure Island presented by Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre continues through Apr 28.

3. Ella Enchanted the Musical at the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre (Des Moines Community Playhouse) runs Apr 26-May 19.

4. Proof at the Ankeny Community Theatre runs Apr 25-28.

5. School of Rock the Musical brings its national tour to Des Moines Performing Arts Apr 30-May 5. Catch this invigorating, pulse-pounding show, part of the Willis Broadway Series.

6. Second City It’s Not You, It’s Me opens Tue Apr 30 at the Temple Theater for a 3-week run of the iconic comedy factory’s mix of famous sketches, music and improv. 

7. American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace. This solo performance by Tom Milligan will be presented as part of the Wallace Centers of Iowa programming at the 756 – 16th Street site in Des Moines’ historic Sherman Hill, Tue Apr 30 7:00-9:00 PM.

 Auditions and Other Participation Opportunities:

1.     Art Beacon Digital Residency. Through Art Beacon’s Instagram, this advocacy and promotion group grants Iowa-connected artists and 1-2 week residency. Residents share their work and inspirations in daily posts. Artists are invited or selected from call submissions. Interested artists should contact:

Special opportunity for students interested in writing as a career:

The International Writing Program (IWP)’s Between the Lines two-week creative writing and cultural exchange summer camp in Iowa City offers two sessions in 2019 and is open to students age 15-18 from the U.S. and 21 countries. Scholarships are available (up to full funding). The application deadline for American applicants has been extended to Fri Apr 26, 2019, for both BTL sessions.

Greater Des Moines Independent Book Store Happenings:

The Culture Buzz shares many authors and their books with its audiences. We encourage you to visit your local independent book store regularly. The folks at these destination locations know books, and welcome the chance to help anyone connect with titles and subjects they seek. Check these sites, as their calendars are always filled with enticing activities and news.

1.     Beaverdale Books, Des Moines.

2.     Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny.

3.     Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.

4.     Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),

Cultural Exploration Resources:

The Culture Buzz will begin including carefully vetted but comprehensive listings where you can do some advance online exploration before scheduling destinations in the region. These are two great websites to know about:

1.     Center Stage – John Busbee writes this Cityview monthly column. See what is happening on Central Iowa’s stages. Distributed throughout the region and available online.

2.     Art Beacon Des Moines is Central Iowa’s home for promoting the visual arts. Our calendar of events highlights exhibitions, art talks and calls for art. Subscribe to the Art Beacon Weekly, our online newsletter filled with links to the latest art happenings. Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

3.     A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre is Central Iowa’s source for knowing what productions by which companies are available when. In short, you can know what’s playing before it happens rather than after the fact. Timothy Rose created this site with its comprehensive theatre calendar for you, the cultural consumer. He includes articles and more, making this a worthy destination when curious about what’s happening in Central Iowa’s theatre scene.

As always, I appreciate news and information from you out there in the cultural trenches and am ready and willing to pursue a story or interview to share with my audiences.

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