Saturday, October 23, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


“Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.” –Matthew Arnold, in Preface to “Literature and Dogma” (1873) 

Featured Cultural Offering:

Three Dish Night. Tue Jun 25. Enjoy an evening of Artistry – visual arts, cuisine & jazz! Bistro Nomad, Downtown Des Moines. Local artist, Brent Holland and French Master Chef, David Baruthio, have collaborated to come up with an experience Des Moines has never seen before. Chef Baruthio created a ‘one night only,’ three-course, Mediterranean meal at Bistro Nomad that is inspired by Holland’s artwork which is architectural in nature and exhibited at the restaurant. Add the jazz mastery of John Krantz and Steve Charlson, and this will become a fantastic experience.

More Cultural Considerations:

Prep Iowa
  1. Pyramid Theatre Company will wrap up its 2019 season this weekend in repertory with Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket (Fri Jun 21 and Sun Jun 23) and August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned (Sat Jun 22). Critically acclaimed during its Off-Broadway premiere, Holder’s powerful play is a wonderful theatrical and cultural experience. In August Wilson’s biopic, Aaron Smith weaves a magical majesty into the life of the playwright.
  2. The Play that Goes Wrong runs Jun 25-30 at Des Moines Performing Arts’ Civic Center performing hall. What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, Broadway & London’s award-winning smash comedy! Called “A GUT-BUSTING HIT” (The New York Times) and “THE FUNNIEST PLAY BROADWAY HAS EVER SEEN” (HuffPost), this classic murder mystery is chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania delivering “A RIOTOUS EXPLOSION OF COMEDY” (Daily Beast).
  3. Limited Space | Art Week Opening Ceremony Art Week Des Moines. Curate, 322 East Court Avenue, Des Moines. Free and open to age-appropriate public. Sat Jun 22. Doors open 6:30 PM. Art Show 7:00 PM. Welcome by David Safris 9:00 PM. #SomeWhereInDesMoines Photo Contest. 9:30 PM Dance Party.
  4. To all artists based in Iowa! Gain recognition in the Iowa Art Scene by entering the Polk County Heritage Gallery’s Iowa Exhibited XXXIV, the 34th edition of our juried art show. Jun 24 – Sep 6, 2019.
  5. Artisans Gallery 218, 218 Fifth Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines. Mon Jun 24, 4pm – 7pm. Join us for a book signing and wine tasting and learn about Iowa Wines! ‘A History of Iowa Wine: Vines of the Prairie’ with author John N Peragine will be discussed and available for signing and purchase. Iowa has a history with grapevines that goes back more than a century. New York lawyer Hiram Barney obtained a tract of land in southeast Iowa as part of the Half-Breed program following the American Indian Wars and created the White Elk Winery. German settlers in Amana tended community vineyards for communal wines.
  6. Poetry Unplugged at Ritual Café Thu Jun 20, 7:00-9:00 PM. Poetry Unplugged (in Des Moines, IA) is a community open mic based, but not limited to poetry. Where everyone is welcome. Ritual café every 4th Thursday. 

Greater Des Moines Music Tip:

This weekly tip is brought to you by Steve Vasquez of the Central Iowa Blues Society –, for full calendar of live music in our region.

FRI  JUN 21, 2019 @ 5:00PM. The Riverwalk Hub, 215 Water St, Des Moines. Ducharme-Jones 

SUN JUN 23, 2019 @ 6:00PM. Lefty’s Live Music, 2307 University Ave. The 44s. Doors at 5PM / Show at 6PM – $15 (CIBS Members receive a $5 rebate at the door when checking in at the venue)

Contributing to making a better world:

Citizen Diplomacy Summit: Global Effect, Local Impact. Iowa Sister States and the Iowa International Center are pleased to announce that they are joining forces to co-host the Citizen Diplomacy Summit: Global Effect, Local Impact, to be held on Wednesday, June 19th at DMACC Southridge Center from 7:45am – 1:00pm. The Citizen Diplomacy Summit is an opportunity for those committed to connecting people across the globe to come together for purposeful dialogue around challenges and triumphs of working with international communities. The Citizen Diplomacy Summit offers a chance for cities, educational institutions, organizations, business, citizens, and other interested parties the opportunity to connect on common issues as well as to nurture a supportive global community in Iowa. The event’s opening session will feature Teta Moehs, Deputy Director of the Office of International Visitors, Department of State. Ambassador Kenneth Quinn will lead the lunch keynote panel will include insights and experiences from abroad. During the summit, community leaders will headline volunteer and resource development discussions. Registration for the event and more information can be found at 

Worth the drive:

The Faulconer Gallery in Grinnell at Grinnell College is a wondrous destination and less than an hour to the east of Greater Des Moines. Anchoring the Bucksbaum Fine Arts Center, this gallery, under the masterful guidance of Director Lesley Wright, is an ever-changing exploration of visual arts and great presentations. Now open through Jul 20 is Fiber Artists of Iowa, an exceptional show that highlights the wide variety of expertise, imagination, and fiber techniques of 23 artists residing in Iowa. Also on view is Summer Gems, presented by the Jewel Box Quilters Guild, through Jul 27.

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.
  1. Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny.
  2. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.
  3. 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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