Sunday, July 25, 2021

Join our email blast

The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Check out the latest Center Stage column by The Culture Buzz’s John Busbee in Cityview. This month’s feature is about the Greater Des Moines Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theatre Arts Awards event on Sun Aug 25 at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre. Free for all to attend and be the first to see who wins the coveted Cloris Awards for the 2018-2019 Greater Des Moines theatre season:

“Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours … tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” – Toni Morrison upon accepting her Nobel Prize in Literature, 1993

Are you curious about where I find these quotes? Dr. Mardy Grothe is considered the foremost authority on quotations, and offers a weekly newsletter (free, quick read, always great content) and use his online “Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations” to search for topic-referenced quotes. The Culture Buzz will be interviewing Mardy soon about his forthcoming book, “Deconstructing Trump.” 

Featured Cultural Offering

Iowa State Fair – A microcosmic offering of Iowa’s eclectic nature. One of the state’s largest events (more than a million will visit the Fair this year), a great creative escape is at the Cultural Center where the Cultural Adventurer will be dazzled by the artists exhibiting, demonstrating and engaging visitors, as well as the exhibits of a wealth of creative entries in the fine arts and photography sections in this building.

Prep Iowa

More Cultural Considerations:

  1. Polk County Heritage Gallery’s Iowa Exhibited XXXIV, the 34th edition of their celebrated juried art show. Exhibit closes Sep 6, 2019.
  2. Paintpushers & The Des Moines Camera Club, exhibiting at the Ankeny Art Center through Sep 26.
  3. Barnum Factory Sculpture Competition Unveiling. One of Central Iowa’s cutting edge creative spaces invites the public to share the unveiling of new works of art. 

Auditions and other Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Auditions for Tallgrass Theatre Company’s production of Wait Until Dark. * Auditions for adults will take place on Monday, August 26 & Tuesday, August 27 at 7:00pm
    * Auditions for the role of Gloria (10-12 year old girl) will take place on Tuesday, September 3 at 7:00pm.
    * NOTE: Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out the required paperwork before your audition.
    Audition Structure:
    * No need to prepare a monologue.
    * Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Sides from the script will be provided to you for auditions. 
    * Please contact Tom Perrine (Artistic Director), at with questions regarding the script or requests to view the script in advance.
  1. Auditions for Ankeny Community Theatre’s production of ‘Night Mother will be held Sun Aug 18 and Mon Aug 19 at 6:30 PM. Cast Descriptions: Jessie,30-50 – Jessie has had issues both emotionally and physically in the past and it has taken its toll on her.  In the last year she has begun to take control of both her mind and body and on this night is determined to keep it.  She has a peaceful energy and a sense of purpose but she is very aware of the passing of time.  She is forth right and the most enjoyable/communicative she has ever been tonight. Thelma, 40-70 – Jessie’s mother.  She is the opposite of Jessie – talkative, always in control, a mentally sturdy woman.  This is her house and things are the way she wants them in her house.  
    They have lived together for a long time so there is a routine and comfort to how Thelma and Jessie interact.  We see both the good and bad interactions of this familiarity.
  1. Seedlings Fall Workshops for Kids Ages 8–13 – Registration is Now Open! Visit WDM Parks & Recreation Programsor click on the links below to register. All workshops are $35/child and will be held at the Valley Junction Activity Center (217 5th St). Contact with questions.

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.

RJ Mischo with Malcolm Wells & The Two-Timers. Fri Aug 16 @ 7pm. Noce, 1326 Walnut, Des Moines. Classy musicians in a classy cabaret setting.

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. 

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), 

Life Resource News:

This is a new, occasional offering to inform you about noteworthy events, books, resources to enhance your life.

  1. “Health Literacy:  The Secret to Being a Power Patient!” Aug 22, Aug 28 or Sep 17. A 3-hour seminar hosted by the Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation, Ames IA, on the fundamentals of being an empowered patient. Learn how to access the information you need to make medical decisions, from choosing a doctor to designing a treatment plan. 

For details and to register:  “Prime Time Alive” at 

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. Current column:
  2. Cityview – Central Iowa’s monthly printed and continually updated online resource to all things happening in your community, from arts & culture, to music, to civic and political discourse, to fascinating columnists and stories. Cityview is the reliable source for keeping you informed and engaged in the Greater Des Moines community and beyond.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. ♦

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *