Saturday, October 1, 2022

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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:

Quote of the week:

“Far away there in sunshine are my highest aspirations. I cannot reach them: but I can look up, and see their beauty; believe in them, and follow where they lead.” Louisa May Alcott, in Work: A Story of Experience (1873)

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). I 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

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (Oct)

Broadway singing and The Cloris Awards – one-two cultural punch Aug 24 & 25. Late Night Broadway Live Karaoke at Noce (10:30 PM-12:30 AM), preceded by the “cast” party at The Walnut Aug 24 (beg. 8:00 PM), hosted by A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre. Aug 24 is the final Late Night Broadway Karaoke at Noce, so we’re going out with a little party beforehand. Join us at The Walnut, just down the street from Noce, for a get-together to celebrate, remember, and enjoy ourselves before the last show!! This is a public event; all are welcome to come join us! And then, of course, head on over later to Noce for Late Night Live Broadway Karaoke!!

The Cloris Awards celebrates its 5th anniversary at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre Sun Aug 25 beginning with a reception at 5:30 PM, and the awards program at 6:30 PM. Free and a wonderful way for the curious in our community to get a wonderful overview of the many companies and performers who produce dozens of shows each year.

More Cultural Considerations:

  1. THE STUDIO DINNER. Hosted within the historic Waterhouse Studio, 4201 Morningstar Drive, Des Moines, Iowa 50313. Featuring four courses paired with wine, as well as the chance to meet new friends from the local Des Moines community. Handcrafted floral decor courtesy of True Vine. Please note: certain dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice. Email us at with questions.
  2. RIVERVIEW ARTIST SALON 17. Wed Aug 28, 2019. Des Moines Social Club. The Basement
    Under the Kum & Go Theater. 901 Cherry St. Des Moines, Iowa 50309. 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Free Admission and parking in the ramp between 8th & 9th St. and Mulberry & Cherry St. after 5:00 p.m. 
    Iowa Creatives takeover The Basement at the Des Moines Social Club for a night filled with spoken word, art advocacy, community outreach, creative showcase and art show.  Hosted by River City Art and Music and supported by the Iowa Arts Council and the DMSC, this event connects the audience with Iowa’s vibrant and growing art and music scene.  For more information, visit
  3. Polk County Heritage Gallery’s Iowa Exhibited XXXIV, the 34th edition of their celebrated juried art show. Exhibit closes Sep 6, 2019.
  4. Paintpushers & The Des Moines Camera Club, exhibiting at the Ankeny Art Center through Sep 26.
  5. HomeDitty Concert Series at Salisbury House. Sun Sep 15, 2019 with The Well Pennies! Proceeds from the concert will benefit Salisbury House educational and cultural programming.This will be an intimate show plus a meet and greet with the band! Doors open at 6:00 PM; 6:00-7:00 PM Social Hour. 7:00-9:00 PM Show

Where: The Salisbury House Common Room (indoor show), 4025 Tonawanda Drive, Des Moines. $25 per person (purchase through Salisbury House website)

Set Schedule: Two- 45 minute sets + intermission

Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase at the show. Sorry but no food or drinks from outside will be allowed. Capacity is limited to 90 seats, so get your tickets now before they are gone. Our last show quickly sold out! Ticket sales are open to the public so please feel free to spread the word.

  1. Polk County Conservation Board presents Glow Wild 2019. Aug 24 4:00-10:00 PM. Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 NW 128th St, Granger, Iowa 50109. Join us for great food, beer and other beverages, and plenty of crafts and activities for both kids and adults. Glow Wild 2019 will be packed with all of the outdoor fun one can handle, including tethered hot air balloon rides, glow-in-the-dark climbing walls, giant yard games, canoeing, horse-drawn wagon rides, our signature towering bonfire, festival camping, and more throughout the evening! Oh, and don’t forget the free s’mores! Live music featuring popular Southern rock band, The Georgia Satellites will be taking the stage at 8 p.m. after we light the bonfire between 7:30 & 8 p.m. Local Des Moines band, Suede, will open for the Georgia Satellites. Taking the stage at 6:30 p.m. Come for the entire day or just for the music! For tickets and more information, visit: 

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. 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.
  2. Fall classes at Des Moines Community Playhouse will soon begin. Check out the variety of offerings for children and students of varying ages at this link. The Playhouse and its Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre programming does offer scholarship opportunities to support any student, regardless of fiscal limitations, the chance to benefit from class or performance opportunities.

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.

Victor Wainwright and The Train at Noce, 1326 Walnut Street, Des Moines IA. Sun Aug 25. Door 5pm, Show 6pm. $20 – CIBS Members $15. Power-house blues, Memphis soul, and roots rock’n’roll. Featuring the high-octane boogie piano and big soul sounds of vocalist and blues man Victor Wainwright, backed by one of the tightest smokin’ bands on the scene. Wainwright is a multiple Blues Music Award Winner and 2019 Grammy Nominee.,

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.

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