Monday, July 26, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Quote of the Week

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune:

If it is ‘good,’ because it is good,

If ‘bad’ because it works in us patience [and] humility…”

-C.S. Lewis (1989-1963) writer, lay theologian

Prep Iowa

Please note: The Culture Buzz will not air a program on Wednesday, December 25, Christmas Day, as KFMG will be presenting its traditional Christmas Day programming. Enjoy the series of stellar hosts airing a wonderful mix of music for your listening pleasure.

Featured Cultural Offering

Take a step off the holiday treadmill and step into the calm, reflective ambiance of the Polk County Heritage Art Gallery, located in the north wing of the Polk County Building (enter NW corner of building at 2nd & Walnut Streets). Greater Des Moines Exhibited XXVI, one of Iowa’s premiere juried art exhibitions, RECURRING WEEKLY ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY UNTIL JANUARY 13, 2020. See an array of Iowa’s best artists’ works presented in the Beaux Arts architectural stylings of the former lobby of the Des Moines Post Office,

FROM: 11:00 AM TO 04:30 PM; MONDAY – FRIDAY.

PERFORMNG & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Considerations:

  1. A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas runs through this weekend at the Stoner Theater. This is a new adaptation to Central Iowa audiences, anchored by the classic Dickens story line with a new vision in its presentation. Iowa Stage Theatre Company delivers this as a long-standing tradition for Greater Des Moines audiences.

“Iowa Stage’s A Christmas Carol is a rich serving of Christmas cheer, filled with a bounty of gifts: eye-catching lighting wizardry through special lighting and gobos sifting through stage fog; subtle, effective musical and audio underscoring; and a scenic design that provides all the intrigue and appeal of the best theatrical advent calendars imaginable.” -The Culture Buzz

  1. A Christmas Story: The Musical at the Des Moines Community Playhouse runs through Dec 23. NOTE: this Family Holiday Classic show runs Thursdays and Fridays at 7:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 and 5:00 PM, with a special Christmas Eve Eve show on Mon Dec 23. Experience the classic Jean Shepherd story complete with great musical production numbers and a stellar cast of musical theater performers.
  2. Patrick Hazell’s Permanent Record runs through Sun Dec 22 at the Temple Theater. What happens when a comedy writer/performer takes a deep internet dive into what information is online about him? Pat’s dive is filled with much more than comedy – he even folds in the ongoing crossing of paths with Iowa’s own blues musician, Patrick Hazell. 

“Crafting his show into an eclectic blend of nostalgia and comedy, Hazell deftly guides the audience along, making his journey theirs. The crowd quickly responds to identifiable situations, objects and more.” -The Culture Buzz

  1. Cultural Reminder: The Des Moines Art Center, nationally and internationally renowned, is open throughout the year, no admission, a great destination to escape the daily grind, and savor the rich diversity of its collections, exhibits and peaceful ambiance. Check out what is being offered, and what the hours are…then, put this destination on your calendar. 

AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Beginning tap dance classes will be offered by Ankeny Community Theatre Sat Dec 21, 10 am – 1 pm and Sat Dec 28, 10 am – 1 pm.
  2. The Film Lounge: Student Challenge’ Submissions Open. A movie career used to start with a ticket to Hollywood. Now all that young Iowans need is a good idea and a short film. If you’re an Iowa student in grades 7-12, here’s your chance to have your short film broadcast statewide on Iowa Public Television as part of “The Film Lounge: Student Challenge.” Submit an application by Jan. 15. More details and the application can be found at:

LIVE MUSIC – 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.

Sat DEC 21, 2019 @ 7:00PM, Matt Woods Band
Captain Roy’s, 1900 Saylor Rd, Des Moines, IA 

NEW SECTION – Supporting your local cultural businesses

  • From Our Hands is an exceptional art gallery featuring the best in local, regional and national artists under the experienced eye of Ann Harmon. From unique, eye-catching accent artwork to feature pieces for a room, office or other space needing a statement work of art, Ann’s eclectic selection of works will entice. 136-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction. 

ROAD TRIP – Worth the drive

“Medieval to Metal: The Evolution of the Guitar,” is a national touring exhibit that will be presented at the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) through Jan 26, 2020. Whether as a day trip or a mini-vacation, Cedar Rapids is an enticing destination with a visit to this Smithsonian Affiliate museum and this incredible exhibit.

“The guitar is the most popular instrument in the world. Every year in America, there are 3 million new guitars sold — more than every other instrument sold combined,” said HP Newquist, executive director of the National Guitar Museum, where this exhibit, booked 2-3 years in advance, was created. “That’s pretty much true worldwide. The guitar is obviously a cultural icon.” 

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. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.
  3. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),
  4. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. 

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. The Culture Buzz – John Busbee and associates have re-launched the website for The Culture Buzz, providing cultural adventurers a comprehensive overview of what The Culture Buzz provides. Included in this new site, by popular demand, is an archive library of favorite interviews and a new section of theatre reviews for Greater Des Moines theatre companies.
  2. Center Stage – This Cityview monthly column provides insights into Central Iowa’s theatre. Distributed throughout the region and available online. Current column:
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Greater Des Moines Community Jazz Center is this region’s source for a decades-established advocacy group for jazz, and established jazz professionals guiding and nurturing next generations of jazz musicians and fans.
  7. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues.

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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