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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:

1/14/2020

Quote of the Week

“One extends one’s limits only by exceeding them, and exceeding limits requires effort.”

-M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled (1974)

Featured Cultural Offering

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden will display Iowa artist Greg Thatcher’s Sacred Yews exhibit starting Saturday, 18 January, beginning with a reception from 5 – 7pm. The artist reception includes an opportunity to view and purchase Thatcher’s botanical drawings, and to enjoy a selection of complimentary beverages, light bites and a cash bar. Also, there will be a Gallery Walk on Saturday, 21 March / 2 – 3:30pm. Join artist, Greg Thatcher for a discussion about the themes for each work of art in the show Both events are free to attend, but RSVPs are greatly appreciated at dmbotanicalgarden.com.

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PERFORMNG & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Considerations:

  1. Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit will be presented by Ankeny Community Theatre Jan 18-20, including several daytime performances for the younger audiences this show is geared for. In the fairy tale criminal justice system, the characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes are represented by two separate yet equally ridiculous groups: the fairy tale police who investigate fairy tale crime, and the fairy tale district attorneys who prosecute the fairy tale offenders. These are their stories. https://www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com/
  2. James and the Giant Peach runs through Jan 19 in the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. This promises to be a lively, fresh staging of the classic Roald Dahl children’s story, so make plans to bring the young ones to enjoy the transformative power of live theater with one of their favorite stories. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/james-and-the-giant-peach
  3. Other Desert Cities opens Fri Jan 17 and runs through Feb 1, Tallgrass Theatre Company’s Sarah Frank & Jack Balcombe Dream Project show this season. http://www.tallgrasstheatre.org/
  1. Jesus Christ Superstaris an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50thAnniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. The tour stops at the Civic Center as Des Moines Performing Arts presents this blockbuster show through Jan 19. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/jesus-christ-superstar/
  2. Little Black Dress plays at the Temple Theater Jan 22-26. This fearlessly funny ladies’ night out musical makes for one wild and unforgettable evening with its hilarious show-stopping musical numbers, “Magic Mike” -influenced dancing, and loads of improvised audience mayhem! https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/little-black-dress/ 

AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. 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: https://iowaculture.gov/media/film-lounge/film-lounge-student-challenge

LIVE MUSIC – Greater Des Moines Music Tip:

This weekly tip is brought to you by a few select sources for local great music experiences:  Steve Vasquez (Central Iowa Blues Society www.cibs.org), Peter Stevenson (Civic Music Association https://civicmusic.org/) and John Krantz (Des Moines Community Jazz Center http://dmcommunityjazzcenter.org/). Check their websites for full calendar events and more information.

The Civic Music Association, presenting The Emmet Cohen Trio, with special guest, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, on Saturday, Jan 18, at Hoyt Sherman Place.  Cohen, an American jazz pianist and composer is the recipient of the 2019 Cole Porter Fellowship.  He is continuing his Masters Legacy Series, a set of recordings and interviews honoring legendary jazz musicians, including Golson, who will join the trio for this performance. Tickets are on sale now through the Civic Music website, civicmusic.org, where more information about ALL Civic Music activities can also be found, including the NEXT jazz event, Grammy® Award-nominated vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, at the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School on January 31st

ROAD TRIP – Worth the drive

Iowa State Center, Ames. BARJCHÉ  2020 – Dancing Through Barriers. Fisher Theater (90 minutes). Fri Jan 31, 2020 | 10 am | Grades 5 –12. CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS:  History, Dance, Multi-Cultural Music, Self-Esteem, Women’s Studies.A contemporary modern dance production, Barjché is one of the HERoics events as part of a University-wide celebration honoring the 100th anniversary of a women’s right to vote. Through dance, ISU Orchesis I Dance Company celebrates the super-heroines of our past and present through modern and contemporary choreography. Barjché 2020 includes choreography by San Francisco Guest Artist Kathleen Hermesdorf, original sound score by internationally acclaimed composer Albert Mathias, Artistic Director Cynthia Adams and members of Orchesis 1 Dance Company. https://www.center.iastate.edu/events/education/ 

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. http://www.beaverdalebooks.com/
  1. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola. http://www.pageturnersbookstore.com/
  2. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/
  3. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. https://read-a-book-nook.business.site/ 

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. http://www.TheCultureBuzz.com/
  2. Center Stage – This Cityview monthly column provides insights into Central Iowa’s theatre. Distributed throughout the region and available online. Current column: http://www.dmcityview.com/center-stage
  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. http://www.dmcityview.com/
  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. http://artbeacondesmoines.com/
  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. http://www.gentleguidedsm.com/
  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. http://dmcommunityjazzcenter.org/
  7. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues. www.cibs.org

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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