Saturday, October 1, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Quotes of the Week

“Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it, summon it, from even the most tragic of circumstances.” -Toni Morrison (1931-2019) born Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison, known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor.

Featured Cultural Offering

MOONSHINE IN DAYLIGHT is a fine whiskey tasting, spirits-infused food sampling, and book event. Award-winning author John Schlimm (“Moonshine,” “Extraordinary Dogs: Stories from Search and Rescue Dogs, Comfort Dogs and Other Canine Heroes”) will provide stories about the history of moonshine and whiskey as well as stories from his other book about dogs. Both books are included with the ticket price and will be part of an exceptional swag bag for attendees. This is a fundraiser for the Puppy Jake Foundation and The Culture Buzz, both nonprofits benefiting Central Iowa.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (Oct)

PERFORMNG & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Consideration

  1. Oklahoma! at CAP Theatre Altoona runs Fri Feb 21 thru Sun Mar 8. This children’s theatre group tackles an American Broadway classic.
  1. Tinker Bell in the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre at the Des Moines Community Playhouse opens Fri Feb 21 and runs thru Sun Mar 8. This is a telling of the classic Peter Pan story from Tinker Bell’s perspective.
  2. Wild Widow Poker premieres at the Viking Theater, a production presented in conjunction with Pyramid Theatre Company and Theatre Arts at Grand View University. This original play by GVU faculty member Dr. A’ndrea J. Wilson is directed by Pyramid’s Producing Artistic Director, Tiffany Johnson, and runs Feb 20-23.
  3. Anastasia, the sumptuous Broadway musical, stops in Des Moines Feb 25-Mar 1 thanks to Des Moines Performing Arts. This production also marks the return of Alison Ewing in the cast, an Iowa native who has made her career performing in top Broadway shows and tours.
  1. The Boy at the Edge of Everything at the Stoner Theater runs through Sun Feb 21. This Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre show is the Iowa premiere of a compelling, complex exploration of a 12-year old boy and his personal journey that traverses many realms.
  2. Don’t Dress for Dinner at the Ankeny Community Theatre runs thru Feb 16. This is a comedic romp that promises an evening filled with laughter.
  3. Lisa Lampanelli’s Losin’ It runs through Feb 23 at the Temple Theater thanks to the Comedy Series of Des Moines Performing Arts. Lampanelli and a few of her friends take the stage to give a funny, touching journey for attendees in an evening that allows this gifted artist the opportunity to expand her repertoire. 

AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. TheatreMidwest presents Hitler’s Tasters, a concert reading of a new play, Thu Feb 20 at 7:30 PM at the Fourth Street Theater, connecting to Java Joes. One night only, this is part of the company’s Fresh Produce series. Free and open to the public, this is a wonderful chance to experience a new play and help the company decide if this is a candidate for a full production in the future.
  2. Auditions for the musical The Wizard of Oz to be produced by Ankeny Community Theatre will be held as follows: For actors 13 and older:Feb 22 at 2pm OR Feb 23 at 6:30pm; For children (12 and younger): Feb 22 at 11:00am. Callbacks: Feb 24. Cast: 4F, 4M principals plus ensemble.
  3. The Business of Art Conference hosted by the Octagon Center for the Arts and the Ames Community Arts Council in Ames. Mar 6 & 7. This conference is designed to strengthen skills and resources in both formally trained and self-taught creatives. Topics such as: developing a brand; finding a market through an online presence, festivals, galleries, consignment, and/or retail/wholesale sales; searching for funding; and self-care will be considered. In addition to professional development sessions, the conference will include networking opportunities throughout the day, giving participants the chance to talk one-on-one with the speakers, other professionals, and each other. Professionals and students in all types of creative work, part time or full time, in all stages of their career are welcome.

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, Peter Stevenson (Civic Music Association and John Krantz (Des Moines Community Jazz Center Check their websites for full calendar events and more information.

Two nights at the Flying Mango in Des Moines, Feb 23 & 24 – Ryan Montbleau. Tickets on sale now at Mike Wedeking creates a unique and most appealing dining/music experience. 

ROAD TRIP – Worth the drive

Floating World: Karen LaMonte’s kimono sculptures. The Brunnier Art Museum at Iowa State University. Sun Feb 23, 2:00-3:00 PM. Karen LaMonte’s figural sculptures explore how clothing defines cultural identities and acts as our “social skin,” revealing the body through hollow garments created in a variety of materials. In 2007, LaMonte travelled to Kyoto, Japan, to examine how clothing expresses notions of beauty across societies. She immersed herself in the process of making a kimono, studying its embedded symbolic meanings, ceremonial significance, and the role it plays in Geisha and Kabuki culture. Returning to her studio in Prague with a collection of kimonos, LaMonte created her series Floating World. Join Alice Hammond, who represents Karen LaMonte at Gerald Peters Contemporary, as she discusses the ways in which Japanese culture and artwork is reflected in LaMonte’s Floating World body of work. Several of this series of objects are included in the Contemplate Japan exhibition. 

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. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.
  2. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),
  3. 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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