Wednesday, July 28, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


The Covid-19 pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
Quote of the Week
“Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.” – Richard Byrd (1888-1957) American naval officer and explorer
For your virtual cultural calendar – 
Songs and performances shared safely, with a greeting from Annette Benning.
Iowa Stage Theatre Company, central Iowa’s home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, is holding their annual Cocktails and Cabaret virtually this year. Oscar- and Tony-nominated screen legend Annette Bening will provide a video greeting for the guests, and there will be conversations with Tony-nominated actress Laura Osnes and Timothy Shew.
“Cocktails and Cabaret is an event of good times and great performances,” Matthew McIver, Artistic Director of ISTC, said. “To ensure the safety of our artists and audiences, we are going to broadcast the performances and amazing special guests to our ticket holders, and we have great food and cocktails as part of the bargain. This is a vital part of our fundraising efforts for our virtual season this fall.”
Two-time Tony-nominated actress Laura Osnes joins McIver and Broadway singer and actor Timothy Shew for a conversation about how creatives are dealing with the time of COVID-19. We also feature a song from Shew, and a song and conversation with Broadway and opera singer Roosevelt Credit. Then bid on the chance for Laura Osnes and Tim Shew to join a virtual cocktail party with the winner and five of their friends.
Cultural nuggets – 

  1. Tickets are now on sale for the Des Moines Symphony’s online Live from the Temple season, a new series of livestreamed concerts and events planned from September through December. Streaming concert passes are $15 and include a link and access code for one device. Each of the three concerts in the Live from the Temple series will be preceded by a full week of online programming including classes, virtual social events, prelude talks, and more. For more information, please visit

Iowa Stage, central Iowa’s home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, is announcing the online reading of a new play by Resident Artist Company member Kerry Skram. Skram has adapted Jane Austen’s Persuasion and set it in the era of Downton AbbeyPersuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot, who was convinced to give up her engagement to a young sailor by her family. Ten years later she crosses paths with her former fiancee, now Captain Wentworth in the Royal Navy, and old feelings are complicated by family loyalties.
The performance will be streamed at 7pm on September 17th, only on the ISTC YouTube channel.
The reading will kick off a series of virtual performances fo ISTC this fall, with an October production of Tuesdays with Morrie, sponsored by AARP and American Enterprise, and then a December production of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play adapted by Joe Landry. Further details will be announce shortly.

  1. DMACC’s Theatre Department finds ways to share performance passion with audiences. “We’ve released Part One (of Four) of our Summer 2020 production, the world premiere radio play WIlly Beau Dilly by Jayme McGhan,” shares Carl Lindberg, head of the department.
  1. Iowa Stage Theatre Company Cocktails & Cabaret on Sat Sep 12 will continue to deliver captivating performances in a virtual setting, giving all who join this signature event a memorable evening of exceptional talent.
  1. The Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association is delighted to announce an exceptional online concert series this fall, presenting five special programs through our website free of charge, (www.amestownandgown) between September 18 and December 18. Through these exceptional programs, we hope to connect with our audience and other classical music lovers, while also supporting musicians and the chamber music industry.
  1. University Museums offers a new Art Walk adventure every month. The collection of public art, which includes over 2,500 objects both inside and outside buildings, is one of the largest university public art collections in the county. To help showcase the collection, University Museums offers a guided Art Walk with a new theme and path each month during the semester. University Museums’ Interpretive Specialist Brooke Rogers leads the monthly Art Walk from noon to 1:00 p.m. Typically Art Walks are open to all, however due to COVID-19, only ten in-person spots are available and participants must pre-register on the University Museums’ websiteCyclones Care: Face coverings/masks and physical distancing guidelines will be enforced for all in-person attendees, per ISU guidelines. For those not able to attend in person, Art Walks will be broadcast via Facebook LIVE on the Museums’ Facebook page the day of the program and will later be available on the Museums’ YouTube Channel for viewing at any time.

Do you want to help Iowans recover? – 
In 2013, Marji Guyler-Alaniz had just left her job in corporate agriculture and started a photo project titled FarmHer, capturing women working on the farm. Marji has built FarmHer into a national movement that supports women in farming, and agricultural life. FarmHer takes action to help those Wear your love for home, strength and resiliency with pride. All proceeds from this shirt will be donated to the Red Cross in Iowa to aid in recovery from the destructive storms in August of 2020.
Beaverdale Books offers curbside service, or delivery service.      515-279-5400
Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!
1. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
2. The Monsters We Make, Kali (VanBaale) White*
3. How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
4. Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer
5. Too Much and Never Enough, Mary L. Trump
6. On Tyranny, Timothy Snyder
7. Untamed, Glennon Doyle
8. My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, Resmaa Menakem
9. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
10. Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America,
Jennifer Harvey
*Iowa Author!
Ongoing conversations with Callista Gould always deliver useful information. So much any merging or established professional could use is in her book, which, as she says, is “Best. Graduation Gift. Ever.” The book, The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career, is the perfect gift for that graduating daughter, son, grandchild, niece, nephew or good friend’s or neighbor’s child who never writes a thank you note. Check out to get a copy for someone you care about.
PERFORMNG & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Consideration
Please check in advance regarding any scheduled performances, exhibitions, museum visits, etc.
Ankeny Community Theatre –; Facebook: Ankeny Community Theatre
Carousel Theatre of Indianola –   ; Faceook: Carousel Theatre Indianola
Class Act Productions –; Facebook: CAPTheatre
Des Moines Community Playhouse/Kate Goldman Theatre –; Facebook: DMPlayhouse
Des Moines Performing Arts/Temple Theater –; Facebook: Des Moines Performing Arts
Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre –; Facebook: DM Young Artists Theatre
Iowa Shakespeare Experience –; Facebook: Iowa Shakespeare Experience
Iowa Stage Theatre Company –; Facebook: Iowa Stage Theatre Company
Pyramid Theatre Company –; Facebook: Pyramid Theatre Company
Tallgrass Theatre Company –; Facebook: Tallgrass Theatre Company
TheatreMidwest –; Facebook: TheatreMidwest
Urbandale Community Theatre –; Facebook: Urbandale Community Theatre
AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:
Check with galleries, organizations, destinations you frequented before the pandemic. Many are producing creative and unique ways to engage again…get your cultural fix.

  1. Civic Music Association announces its 2020-2021 Season. Check it out.

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:

Prep Iowa
  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. 900Views Podcast. An exploration of arts and community with Host Pat Boddy. Based out of Mainframe Studios in downtown Des Moines, 900Views provides a platform for glimpsing the creative work and lives of the Midwest’s cultural producers and influencers.
  7. 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.
  8. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues.

Resources to help, support and guide during any challenges you or someone you care about may be experiencing:

  •  1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or
    United Way 211: Dial 211, text ZIP code to 898211 or visit
    CICIL: #CICILServes COVID-19 Hotline: (866) 44-CICIL
    Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860
    LGBT National Youth Talkline: (800) 246-7743
    LGBT National Talkline: (888) 843-4564
    Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center:
    Broadlawns 24/7 Crisis Team: (515) 282-5752
    Your Life Iowa Help Line: (855) 581-8111
    Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
    Broadlawns Psychiatric Urgent Care: (515) 282-2200
    Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to be connected to crisis counseling
    Online Mental Health Crisis Chat:
    MercyOne Des Moines Behavioral Health Clinic: 515-643-9030.
    Prelude Behavioral Services (substance treatment): 515-262-0349

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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