Thursday, August 11, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


The Covid-19 pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate. But, continue to be creative.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
Quote of the Week
“He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear with almost any ‘how’.” 
– Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and cultural critic
This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz – 
11:00 AM – The new issue of Iowa History Journal is available at Iowa HyVee Food Stores, Fareway Stores and Beaverdale Books. Drop into a fascinating conversation with Don Doxsie, award-winning sports journalist for the Quad Cities Times, who cover story brings Iowa’s many connections to the NFL as that sports institution celebrates 100 years. The final installment of the 3-part series, “Heartland in Hollywood,” also is part of this new issue.
11:16 AM – Jim Autry’s newest book pulls from his home state heritage in Mississippi as he recounts the story about his uncle making a positive difference. “The Man Who Stayed: A Biography Remembered” is a powerful story of how one WW II veteran helped his community’s education system serve all segments of their district.
“In James Autry’s most recent book, The White Man Who Stayed, each chapter, each page and every word spoken takes us inside the homes and conversations of southern whites whose birth world of white dominance was disintegrating before them.  James masterfully and honestly opens up the archives of his own mind where stored were private sightings and conversations remembered. In this biography, Autry brings to life, the personal journey of his own cousin who struggled to find his pathway in the only world he knew—the changing South. Unlike young Autry who left the South, his cousin took a deep breath, squared his shoulders and stayed behind.”—Clifton L. Taulbert, Pulitzer-nominated author, The Last Train North, The Invitation, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored
11:36 AM – Poet Jihyun Yun, winner of the coveted Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, has a rare gift for distilling events, images and people into powerful expressiveness through her poetry. “Some Are Always Hungry” is a multi-faceted journey, taking the reader into a world focused on the immigrant experience through food. Jihyun’s gracious language will beguile, pierce and woo her readers, giving them a rich, poetic experience.
“Image by clear-eyed image, sound by tightly wrought sound, the poems in Some Are Always Hungry are a thundering revelation. At once a reckoning with immigration and historical trauma and rooted in the sensorial world, these poems are timeless and ongoing. Here is both the fever and the scar it leaves, the female body and the lineage of power, hunger, and desire, what cannot be forgotten and what keeps us alive despite it all; here is a poet staking her undeniable claim on the world.”—Ada Limón, author of The Carrying
11:48 AM – Filmmaker, writer and media specialist Kristian Day chats about his new program that he hosts, “Iowa Basement Tapes,” 9:00-10:00 PM Thursdays on KFMG.
11:54 AM – Poet Jihyun Yun reads the title poem from her award-winning collection, “Some Are Always Hungry.”
11:56 AM – Susan Werner’s country roots sift through in this marvelous track from her iconic album, HAYSEED, as she sings “City Kids.”
12:00 PM – The Des Moines Community Playhouse readies itself to open its doors again to in-theater performances beginning this Fri Oct 9, complete with a well-conceived framework of COVID protection protocols in place. Lee Ann Bakros, Marketing Associate, shares the details as Weekend Comedyopens this Friday, followed by I and Youopening the following Friday. These two shows will run in repertory, alternating weeks during this run. Full details for tickets, precautions, etc. can be found on the Playhouse website.
12:14 PM – Invited back to continue the dialogue started in June, Helio Fred Garcia has written one of the most insightful and helpful books of modern times, “Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It.” Fred shares vital glimpses into his book’s content during this conversation as he guides us to understand how language can be weaponized, and how we can combat that. This is the book to have to better understand and resist the power of incendiary language.

“Language is power, and powerful. It can uplift, or harm. Helio Fred Garcia is an astute student of language and communication. This book offers historic examples, keen insights and valuable advice on recognizing patterns of language that can harm or lead to violence.” – David Lapan, Colonel, USMC (ret), Former Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security spokesman
12:31 PM – G. Wayne Miller, author, filmmaker, podcaster and co-host and co-producer of the Telly Award-winning weekly national PBS TV series, Story in the Public Square, draws from his immersion into the history and world of Hasbro toy company. His new book, “Kid Number One,” is a fascinating journey into this company’s legacy and its breakthrough toy, Mr. Potato Head.
“Compulsively readable…beautifully researched…a unique and fascinating book.” – Daniela Lamas, best-selling author, You Can Stop Humming Now
12:48 PM – Iowa writer Cheryl Mullenbach displays her usual mastery in historical storytelling with her book, “The Industrial Revolution.” Especially geared for young readers, Cheryl brings all the color, sights and sounds of historically based events into captivating focus as she conveys the events that were part of America’s Industrial Revolution.
Of major importance for the many fans of The Culture Buzz and KFMG programming:
Please consider helping KFMG to continue as “Your Community Voice” by providing financial assistance. KFMG now has a GoFundMe page:
You can also easily donate by making a contribution with a credit card through our supporters at Tikly at this direct link:, or by calling KFMG at 515-244-4145 or 244-4146 (if you call to donate, please leave a message if the phone is not answered). If you wish to donate we WILL call you back. You can always donate by mailing a check or money order directly to KFMG at:
KFMGPO Box 41143Des Moines, IA 50311
Thank you for your kind consideration. Any and all support is very beneficial.
Cultural nuggets – 

  1. The Des Moines Community Playhouse begins presenting shows in their theatre in October, with Weekend Comedy (thru Sun Nov 8) and I and You (opening Fri Oct 16, thru Sun Nov 15) will run in repertory to open their 2020-2021 season. Exceptional precautions are being taken to safeguard their patrons, while honoring the desires of those same patrons seeking a live performing arts experience again.
  2. The Community Jazz Center continues its time-honored tradition of bringing big band to Des Moines through this upcoming winter. Sun Oct 18, Des Moines Big Band will perform a dedication to the music of a jazz great as they present “Down for the Count,” music from Count Basie. Their performance venue provides for plenty of social distancing: the 600-seat performance hall at the Franklin Junior High building, 48th & Franklin. Free concert, plenty of free parking, a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon from 2:00-4:00 PM.
  1. Rocktoberfest – an eclectic music fundraiser to benefit the Unity Center of Des Moines will be held live from the DMU parking lot, 1:00-3:00 PM Sun Oct 18. Masks and social distancing are required. For more information, please visit the Unity website,
  1. Iowa Stage Theatre Company begins its season-opening livestream production of Tuesdays with Morrie Tue Oct 20-Sun Oct 25. This appealing show, based on Mitch Albom’s autobiographical, award-winning book by the same title, provides a heartwarming story in which to immerse.
  1. Join the 48 Hour Film Project online Oct 23 at 7pm for The 2020 Best of Des Moines Screenings and Awards. See the top films of 2020 and find out who won the awards. Screenings broadcast at: The viewer will appear just before show time. You can purchase your ticket right in the viewer. Tickets: $8.00 USD, Fri, Oct 23, 2020 @ 7:00pm. ONLINE at
  1. Ankeny Community Theatre, on Sun Oct 25 at 7:30 pm, presents Boo: An Almost Tragic Love Story by David Veatch. David served as ACT’s camp instructor for several summers, is now in his final year of graduate school and will be working toward a Master’s in Fine Arts/Playwriting next year. This fun and funky look at Halloween will star Susan Casber as Sally, along with Wilbur Matthew Mauk, III as Dylan and Hannah Ver Steeg as Jennifer. David and​ Wilbur will be joining this production from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina! Don’t be scared of this ghost ’cause Boo: An Almost Tragic Love Story will fill your evening with laughter! It will be live streamed.
  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) through 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. 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.

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. Bess the Barn Stands Strong, Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia*
  2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  3. Rage, Bob Woodward
  4. Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi
  5. All the Devils Are Here, Louise Penny
  6. Iowa State Parks: A Century of Stewardship 1920-2020, Rebecca Conard*
  7. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
  8. Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, Jennifer Harvey*
  9. Love, Zac, Reid Forgrave*
  10. Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump, Michael Cohen

*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.
PERFORMING & 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.
  2. The Des Moines Symphony will present an appealing series of concert experiences. Check for details.

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.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  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. 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.
  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.

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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