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. Find ways to celebrate your thankfulness safely with family and friends.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
Quote of the Week
Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity . . . it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, American self-help author and household name in addiction and recovery circles
“Support a Local Business” tip of the week:
At the top of each broadcast hour, our message is: “KFMG is a ‘listener-supported’ service of The Des Moines Community Radio Foundation.” That means that a significant portion of the support needed to keep us on the air comes from people just like you. People who listen to KFMG and love what we do. People who don’t want us to go away again.
Please consider helping KFMG to continue as “Your Community Voice” by providing financial assistance.
Virtual cultural exploration opportunity
Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre,
PRESENTING: Schumann’s Dichterliebe – FREE. December 10, 2020 at 7 pm, or Featuring Chris Carr, Tenor. The production was filmed at the historic Cedarmere estate in Roslyn Harbor, NY, which was the home of 19th century American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant. Chris Carr grew up in Quasqueton (IA) and has been described as a “confident and energetic” performer with “warmth and beauty in his voice.”
This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –
11:00 AM – Chad Elliott releases his newest album, “Tangle with the Ghost,” and it is another gem, filled with evocative tracks that will take its listeners on more musical and lyrical adventures with Iowa’s Renaissance Man.
“Chad Elliott fills his songs with rich, complex elements that somehow resonate with his audiences with a bonding clarity. To include as much of Elliott’s music in your life as possible is to enrich your life.” – The Culture Buzz
11:16 AM – Darcy Dougherty Maulsby’s continuing contributions to compelling books, especially Iowa-themed gems, continues with her newest, “Classic Restaurants of Des Moines and Their Recipes.” Darcy infuses this conversation with the same genuine enthusiasm she puts into her writing. The added recipes are the icing on this delicious cake. This stroll down the Capitol City’s culinary icons will rekindle memories while encouraging current generations to develop their own bevy of community dining leaders.
“In ‘Classic Restaurants of Des Moines and Their Recipes,’ Darcy Dougherty Maulsby shares a broad sweep of the Capital City’s memorable cuisine scene with tantalizing stories, details and, of course, classic recipes. Maulsby’s skilled pen gives us history that rekindles past experiences for those who dined at these landmark establishments, and a wistful hint of the experiences for those who didn’t. Either way, it’s a dish beautifully prepared and presented.”
– The Culture Buzz
11:31 AM – Scholarly research and a passion for the subject join marvelously in Fred Minnick’s exceptional and unique look at the history of whiskey, from a very important feminine perspective. “Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey” is an eye-opening and palette-cleansing dive into the irrefutable influence women had in the history of successfully developing whiskey in America. Fred’s delivery is informative, reading like a novel, and as captivating as the finest sipping spirits one could imagine.
“The necessary new book Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey tells us exactly why the pinky-in-the-air, fruity-drink cliché has never, ever been true. Forget umbrellas in cocktails: Kentucky journalist Fred Minnick shows us how the fairer sex established liquor techniques, culture, and tastes as we know it today.”  –
11:49 AM – Director of Marketing & Public Relations Megan Helmers shares updates and easy-to-connect information about how we can still savor the symphonic grandeur of the Des Moines Symphony. Their virtual programming continues, with many opportunities for behind-the-scenes revelations from Maestro Giunta. Get the information on how patrons can easily connect for a DM Symphony experience, even easy-to-follow tutorials about how to route their performances through your large screen TV for a maximum musical delight.
12:00 PM – More than a decade ago, Sam Koltinsky’s life took a turn down a road that not only would forever change his life, but change the world’s awareness of and appreciation for Jay N. “Ding” Darling. This iconic figure’s life continues to teach us lessons about ourselves and how to best share the planet. Sam provides an update that includes the developing vision of Drake University serving as home for the legacy of the Jay N. “Ding” Darling Institute.
12:19 PM – Songwriter, musician, performer, producer – these are just some of the many hats this gifted and multi-faceted artist wears. Bonne Finken takes time to share how she has been finding new creative outlets from the forced isolation of the pandemic, and the world benefits from her creative production. Listen as Bonne shares some recent parts of her artistic journey.

“The sound of someone not only embracing the future, but creating it.”

12:36 PM – To pigeon-hole Julie Mayhew as an author is to limit the recognition for her many talents and ways of expressing them. This conversation shares insights into latest book, “Impossible Causes,” a thriller sure to grab the reader’s attention and pull them quickly through its captivating journey. Julie shares origins about how this story came to be, plus many other delightful bits of news.
“Hints of magic and the dark atmosphere of an isolated island create a compelling environment for a mystery… Impossible Causes dwells on beautiful language like a literary mystery, while simultaneously crafting a complex web of time, place, and character.” ~ Elena Hartwell, New York Journal of Books (US)
12:53 PM – Susan Werner adds her special blend of musical spice to the show with “Iowa,” one of the many great tracks filling her iconic LP, HAYSEED.
12:57 PM – Existential thriller author Mike Bond also has penned an exceptional collection of poetry with his “The Drum that Beats Within Us.” He reads a selection from that book, “May I Meet You There?”
Cultural nuggets –

  1. Theatre Midwest presents its next Fresh Produce Concert Reading with “The Thanksgiving Play,” presented virtually Sat Nov 28 at 3:00 PM. The presentation is free, but advance signup is required. Donations are welcome (and, encouraged by The Culture Buzz).
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company and producer Hunter Arnold unofficially kicked off the holiday season, announcing that a special filmed version of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol starring one of the finest stage actors of our time, Tony Award® winner Jefferson Mays, will be released worldwide on Sat Nov 28. This streaming video event will benefit Iowa Stage Theatre Company as well as other community, amateur, regional theaters across the country which have been devastated by the pandemic.
  3. The Des Moines Community Playhouse prepares for its holiday show, the next live theatre, socially distanced and with COVID protocols in place production, “Miracle on 34th Street.” This play, from Valentine Davies book by the same name, was adapted by Executive Director David Kilpatrick as a radio theatre performance with a live audience, harkening back to the days when this was commonly done. This show opens Dec 4.
  4. 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.

Beaverdale Books offers curbside service, or delivery service. Our new hours starting Sun Nov 1:
Sun: Noon – 4:00; Mon-Fri: – 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Sat: 10:00 – 5:00.      515-279-5400
Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!
1. The White Man Who Stayed, James A. Autry*
2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
3. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, V.E.Schwab
4. Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age, John Lithgow
5. Iowa State Parks: A Century of Stewardship 1920-2020, Rebecca Conard*
6. Anxious People, Frederik Backman
7. This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live By Every Day, Hoda Kotb
8. Troubles in Paradise, Elin Hilderbrand
9. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
10. The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary, Robb Pearlman
*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.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  1. Nocé has instigated strict COVID protocols while launching live music at its destination-worthy venue – check out the schedule and find a time to savor the sublime setting and national-caliber music.
  2. Civic Music Association announces its 2020-2021 Season. Check it out.
  3. 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.

  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.
  5. Book Vault, Oskaloosa.
  6. Prairie Lights Books & Cafe, Iowa City.

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 encourage cultural adventures with a comprehensive overview of what The Culture Buzz delivers. Included is an archive library of favorite interviews.
  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:
COVID Iowa Recovery: 800-775-9276

  •  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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