Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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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
2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts
Quote of the Week
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American Baptist minister, activist
“Support a Local Business” tips of the week:

  1. 6 ways to support small businesses: Write a positive review; tell your friends & family; follow them on social media; engage with their posts; give them a shout out; sign up for their newsletter. Cost to do this: $0.00.
  2. Tangerine Foods at Mainframe Studios. A great local business ready to give you more time with your family and friends. Get on Cherry’s mailing list and receive random updates about “popup” dining opportunities… even take a meal home. tangerinefoodco.square.site.

Cultural exploration opportunities

  1. Nickel and Dimed by Joan Holden. The next Fresh Produce Concert Reading by Theatre Midwest, free online event Jan 30 (7:30 PM with Talk-back to follow), Jan 31 (2:00 PM). Register in advance. https://www.theatremidwest.org/
  2. Leaving Iowa and Stuart Little are the next two shows to be presented in repertory by the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Beginning Feb 19, these shows will be presented in the spacious confines, employing masking and social distancing, of the mainstage theater. The shows also will be offered streaming. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/
  3. Iowa Stage Theatre Company, central Iowa’s home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, is announcing a three-show virtual season in the spring of 2021. Three shows will be presented on the streaming platform Broadway On Demand. They are:

Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield (March) is the story of the relationship between two women that spans love, children, skydiving and illness, told in a creative and fluid style that keeps the audience guessing.
The Agitators by Mat Smart (April) tells the story of the decades long friendship between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, their partnership and falling out.
Exit Strategy by Ike Holter (May) looks at the faculty and staff of an inner-city high school as they fight the system and each other to keep it open.
Full information at https://www.iowastage.org/post/iowa-stage-theatre-company-presents-virtual-season

  1. The Des Moines Symphony is committed to bringing a continuous schedule of performance opportunities, virtually, as they weather the pandemic while continuing to enhance our community through world-class, award-winning programming. Check out the lineup at https://www.dmsymphony.org/concerts-events/

Sharks, money and great advice –

“Build Wealth Like a Shark” launches today, and crosses all financial boundaries, the newest book from Jeff Busbee with Kevin Harrington. Why is this book so important? Kevin Harrington, an original Shark on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank,” and billionaire entrepreneur, invited just 30 top financial planners from North America to provide insightful chapters in this resource. Jeff Busbee is the only Iowa contributor, and his savvy and advice are great for anyone desiring a better handle on finances. Today you have an opportunity to attain this Life Resource book at a special price. Jeff Busbee’s offer: “As a Launch Special, we will reduce the price to $0.99 for a few hours. If you grab the Kindle version for 99 cents, I’ll be happy to send you a signed hard cover copy of the book.” BUILD Wealth Like a Shark – $0.99 Kindle version

Prep Iowa

Contact him directly at Busbee Wealth Strategies, jeff.busbee@busbeewealthstrat.com. Media contacts to this address, also.

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –
11:00 AM – The incomparable musician Susan Werner releases her newest album, FLYOVER COUNTRY, and takes a few minutes out of her creative schedule to chat about its creation. Few artists can fill songs with wit, wisdom and irresistible content like Susan.
“One of the most innovative songwriters working today.” – Chicago Tribune
“If your music collection lacks any of Susan Werner’s musical magic, it is but a shade of what it could be. Add ‘Flyover Country’ to further explore the lyricism, musicality and wit of Werner.”
– The Culture Buzz
11:15 AM – Sally Pederson reads a passage from “Choosing Gratitude 365 Days a Year,” co-authored with her husband, Jim Autry.
“With timeless grace and offering, this collection of daily thoughts are universal in their application, and a welcome visit each day to remind us of the high roads we should always consider.” – The Culture Buzz
11:17 AM – Joy Neal Kidney lovingly mines the memories written by her grandmother, knitting letters from a bygone time into a warm, inviting comforter of reflection that so many others will willingly wrap themselves into. “Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II” eloquently delivers a shared history its readers will appreciate.
“The writers of ancestral letters and journals usually were capturing their expressions and events of their day. They weren’t thinking of creating an historical archive. Joy Neal Kidney helps transport her grandmother’s writings – Leora’s Letters – into a captivating bounty of love, challenges and memories that Leora planted decades ago.” – The Culture Buzz
11:30 AM – Iowa women’s historian Cheryl Mullenbach returns with her newest offering, a marvelously enticing exploration of “Stagecoach Women.” Cheryl plies her masterful combination of researching the stories that are “hiding in the historical weeds,” and brings them to vibrant life for our enjoyment. Be sure to get her new book, available through Beaverdale Books and other fine bookstores.
“(Cheryl) Mullenbach has a rare gift to not just delve into history and present stories that have often been overlooked, but she finds relevant stories, especially of women in our past, and helps to create a stronger understanding of our shared history.” -The Culture Buzz
11:42 AM – Executive Director of the Des Moines Arts Festival, Stephen King, shares insights into a special initiative to build this into a strong, better community: ARTISTS INC. Learn about this program, and how it will enhance the economic and cultural vitality of Greater De Moines and Central Iowa.
12:00 PM – Debra Landwehr Engle returns to the show to share news about her debut novel, an irresistible journey with the special depths and layers that only Deb could infuse into such a captivating story. “Twenty” is “…a warm, defiantly uplifting, and transformative story about finding hope and magic in our daily lives.”
“A book to hold against your heart long after the last page is turned.” – Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author
12:15 PM – From her marvelously snarky album HAYSEED, Susan Werner sings “Iowa.”
12:19 PM – Mike Bond, known for his award-winning existential thriller novels, reads “Evening, March,” from his first collection of poetry, “The Drum that Beats Within Us.”
12:21 PM – Documentary filmmaker and author Jon Wilkman shares delightful enticements to delve into his brilliant new book, “Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America.” Jon distills decades of experience, research and insatiable curiosity and love of this subject into his book. This comprehensive dive into the history of filmmaking, anchored by coverage of the trails blazed by documentarians, is filled with compelling stories, facts and lots of photographs and images.
“Authoritative, accessible, and elegantly written, Screening Reality is the history of American documentary film we have been waiting for.” -Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Ties film critic
12:42 PM – Iowa History Journal publisher Michael Swanger returns to the show to share insights into the first issue of 2021, now available. Robert Morris Sr., the Amish school controversy, crinoids and more fill another great issue of Iowa’s historical storytelling best.
Cultural nuggets –

  1. Check out the Month of Sundays posts at this Facebook site. Thanks to Covid Recovery Iowa, a program with a wealth of ways to help, you will find resources, inspiration and more. https://www.facebook.com/covidrecoveryIowa

Beaverdale Books offers curbside service, or delivery service. Updated hours: Sun/Mon: CLOSED; Tue – Fri: 10:00 – 5:30; Sat: 10:00 – 5:00  http://beaverdalebooks.com/      515-279-5400
Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!
1. A Promised Land, Barack Obama
2. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy
3. The Heart Hungers for Wildness, Diane Glass*
4. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
5. The Vanishing Half, Britt Bennett
6. The White Man Who Stayed, James A. Autry *
7. Classic Restaurants of Des Moines and Their Recipes, Darcy Dougherty Maulsby*
8. The Best of Me, David Sedaris
9. Ready Player Two, Ernest Cline
10. Daylight, David Baldacci
*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 https://cultureandmanners.com/ 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 – www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com; Facebook: Ankeny Community Theatre
Carousel Theatre of Indianola – www.carouseltheatre.org; Facebook: Carousel Theatre Indianola
Class Act Productions – www.captheatre.org; Facebook: CAPTheatre
Des Moines Community Playhouse/Kate Goldman Theatre – www.dmplayhouse.com; Facebook: DMPlayhouse
Des Moines Performing Arts/Temple Theater – www.desmoinesperformingarts.org; Facebook: Des Moines Performing Arts
Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre – www.dmyat.org; Facebook: DM Young Artists Theatre
Iowa Shakespeare Experience – www.iowashakespeare.org; Facebook: Iowa Shakespeare Experience                                                 Iowa Stage Theatre Company – www.iowastage.org; Facebook: Iowa Stage Theatre Company
Pyramid Theatre Company – www.pyramidtheatre.org; Facebook: Pyramid Theatre Company
Tallgrass Theatre Company – www.tallgrasstheatre.org; Facebook: Tallgrass Theatre Company
TheatreMidwest – www.theatremidwest.org; Facebook: TheatreMidwest
Urbandale Community Theatre – www.urbandaletheatre.com; Facebook: Urbandale Community Theatre

  1. Des Moines Community Playhouse. Virtual auditions will be held for the next two COVID-19 protocol live productions, which will be run in repertory. Audition videos must be submitted to the Playhouse by Mon Jan 4, 2021, 6:00 PM (auditions may be submitted prior to this date). Full instructions on their website. Stuart Little performance dates Feb 26 – Mar 14, 2021. Cast needs: 1-2 M, 1-2 W, 1-2 B, 1-2 G. Leaving Iowa performance dates Feb. 19-Mar. 21, 2021. Cast Needs: 3 M ages 18-60, 3 W ages 18-60. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/volunteer/audition/
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company. No auditions are currently scheduled, but you can add your name to their audition notice list at https://www.iowastage.org/audition
  3. Theatre Midwest. No auditions are currently scheduled, but you can check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.theatremidwest.org/auditions.html

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. 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. https://www.nocedsm.com/
  2. Civic Music Association announces its 2020-2021 Season. Check it out. https://civicmusic.org/concerts/
  3. The Des Moines Symphony will present an appealing series of concert experiences. Check for details. https://www.dmsymphony.org/

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/
  2. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola. http://www.pageturnersbookstore.com/
  3. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/
  4. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. https://read-a-book-nook.business.site/
  5. Book Vault, Oskaloosa. https://bookvault.indielite.org/
  6. Prairie Lights Books & Cafe, Iowa City. https://www.prairielights.com/

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. 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. dsm Magazine – Central Iowa’s gateway to arts, culture and more in a stunning, visual format. https://dsmmagazine.com/ dsm’s CultureCast podcast features interviews with cultural leaders, artists and musicians. https://dsmmagazine.com/culturecast/
  5. ia Magazine – Built upon the success of its Central Iowa counterpart, this annual gem brings enticing cultural news from across the state. https://iapublication.com/
  6. 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/
  7. 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. https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/900views-pat-boddy-RCELj1xc7Wh/
  8. 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/
  9. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues. www.cibs.org
  10. Bryan Farland, for many years, single handedly puts together the most comprehensive list of live and streaming music in Iowa. Bryan reaches out two ways, https://www.facebook.com/TheListDSM and bfarland@mchsi.com

Resources to help, support and guide during any challenges you or someone you care about may be experiencing:
COVID Iowa Recovery: 800-775-9276 https://covidrecoveryiowa.org/

  •  1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org
    United Way 211: Dial 211, text ZIP code to 898211 or visit 211iowa.org
    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: dmpcc.org
    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: iowacrisischat.org
    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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