Saturday, November 27, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


The Covid-19 pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate.
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
Letting go of the past means opening up to the future, and sometimes the unknown is scarier than the past.” ― Tamara Lechner, “Happiness Expert” and Chopra Certified Primordial Sound Meditation InstructorThe Happiness Reset: What to do When Nothing Makes You Happy
Callista Gould’s “The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career” Tip of the Week – Give Them Something to Talk About
Many college students take their resume and transcribe it into their Linkedin profile. And there it sits… looking very resume-like. What a huge, missed opportunity – for students, or anybody, really. Linkedin is a chance to bring your resume or your business to life – to add energy, vitality… and maybe a little sparkle. (Okay, sparkle’s not for everyone.) How? By posting photos. Visualize ways you can take your current activities, classes, projects, internships, volunteer work, hobbies, interests or travels and put photos to it.
– From Callista Gould, Author and Certified Etiquette Instructor
Cultural exploration opportunities

  1. The Des Moines Symphony – Spring Serenade. From the lyrical woodwind and horn melodies of Richard Strauss’s Serenade in E-flat Major to Gounod, Delius and Mozart, our March 18 concert heralds the arrival of spring. Table 128 offers dinner/wine pairings to enjoy in your home as you savor the sweet sounds of DMS.
  2. Des Moines Performing Arts presents The University of Wonder & Imagination, Fri, Mar 19 – Sun Mar 21, 2021 (LIVE), presented by Belfast based theatre company Cahoots NI, is now enrolling students of all ages and magical abilities…and there’s a place with your name on it! Hogwarts meets virtual escape room in this interactive, visually-stunning Zoom performance. Hour-Long performances at 10 AM, 10:30 AM, 11 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 2 PM, 2:30 PM and 3 PM. Tickets start at $10 per device.  Visit to learn more.
  3. Des Moines Metro Opera’s (DMMO) Virtual Concert Series continues next month with Zachary James on Broadway, which premieres Friday, March 19 at 7:30pm (CST). or by calling the DMMO Box Office at (515) 961-6221.
  4. Civic Music Association presents the next offering in its Play On Series. Enjoy the same strong benefits of great music, as they have presented for almost a century. Sat Mar 27, enjoy the free concert of The Real Ambassadors in the Louis Armstrong House, New York City. This livestream happens at 7:00 PM, and is sponsored by G. David (dec.) & Trudy Holman Hurd.


  1. “Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa” is open now through July 23 at the Brunnier Art Museum in Ames, IA. Exhibition features art and installations from nineteen artists inspired by Iowa’s landscape.
  2. Des Moines Art Center, in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery through May 23, 2021. The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art is the first survey and major scholarly assessment of this groundbreaking artist’s 37-year career. Human/Nature: An Exhibition Inspired by the Art of Judith Schaechter, in the John Brady Print Gallery. Artist Judith Schaechter worked with Curatorial Manager Laura Burkhalter to choose work from the Art Center’s collection by artists who inspire her or which contains thematic connections to her masterful glass constructions.
  3. The Grinnell College Museum of Art is open by appointment, Tue thru Sat, noon to 5 pm. Visitors who need to schedule a visit on Mondays or mornings, please Director Lesley Wright, Also contact Lesley Wright if you want to come with a group.
  4. Terrace Hill Opens for Tours, are available by reservation. Tours are at 10:30 and 12:00, Tuesday – Saturday. Please call 515-242-5841 to make a reservation.

“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.
  3. FarmHer is an incredibly creative enterprise, Iowa-based and woman-owned. Marji offers a way to enjoy her messages, products and cause, while cloaking yourself in unique casual wear. “We love Women’s History Month, and to celebrate we’re are giving all FarmHer babes 15% off long sleeves. Use promo code BABE15 at checkout to receive 15% off all your cozy favorites like this black camo pullover jacket. The sale ends March 22.”

Celebrate Iowa’s History Month this March
Iowa’s Department of Cultural Affairs celebrates wide-ranging themes in the state’s history, from the Iowa History 101 series (include Inkpaduta, Emir Abd El-Kader, The Cherry Sisters, and Donna Reed), the Iowa History Book Club featuring legendary historian Dorothy Schwieder’s “Iowa: The Middle Land,” and a new exhibition exploring more than 13,000 years of history with artifacts. Information is available at
Cultural Lifelong Learning
JJ Gaffers – Award-winning hot glass artist Jesse Bogenrief leads COVID-safe workshops for those interested in learning about glass blowing. This studio is conveniently located in Mainfram Studios, 900 Keo Way, Des Moines. Jesse’s expertise encourages students from 7 to 87 to expand their creative horizons.
This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –
11:00 AM – Jonathan Reed researches and gathers incredible photographs to tell the history of Iowa’s only natural lakes in his historical marvel, “Lost Resorts of the Iowa Great Lakes.” Jonathan leads a lively conversation sharing glimpses into a book that will enchant any and all who have experienced the wonder of this destination worthy collection of lakes.
“Jonathan M. Reed takes readers on a deep, graceful dive into the waters of history, using a flood of photographs and a bounty of thirst-quenching research and writing to quench a shared thirst for knowledge about this incredible water wonderland.” -The Culture Buzz
11:18 AM – Poet Kyle McCord reads “The Soft Machinery of the Dark” from one of his several published collections.
11:19 AM – Iowa poet John D. Thompson reads “Railroad Expansion in Iowa: Is Everybody in Iowa on Board with This?” from his new collection, “Iowa Poems 175” celebrating Iowa’s 175th year since statehood.
11:22 AM – The gifted songstress Jen Chapin shares “Paris,” a track from her Five Songs EP.
11:25 AM – Brian Frankish is a producer and production manager for many Hollywood films. In the late 1980s, he helped guide the making of “Field of Dreams.” Fate brought him back to Iowa in 2009 with the filming of “The Crazies” in Lenox, Iowa. Listen as Brian recounts his time in Iowa, and Iowa’s impact on him as a filmmaker.
“Brian Frankish recently was recognized for his work in the film industry through the DGA, which honored him with the Frank Capra Award. His ties to Iowa are strong, and he has shared a great deal in helping elevate the film industry in our state.” – The Culture Buzz
11:40 AM – Professor and author Katy Swalwell gives us a glimpse into her wonderful exploration of Iowa’s history of women in “Amazing Iowa Women.” Katy has taken her readers on an alphabetical journey, revealing a rich history of women’s contributions to making Iowa a better state.
“(Katy) Swalwell takes readers on a marvelous exploration to better understand, know and appreciate some of the amazing women who truly did make Iowa great.” -The Culture Buzz
12:00 PM – International public speaker, community catalyst and author Terry Rich chats about one of his new books, “The $80 Billion Gamble,” an engrossing, deep-dive into how the largest attempted internal swindle of America’s lottery system was uncovered by Terry and his team at Iowa Lottery. Terry energizes the conversation with his firsthand and gathered narrative of this amazing story.
12:12 PM – Iowa poet John D. Thompson talks about his new collection, “Iowa Poems 175,” celebrating Iowa’s 175th year since statehood. John shares how this collection came into being, and, thorugh his obvious passion for poetry and Iowa, we are drawn to another exceptional collection celebrating our home state.
12:24 PM – Iowa poet John D. Thompson reads “The Wave” from his new collection, “Iowa Poems 175” celebrating Iowa’s 175th year since statehood.

12:26 PM – New York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Joel Rosenberg sparks a lively conversation about his almost prescient storytelling abilities, and how deep understanding of global trends helps him seem like a “modern-day Nostradamus” (U.S. News & World Report). His new novel, “The Beirut Protocol : A Marcus Ryker Series Political and Military Action Thriller: (Book 4),” is another gem and will captivate.

Prep Iowa

“THE BEIRUT PROTOCOL is a great next read for any lover of military and political thrillers and fans of authors like Steve Berry. Its tension and suspense will have readers on the edge of their seats, immersed in the action and turning pages to keep up with the plot’s swift unfolding.”
– BookTrib
12:41 PM – The Culture Buzz truly loves sharing the musical artistry of Susan Werner whenever it can, and this snarky gem, “What Did You Do to Your Face,” will put a smile on yours.
12:44 PM – The new issue of Iowa History Journal is available – subscriptions are highly recommended – as John Pregler chats about the first of his two-part series on Abraham Lincoln, “Locating Lincoln.” This story reveals nine days of Lincoln’s life that historians previously had not accounted for, and much time in Iowa was part of that time.
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.

Beaverdale Books offers curbside service, or delivery service. Updated hours: Sun/Mon: CLOSED; Tue – Fri: 10:00 – 5:30; Sat: 10:00 – 5:00      515-279-5400
Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!
1. The Heart Hungers for Wildness, Diane Glass*
2. Coach Maury John’s Journey to the Pinnacle of College Hoops, Kris Kesterson*
3. The Boundless Compassion Journal, Joyce Rupp*
4. The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah
5. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
6. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee
7. Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker
8. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, Ibram X. Kendi
9. The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Christy Lefteri
10. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
*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 –; Facebook: 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

  1. Des Moines Community Playhouse. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company. You can add your name to their audition notice list at
  3. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  4. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at

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.
  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. dsm Magazine – Central Iowa’s gateway to arts, culture and more in a stunning, visual format. dsm’s CultureCast podcast features interviews with cultural leaders, artists and musicians.
  5. ia Magazine – Built upon the success of its Central Iowa counterpart, this annual gem brings enticing cultural news from across the state.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  9. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues.
  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, and

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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