Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


The Covid-19 pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate. Strongly consider getting your vaccinations.
Continue to be creative. Find ways to celebrate your thankfulness safely with family, friends and others.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz, 2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts

Quote of the Week
“By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to fore on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.” – George Orwell (1903-1950) an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic, in “Notes on Nationalism” (1945)

Time-honored tradition with four chances to enjoy it
The Des Moines Symphony Yankee Doodle Pops will be broadcast on Iowa Public Television this year. The television broadcast will be hosted by Kevin and Mollie Cooney, and broadcast July 2, 4 (twice), and 5. The Orchestra’s performance will be recorded in Hy-Vee’s Ron Pearson Center and will feature all-new footage celebrating the sights and sounds of Yankee Doodle Pops. Detail at https://www.dmsymphony.org/concerts-events/yankee-doodle-pops/

Cultural exploration opportunities

  1.  Prepare ye the way of musical theatre….Godspell will be presented by the Des Moines Community Playhouse in full revival fashion, under the big tent, filling the area with the signature songs and more from this beloved musical. Opening Jul 9 and running in repertory with Neil Simon’s beloved comedy, Plaza Suite (opening Jul 16), these two shows will share the big tent with the Saturday Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre show, Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. This tent is large enough to even include a return of the crow-pleasing FAE – Final Act Ensemble for one night, Jul 27, delivering their delightful live-radio comedy hijinks. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/tent-theatre/
  2. Visit iowastage.org for more information on Scriptease, and visit Iowa Stage Theatre Youtube page for their latest audio drama. Audio dramas are released every two weeks. Our latest is Chekov’s The Ninny, from our series “Love, for Short”. You can also subscribe to our patreon at ‘patreon.com/iowastage’ to access our Scriptease Audio Drama Catalogue, featuring our first three audio dramas from “Love, for Short”.
  3. The Community Jazz Center renews its popular jam sessions the first Sunday of each month at Java Joes Fourth Street Theater. www.cjc-dsm.org


CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  1.  Annual Landscape Show May 28 – Jul 17. Join Olson-Larsen Galleries on Sunday May 23rd at 2pm CST as we have a live, virtual conversation with new O-L artist, Olivia Valentine and writer/curator, Shannon Stratton. Valentine’s recent solo exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center was accompanied by a thoughtful essay written by Stratton.
  2. “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. https://www.museums.iastate.edu/visit/brunnier-art-museum
  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, wrightl@grinnell.edu. Also contact Lesley Wright if you want to come with a group. https://www.grinnell.edu/life-grinnell/arts-culture/museum/exhibitions
  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.

Auditions and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities

  1. Master Singing Class with David Michael Garry – The Broadway star of “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Carousel,” “The Last Ship” and other hits will conduct a master class for aspiring vocalists and lifelong singers, high school age and up, 9-11 a.m. July 18 at the Iowa Theater in Winterset. David Michael Garry will cover every aspect of vocal auditions, including how to enter an audition space and specific performance techniques. The 2-hour class is geared to help young performers book jobs, get into colleges and conservatories, and succeed in vocal competitions. https://prod1.agileticketing.net/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=293604~26c06c96-e7af-4165-ae51-4f03b78aac96&epguid=bff2cdc7-af2c-4d0c-a2b2-f078642bdbe0&
  2. The Des Moines Community Playhouse will audition for two upcoming productions. With their eyes auditions Mon Aug 2 at 6:00 PM (performance date Sep 11), for young performers. Escaping the Labyrinth audition Mon Aug 23 at 6:00 PM (performance dates Oct 15-23). https://www.dmplayhouse.com/volunteer/audition/

“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.

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – John Krantz brings a keen understanding and insight about this year’s eagerly anticipated Jazz in July at Hoyt Sherman Place. For three successive Tuesdays in July beginning on the 13th, Jazz in July will fill the neighborhood with the best in our region’s as well as national and international jazz artists. Listen as John provides exciting glimpses into the artists anchoring this fantastic free family event.
  • 11:19 AM – Jamie Siefert, VP at Cedar Ridge Distillery, enthusiastically shares news about this year’s renewal of one of the great summer festivals in the Midwest. Bourbon and Blues Fest is a signature event produced by this successful distillery and winery, and will run July 2, 3, 4, and 5. Most of the events are family friendly and free. Learn more about what happens during this year’s festival, and make your plans to attend. “Set in rolling hills and a pastoral setting, beckoning families and friends to gather there, this is one of the great festivals in the Heartland – many free events, a bounty of blues and booze, and an experience unlike any other.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:37 AM – Rachel Michelberg’s personal journey provides many profound insights into the role of a caregiver as she openly shares that journey in “CRASH: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver.” This is a memoir capturing the internal and external challenges Rachel’s unexpected role had to navigate. “I read this book cover to cover and then finally remembered to breathe. Crash is a profoundly human story told with grace and raw honesty. Michelberg is courageous enough to put all of herself into the pages, and we are all the better for it. Crash will stay with you—in your mind, heart, and gut—for a long time after you finish it.” — Mark Lukach, author of My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward
  • 11:56 AM – Susan Werner operates in a class by herself for her incomparable musical talents coupled with a wickedly sharp wit gives us marvelous songs, such as “Recumbent Bike” from her delectably entertaining album, EIGHT UNNECESSARY SONGS.
  • 12:00 PM – Gary Grossman partners with Ed Fuller as they continue their incredibly engaging thriller Red Hotel series with “Red Deception.” Gary brings his lively and insightful best to this conversation, as their books not only deliver incredibly great reading, but some eye-opening education about he world we live in today. “Forget “ripped from the headlines,” because RED DECEPTION threatens to write its own! RED DECEPTION is everything a great thriller is supposed to be! High stakes, incredible action scenes, a deadly plot, and a dynamic hero in Dan Reilly. Gary Grossman and Ed Fuller have crafted a relentlessly riveting tale that hones in on our greatest fears and takes us right to the bring in breathless fashion.” – Jon Land USA Today best-selling author
  • 12:20 PM – Linda McCann chats about her “Lost” series covering fascinating chapters in Iowa’s history, from the Civilian Conservation Corps to Prohibition to POWs in Iowa. Linda shares insights into her insatiable appetite for writing about and sharing Iowa’s rich history with her readers. Enjoy this gateway to an impassioned Iowa author. “Linda Betsinger McCann’s respect and intense curiosity about Iowa’s rich history gives us a bounty of books on a range of subjects. McCann’s writing opens literary and pictorial gateways for her readers to gain greater understandings about the foundations for today’s Iowa.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:33 PM – Author John Galligan’s gift for placing his readers into the atmospheric thriller stories he pens is marvelous. Captivating flow, immersive energy, John shares some glimpses into his latest in the popular Heidi Kick mystery series, as the first female sheriff of Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, faces another challenging case. “As unique a place in the mystery universe as you will ever find…smooth, unexpected, and memorable. This book is a diamond in the rough.” —Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • 12:47 PM – Maggie Rivers is part of the trio of romantic and creative mischief makers known collectively as The Stiletto Girls. Maggie shares a news about a trending good story – porch fairies. Enjoy some smile-inducing news from Maggie during this chat, which also catches us up a bit on what The Stiletto Girls are doing.
  • 12:56 PM – Some shows deserve a double-dose of Susan Werner. Today’s is such a show, as she shares her “What Did You Do to Your Face?,” another gem from EIGHT UNECCESARY SONGS.

Cultural nuggets – 
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 has re-opened, and still offers curbside or delivery service.
Updated hours: Sun/Mon: CLOSED; Tue – Fri: 10:00 – 5:30; Sat: 10:00 – 5:00


Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!

  1. Premonition, Michael Lewis
  2. The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country, Amanda Gorman\
  3. The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet, John Green
  4. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  5. Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Kimmerer
  6. Giver of Stars, JoJo Moyes
  7. Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness, George Saunders
  8. What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, Oprah Winfrey
  9. World Travel, Anthony Bourdain
  10. Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir
    *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. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.dmplayhouse.com/volunteer/audition/
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company. You can add your name to their audition notice list at https://www.iowastage.org/audition
  3. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.theatremidwest.org/auditions.html
  4. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.dmyat.org/

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/
  4. Always changing, always beckoning, Iowa is a wonderland of cultural, natural and culinary delights. For your guide book, contact the Iowa Tourism office, visit their website, and get a hard coy of the new travel guide at traveliowa.com. 

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. Dog-eared Books, Ames. https://dogearedbooksames.com/
  4. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/
  5. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. https://read-a-book-nook.business.site/
  6. Book Vault, Oskaloosa. https://bookvault.indielite.org/
  7. 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: https://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. https://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 farlanbr@dsmlivemusic.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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