Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


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

Quote of the Week

After last week’s quote on ‘opinion,’ I thought this little exchange would be appropriate:
A young artist exhibits their work for the first time…
…and a well-known critic is in attendance.
The critic says to the young artist, “Would you like my opinion?”
“Yes,” says the artist.
“It’s worthless,” says the critic.
The artist replies, “I know, but tell me anyway.”

Newsletter content:

  1. Guests on this week’s Wednesday edition;
  2. Cultural exploration opportunities (Greater Des Moines/Iowa);
  3. Exhibitions, Tours, Visual Artists (mostly Greater Des Moines/Iowa);
  4. Auditions and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities;
  5. Planning ahead;
  6. Author events (Greater Des Moines/Iowa);
  7. Best-sellers, life resources, Greater Des Moines performing arts organizations, Central Iowa indie book stores, cultural exploration resources, health & welfare resources

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  • 11:00 AM — Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals is a brilliant ‘life resource’ book, sure to help anyone wise enough to delve into its rich content to benefit their life. Oliver leads a wonderful chat, giving us glimpses into this book’s many helpful guidances. “It invites nothing less than a new relationship with time — and with life itself” — Krista Tippett
  • 11:16 AM — Life is always a little more ebullient when one has a Susan Werner tune to lighten the day’s load. Take a spin on her “Recumbent Bike” from Eight Unnecessary Songs. Delight in her musical glow.
  • 11:20 AM — Iowa poet John D. Thompson reads “Railroad Expansion…” from his collection, Iowa Poems 175: 175 Poems to Celebrate Iowa’s 175th Birthday. “(Iowa) poet John D. Thompson has a gift for wrapping the bounty of Iowa history and landscape into a harvest of verse in his collections. His recent homage celebrating his home state’s 174th birthday is another gem.” — The Culture Buzz
  • 11:23 AM — Journalist, author, and teacher Dean Jobb brilliantly wraps truth in history with a vibrant narrative that makes The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream” read like a page-turning thriller. Dean shares glimpses into his creative process about this fascinating true crime story. “Deeply absorbing…Jobb constructs this Victorian-era chronicle with scrupulous authority…An admirable piece of work, a model for its kind.” — Wall Street Journal
  • 11:35 AM — Kyle McCord could continue his successful journey as a multiple-collection published poet, but his muse pushed him into creating his debut novel, Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult. Kyle spends a few minutes sharing the creative process, including some wonderful delivery choices in his storytelling. He will be appearing at Beaverdale Books Sep 15, the day of this novel’s release. “This debut novel has been lurking in the creative soul of Kyle McCord for a long time. Thankfully, he allowed it to manifest itself, and Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult is released to the world in all of its breathtaking storytelling brilliance.” — The Culture Buzz
  • 12:00 PM — Cheryl Mullenbach has written many wonderful history books that bring to life those times she covers in her books. A recent book of hers, “Torpedoed!,” captures the survival of two children during a WW II torpedoing of the ship they were on. “(Cheryl) Mullenbach has a delectable gift for finding historical stories and bringing the to vibrant life for young readers. Don’t be surprised if older readers are drawn into shared reading experiences with children and grandchildren thanks to her talent.” — The Culture Buzz
  • 12:11 PM — Des Moines Community Playhouse Executive Director David Kilpatrick gives a glimpse into the beginning of a full season of shows, starting with the eagerly anticipated season opener, Cabaret.
  • 12:24 PM — In alluring lyricism, Lindy Miller (with Terrance Brody) catapults her readers into a world of beauty and relationships with her new adventure, Aloha with Love. Already filmed, this book is a must-read before watching the cinematic version. Lindy leads an animated conversation about this story’s journey. “[A] charming romance. Miller and Brody do a masterful job of pacing and plotting, while creating a hero and heroine readers will easily relate to. This sweet, G-rated contemporary should draw in Hallmark Channel devotees in droves.” — Publishers Weekly
  • 12:37 PM — Chad Elliott shows he is more than musician and painter as he reads “Epitaph” from his poetry collection Rumble & Flash. “Dubbed Iowa’s Renaissance Man many years ago, Chad Elliott continues to prove he has the right to wear this creative mantle as he spins out a brilliantly evocative collection of verse in Rumble & Flash.” — The Culture Buzz
  • 12:39 PM — Author Marj Charlier returns to her home state to lead a writers workshop through Beaverdale Books. Listen as Marj talks about her latest novel, the marvelous The Rebel Nun. Marj’s gifts extend well beyond her writing, as she helps writers navigate the waters of creativity and publication. Her workshop, presented several years ago here, was exceptional.
  • 12:58 PM — As the University of Iowa football season begins, it’s time to honor a wonderful new tradition, The Wave. John D. Thompson does so as he reads “The Wave,” from his new collection, Iowa Poems 175: 175 Poems to Celebrate Iowa’s 175th Birthday.

 Cultural exploration opportunities

  1. Harmony Delegation, under the artful musical direction of veteran Brenton Brown, invites you to sail with us on a virtual cruise of a lifetime to exotic and wild musical misadventures aboard the Ship L’Amour. a 40-minute parody of the Love Boat entitled “Ship L’Amour.”  Fri Sep 10 at 7 pm when our virtual cruise will set sail. Free, donations appreciated. For more information, visit harmonydelegation.com
  2. Des Moines Playhouse — With Their Eyes, Sep 11. The view from a high school at ground zero. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/with-their-eyes/
  3. Des Moines Playhouse — Cabaret, Sep 10-26. This great musical takes to the Playhouse stage for an eagerly anticipated run. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/cabaret/
  4. Passport to Prosperity offers a week of special events leading up to the Sat Sep 11 virtual celebration of this year’s honorees. Check out the schedule of free and paid events. https://app.mobilecause.com/e/WXm2fA?vid=l0fnu
  5. PLEASE NOTE THIS CHANGE: The Pyramid Theatre Company and Des Moines Performing Arts production of The Gospel at Colonus, originally scheduled for Sep 17-19, has been postponed to 2022. https:/desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/the-gospel-at-colonus/
  6. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s summer music series is BACK, LIVE and IN PERSON! Presented by EMC Insurance Companies, the 15-week series, Music in the Garden, is held every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. through Sep 30! Food, drink and fun, family-friendly activities will be available at all events! http://dmbotanicalgarden.com/…/sig…/music-in-the-garden/
  7. The Community Jazz Center presents its popular jam sessions the first Sunday of each month at Java Joes Fourth Street Theater. www.cjc-dsm.org 


  1. JUSTIN FAVELA: CENTRAL AMERICAN. THRU OCT 24, 2021, ANNA K. MEREDITH GALLERY AND MEIER ATRIUM. ORGANIZED BY CURATORIAL MANAGER LAURA BURKHALTER. Justin Favela’s exuberant art is inspired by Latinx culture, art history, and food rendered in layer upon layer of vibrant strips of paper. Favela’s technique recalls piñatas and party decorations — ephemeral forms that signify joy and celebration. https://www.desmoinesartcenter.org/exhibitions/central-american
  2. 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
  3. 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. WRITING WORKSHOP at Beaverdale Books by Marj Charlier | The Rebel Nun. DATE: September 13, 2021. TIME: 6:30 pm. $20. Details: https://beaverdalebooks.com/event/writing-workshop/
  2. Des Moines Playhouse — auditions Mon Sep 13 at 6:00 PM for Junie B in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells on Performance Dates: Nov. 05-Nov. 14, 2021. Cast Needs: 2 male-identifying roles, ages 18-60, any race or ethnicity, 2 female-identifying roles, ages 18-45, any race or ethnicity, 3 male-identifying roles, ages 15-25, any race or ethnicity, 3 female-identifying roles, ages 15-25, any race or ethnicity. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/volunteer/audition/
  3. Carousel Theatre of Indianola — audition for And Then There Were None Mon Aug 23 and Tue Aug 24 at 7:00 PM, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Innovations, 117 E Salem Ave, Indianola, IA 50125. Production dates: Oct 22-31, 2021/ https://carouseltheatre.org/?page_id=190
  4. Iowa Stage Theatre Company invites those interested to sign up to receive notices of future auditions. https://www.iowastage.org/audition
  5. Class Act Productions (CAP) Theatre in Altoona is preparing to begin live performances again. Check out the audition/performance process information, and check this newsletter for specific information. http://www.captheatre.org/main/expect/
  6. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.theatremidwest.org/auditions.html
  7. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.dmyat.org/

Planning ahead
Make plans, as these national shows may sell out quickly, or appeal to a bit of micro-traveling.

  1. “An Evening with Paula Poundstone” at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre Fri Sep 24, 2021, 8:00 PM. http://hoytsherman.org/calendar/events/event-213/
  2. Hoyt Sherman Place and Right Angle Entertainment are delighted to announce tickets for FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, the New York City Off-Broadway hit, will play at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sat Oct 16 at 7:30PM. FRIENDS! The Musical Parody is the comedic musical that lovingly pokes fun at TV’s Friends, celebrating the adventures of your favorite group of 20-something friends as they navigate the pitfalls of work, life and love in 1990s Manhattan. http://hoytsherman.org/calendar/events/event-301/
  3. David Sedaris – The Best-Selling Author, Humorist and Contributor to This American Life, Live at the Hoyt Sherman Place. Although the evening show already is sold out, David added another show Sat Dec 4, 2021 at 3PM – Added by Demand. Iowa Public Radio presents An Evening with David Sedaris. This is a unique opportunity to see the best-selling humorist in an intimate setting. As always, Sedaris will be offering a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A session and book signing. http://hoytsherman.org/calendar/events/event-303/

Between the covers — author events worth noting:

  1. Sep 9 (Beaverdale Books) — The Soul of the Family Tree. Lori Erickson
  2. Sep 15 (Beaverdale Books) — The Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide. Kyle McCord

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. All the Comfort Sin Can Provide, Grant Faulkner*
  2. Owl’s Head: A Hidden Gem, Sondra Ashmore* and Christine Guzzo Vickery (Illustrated by Sharon Larson)
  3. The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
  4. Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution, Mike Duncan
  5. I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker
  6. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee
  7. People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry
  8. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  9. The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
  10. The House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune

* Iowa author

Life Resource books worth your consideration:

  1. The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career is an info-packed gem from Callista Gould. https://cultureandmanners.com/ 
  2. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals helps anyone regain focus in their life. Oliver Burkeman packs this resource liberally. https://www.oliverburkeman.com/
  3. Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades and Good Behavior Are Not Enough is a brilliant guide for parents in this new environment of education. Dr. Pawan H. Dhingra. https://pawanhdhingra.com/

Check out The Culture Buzz insightful interviews for these and other authors’ interviews at https://archive.org/details/@the_culture_buzz 

Performing Arts Organizations:
Please check in advance regarding any scheduled performances, exhibitions, museum visits, etc.

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/
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: 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
  • 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
  • Instead of 911 – Des Moines area
    Domestic Violence: 515.286.3600
       Polk County Crisis & Advocacy
    Poison Control: 800.222.1222
    Mental Health Crisis: 515.282.5752
       Broadlawns Crisis Team
    LGBTQ+ Abuse: 866.488.7386
    Sexual Assault: 515.243.7386
       Children & Families of Iowa
    Veteran Crisis: 800.273.8255 press1
       Veterans & Their Families Health Crisis Line
    Child Abuse/Neglect: 800.422.4453
       National US Child Abuse Hotline
    Animal Abuse/Neglect: 515.284.6905
       Des Moines Animal Control
    *open 24/7
    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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