Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Continue to be creative. Be safe and conscientious.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts
Podcasts of past interviews may be found at www.TheCultureBuzz.com and https://archive.org/details/@the_culture_buzz 

Something for Something

Support The Culture Buzz programming through the Des Moines Community Radio Foundation (aka KFMG 98.9 FM). I am offering select books, each with a CD copy of my companion interview with that author, for a nominal contribution to keep sharing with you great authors and the best in Central Iowa cultural events coverage. Some newly added titles include:

  • Town Kid: Reflections of a Midwestern Boyhood by Gary Porter. This autographed copy of Gary’s book is sure to stir memories for the reader.
  • Griff: My Life as Drake’s Top Dog by Gary Porter. Gary gives us an autographed copy of a favorite picture-filled book for anyone who loves Drake University’s beloved bulldog traditions.
  • Called to be Creativeby Mary Potter Kenyon. This award-winning author has inspired countless people to elevate their creativity. This book is signed, and includes a special note pad and ‘thin pencil.’
  • Big Brain Little Brain: How to Control Which One Speaks for Youby Kevin Thomas McCarney. This is a wonderful ‘life resource’ book for anyone’s personal library.

Check out the details plus a full listing of books at the KFMG website, www.kfmg.org

Quote of the Week

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” — Theodore Isaac Rubin (1923-2019) an American psychiatrist and author

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
Newsletter content:
  1. Guests on this week’s Wednesday edition
  2. Performance Arts (Greater Des Moines/Iowa)
  3. Visual Arts (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 resource books, 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 –
  • 11:00 AM – Michael Rose brings a powerful story drenched in history and indomitability with his epic tale of a young girl as she defies the lot fate has handed her. Michael shares the fascinating back story about how his debut novel came into being, and the conversation is wonderful. “Rose has composed an affecting and unpredictable story, unsentimental and unflinching.” – Kirkus Reviews
  • 11:17 AM – The Last Stop on the 6 is Patricia Dunn’s second novel, and she shares how this captivating story came to being in this revealing conversation. “Original and as entertaining as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, “Last Stop on the 6” is one of those all too rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself is finished and set back upon the shelf. Showcasing Patricia Dunn’s skills with respect to an impressive narrative storytelling style, “Last Stop on the 6” is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.” — Midwest Book Review
  • 11:32 AM – Jan Beatty infuses her experienced poetic background into the telling of American Bastard: A Memoir, giving readers a bold, unfiltered perspective of a life very few could even begin to imagine. Jan’s sharing in this conversation is an open invitation to wander into her soul and read her debut novel. “I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this one. I hadn’t known some live haunted by their own blood ghosts. It will be medicine for those wounded by their own births; and illuminating for anyone who thought they understood notions of home and kin. It’s as if Beatty’s lived homesick for herself. American Bastard is as brutal and beautiful as Beatty’s poetry. A surgery of the self. Precise and invasive, exploratory and celebratory, debilitating and transformational.”Sandra Cisneros, House on Mango Street, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life
  • 11:45 AM – Returning to the show with another gem for stimulating the mind, Lori Erickson’s The Soul of the Family Tree: Ancestors, Stories and the Spirits We Inherit is a beautiful sharing of Lori’s genealogical explorations, and the many revelations that journey yielded. “Erickson details how researching her Norwegian American heritage led to deep personal reflection… With a ight hand, Erickson invites readers to follow her lead and take some liberties in the search for one’s ‘spiritual DNA.’… Readers may find themselves ordering their own DNA testing kit upon finishing this.” – Publishers Weekly
  • 12:00 PM – Susan Werner shares insights, thoughts and gives us a great glimpse into the depth and breadth of what makes her such an incredible American musician, lyricist and composer. She will appear in a special concert experience with her longtime collaborator Radoslav Lorković at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames. With infectious energy and spell-binding talent, these two will fill each audience member with a joyful sense of life through their incredible musicianship. “One of the most innovative songwriters working today.” – Chicago Tribune “(Werner is) a songwriter and musician who is in such complete command of her gifts that it’s almost scary.” – All Music Guide
  • 12:20 PM – Larry Baker will make an appearance at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines on Mon Nov 22 at 6:30 PM to chat about his latest achievement, the captivating thriller Wyman and the Florida Knights. Listen as Larry leads a delightful conversation about this story and how it came to be. “How does Larry Baker manage to combine the myth-making power of William Faulkner with the Florida wit of Carl Hiassen? This is a Cain and Abel story, a Faustian Bargain story, and a profoundly tragic story of family secrets. But then we meet Angel Darling, a stripper/swinger who starts saving souls. And Black, a Florida panther who was first seen in 1866 and then again and again until Election day of 2016. It’s a myth in three centuries, but real enough to stalk and mangle people in each of them.” — Patty Friedmann, author of Secondhand Smoke
  • 12:35 PM – The incomparable history writer Jean-Pierre Isbouts returns to share peeks into his attest National Geographic gem, Ultimate Visual History of the World: The Story of Mankind from Prehistory to Modern Times. This book awaits a special place on anyone’s coffee table or desk, as it is a deliciously designed beauty, saturated with photographs, images and graphics to complement Jean-Pierre’s brilliant writing. “In the course of our lives, there are special books which vividly etch themselves into minds, stimulating our curiosity to pursue a path of inquisitive gratification. These weren’t the spare, boldly illustrated children’s books that were the building blocks of our nascent reading life. These books were memorable anchors that seemed massive in size, content and impact. They were gateways into other times, worlds and experiences, leaving us in awe and wonder as we became hooked on lifelong learning. Jean-Pierre Isbouts’ Ultimate Visual History of the World: The Story of Humankind from Prehistory to Modern Times (National Geographic) is such a book; dynamic, richly illustrated and meticulously researched. It is a new epic, capturing its expansive subject matter with a special millennial-covering panache while delivering one of the most complete and comprehensive gateways into historical appreciation to be written.” – The Culture Buzz, Oct 2021
  • 12:52 PM – This week’s show adds to its marvelous Susan Werner interview with a canine attitude filled song, “Dog,” from her delightfully irreverent and irresistible EIGHT UNECESSARY SONGS.
  • 12:56 PM – David M. Perkins reads “The Back of Your Neck” from his new collection, Post-Modern Blues. David brings a marvelous sense of word play and imagery to his works.
Performance Arts
  1. The Des Moines Symphony fills the Civic Center with orchestral grandeur Nov 20 and 21 with Sibelius 7, plus Paul Huang joins the Symphony for Beethoven’s transcendent Violin Concerto in D Majorhttps://www.dmsymphony.org/concerts-events/beethoven-s-violin-concerto-2/
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company makes a triumphant return to its Stoner Theater home on Nov 12 for a two-week run of The Cake. Powerful, poignant and altogether timely, this play will leave an impression on its audiences, while stimulating post-show conversations. https://www.iowastage.org/the-cake
  3. Iowa Native Susan Werner to perform at Stephens Auditorium. Susan Werner last performed on the CY Stephens stage for a statewide 4-H Conference when she was a teen. Her career has skyrocketed, and she makes a triumphant and what will be a memorable return Sun Nov 21 at 7:00 PM. https://susanwerner.com/tour/
  4. Say Poetry’s fall showcase Say Presents: Speak Your Piece/Peace will be presented Fri Nov 19 at the Temple Theater. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/speak-your-piece/
  5. Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre presents Mystery Science Theatre 3000 LIVE: Time Bubble Tour Tue Nov 23 at 7:30 PM. https://hoytsherman.org/calendar/events/event-299/
  6. Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre presents another Duets – one rising star + one seasoned performer – for one night only Wed Dec 1 at Franklin Junior High School. https://www.dmyat.org/shows
  7. Tallgrass Theatre Company welcomes patrons to the inaugural production in their new home, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. This show promises to be a madcap romp through the holiday season. Dec 3-19. https://tallgrasstheatre.org/tickets/
  8. Ankeny Community Theatre presents the comedy Geezers beginning Dec 3. https://www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com/geezers.html
  9. Dairy Queen by Sarah Loucks is A Fresh Produce Concert Reading Event from the fine folks at TheatreMidwest. Reigning over a large quantity of ice cream and some hidden vodka, two teenagers imagine adulthood, freedom, and the American Dream beneath the fluorescent lights of a Midwest Dairy Queen. This will be presented Sat Dec 4 at 7:30 PM and Sun Dec 5 at 2:00 PM at Java Joes 4th Street Theatre. Free admission, goodwill donations appreciated. RSVPs for in-person or online streaming options will be taken starting November 18th at www.theatremidwest.org.
  10. The Des Moines Community Playhouse produces one of the all-time great musicals for the holiday season, The Sound of Music, Dec 3-19. Filled with popular songs, this touching story is sure to brighten everyone’s day. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/the-sound-of-music/
  11. 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 
Visual Arts
  1. Olson-Larsen Galleries is proud to present “Redefine”, on thru Nov 27. “Redefine” is an exhibition conceived through the collaboration of research-based artist and guest curator, Donté K. Hayes and Olson-Larsen Galleries. The show will feature artists selected by Donté, from the Olson-Larsen Galleries’ artist roster in combination with invited artists outside of the gallery’s representation. Olson-Larsen Galleries is excited to introduce their patrons and collectors to emerging and established artists in a new context.  The goal of this presentation is to show artwork that is created with intention. http://www.olsonlarsen.com/
  2. Greater Des Moines Exhibited XXVIII at the Polk County Heritage Gallery. Oct 25 – Dec 17. AWARDS SHOW – Thu Oct 28 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. http://www.polkcountyheritagegallery.org/
  3. The Grinnell College Museum of Art is open by appointment, Tue thru Sat, noon to 5 pm. Visitors need to schedule a visit on Mondays or mornings. 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. Iowa Stage Theatre Company invites those interested to sign up to receive notices of future auditions. https://www.iowastage.org/audition\
  2. 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/
  3. Tallgrass Theatre Company. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://tallgrasstheatre.org/audition/
  4. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  5. 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. Shen Yun – THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of music and dance, Shen Yun takes you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Des Moines Performing Arts Dec 4 & 5, 2:00 PM. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/shen-yun-2021/
  2. 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.
  3. Now available, Susan Werner is offering her full catalog of albums, plus bonus tracks (demos and unreleased songs), and live concert video footage. A perfect gift for Susan Werner fans, and anyone who simply savors the magic of one of America’s musical gems. https://susanwerner.com/music/
Between the covers — author events worth noting:
  1. Nov 21, 2:00 PM (Beaverdale Books) Welcome to Your LifeTony Tracy
  2. Nov 22, 6:30 PM (Beaverdale Books) – Wyman and the Florida KnightsLarry Baker
  3. Nov 26, 2:00-3:00 PM (Beaverdale Books) – History through the HeadsetsJohn Mahoney

Beaverdale Books provides their Top Ten sellers list, updated each month. 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. Our Friend Sitting Bull: The True Story of a Pioneer Couple’s Friendship with the Famous Lakota Chief, Mary Christopher*
  2. Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, Beth Hoffman*
  3. Cy’s Perfect Day: The Iowa State Way, John Walters*
  4. Love, Zac: Small Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy, Reid Forgrave*
  5. Mollie’s Big Score, Katie Purcell*
  6. The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles
  7. Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr
  8. Peril, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
  9. State of Terror, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
  10. Bewilderment, Richard Powers

* Iowa author

Life Resource books worth your consideration:
  1.  Leveling the Paying Field: A Groundbreaking Approach to Achieving Fair Pay. Rick Gillis gives us the handbook for evaluating our worth and cashing in. https://www.rickgillis.com/
  2. The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career is an info-packed gem from Callista Gould. https://cultureandmanners.com/ 
  3. Big Brain, Little Brain: How to Control Which One Speaks for You is a great guide from Kevin McCarney for helping anyone prepare on how to react to potentially volatile situations. https://bigbrainlittlebrain.com/
  4. Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives. Minal Bopaiah packs her book with years of experience and savvy. https://theequitybook.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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