Saturday, May 28, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Quote of the Week

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
This is very often attributed to Mark Twain, but the earliest published source yet located is by Joseph Anthony Wittreich in Feminist Milton (1987) where he writes: “History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme, and every gloss by a deconstructionist need not be a loss, pushing us further into an abyss of skepticism and indeterminacy.”

Are you curious about where I find these quotes? Dr. Mardy Grothe is considered the foremost authority on quotations, and offers a weekly newsletter (free, quick read, always great content) and use his online “Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations” to search for topic-referenced quotes. The Culture Buzz interviewed Mardy recently about his forthcoming book, “Deconstructing Trump.”

Featured Cultural Offering
Beaverdale Fall Festival. Sep 20-21, 2019. Corner of Beaver and Urbandale Avenue. Full slate of events and activities:

More Cultural Considerations:
1. Lost Girl opens for a two-week run Fri Sep 20 at the Franklin School Performing Arts Center, 48th & Franklin, Des Moines. Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre tells this coming-of-age exploration of first love and lasting loss, Lost Girl continues J.M. Barrie’s beloved character as she learns to stand in the center of her own story instead of the shadow of someone else’s.
2. Passport to Prosperity gives Culture Buzz followers a special if they get their tickets for this Sat Sep 21 event – use promo code: BUZZPROMO and TCB subscribers will receive a 15% discount off the $60 ticket price. (Ticket cost = $51, about the price of an early bird ticket. The discount will be good all day, September 17.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder at the Des Moines Community Playhouse runs through Sep 29. What is a person to do when his claim to the family fortune has nine other heirs preceding him? The breath-taking pace at which the answer to this question unfolds will leave its audiences gasping for breath between all the laughing and cheering.
3. Dolores Huerta, legendary American labor leader, civil rights activist, prominent feminist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, will be in Des Moines Fri Sep 20 as the keynote speaker for the Chrysalis Foundation’s Fundraiser luncheon. Born in 1930 in the mountains of New Mexico, Huerta learned early that women could be a dominant force in the world. She was so moved by witnessing the struggles of migrant families, she committed to a life of activism and an equal partner in founding the American Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez. It was Huerta who coined the phrase Si Se Puede! (Yes, We Can!) Details at
A documentary on Dolores, “Dolores: Rebel, Activist, Feminist, Mother,” will screen on Sep 11. Details:
4. Paintpushers & The Des Moines Camera Club, exhibiting at the Ankeny Art Center through Sep 26.
5. Kellie Kramer is with Ben Hagen and 4 others. Kelli delivers a no-holds-barred cabaret show, “All Good Men Are Gay,” in the intimate confines of Noce. As Kelli says, “Wanna hear a story? I’ve got one to tell. Some talented people are helping me tell it.” Fri Sep 27 at Noce. Come!…/
6. The Kingdom Choir will perform at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames on Mon Oct 7. This is a rare and exceptional opportunity to experience in person that musical majesty of this group’s power. Following their show-stopping performance of Stand By Me at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, London’s The Kingdom Choir will bring their infections joy and inspiration across the Atlantic for a major North American tour. Founded in 1994 by award-winning conductor Karen Gibson, the choir draws from various Christian traditions and is dedicated to creating a sound that reflects the community they share through their warm energy and enthusiastic performances.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa 

Auditions and other Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Auditions for Adore Us Line, Sun, Sep 29, 2019 2:00pm at the Iowa Stage Theatre Company rehearsal space, 111 – 11th Street, between Cherry and Mulberry Streets. The 2020 presidential candidates audition for an Iowa voter in this song-by-song parody of “A Chorus Line.” Written by Robert John Ford. Directed by Maxwell Schaeffer. First Rehearsal: November (date tbd). Performances: January 24-February 2, 2020. NOTE: We are not just looking for people who resemble the actual candidates but who can uniquely capture the essence of the candidate through voice, gestures, etc. We are not simply casting based on physical resemblance (or cliché impressions).
  2. Auditions for Auditions for A Christmas Story (the play) at the Ankeny Community Theatre building, 1932 SW 3rd Street, Sun Sep 29 at 6 pm, Sat Oct 5 at 9:30 am
  3. Fall classes at Des Moines Community Playhouse. For full listing of the myriad of opportunities available for all ages. Many class options available during school breaks. For more info, please visit

Greater Des Moines Music Tip:

This weekly tip is brought to you by Steve Vasquez of the Central Iowa Blues Society –, for full calendar of live music in our region.

SAT SEP 21, 2019 @ 11:00AMArt on the LakeCopper Creek Lake Park, Pleasant Hill, IA. Over 50 local artists, live music presented by Central Iowa Blues Society, children’s activities, food for purchase and a community art project. Featuring: Fat Twosday, The Soul Searchers, Doug Deming and The Jewel Tones

Worth the drive:

Prairie Art Exhibit on Display until October 7

Nearly 80 prairie art exhibits are on display until October 7 at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center (2773 290th St., Orient). Community members of all ages and skill levels painted a wildflower scene on 2’x 2’ plywood boards. The completed boards were sealed and mounted in the nine-acre restored Iowa prairie. A grass path leads visitors to each exhibit. The shorter route is ¾ of a mile; the longer route is about a mile. The exhibit is available to view each day from dawn to dusk. There is no admission.

Five permanent outdoor art sculptures reflecting the life and work of Henry A. Wallace are also placed along the path. Wallace was named “most influential Iowan of the 20th century” by the Des Moines Register in 1999. He was born on the property in 1888.

Visitors stopping to see the exhibit on Friday afternoons can stay for “Pizza on the Prairie” from 4:30-8pm. This family-friendly event features freshly-made brick oven pizza topped with locally-sourced meats and vegetables harvested at the farm. Live music and lawn games add to the event. Homemade desserts, soft drinks and Iowa wines are also available for purchase. Pizza on the farm events are popular in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other parts of Iowa. MidAmerican Energy and Farmers Electric Cooperative provided kick-off funding for the event.

For more information, visit or call the Country Life Center at 641.337.5019. Support for the Prairie Art Exhibit & Festival provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. 

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), 

Life Resource News:

This is a new, occasional offering to inform you about noteworthy events, books, resources to enhance your life.

  1. West Des Moines Public Library is holding an unprecedented pre-renovation BOOK SALE in their Community Room Fri-Sun, Sep 27 (9am-6pm), 28 (9am-5pm) and 29 (2-5pm). Cash/check only. All proceeds benefit the WDMPL Friends Foundation. If you want to clear out your shelves and have contributions, they will be accepted up to Sep 23. 

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 have re-launched the website for The Culture Buzz, providing cultural adventurers a comprehensive overview of what The Culture Buzz does and offers. Included in this new site, by popular demand, is an archive library of favorite interviews and a new section of 2019-2020 Season theatre reviews for Greater Des Moines theatre companies.
  2. Center Stage – John Busbee writes this Cityview monthly column. See what is happening on Central Iowa’s stages. 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. 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.
  5. A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre is Central Iowa’s source for knowing what productions by which companies are available when. In short, you can know what’s playing before it happens rather than after the fact. Timothy Rose created this site with its comprehensive theatre calendar for you, the cultural consumer. He includes articles and more, making this a worthy destination when curious about what’s happening in Central Iowa’s theatre scene.

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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