Sunday, October 17, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Quote of the Week

We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it. -Wendell Berry (b.1934) American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. 

Featured Cultural Offering

Celebration of the Century. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. Des Moines Community Playhouse
5:30 PM Dinner: Food stations by Tasteful Dinners allows guests to mingle, sit down and chat, and move on to other friends. This event will be a ticketed dinner/show combo. (dinner is sold out)
7:00 PM Show: Performers from the past and present as well as emerging artists take the audience through the Playhouse’s 100 years in music. Will some of your favorite singers be back? This event will be ticketed.
9:15 PM After Glow: Cash bar and one more opportunity to talk with old friends.

More Info:

Prep Iowa

PERFORMNG & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Considerations:

  1. Delusions of Power makes its world premiere thanks to Carousel Theatre of Indianola beginning Thu Nov 7 through Sun Nov 10. Written by David Dubzczak, Delusions of Power is a dramatic comedy set in the Oval Office, but it is not about politics. It’s not about Liberal vs. Conservative. It’s about a good group of people who make comedically bad choices while trying to help a friend. Setting this story line in the Oval Office raised the stakes considerably.
  2. Artisan Gallery 218 is always a worthy destination for some cultural immersion. This gallery has some noteworthy happenings coming up to add to your calendar. Nov 7 & 14, they are part of Historic Valley Junction’s “Sip and Shop” activities from 6:00-8:00 PM on these dates. Hot cider, other beverages and snacks, plus workshops and knowing that a portion of the sales that night go to support ARL. On Mon Nov 11 at 6:30 PM, David Connor will talk about his new book, “Iowa Confederates in the Civil War.”
  3. The Manic Monologues by Zack Burton & Elisa Hofmeister. Presented by Open Door Rep. Franklin Jr. High, 4801 Franklin Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310. Nov 15,16 @ 8:00 PM; Nov 17 @ 2:00 PM. Tickets – $12, available online at opendorrep.comand at the door. The Manic Monologues is a brand new work, developed at Stanford University, and Open Door Rep has secured the rights to the second ever performance (first outside of the university). In the vein of The Monologues, this script takes on the stigma and taboo of mental illness, telling real stories that will challenge the audience’s assumptions on what it means to live with mental illness in today’s society. All profits are being donated to NAMI of Greater Des Moines.
  4. Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr runs thru Nov 17 at CAP Theatre in Altoona. This family show presents the familiar story into a shortened performance piece, while retaining all the magic of the story.
  5. Seussical Jr produced by Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre runs thru Nov 10 at the Stoner Theater. This family show will captivate anyone’s inner child through the frolicking fun of Dr. Seuss and his wonderful stories and characters.
  6. Wait Until Dark produced by Tallgrass Theatre Company runs through Nov 10, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Susan Hendrix, a blind yet capable woman, is imperiled by a trio of men in her own apartment. As the climax builds, Susan discovers that her blindness just might be the key to her escape, but she and her tormentors must wait until dark to play out this classic thriller’s chilling conclusion.
  7. Following two sold-out shows last year at Ankeny Community Theatre, award-winning vocal group Tonic Sol-fareturns to our stage on November 9! Join us at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. Tickets are just $25 in advance. Seating is limited, so get your tickets before they’re gone! Call Midwestix 515-244-2771 or buy online at

AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Spirit Seekers Fair Sat Nov 9 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at Unity Center of Des Moines, 414-31st Street, Des Moines (just south of Grand Avenue). Free and open to the public. Kimberly Busbee will be offering Frequency Attunements, Chakra Clearings and Card Readings and you can sign up in advance to get on her limited schedule! Or, you can just walk in! Kimberly also will be offering for sale Handmade Reiki-Charged Jewelry, perfect for Christmas presents! She also will be teaching a free mini-workshop on Angel Supported Self-Hypnosis for Releasing Negativityat 3pm. Please email her at to schedule a time slot in advance. They can fill up quickly!  
  2. The International Writing Program (the IWP) at the University of Iowa presents, with generous support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State, the course “Hidden Meanings: Creative Fiction, Non-Fiction, & Facts.”  This course will be given as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) FREE of charge and can be taken on your own schedule 15 November – 31 December, 2019. No experience is necessary. These online courses are open to all writers at all levels and open to anyone, anywhere in the world. And the course is entirely free
  3.!/courses/hidden-meanings/flyer‘The Film Lounge: Student Challenge’ Submissions Open. A movie career used to start with a ticket to Hollywood. Now all that young Iowans need is a good idea and a short film. If you’re an Iowa student in grades 7-12, here’s your chance to have your short film broadcast statewide on Iowa Public Television as part of “The Film Lounge: Student Challenge.” Submit an application by Jan. 15. More details and the application can be found at:

LIVE MUSIC – 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 NOV 9 @ 8:00 PM –  Wayne Baker Brooks
The Maintenance Shop, 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA

ROAD TRIP – Worth the drive:

“Medieval to Metal: The Evolution of the Guitar,” is a national touring exhibit that will be presented at the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) through Jan 26, 2020. Whether as a day trip or a mini-vacation, Cedar Rapids is an enticing destination with a visit to this Smithsonian Affiliate museum and this incredible exhibit. 

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. 

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 provides. Included in this new site, by popular demand, is an archive library of favorite interviews and a new section of theatre reviews for Greater Des Moines theatre companies.
  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues.

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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