Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Quote of the Week

Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul.”

 -Seneca the Younger (d. Apr 12, 65 AD) 

Featured Cultural Offering


CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

An Evening of Vocal Chamber Music from the European and Black American Traditions

Thu Nov 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Iowa State University.

Tue Nov 19, at 1:00 p.m., Master class, open to the public, Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall

The Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association will present a fascinating evening of vocal chamber music, “CONVERSATIONS IN SONG,” featuring music from the European and modern Black American traditions. Soprano MICHELLE JOHNSON and baritone BRIAN MAJOR, who have been featured in leading roles and solo performances in the world’s greatest venues, from the Metropolitan Opera to Boston’s Symphony Hall, will join in concert with Iowa State University pianist JODI GOBLE.  Ms. Goble, vocal coach and collaborative pianist at ISU, as well as an award-winning composer, performs widely with such distinguished artists as Simon Estes and is the official pianist of the Iowa Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

 In describing the program, Ms. Goble says, “This recital — an evening of sparkling, virtuosic music for soprano, baritone, and piano — uses the unparalleled flexibility and power of the human voice to draw lines of connection and communication between Italian bel canto, German Lieder, pre-war songs from the British Isles, and the compositions and arrangements of modern Black American composers.”  The featured composers include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vincenzo Bellini, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, Karl Weigl, Undine Smith Moore, Harry Burleigh, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, and H. Leslie Adams.  The program will end with traditional spirituals.

TICKETS – $30.00 online at amestownandgown.org; in advance at Rieman Music (Ames), Chocolaterie Stam (Ames), the ISU Music Department Office (Music Hall), and at the door. FREE STUDENT TICKETS. K-12 (College/university with ID, as space allows).  All seating is general admission. https://www.amestownandgown.org/

PERFORMNG & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Considerations:

  1. White Christmas begins its one-week run at Des Moines Performing Arts’ Civic Center Tue Nov 19-24. This timeless classic stops here in its national tour, bringing all the music, magic and charm of this wonderful show. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/irving-berlins-white-christmas/
  1. Pippin at Drake University Mainstage, Nov 21-24. With an infectiously unforgettable score from four-time Grammy winner, three-time Oscar winner and musical theatre giant, Stephen Schwartz, Pippinis the story of one young man’s journey to be extraordinary. Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, this updated circus-inspired version of Pippin continues to captivate and appeal to the young at heart throughout the world.
  2. Des Moines Symphony – Home Alone in Concert. Sat Nov 30 at 7:30pm; Sun Dec 1 at 1:30pm. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines; open 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday and two hours prior to performances. Tickets: $20-$75. Special student pricing. https://dmsymphony.org/ 

AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Shakespeare is Elementary…and Middle Schoolary…Did you know that Shakespeare can be fun? Did you know that Shakespeare created words like eyeball, zany, mimic and madcap? Did you ever wonder what it would be like to play a witch, a murderer, or a clown on stage? Come learn the joys of the world of Shakespeare in this fabulously fun half-day workshop where you will learn what the heck Shakespeare is talking about, and why people love him. In addition, you will get to act out some of the most fun and funny scenes in “The Bard’s” plays in this workshop led by professionals with lots of experience with teaching creative drama. These programs are part of the Tallgrass Theatre Company’s popular Seedlings education programming.

9:00–12:00 (ages 8–10) 


1:00–4:00 (ages 11–13) 


  1. A Toast to 40 Years!!! Champagne & Chocolate at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Fri Nov 22 6 – 9 pm. Raise a glass to the Botanical Garden’s 40th anniversary and ring in the holiday season amongst the hundreds of amaryllis, paperwhites, hellebores and other classic seasonal flowers. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, hosted beer and wine, musical entertainment by The DSM Dueling Fiddles—and of course, champagne and chocolate—as you spend the evening in the warmth of the conservatory. Complimentary valet parking included…for more info &/or to buy tickets visit: https://www.dmbotanicalgarden.com/events/champagne-and-chocolate/
  1. Creative calls are a great way to learn new theatre skills and meet other Des Moines Playhouse volunteers! Feel free to bring some friends and work for a few hours. You must be at least 16 years of age to work independently in the shop. Those as young as 14 can participate in creative calls if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Students: Remember, this is a fun and easy way to get those volunteer service hours needed for church or school. Bring your form to be signed. We ask that you please come dressed for the job. That means closed-toed shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or getting paint on. Please reference our Shop Safety Rules posted on the shop office door when arriving. https://desmoinesplayhouse.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=43626
  2. 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: https://iowaculture.gov/media/film-lounge/film-lounge-student-challenge

LIVE MUSIC – Greater Des Moines Music Tip:

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

FRI NOV 22, 2019 @ 6:00PM, Joe & Vicki Price
Firetrucker Brewery, Ankeny, IA

NEW SECTION – Supporting your local cultural businesses

  • Small business Saturday – Sat Nov 24 @ Mainframe Studios. Saturday, November 24 // 10 AM to 4 PM. Live Music by Courtney Krause + Food by The Tangerine Food Co. // 11 AM to 2 PM


DRMN BG Supply Co – drmnbg.com
DRMN BG Supply Co is a lifestyle supply brand whose goal is to inspire others to DREAM BIG. Step outside the norms of everyday life and pursue your passions. DRMN BG creates limited edition, hand printed apparel.

Cat Rocketship – catrocketship.com
I draw people and animals and the skeletons inside of them.

daniAWESOME – daniawesome.etsy.com
Inherently Awesome Earrings, Necklaces, and Accessories

Laura Palmer – xo-lp.com
The Iowan, illustrator and “mail nerd” joins The Red Door Press in Studio #120.

The Potager – thepotagerdesmoines.com
Bioregional herbalist offering small batch seasonal remedies, consultations, workshops and plant walks.

Stone Bone Wood Cloth – stonebonewoodcloth.com
Objects of intention featuring vessels, tassels and custom intention bracelets with semi-precious stones.


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. http://www.beaverdalebooks.com/
  2. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola. http://www.pageturnersbookstore.com/
  3. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/
  4. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. https://read-a-book-nook.business.site/ 

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. 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. 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/
  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. http://www.gentleguidedsm.com/
  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. http://dmcommunityjazzcenter.org/
  7. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues. www.cibs.org

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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