Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:12/1/2020
The Covid-19 pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate. But, continue to be creative. Find ways to celebrate your thankfulness safely with family and friends.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
Quote of the Week
“Give, give, give—what is the point of having experience, knowledge, or talent if I don’t give it away? Of having stories if I don’t tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don’t share it? I don’t intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world, and with the divine. It is in giving that I feel the spirit of my daughter inside me, like a soft presence.”
-Isabel Allende (b. 1942), Chilean writer, National Prize for Literature, Presidential Medal of Freedom
“Support a Local Business” tip of the week:
A recent interview with the incomparable and inspirational Darcy Maulsby recently yielded a great sidebar conversation. She shared a short-list of great Iowa small food providers that will make taste buds salivate. Give the gift of Iowa farm fresh foods awaits the culinary gifter. Here is a list from Iowa’s Storyteller, a self-proclaimed ‘farm girl’ who loves sharing such information with others:
- Feddersen USA Wagyu beef. What makes a superior steak? The Feddersen family of Anthon, Iowa, keeps their cattle on feed for two years, significantly longer than traditional cattle production, to produce extraordinary marbling. In the hierarchy of beef, Wagyu’s superior marbling/ “Our goal is to produce the best-tasting, 100% Wagyu beef,” said Brad Feddersen, who has raised Wagyu cattle with his family since 1997. https://ilovewagyu.com/.
- Pammel Park Coffee. Matt and Naomi Hupton from Madison County have been roasting small batches of exceptional coffees since 2018 on their Century Farm southwest of Winterset, just down the road from Pammel State Park. Every batch is prepared with precision to showcase each coffee’s unique attributes and flavor profile, honoring Madison County attractions, such as the Roseman Bridge Blend. https://pammelparkcoffee.com/.
- Maytag Blue Cheese. Iowa’s dairy industry boasts one of America’s distinctive cheeses. The Maytag Dairy Farm near Newton started making blue cheese in October 1941 and has built a national following ever since. https://maytagdairyfarms.com/.
- Deal’s Orchard Hard Cider. The Deal family from Jefferson hand picks and selects a special blend of apples from their orchards to press into cider. The fresh cider is then fermented. The keg or hand bottle hard cider comes in flavors which include Original, Blackberry, Raspberry, Peach, and Limited-Edition Pear. http://dealsorchard.com/hard-cider/
- Early Morning Harvest grains and flours. When you’re ready to bake, why not use Iowa-grown grains and flour? Early Morning Harvest near Panora is a small, diversified, family farm that sells flours made from certified organic cereal grains (wheat, rye, buckwheat, and corn meal) raised on their farm. Earl Hafner, his son, Jeff, and their team also grow vegetables in an aquaponics greenhouse and raise pastured poultry for egg production. “Our highest priority is caring for our land and animals so that the food we grow and offer to our community is fresh and healthy,” says Earl Hafner, who received the prestigious 2018 Practical Farmers of Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award. https://earlymorningharvest.com/
Virtual cultural exploration opportunity
Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, www.cropera.org.
PRESENTING: Schumann’s Dichterliebe – FREE. December 10, 2020 at 7 pm, youtube.com/cedarrapidsopera or cropera.org. Featuring Chris Carr, Tenor. The production was filmed at the historic Cedarmere estate in Roslyn Harbor, NY, which was the home of 19th century American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant. Chris Carr grew up in Quasqueton (IA) and has been described as a “confident and energetic” performer with “warmth and beauty in his voice.”
This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –
11:00 AM – The incomparable musician Susan Werner releases her newest album, FLYOVER COUNTRY, and takes a few minutes out of her creative schedule to chat about its creation. Few artists can fill songs with wit, wisdom and irresistible content like Susan.
“One of the most innovative songwriters working today.” – Chicago Tribune
11:15 AM – Chad Elliott releases his newest album, TANGLE WITH THE GHOST, and it is another gem, filled with evocative tracks that will take its listeners on more musical and lyrical adventures with Iowa’s Renaissance Man.
“Chad Elliott fills his songs with rich, complex elements that somehow resonate with his audiences with a bonding clarity. To include as much of Elliott’s music in your life as possible is to enrich your life.” – The Culture Buzz
11:32 AM – Patti Stockdale delivers a captivating historical novel, Three Little Things, inspired by true events from the WW I era. She shares special insights about the creation of this story, her debut.
“Three Things I loved about this book: 1. I fell in love with Arno and Hattie 2. The sayings and songs of WW I I found myself singing ‘Over Here, Over There’ and I want to join a knitting brigade! 3. The promise of more books by Patti Stockdale. I want more!” – Debbie Macomber, New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author
11:45 AM – Jim Miller of the Czech & Slovak Museum & Library returns to the show to share a couple of enticing exhibits that make a day or overnight road trip to Cedar Rapids a must-do. Listen as Jim shares some details about two captivating exhibits currently running.
“Iowa’s Smithsonian affiliate museum – and very deserving of this honor.” – The Culture Buzz
12:00 PM – Artistic Director Katy Merriman provides some details about the Des Moines Community Playhouse’s holiday show, Playhouse on the Air presents Miracle on 34th Street. Adapted from the book, audiences will be transported to an era of live radio studio audiences watching the magic of this audio medium unfold during the golden age of radio. Delight in this retro masterpiece, and savor the wonder of the holiday season.
12:12 PM – Jim Autry’s newest book pulls from his home state heritage in Mississippi as he recounts the story about his uncle making a positive difference. “The Man Who Stayed: A Biography Remembered” is a powerful story of how one WW II veteran helped his community’s education system serve all segments of their district.
“In James Autry’s most recent book, The White Man Who Stayed, each chapter, each page and every word spoken takes us inside the homes and conversations of southern whites whose birth world of white dominance was disintegrating before them. James masterfully and honestly opens up the archives of his own mind where stored were private sightings and conversations remembered. In this biography, Autry brings to life, the personal journey of his own cousin who struggled to find his pathway in the only world he knew—the changing South. Unlike young Autry who left the South, his cousin took a deep breath, squared his shoulders and stayed behind.”—Clifton L. Taulbert, Pulitzer-nominated author, The Last Train North, The Invitation, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored
12:33 PM – Director of Marketing & Public Relations Megan Helmers shares updates and easy-to-connect information about how we can still savor the symphonic grandeur of the Des Moines Symphony. Their virtual programming continues, with many opportunities for behind-the-scenes revelations from Maestro Giunta. Get the information on how patrons can easily connect for a DM Symphony experience, even easy-to-follow tutorials about how to route their performances through your large screen TV for a maximum musical delight.
12:44 PM – The new issue of Iowa History Journal has just hit mailboxes, as well as newsstands in HyVee, Fareway, and Beaverdale Books. This issue features a marvelous cover story by Barbara Lounsberry as she takes readers on a rest-of-the-story journey deeper than even Paul Harvey could do as she shares the reality behind the writer of so many Nancy Drew mysteries and other series books, Mildred Augustine.
Cultural nuggets –
- The Des Moines Community Playhouse prepares for its holiday show, the next live theatre, socially distanced and with COVID protocols in place production, “Miracle on 34th Street.” This play, from Valentine Davies book by the same name, was adapted by Executive Director David Kilpatrick as a radio theatre performance with a live audience, harkening back to the days when this was commonly done. This show opens Dec 4. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/
- Des Moines Metro Opera to present Virtual Holiday Concert on 12/18
The Merry & Bright Holiday Concert premieres online on Fri Dec 18 at 7pm (CST) and streams through Dec 31. This concert features 14 DMMO audience-favorite artists and members of the Heartland Youth Choir performing a selection of holiday tunes with an interactive online reception following the program. desmoinesmetroopera.org/holiday or by calling the DMMO Box Office at (515) 961-6221
- It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Adapted by Joe Landry, Directed by Matthew McIver. 7:00 PM, Dec 19, 2:00 PM, Dec 20, 8:00 PM, Dec 24. Broadcast on Iowa Public Television. This collaboration between Iowa Stage Theatre Company and Iowa Public Television brings a critically acclaimed performance from 2018 back to audiences for an eagerly anticipated return. https://www.iowastage.org/wonderful-life
- The Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association is delighted to announce an exceptional online concert series this fall, presenting five special programs through our website free of charge, (www.amestownandgown) through December 18. Through these exceptional programs, we hope to connect with our audience and other classical music lovers, while also supporting musicians and the chamber music industry.
Beaverdale Books offers curbside service, or delivery service. Our new hours starting Sun Nov 1:
Sun: Noon – 4:00; Mon-Fri: – 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Sat: 10:00 – 5:00.
Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!
1. The White Man Who Stayed, James A. Autry*
2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
3. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, V.E.Schwab
4. Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age, John Lithgow
5. Iowa State Parks: A Century of Stewardship 1920-2020, Rebecca Conard*
6. Anxious People, Frederik Backman
7. This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live By Every Day, Hoda Kotb
8. Troubles in Paradise, Elin Hilderbrand
9. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
10. The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary, Robb Pearlman
Ongoing conversations with Callista Gould always deliver useful information. So much any merging or established professional could use is in her book, which, as she says, is “Best. Graduation Gift. Ever.” The book, The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career, is the perfect gift for that graduating daughter, son, grandchild, niece, nephew or good friend’s or neighbor’s child who never writes a thank you note. Check out https://cultureandmanners.com/ to get a copy for someone you care about.
PERFORMING & VISUAL ARTS plus Other Cultural Consideration
Please check in advance regarding any scheduled performances, exhibitions, museum visits, etc.
Ankeny Community Theatre – www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com; Facebook: Ankeny Community Theatre
Carousel Theatre of Indianola – www.carouseltheatre.org; Faceook: Carousel Theatre Indianola
Class Act Productions – www.captheatre.org; Facebook: CAPTheatre
Des Moines Community Playhouse/Kate Goldman Theatre – www.dmplayhouse.com; Facebook: DMPlayhouse
Des Moines Performing Arts/Temple Theater – www.desmoinesperformingarts.org; Facebook: Des Moines Performing Arts
Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre – www.dmyat.org; Facebook: DM Young Artists Theatre
Iowa Shakespeare Experience – www.iowashakespeare.org; Facebook: Iowa Shakespeare Experience
Iowa Stage Theatre Company – www.iowastage.org; Facebook: Iowa Stage Theatre Company
Pyramid Theatre Company – www.pyramidtheatre.org; Facebook: Pyramid Theatre Company
Tallgrass Theatre Company – www.tallgrasstheatre.org; Facebook: Tallgrass Theatre Company
TheatreMidwest – www.theatremidwest.org; Facebook: TheatreMidwest
Urbandale Community Theatre – www.urbandaletheatre.com; Facebook: Urbandale Community Theatre
AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:
Check with galleries, organizations, destinations you frequented before the pandemic. Many are producing creative and unique ways to engage again…get your cultural fix.
- Nocé has instigated strict COVID protocols while launching live music at its destination-worthy venue – check out the schedule and find a time to savor the sublime setting and national-caliber music. https://www.nocedsm.com/
- Civic Music Association announces its 2020-2021 Season. Check it out. https://civicmusic.org/concerts/
- The Des Moines Symphony will present an appealing series of concert experiences. Check for details. https://www.dmsymphony.org/
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.
- Beaverdale Books, Des Moines. http://www.beaverdalebooks.com/
- Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola. http://www.pageturnersbookstore.com/
- Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/
- Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. https://read-a-book-nook.business.site/
- Book Vault, Oskaloosa. https://bookvault.indielite.org/
- 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:
- 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/
- 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
- 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/
- 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/
- 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/
- 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/
- Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues. www.cibs.org
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/
- 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email@example.com
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
Broadlawns Psychiatric Urgent Care: (515) 282-2200
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
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. ♦