Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


The Covid-19 pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate.
Continue to be creative. Find ways to celebrate your thankfulness safely with family and friends.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts
Quote of the Week
“Don’t you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see.”
― Douglas Adams (1952-2001), an English author, screenwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Celebrate Iowa’s History Month this March
Iowa’s Department of Cultural Affairs celebrates wide-ranging themes in the state’s history, from the Iowa History 101 series (include Inkpaduta, Emir Abd El-Kader, The Cherry Sisters, and Donna Reed), the Iowa History Book Club featuring legendary historian Dorothy Schwieder’s “Iowa: The Middle Land,” and a new exhibition exploring more than 13,000 years of history with artifacts. Information is available at iowaculture.gov
Cultural exploration opportunities

  1. Iowa Stage Theatre Company opens Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield this Fri Mar 5, online. This is the story of the relationship between two women that spans love, children, skydiving and illness, told in a creative and fluid style that keeps the audience guessing. www.iowastage.org
  2. Theatre Midwest presents its next free Fresh Produce show, When the Messenger Is Hot, this Sat and Sun, Mar 6 & 7. www.theatremidwest.org
  3. MOUNTAIN GOAT MOUNTAIN. Thru Sun Mar 7, 2021 (any time of your family’s choosing). Tickets start at $10 per device. Families are invited to enjoy a screen-free, virtual theater adventure direct from Australia. Visit DMPA.org to learn more.
  4. Comedian John Bush and pal Patrick Albanese from ‘Triple Espresso’ Wed, March 10, 2021/ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST. Surety Hotel, 206 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309
  6. Civic Music Association provides the same strong threads of great music as thy have for almost a century, just now through virtual means. Enjoy their upcoming offerings through the new Play On Series. https://civicmusic.org/play-on/
  7. The Des Moines Symphony is committed to bringing a continuous schedule of performance opportunities, virtually, as they weather the pandemic while continuing to enhance our community through world-class, award-winning programming. Check out the lineup at https://www.dmsymphony.org/concerts-events/
  8. Des Moines Performing Arts Announces New Virtual Performances for Wellmark Family Series – Families Invited to Enjoy Three Creative Journeys as part of the organization’s popular Wellmark Family Series. The three virtual experiences are designed to be interactive and encourage families to learn together while safely at home. Visit DMPA.orgto learn more.
  9. Des Moines Metro Opera’s (DMMO) Virtual Concert Series continues next month with Zachary James on Broadway, which premieres Friday, March 19 at 7:30pm (CST).  desmoinesmetroopera.org/broadway or by calling the DMMO Box Office at (515) 961-6221.
  10. Des Moines Performing Arts. UNIVERSITY OF WONDER & IMAGINATION. Fri, Mar 19 – Sun Mar 21, 2021 (LIVE) Hour-Long performances at 10 AM, 10:30 AM, 11 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 2 PM, 2:30 PM and 3 PM. Tickets start at $10 per device. Hogwarts meets virtual escape room in this interactive, visually-stunning Zoom performanceThe University of Wonder & Imagination, presented by Belfast based theatre company Cahoots NI, is now enrolling students of all ages and magical abilities. The decisions made by the audience during the event will shape each unique experience. Visit DMPA.org to learn more. 


  1. “Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa” is open now through July 23 at the Brunnier Art Museum in Ames, IA. Exhibition features art and installations from nineteen artists inspired by Iowa’s landscape. https://www.museums.iastate.edu/visit/brunnier-art-museum
  2. Des Moines Art Center, in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery through May 23, 2021. The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art is the first survey and major scholarly assessment of this groundbreaking artist’s 37-year career. Human/Nature: An Exhibition Inspired by the Art of Judith Schaechter, in the John Brady Print Gallery. Artist Judith Schaechter worked with Curatorial Manager Laura Burkhalter to choose work from the Art Center’s collection by artists who inspire her or which contains thematic connections to her masterful glass constructions. https://www.desmoinesartcenter.org/exhibitions/current
  3. The Grinnell College Museum of Art is open by appointment, Tue thru Sat, noon to 5 pm. Visitors who need to schedule a visit on Mondays or mornings, please Director Lesley Wright, wrightl@grinnell.edu. Also contact Lesley Wright if you want to come with a group. https://www.grinnell.edu/life-grinnell/arts-culture/museum/exhibitions
  4. Terrace Hill Opens for Tours, beginning Mar 2, 2021. Guided tours are available by reservation beginning Tue Mar 2 at 10:30 and 12:00, Tuesday – Saturday. Please call 515-242-5841 to make a reservation.

“Support a Local Business” tips of the week:

  1. 6 ways to support small businesses: Write a positive review; tell your friends & family; follow them on social media; engage with their posts; give them a shout out; sign up for their newsletter. Cost to do this: $0.00.
  2. Tangerine Foods at Mainframe Studios. A great local business ready to give you more time with your family and friends. Get on Cherry’s mailing list and receive random updates about “popup” dining opportunities… even take a meal home. tangerinefoodco.square.site.

Cultural Lifelong Learning

  1. JJ Gaffers �� Award-winning hot glass artist Jesse Bogenrief leads COVID-safe workshops for those interested in learning about glass blowing. This studio is conveniently located in Mainfram Studios, 900 Keo Way, Des Moines. Jesse’s expertise encourages students from 7 to 87 to expand their creative horizons. https://www.jjgaffers.com/classes

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –
11:00 AM – Robin Stevens Payes returns to the show to share her latest offering in her YA Edge of Yesterday series, “Saving Time.” A passionate advocate for STEAM and more, Robin is a social marketing consultant and science writer and authored this, a teen time travel novel series, as an interactive platform to pioneer a new form of engaged “learning through story.”
“What a ride! Charley is a perfect role model for tens with scientific ambitions who don’t wish to sacrifice their artistic inclinations or propensity for day-dreaming. A must-read for the next generation of problem solvers!” – Antonia Dapena-Tretter, cocreator, Da Vinci to Disney: How the World’s Greatest Thinkers Think
11:23 AM – Susan Werner wickedly entertaining song-styling pulses through her homage to her home state in “Iowa,” from her iconic album, HAYSEED.
11:27 AM – The new issue of Iowa History Journal is available – subscriptions are highly recommended – as John Pregler chats about the first of his two-part series on Abraham Lincoln, “Locating Lincoln.” This story reveals nine days of Lincoln’s life that historians previously had not accounted for, and much time in Iowa was part of that time.
11:41 AM – International public speaker, community catalyst and author Terry Rich chats about one of his new books, “Dare to Dream, Dare to Act: Unlock Your Ideas to Greater Success.” Terry energizes the conversation with stories, insights and inspiration.
12:00 PM – Iowa Stage Theatre Company opens its next show, a special virtual/cinematic -presentation of “Bright Half Life.” Artistic director Matt McIver leads a revealing conversation in this powerful, two-woman show.
12:14 PM – The next Fresh Produce serving is ready this weekend as Theatre Midwest presents its virtual, and free, performance of “When the Messenger Is Hot.” Director Diedra Mohr and performer Katie Braden liven up the conversation, giving us advance glimpses into what promises to be a powerful show.
12:27 PM – Darcy Dougherty Maulsby is one high-energy creative who counts writing books among her many talents and productivity. One of her latest, “Classic Restaurants of Des Moines,” has been picking up fans quicker than a honey bee picks up pollen. Listen as this lively chat shares some memories, and the relevance of her exceptional sharing of Iowa’s capitol city’s past culinary gems.
“Wow! Perhaps my most cherished book in my library! A must-have book for anyone that has ever enjoyed the food scene here in Des Moines. Thank you, Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, for such a fabulous trip down memory lane. This book is one of the best things to come out of the year 2020!” –Chef George Formaro, Des Moines
12:42 PM – Another brilliant gem from this crowning glory of an album, HAYSEED, is Susan Werner’s “City Kids.” Enjoy, and continue exploring the masterful musicianship of Susan’s music and performances.
Develop a relationship with this incomparable artist through her Susie on Sundays virtual concerts. More info at https://www.songkick.com/concerts/39768588-susan-werner-at-susie-on-sundays?utm_source=11593&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=widget&utm_content=456752
12:46 PM – Drawing from a wealth of writing and subject experience, Evan I. Schwartz delivers a powerful debut in “Revolver.” Evan shares the evolution of this irresistible story from earliest conception to its publishing. “Revolver” is a powerful coming-of-age story anchored by the life and tragic death of John Lennon, and Evan’s gift for storytelling draws the reader into this wonderful tale. Special offer, for a limited time only in the U.S. – get a free paperback copy of “Revolver” from Concord Free Press. Check offer on website.
“Revolver is a paean to the consoling power of music, a coming-of-age story with a mystical twist. Witty and resonating with emotion, Revolver is a flawless debut.”” – Céline Keating
Cultural nuggets –

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  1. Check out the Month of Sundays posts at this Facebook site. Thanks to Covid Recovery Iowa, a program with a wealth of ways to help, you will find resources, inspiration and more. https://www.facebook.com/covidrecoveryIowa

Beaverdale Books offers curbside service, or delivery service. 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. The Heart Hungers for Wildness, Diane Glass*
2. Coach Maury John’s Journey to the Pinnacle of College Hoops, Kris Kesterson*
3. The Boundless Compassion Journal, Joyce Rupp*
4. The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah
5. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
6. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee
7. Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker
8. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, Ibram X. Kendi
9. The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Christy Lefteri
10. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
*Iowa Author!
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; Facebook: 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

  1. Des Moines Community Playhouse. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.dmplayhouse.com/volunteer/audition/
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company. You can add your name to their audition notice list at https://www.iowastage.org/audition
  3. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.theatremidwest.org/auditions.html
  4. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.dmyat.org/

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.

  1. 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/
  2. Civic Music Association announces its 2020-2021 Season. Check it out. https://civicmusic.org/concerts/
  3. 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.

  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/
  5. Book Vault, Oskaloosa. https://bookvault.indielite.org/
  6. 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/

  •  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
    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. ♦

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