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
“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these.” ― George Washington Carver (1864-1943), American agricultural scientist and inventor, with strong ties to Iowa
New on the Cultural Front
There’s a new creative initiative awaiting you. The dynamic, proactive Rachelle Chase has launched her new nonprofit, Uniting Through History. Even if you haven’t read the book, wear a white shirt/top, and join our History Book Club on Wed Mar 31 at 7:00 PM CT! We’ll be discussing “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All” and how we can all make a difference, along with books we’ll be reading the rest of the year and exciting guest speakers. Sign up here: https://unitingthroughhistory.org/proj…/history-book-club/
Iowa awaits all cultural adventurers
Iowa’s Tourism office invites Iowans and visitors to ‘Travel Iowa’ and explore the many wonders awaiting cultural adventurers. Their website is filled with easy to navigate, helpful information, tools and much more to help anyone plan visits to great destinations from border to border, and river to river. You can even order your hard copy of the new travel guide. traveliowa.com
Cultural exploration opportunities

  1. THIS SATURDAY (APRIL 3RD) – NOCE – 7PM AND 9PM SHOWTIMES. “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show!”-The music of Bette Midler – Along with Gina Gedler, some fabulous musicians, Jason Danielson, David Altemeier, Zane Gedler, Dave Rezek, Bryan Schumacker, Paul Bridson, Jim Bovinette, Jess Belch and Allison Vehlewald, will be joining her for a night of music, fun, laughs, mayhem….and well, whatever! … https://www.nocedsm.com/
  2. The Des Moines Community Playhouse prepares to launch its next duo of shows, “Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein” (opening Apr 9) and “The Velveteen Rabbit” (opening Apr 16). These two shows will continue their successful presentation format of repertory (each show every other week). More info and tickets, go to www.dmplayhouse.com
  3. Visit iowastage.org for more information on Scriptease, and visit our Iowa Stage Theatre Youtube page for our latest audio drama. Audio dramas are released every two weeks. Our latest is Chekov’s The Ninny, from our series “Love, for Short”. You can also subscribe to our patreon at ‘patreon.com/iowastage’ to access our Scriptease Audio Drama Catalogue, featuring our first three audio dramas from “Love, for Short”.
  4. Teachers, parents, and schools across the country will gain access to Des Moines Metro Opera’s Virtual Opera Curriculum, an online music education series offered as part of the organization’s OPERA Iowa programming. This engaging virtual curriculum teaches students the basics of opera, culminating with a professional, filmed performance of the children’s opera, Rusalka: The Littlest Mermaid. The curriculum series will be available for classroom use through July 2, 2021, and includes short informational videos like “What is Opera?” and “How Do You Sing Like That?” as well as related activities, worksheets and games to increase engagement with students and to check for understanding.
  5. Civic Music Association presents the next offering in its Play On Series. Enjoy the same strong benefits of great music, as they have presented for almost a century. Sat Mar 27, enjoy the free concert of The Real Ambassadors in the Louis Armstrong House, New York City. This livestream happens at 7:00 PM, and is sponsored by G. David (dec.) & Trudy Holman Hurd. https://civicmusic.org/play-on/
  6. The Community Jazz Center renews its popular jam sessions Sun Apr 11 (due to first Sunday being Easter), when May will mark the actual first Sunday of each month at Java Joes Fourth Street Theater. www.cjc-dsm.org


  1. Sneak a peek at Moberg Gallery of Chris Vance’s 2021 exhibit and become a VIP for presales and exclusive offers with a click on the link. https://tinyurl.com/9v9t3rsz
  2. “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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Terrace Hill Opens for Tours, are available by reservation. Tours are 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.
  3. FarmHer is an incredibly creative enterprise, Iowa-based and woman-owned. Marji offers a way to enjoy her messages, products and cause, while cloaking yourself in unique casual wear. “We love Women’s History Month, and to celebrate we’re are giving all FarmHer babes 15% off long sleeves. Use promo code BABE15 at checkout to receive 15% off all your cozy favorites like this black camo pullover jacket. The sale ends March 22.” https://farmher.com/

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 Lifelong Learning
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 – Callista Gould (The Exceptional Professional) returns to again share wisdom and safe advice for anyone to better navigate the waters of business, social and communication waters. The topic today is how to become better at ‘story getting’ and why it’s an important skill to develop. Her book is a must have for anyone – whether just graduating, or desiring to make themselves better in their work, community and world.
“Callista Gould anchors every conversation with gems of wisdom based on years of experience, consultation and savvy – all found in her life resource must-have: ‘The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career.” – The Culture Buzz 
11:12 AM – A day without Susan Werner is like a day without sunshine – snarky, musically seductive, and delightfully entertaining. “Egg Money” is one of an album-full of gems from a must-have for any music lover’s collection, HAYSEED.
11:17 AM – Delectably appealing author Constance Sayers follows her debut success, A Witch in Time, with her new novel, The Ladies of the Secret Circus. Constance shares insights and back stories about her research of early 20th century Paris in this captivating story that includes dark magic and a mysterious circus in an unforgettable journey for the reader.
“Sayers (A Witch in Time) weaves romance, mystery, and a family curse into a spellbinding historical fantasy that stretches from 1920s Paris to modern-day America. Fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus will love this page-turning story of dark magic, star-crossed love, and familial sacrifice.” —Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
11:33 AM – Talented author Anna Gomez teams with multi-talented actor Kristoffer Polaha for “Moments Like This (From Kona with Love),” Book One in a romance series sure to appeal to a broad readership. Savor this first published step of a decidedly cinematic journey in relationship storytelling, and listen to Anna provide peeks into the process of this dynamic creative duo.
“… [An] atmospheric romance … Gomez and Polaha’s descriptions of Hawaii are postcard worthy. The breezy pace and gorgeous setting will stoke readers’ wanderlust.” 
~Publishers Weekly
11:46 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.
12:00 PM – A preview conversation about the Des Moines Playhouse’s next production, “Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein.” One of Des Moines’ most talented musical theatre performers returns to Iowa from a decade of success in New York City, including national tours and much more. Amy Burgmaier shares news about her professional life as a Broadway performer, how her career path was altered from the pandemic, and the glories of being part of this production, opening Apr 9 in repertory with “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
12:12 PM – With more creative facets than a cultural Marquis cut diamond, Paul Berge brings the salty life of his boot camps days to vivid, and descriptively accurate, life in A-5-2: A Boot Camp Story.” Listen as Paul reads a passage from the opening of the book (“I think I can read this part without being censored”), and shares how this book developed. For anyone who served, had someone who served or ever wondered what the real life at boot camp was all about, Paul’s book provides that unfiltered glimpse into that reality.
“Paul Berge is the Swiss army knife of creative writing. His books bounce from the fanciful and delightful (‘Aeromancy’ and ‘That’s Life’) to the real-life reflection from his Army service (‘A-5-2: A Boot Camp Story’). And, every delightful, insightful word, phrase and story will captivate the reader, often triggering a barrage of personal reflections.” – The Culture Buzz
12:25 PM – Geologist, explorer, science evangelist, and lifelong devotee to pursuing one’s curiosity, Jess Phoenix propels readers on a shared journey in her new book, “Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life.” Jess enthusiastically shares glimpses into the creation of this book, her life and the driving muse that make her writing so irresistible.
“Jess Phoenix’s work encompasses science and representation in such a delightful melding that it could only come from as spry and playful a soul as hers! Open this book and jump into the volcano!” —Patton Oswalt

12:44 PM – Regardless the hat she wears (author, dramatist, performer, speaker, teacher), Mary Swander’s writing will inform and excite her readers. In “The Maverick M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and His Fight for a New Cancer Treatment,” Mary captures the wisdom and success of one of modern medicine’s most amazing persons. This authorized biography is an impressive life resource book, and should be one every person reads.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

“Mary Swander’s biography ‘The Maverick M.D.’ captures Dr. Nick Gonzalez’s fearlessness and determination to help cancer patients restore their health. I’ve never met a man with more integrity and conviction of his work. As a cancer patient myself, I have benefited from The Gonzalez Protocol, and I will be forever grateful to him.” – Suzanne Somers
12:58 PM – Nationally heralded poet Wendy Xu reads one of her works, “If You Aren’t Busy, I Think I’m on Fire.”
Cultural nuggets – 

  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/
  4. Always changing, always beckoning, Iowa is a wonderland of cultural, natural and culinary delights. For your guide book, contact the Iowa Tourism office, visit their website, and get a hard coy of the new travel guide at traveliowa.com.

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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