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. Strongly consider getting your vaccinations.
Continue to be creative. Find ways to celebrate your thankfulness safely with family, friends and others.
– John Busbee for The Culture Buzz, 2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts

Quote of the Week
“Much of the insensibility and hardness of the world is due to the lack of imagination which prevents a realization of the experiences of other people.”
– Jane Addams (1860-1935) an American settlement activist, reformer, social worker, sociologist, public administrator and author, in Democracy and Social Ethics (1902)

First Friday – the destination experience at Mainframe Studios
This month’s theme is “The Art of Momentum.” Join us in honoring Disabilities Awareness Month with Community Support Advocates (CSA) and their Momentum Art Studio. CSA’s Momentum program recently won the Governor’s Arts Award, recognizing their significant impact on the vitality of the arts in Iowa. https://www.mainframestudios.org/blog/first-friday-the-art-of-momentum/

dsm Magazine presents another important conversation
Caring for Your Parents on May 20, we will hear from three accomplished guest experts. This will be a virtual talk-show -style event, with dsm contributor and Iowa business leader Deidre DeJear leading candid conversations with mental health leaders, who will respond to questions from viewers. Please join us from 12-1 p.m. https://dsmmagazine.com/liftingtheveil-2021/

Big step forward for a Central Iowa literary destination.
Beaverdale Books survived the pandemic, thanks to its loyal fans. Now some great news:
They opened their doors to browsing! “Great news, everyone!  We are planning to re-open for browsing tomorrow!  We’ve been getting vaccinated and preparing the store and can’t wait to see you! Of course, a few guidelines are necessary, the first being MASKS ARE REQUIRED for everyone over two years old.  We’ll be wearing our masks as well, and we’ll have extras available if you need one.  We also need to limit the number of customers in the store at any one time to allow for social distancing. That means six customers at a time; family bubbles will count as one. We’ll have hand sanitizer available, and will be wiping high-touch areas down frequently. If anyone wants to sign up for contact tracing, you’ll be able to leave your phone number and date of visit with us. We’ll be keeping our limited hours for the time being: Tuesday through Friday 10:00 – 5:30; Saturday 10:00 – 5:00
Curbside pickup will still be available. We are beyond excited and grateful to welcome you back!  It’s been a long 13 months, and your support and patience over that time has made this possible.  This is the first step; we may have to make some adjustments, but we hope it won’t be too long until we are fully operational again.” www.beaverdalebooks.com

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

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. Ankeny Community Theatre continues its Readers Virtual Theater with the production of Motherhood Out Loud Sun May 9 at 6:30 PM. For anyone who is (or has) a mother, foster mother, stepmother, grandmother or anything in between, this reading is for you! https://www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com/
  2. Free virtual poetry event headlined by Jennifer L. Knox in Ames. Here is a link to the event Tue May 11. 6-7. Free. Open to the public. It’s on Zoom. Registration link is in the post. Listen to The Culture Buzz interview with Jennifer in this week’s edition of the show. https://www.jenniferlknox.com/readings/2021/5/11/ames-community-arts-council-monthly-gathering-of-artists
  3. The Des Moines Community Playhouse closes Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein May 9. For more info and tickets, go to www.dmplayhouse.com
  4. The Des Moines Symphony performs the eighth and final livestreamed concert in its 2020-2021 “Live from the Temple” series, Fantaisie en Français, on Thursday, May 13 at 7:00PM.https://www.dmsymphony.org/
  5. Visit iowastage.org for more information on Scriptease, and visit Iowa Stage Theatre Youtube page for their 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”.
  6. 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.
  7. Civic Music Association presents the next offering in its Play On Series. This livestream happens at 7:00 PM, and is sponsored by G. David (dec.) & Trudy Holman Hurd. https://civicmusic.org/play-on/
  8. The Community Jazz Center renews its popular jam sessions the first Sunday of each month at Java Joes Fourth Street Theater. www.cjc-dsm.org


  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. 4Terrace 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. https://farmher.com/

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 – Mainframe Studios presents its next First Friday this week, May 7 (details at https://www.mainframestudios.org/blog/first-friday-the-art-of-momentum/), as this show features one of the many creative business based in this nationally acclaimed destination. The Blok DSM, with owners Dale and Coleen Carper, chat about the diversity of products and services they offer.

11:12 AM – SNEAK PEEK – KNOW ABOUT IT BEFORE ITS MAY 25 RELEASE. Jacquelyn H. Berry, PhD, inspires and informs with a special energy as she shares glimpses into her ‘life resource’ gem, “Find Your Carrot: Stop the Foolishness! Get on with Your Authentic Self.” A vital addition to anyone’s resource library, this book distills a lifetime of expertise and experience into masterful guidance to help anyone succeed.

“Jacquelyn H. Berry PhD delivers an eye- and heart-opening gem with her “Find Your Carrot: Stop the Foolishness! Get on with Your Authentic Self.” Berry is a compassionate conduit in helping anyone seeking wisdom and guidance to follow their dreams. This life resource delivers well beyond its compelling invitation, and every reader will find inspiration within its as they discover their own path to their carrot.” – The Culture Buzz

11:33 AM – Poet Jennifer L. Knox has her newest collection (her fifth) of critically acclaimed poetry to share with the world, “Crushing It.” Jennifer provides glimpses into her process, delivering yet another creative Whitman’s sampler of poetic delights sure to engage and entertain.
“Endlessly entertaining and emotionally stimulating.” – Publisher’s Weekly 

11:46 AM – “Steps to the Moon” is the third installment of the documentary trilogy telling the incredible importance of visionary Arthur A. Collins and how his company served as a vital foundation for America’s space success in the 1960s. This prequel will be premiered Wed May 5 at the Collins Road Theatres in Cedar Rapids and tickets are free. Rod Blocksome, a 42-year veteran of the business, shares what this prequel understanding of the foundation laid allowing Collins to contribute to America’s space race.

12:00 PM – Publisher Michael Swanger dons his writer’s cap to deliver a wonderful cover story in the new issue of Iowa History Journal. Bill Butler is one of Hollywood’s best ever cinematographers, and hails from Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Michael chats about interviewing this centenarian, then shares highlights of the many other great stories in another informative, entertaining and inspiring issue.

12:14 PM – Jennifer L. Knox reads “The Gift” from her new collection, “Crushing It.”

12:16 PM – Author Laurie Buchanan debuts a new series with “Indelible,” a captivating suspense thriller. Join the conversation as Laurie shares how this Sean McPherson novel, Book One, begins a captivating journey into Laurie’s exceptional storytelling.
“Buchanan’s narrative is well-paced, flying right along. . . . the author has delivered an exciting beginning to an intriguing series.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS

12:30 PM – 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.

12:43 PM – Finola Austin’s exquisite research and writing style blend together magnificently in her “Brontë’s Mistress,” a brilliant reimagining of the scandalous affair that shook this family to its core. Finola leads a lively discussion, providing wonderful reflections about how her research tied into her novel.

“Smart and sexy, this captivating novel is true to the romantic spirit of the Brontës themselves, with a modern feminist twist.” – Elizabeth Blackwell, author of On A Cold Dark Sea 

Cultural nuggets – 

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 Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy
  2. Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
  3. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, Walter Isaacson
  4. Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage, Anne Lamott
  5. We Are Water Protectors, Carole Lindstrom
  6. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  7. California Calling, Martin McGrane*
  8. Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker
  9. The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah
  10. The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

*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:

  1. Check with galleries, organizations, destinations you frequented before the pandemic. Many are producing creative and unique ways to engage again…get your cultural fix.
  2. 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/
  3. Civic Music Association announces its 2020-2021 Season. Check it out. https://civicmusic.org/concerts/
  4. The Des Moines Symphony will present an appealing series of concert experiences. Check for details. https://www.dmsymphony.org/
  5. 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. Dog-eared Books, Ames. https://dogearedbooksames.com/
  4. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/
  5. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown. https://read-a-book-nook.business.site/
  6. Book Vault, Oskaloosa. https://bookvault.indielite.org/
  7. 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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