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
“In all men is evil sleeping; the good man is he who will not awaken it, in himself or in other men.” – Mary Renault (1905-1983) was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in ancient Greece.

Unique community art event
Sunny Porch to Host Non-Profit Art Exhibit for Mental Health Awareness
The Sunny Porch announced its first art exhibition this week entitled “Beauty & Struggle” to be held Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The show will benefit mental health awareness and will be hosted by the Olson–Larsen Galleries in Valley Junction, West Des Moines, Iowa. The show will feature the gothic and surrealist art of Anna Harrington. The selection of Ms. Harrington’s art featured in “Beauty & Struggle” was curated from hundreds of pieces of her work by Stephanie Harrington, Executive Director and founder of The Sunny Porch. Regarding the art show, Stephanie Harrington said, “In viewing Anna Marie’s art, people gain more insight in one setting of what it’s like to be living with a mental illness. Her art tells a story of her struggle, but at the same time, captures the beauty of her life.”
The Sunny Porch information sites:
You can follow us on FB at : https://www.facebook.com/theSunnyPorch
You can share the event on FB here:  https://fb.me/e/4dtNuazc5
Event directly on eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beauty-struggle-1st-annual-sunny-porch-art-show-tickets-154528664395
Website: SunnyPorch.org

Clive Library delivers exceptional live author events in June

  • June 16 – Nancy Drew: Iowa Heroine to the World – Nancy Drew is the most popular teen detective in fiction.  More than 200 million copies of Nancy Drew mysteries have been sold, and her books have been translated into 45 different languages.  Few know, however, that Nancy is an Iowa heroine and that an Iowa writer, Mildred Augustine, created Nancy’s winning character and personality.  Her authorship of the first Nancy Drew mysteries-and single-handed creation of Nancy’s admirable character-were kept secret for more than 50 years.  Barbara Lounsberry, Iowan and former Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, will be here to share with us her presentation on Nancy and Mildred, designed to fortify Iowans young and old. Registration required. The Culture Buzz interview with Barbara: https://archive.org/details/ihj-nov-dec-2020.-barbara-lounsberry-mildred-augustine-online-audio-converter.com Explore Clive Public Library’s programming at https://www.cityofclive.com/library/

Cultural exploration opportunities

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  1. Bridges of Madison County: Concert Version will be presented by Tallgrass Theatre Company at the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater as they return to the Central Iowa theatre scene following their move and the pandemic. This concert, Fri Jun 25 at 7:00 PM and Sat Jun 26 at 1:00 PM, is filled with the region’s top musical theatre artists, and is presented in partnership with West Des Moines Parks and Recreation. https://tallgrasstheatre.org/
  2. A Love Offering is a co-production of Pyramid Theatre Company and The Des Moines Community Playhouse, continuing through Jun 20. In-person, livestream and VOD options to experience this powerful story. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/a-love-offering/
  3. Theatre Midwest’s Atlas of Mud continues virtual shows Jun 19 and 20. This is a gripping allegorical play, sure to stimulate strong discussion. https://www.theatremidwest.org/
  4. 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”.
  5. 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. The Des Moines Playhouse auditions for their next musical, Cabaret, on Mon Jun 21. Details at https://www.dmplayhouse.com/auditions/cabaret/Exhibitions/Tours
  2. Annual Landscape Show May 28 – Jul 17. Join Olson-Larsen Galleries on Sunday May 23rd at 2pm CST as we have a live, virtual conversation with new O-L artist, Olivia Valentine and writer/curator, Shannon Stratton.
    Valentine’s recent solo exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center was accompanied by a thoughtful essay written by Stratton.
  3. “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
  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.

Enhancing your creativity
CEDAR FALLS, IA— Virtual Writers Workshop Taking Registrations. Shelly Beach, national speaker and award-winning author, will be the keynote speaker for the 19th annual Christian Writers Workshop. The virtual workshop is scheduled for June 17-19. Shelly Beach is co-founder of our Cedar Falls Christian Writer’s Workshop in Iowa and also helped co-found Breathe Writer’s Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.  She is a multiple award-winning author of more than thirteen books, co-author of several others, and coach and mentor behind dozens of additional titles. She has worked with New York Times best-selling authors, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, acclaimed physicians, pastors, entrepreneurs, musicians, educators, as well as new and aspiring authors. To view the full line up, learn more about the speakers, and to register through Eventbrite, visit cedarfallschristianwritersworkshop.org. For more information about registration, contact Sue Schuerman at 319-277-0295. For other questions, contact Jean Vaux at 319-277-7761. Contact: Jean Vaux, workshop co-chair, cedarfallswriters@gmail.com or 319-277-7761

“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.

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – Martin Lee talks about the most informative and comprehensive book in its field to come along: “The Essential Guide to CBD.” This gem was researched, written and published through Reader’s Digest and Project CBD.
    “The Essential Guide to CBD effectively cuts through the misinformation surrounding CBD and empowers readers to succeed in using this health-promoting tool. Highly recommended to those who want to try CBD and current users who want to optimize their results.” – Dustin Sulak, DO, found and director of Integr8 Health
  • 11:18 AM – One of the top thriller writers leads a lively conversation about his latest Will Parker thriller, “November 400CP is Missing.” Anderson Harp has created one of the most memorable protagonists ever, and Will Parker continues to never disappoint. “Harp knows his stuff.” – Brad Meltzer
  • 11:31 AM – Kyle McCord is an exceptional national poet with strong Central Iowa connections, and reads one of his works, “Poem Set to Black and White…”
  • 11:33 AM – Moya Bailey PhD enlightens us through her book, “Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance.” Moya delivers exceptional information in this lively conversation, and her book is one that will help all gain a greater empathy and understanding of our world, and how to make it better. NOTE: visit Moya’s website to receive code for a 30% discount from NYU Press for her book. “A resounding, deftly reported manifesto.” – Janet Mock, New York Times-bestselling author of Redefining Realness
  • 11:51 AM – Des Temps Antan, the dynamic trio from Quebec, performs “La fee des dents.”
  • 11:57 AM – Poet Diane Glass reads “What I Want to Remember” from her new collection, “The Heart Hungers for Wildness.” “Diane Glass delivers her poetry with an experienced freshness that beguiles – read her works out loud, let her insights resonate within your soul.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:00 PM – Amenda Tate is an exceptional creative, an interdisciplinary artist whose work draws people into a better understanding of our overlapping arts disciplines also overlap our world. Amenda spends some time talking about “Sapient 2.021,” which will premier later this month. Dance, robotics, music, visual arts – all bound together with Amenda’s unquenchable desire to stimulate audiences into greater levels of understanding connectivity.
  • 12:13 PM – The delightful Mary Keliikoa returns with her second book, “Denied,” and leads another animated conversation about this latest mystery. Kelly Pruett, her irrepressible protagonist, will again entertain in this new adventure. “Following up on a multi-award nominated debut mystery is no easy task, but Mary Keliikoa succeeds and then some in DENIED. In Kelly Pruett, Keliikoa has created a three dimensional private eye whose humanity and determination make you both want to root for her and ride along next to her on an investigative thrill ride. Bravo!” – Matt Coyle, Shamus, Anthony and Lefty Award-winning author
  • 12:25 PM – With exceptional research and a gift for expanding the core topic into a delightful range of history, story and prose, Edward Slingerland gives the world a masterful exploration in “Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization.” Edward shares glimpses into captivating tome that spans the range of human history and its intricately intertwined relationship with intoxicating liquids. “One of those rare, enthralling books that is as entertaining as it is enlightening, … Drunk will revolutionize how you drink and think.” — Daniel E. Lieberman, Edwin M Lerner II Professor Of Biological Sciences At Harvard University
  • 12:41 PM – Jamie Siefert, VP at Cedar Ridge Distillery, enthusiastically shares news about this year’s renewal of one of the great summer festivals in the Midwest. Bourbon and Blues Fest is a signature event produced by this successful distillery and winery, and will run July 2, 3, 4, and 5. Most of the events are family friendly and free. Learn more about what happens during this year’s festival, and make your plans to attend. “Set in rolling hills and a pastoral setting, beckoning families and friends to gather there, this is one of the great festivals in the Heartland – many free events, a bounty of blues and booze, and an experience unlike any other.” – The Culture Buzz

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 has re-opened, and still offers curbside or delivery service.
Updated hours: Sun/Mon: CLOSED; Tue – Fri: 10:00 – 5:30; Sat: 10:00 – 5:00


Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!

  1. Premonition, Michael Lewis
  2. The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country, Amanda Gorman
  3. The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet, John Green
  4. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  5. Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Kimmerer
  6. Giver of Stars, JoJo Moyes
  7. Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness, George Saunders
  8. What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, Oprah Winfrey
  9. World Travel, Anthony Bourdain
  10. Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir

*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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