Sunday, May 22, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


The pandemic persists. Be safe. Be considerate. Be compassionate. Continue to be creative. Find ways to safely celebrate your thankfulness 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
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”  
– Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – Mike Harrison sets his thriller in a global setting, as “The Pale Tiger” spins an energized tale of intrigue and danger. Mike provides some tantalizing peeks into the process and action of his international thriller. “Two international super powers, two investigators, a global incident – the recipe for intrigue has all the ingredients, and Mike Harrison serves a delectable dish for thriller fans in ‘The Pale Tiger.’” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:18 AM – Iowa poet Diane Glass infuses her new collection “The Heart Hungers for Wildness” with wisdom, warmth and an irresistible appeal. Listen as she shares the journey of this wonderful book’s creation. “With a fluidity and soul-touching appeal, ‘The Heart Hungers for Wildness’ gifts its readers with rare appeal and connectivity. This is a collection that will have its owners return often, always to glean something new and special from its rich content.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:29 AM – Though its creator has passed, Robert Ludlum’s iconic action hero, Jason Bourne, continues to be a vibrant force in literature as Brian Freeman was chosen to continue writing the Ludlum/Bourne legacy. Brian returns to the show to share glimpses about the process, and his first in the series he pens, “The Bourne Evolution.” “Freeman, a veteran author of psychological thrillers, turns in a solid performance in this new novel featuring Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne….He keeps Bourne very much on his toes, and he breathes new life into [the] series.”—Booklist
  • 11:44 AM – Bill Berman and his team, Berman Leadership Development, represent the pinnacle of executive coaching and leadership development. Bill leads a lively discussion giving us glimpses into his powerful book, “Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Needs From You The Most.” This life resource book will help anyone in a team- and organization-building setting achieve greater results. “If you’ve never worked with an executive coach (or even if you have) Berman and Bradt provide the framework, tools and provocative questions to help unpack personal paths to success. This isn’t through a cookie-cutter framework, but by opening the reader up to insights perhaps not realized before.” —MICHAEL MOLINARO, Chief Learning Officer, New York Life
  • 12:00 PM – Carousel Theatre of Indianola returns to the scene with the appealing musical [title of show]. Director Alex Lindsley shares insights into this show, as this company enthusiastically prepares for its opening in a new location for the troupe: La Vida Loca Winery just outside of Indianola. Full COVIC safety protocols are in place for Carousel’s return to live performances.                                                                                      
  • 12:10 PM – Memoirist Cheryl Krauter’s evocative book, “Odyssey of Ashes: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Letting Go,” extends well beyond the honesty of Cheryl’s capturing her own journeyer unfiltered openness helps us explore our own empathy in better understanding ourselves and others as we all process the inevitability of grief in our lives. “What a moving book about loss and mourning. Cheryl finds solace in, among other things, trout fishing, rituals, Buddhist wisdom—and, luckily for us, writing about her experiences.” —A.J. Jacobs, editor-at-large of Esquire magazine; author of Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey
  • 12:27 PM – Recently, an inspirational force has been writing, sharing and encouraging others to capture their stories. Joy Neal Kidney returns to the show to provide an update and some more glimpses into her family’s rich and telling history, while giving others the loving nudge needed to begin their own memoir and historical journeys. Her two books, “Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II” and “Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression,” are compelling reading for anyone. “The writers of ancestral letters and journals usually were capturing their expressions and events of their day. They weren’t thinking of creating an historical archive. Joy Neal Kidney helps transport her grandmother’s writings – Leora’s Letters – into a captivating bounty of love, challenges and memories that Leora planted decades ago.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:46 PM – Science fiction author Lettie Prell chats about her latest achievements with her writing. One of her stories achieved a pinnacle for science fiction writers: inclusion in the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. “Iowa has a bounty of wonderful writers, yet few have achieved the levels of success that Lettie Prell has in the realm of science fiction. Her work is engaging and stimulating.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:58 PM – Poet Kyle McCord, gifted in his own craft and tireless in promoting poetry engagement throughout his region, reads “Durer in the Valley of Oleanders” from his collection, “Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders.” “Kyle McCord writes with a veteran quill, dipping deeply into the creative ink to share his writing that is concise, rich and evocative.” – The Culture Buzz

Cultural exploration opportunities

  1. Carousel Theatre of Indianola will break their pandemic silence beginning this Fri Aug 13 with the musical [title of show], a witty, energized production sure to please. This nomadic troupe will present their season-opening show at La Vida Loca Winery near Indianola. For tickets and details, check
  2. Ankeny Community Theatre presents “The Perfect Rendezvous,” a World Premiere by John Claes. Aug 27 & 28 at 7:30 PM, Aug 29 at 2:00 PM. Claes creates a story of mishaps, mistaken situations and unexpected twists and turns – a sure-fire formula for comedy.
  3. Fairfield poet and cultural encourager Freddy Niagara Fonseca recorded his poetry collection The Bomb That Blew Up God and Other Serious Poems, and it is now available online. Have a look at the link below showing where you can purchase it, or hear a few sample poems
  4. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s summer music series is BACK, LIVE and IN-PERSON! Presented by EMC Insurance Companies, the 15-week series, Music in the Garden, is held every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. through September 30! Food, drink and fun, family-friendly activities will be available at all events!…/sig…/music-in-the-garden/
  5. The Community Jazz Center presents its popular jam sessions the first Sunday of each month at Java Joes Fourth Street Theater.


CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  1. Now exhibiting at Moberg Gallery – a stellar group of artists working in a multitude of genres and media. Participating artists include Andrew Abbott, Heather Brammeier, Johanne Brouillette, Tibi Chelcea, Sarah Grant, Frank Hansen, Alyson Khan, Scott Charles Ross, Bob Schulte Jr, Daniela Schweinsberg, Gary Stranger, Bart Vargas, Aaron Wilson & Tim Dooley, and Dennis Wojtkiewicz. Also exhibiting, and new to the gallery, are William Downs and Alexandre Shiffer.
  2. JUSTIN FAVELA: CENTRAL AMERICAN THRU OCT 24, 2021, ANNA K. MEREDITH GALLERY AND MEIER ATRIUM. ORGANIZED BY CURATORIAL MANAGER LAURA BURKHALTER. Justin Favela’s exuberant art is inspired by Latinx culture, art history, and food rendered in layer upon layer of vibrant strips of paper. Favela’s technique recalls piñatas and party decorations — ephemeral forms that signify joy and celebration.
  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.
  4. Dare to Dream, Dare to Create. Jack Marren, Artist. Frame Works is pleased to announce the art exhibition Dare to Dream, Dare to Create featuring works of Art by Jack Marren. The show will hang in the gallery at Frame Works, 5800 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, Iowa until Aug 31, 2021.
  5. 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, Also contact Lesley Wright if you want to come with a group.

Auditions and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities

  1. Iowa Stage Theatre Company invites those interested to sign up to receive notices of future auditions.
  2. Class Act Productions (CAP) Theatre in Altoona is preparing to begin live performances again. Check out the audition/performance process information, and check this newsletter for specific information.


Planning ahead
Make plans, as these national shows may sell out quickly, or appeal to a bit of micro-traveling.

  1. An Evening with Paula Poundstone” at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre Fri Sep 24, 2021, 8:00 PM.
  2. Hoyt Sherman Place and Right Angle Entertainment are delighted to announce tickets for FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, the New York City Off-Broadway hit, will play at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sat Oct 16 at 7:30PM. FRIENDS! The Musical Parody is the comedic musical that lovingly pokes fun at TV’s Friends, celebrating the adventures of your favorite group of 20-something friends as they navigate the pitfalls of work, life and love in 1990s Manhattan.
  3. David Sedaris – The Best-Selling Author, Humorist and Contributor to This American Life, Live at the Hoyt Sherman Place. Although the evening show already is sold out, David added another show Sat Dec 4, 2021 at 3PM – Added by Demand. Iowa Public Radio presents An Evening with David Sedaris. This is a unique opportunity to see the best-selling humorist in an intimate setting. As always, Sedaris will be offering a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A session and book signing.

“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.

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      515-279-5400
Top Ten sellers in our store last month – see what everyone’s reading!

  1. Malibu Rising, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  2. How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, Clint Smith
  3. People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry
  4. One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston
  5. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy
  6. Beautiful, Stacy McAnulty
  7. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  8. The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
  9. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee
  10. While Justice Sleeps, Stacey Abrams

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 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 –; Facebook: Ankeny Community Theatre
Carousel Theatre of Indianola –; Facebook: Carousel Theatre Indianola
Class Act Productions –; Facebook: CAPTheatre
Des Moines Community Playhouse/Kate Goldman Theatre –; Facebook: DMPlayhouse
Des Moines Performing Arts/Temple Theater –; Facebook: Des Moines Performing Arts
Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre –; Facebook: DM Young Artists Theatre
Iowa Shakespeare Experience –; Facebook: Iowa Shakespeare Experience
Iowa Stage Theatre Company –; Facebook: Iowa Stage Theatre Company
Pyramid Theatre Company –; Facebook: Pyramid Theatre Company
Tallgrass Theatre Company –; Facebook: Tallgrass Theatre Company
TheatreMidwest –; Facebook: TheatreMidwest
Urbandale Community Theatre –; Facebook: Urbandale Community Theatre


  1. Des Moines Community Playhouse. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company. You can add your name to their audition notice list at
  3. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  4. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at

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.
  2. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.
  3. Dog-eared Books, Ames.
  4. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),
  5. Read a Book Nook, Marshalltown.
  6. Book Vault, Oskaloosa.
  7. Prairie Lights Books & Cafe, Iowa City.

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.
  2. Center Stage – This Cityview monthly column provides insights into Central Iowa’s theatre. Distributed throughout the region and available online. Current column:
  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.
  4. dsm Magazine – Central Iowa’s gateway to arts, culture and more in a stunning, visual format. dsm’s CultureCast podcast features interviews with cultural leaders, artists and musicians.
  5. ia Magazine – Built upon the success of its Central Iowa counterpart, this annual gem brings enticing cultural news from across the state.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  9. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues.
  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, and

Resources to help, support and guide during any challenges you or someone you care about may be experiencing:

  • COVID Iowa Recovery: 800-775-9276
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or
  • United Way 211: Dial 211, text ZIP code to 898211 or visit
  • 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:
  • Broadlawns 24/7 Crisis Team: (515) 282-5752
  • Your Life Iowa Help Line: (855) 581-8111
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to be connected to crisis counseling
  • Online Mental Health Crisis Chat:
  • MercyOne Des Moines Behavioral Health Clinic: 515-643-9030.
  • Prelude Behavioral Services (substance treatment): 515-262-0349
  • Instead of 911 – Des Moines area
    Domestic Violence: 515.286.3600
       Polk County Crisis & Advocacy
    Poison Control: 800.222.1222
    Mental Health Crisis: 515.282.5752
       Broadlawns Crisis Team
    LGBTQ+ Abuse: 866.488.7386
    Sexual Assault: 515.243.7386
       Children & Families of Iowa
    Veteran Crisis: 800.273.8255 press1
       Veterans & Their Families Health Crisis Line
    Child Abuse/Neglect: 800.422.4453
       National US Child Abuse Hotline
    Animal Abuse/Neglect: 515.284.6905
       Des Moines Animal Control
    *open 24/7
    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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