Thursday, May 19, 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
“We resist the notion we will become mere handfuls of dust.” That’s why we want our stories to be told “that we might become breath in the mouths of others.” – Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor.

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – Phillip Goodrich PhD returns to the show to continue a timely and informative dialogue about his new book, Somersett: Or Why and How Benjamin Franklin Orchestrated the American Revolution. This exceptional tome has been made into an audio book, and one not to be missed in both print and audio formats. Phillip adds much additional insight into what promises to be a revealing springboard into America’s history, Benjamin Franklin and Somersett, a slave who gained his freedom in London. “Goodrich blends meticulously researched history with imaginatively rendered scenes and conversations… Goodrich has woven a fascinating narrative about lesser-known events that sparked the American Revolution. His book is sure to intrigue anyone with a love of American history.” – Blueink Review Starred Review
  • 11:14 AM – The Polk County Heritage Gallery is celebrating its 36th Annual Iowa Exhibited show through Sep 10. Nestled in the historic confines of the northside first floor on the Polk County Building (enter from the 2nd & Walnut entrance), this destination-worthy getaway boasts a spectacular legacy of Iowa arts. Board President John Mark Feilmeyer shares some insights into this organization and its mission.
  • 11:30 AM – CEO Robert Warren provides updated information about the recent flurry of renovations, activities, events, and more at the venerable Hoyt Sherman Place and its Theatre. Hear about the hours people can visit for free tours to experience the renovated residence, their art gallery and more.
  • 11:44 AM – Writer Steven Tingle parlays a wealth of experience as a travel writer with his fascination of history and small-town life for his debut novel, “Graveyard Fields.” Steven leads a lively chat about his story, including glimpses into its origins. “Graveyard Fields is a smart, redemptive, and cackle-provoking debut.” – Chris Harding Thornton, author of Pickard County Atlas
  • 12:00 PM – Sondra Ashmore and Christine Guzzo Vickery partnered to create a magnificent coffee table book, “Owl’s Head: A Hidden Gem.” This deeply researched and illustrated book shares the history of many homes and significant residents in this historic Des Moines neighborhood. They also collaborated with illustrations by Cordelia Ham to create “Nighttime in Owl’s Head: A Bedtime Story” for children. Listen to their lively insights during this interview. “As a third generation resident of Owl’s Head neighborhood I found this book not only historically informative but delightful as well – a pleasure to read!” – Dr. Lorn Matthews.
  • 12:18 PM – Bill Eddy returns to the show to share more wisdom to help us better cope with the challenges today’s world presents. “Calming Upset People with EAR: How Statements Showing Empathy, Attention, and Respect Can Quickly Diffuse Conflict” is an exceptional life resource book for anyone, whether in business, social or volunteer situations. “Bill Eddy has a gift for distilling the cacophony of relationships into useful life resource guides. ‘Calming Upset People with EAR: How Statements Showing Empathy, Attention, and Respect Can Quickly Diffuse Conflict’ is beneficial for anyone who interacts with others – and, that includes us all.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:34 PM – Cheryl Grey Bostrom’s life is steeped in a deep and abiding love of nature. Her passion wonderfully radiates from every page of the beautifully written “Sugar Birds.” This story will wrap itself into your heart and soul as you share the journey she has created. “Sugar Birds is a powerful coming-of-age story . . .woven into a testament to the wondrous natural world . . . packed into one heart-pounding read. Highly recommended!” ―Chanticleer Reviews, 5-star best book review
  • 12:51 PM – Memoirist and writer Becky Povich returns with news about one of her stories being selected for inclusion in the new “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series: “Read, Laugh, Repeat.” Learn a bit about her journey, and be reminded of Becky’s previous book, “From Pig Tails to Chin Hairs: …(‘Read, Laugh, Repeat’) consists of 101 laugh-out-loud stories, all true and told by the people who lived through these embarrassing, hilarious, and truly human experiences.” – Chicken Soup for the Soul series

 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.


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  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. 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.
  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, Also contact Lesley Wright if you want to come with a group.
  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.

 Auditions and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities

  1. Des Moines Playhouse – auditions for “Escaping the Labyrinth” on Mon Aug 23, 6:00 pm. Performance Dates: Oct. 15-Oct. 23, 2021. Cast Needs: 3-6 male-identifying roles, ages 20-85, any race or ethnicity, 1-3 female-identifying roles, ages 20-40, any race or ethnicity. Also, auditions for Junie B in “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” on Performance Dates: Nov. 05-Nov. 14, 2021. Cast Needs: 2 male-identifying roles, ages 18-60, any race or ethnicity, 2 female-identifying roles, ages 18-45, any race or ethnicity, 3 male-identifying roles, ages 15-25, any race or ethnicity, 3 female-identifying roles, ages 15-25, any race or ethnicity.
  2. Carousel Theatre of Indianola – audition for “And Then There Were None” Mon Aug 23 and Tue Aug 24 at 7:00 PM, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Innovations, 117 E Salem Ave, Indianola, IA 50125. Production dates: Oct 22-31, 2021/
  3. Iowa Stage Theatre Company invites those interested to sign up to receive notices of future auditions.\
  4. 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.
  5. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  6. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at

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

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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