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 Art

Quote of the Week

“The true art of memory is the art of attention.” – Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer, in The Idler (Sep. 15, 1759)

Newsletter content:

  1. Guests on this week’s Wednesday edition;
  2.  Cultural exploration opportunities (Greater Des Moines/Iowa);
  3. Exhibitions, Tours, Visual Artists (mostly Greater Des Moines/Iowa);
  4. Auditions and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities;
  5.  Planning ahead;
  6. Author events (Greater Des Moines/Iowa);
  7. Best-sellers, life resources, Greater Des Moines performing arts organizations, Central Iowa indie book stores, cultural exploration resources, health & welfare resources

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  • 11:00 AM – Angie Cella is a dynamic, faith-driven individual who responded to her entrepreneurial calling. She captures this experience in Blinger: An Entrepreneur’s Faith-Based Journey, allowing her to share her knowledge and inspiration with others. Listen as Angie gives glimpses into her life resource book sure to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in countless others. “Angie Cella openly captures and shares her success, a journey of faith, belief in oneself, and opening oneself to greater influences. Blinger: An Entrepreneur’s Faith-Based Journey is a gem of a resource for anyone seeking helpful guidance and encouragement.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:17 AM – With an aura that exudes confidence, success and inspiration, tech founder, multimedia marketer and caffeinated ecosystem builder Ben McDougal truly feeds off of the success of others he helps. His You Don’t Need This Book: Entrepreneurship in the Connected Era was a path for Ben to multiply himself and reach as many people as possible. “Jam packed with hard-earned tips, tactics and approaches for entrepreneurs of all stripes.” – Seth Godin
  • 11:31 AM – John Walters, aka The Voice of the Cyclones, was inspired to create a wonderful family book, Cy’s Perfect Day: The Iowa State Way. This colorfully illustrated gem (Rob Peters, artist) is a great children’s, published with the blessing of the Iowa State athletic department, and explores positive traits that will benefit anyone. “One doesn’t have to be a Cyclone fan to appreciate and benefit from John Walters’ delightful children’s book, Cy’s Perfect Day, a ‘perfect’ book for reading and sharing with the kids.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:44 AM – Dan Schorr has parlayed his career into a masterful novel, Final Table, the riveting story of a sexual assault survivor’s fight to regain control of her life. Dan’s experience as a sexual misconduct investigator, professor who teaches a course on sexual misconduct and domestic violence, and previous service as a New York sex crimes prosecutor, allows him to bring incredible clarity and vibrancy to his story. “Dan Schorr’s Final Table is a top-class political thriller by a professional who knows the world he writes about. Authentic and moving, Final Table lays bare the highest level of international politics, and will not let go of the reader. Highly recommended.” – Alan Furst, best-selling author of A Hero of France and Midnight in Europe
  • 12:00 PM – Haley Vanness, co-director and choreographer, shares news about the return of Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre to the stage opening this Fri Oct 8. Disney’s Descendants: The Musical is an energetic musical sure to especially resonate with younger audience members, as it shares life lessons through its engaging story, songs and dance.
  • 12:11 PM – Sports journalist and writer Reid Forgrave captures all the depth, tragedy and humanity of a young man’s fatal journey in Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy. Through Zac’s final journaling, interviews with his family and others, Reid pens this heart-touching love story that will resonate with many. “An artful and intimate portrait that is so beautifully written it belongs on the shelf alongside classic works of literary journalism. Love, Zac is a vital contribution to the national conversation about traumatic brain injury in athletes.” – Jeanne Marie Laskas, author of Concussion
  • 12:23 PM – In Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, Beth Hoffman takes a deep dive into what is happening to America’s farmers and its farms. Beth brings her own family’s perspective through the challenges of running their own farm operation. “To understand the complexities and challenges that America’s farmers currently face is to better understand how all Americans should empathize with the variety of obstacles farmers must overcome to earn a living while continuing to feed the nation and world. Beth Hoffman does a masterful job of bringing these issues to readers in Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, a must-read for anyone who appreciates setting quality food on their dining table.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:46 PM – 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 history is now an audio book. Phil shares insights into how his experience in watching the audio version be cast and produced added a special magic to this incredible history. “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 
  • 12:58 PM – Iowa’s Renaissance Man Chad Elliott has a published collection of his poetry, Rumble & Flash, and reads “Ringgold County” from that brilliant work.

Performance Arts

  1. Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre presents Disney’s Descendants: The Musical Oct 8-17 at the Stoner Theater.\
  2. Ankeny Community Theatre’s A Piece of My Heart runs thru Oct 10, Thu, Fri, Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:00 p.m.
  3. The Des Moines Symphony continues to demonstrate appealing diversity in its programming, drawing ever larger audiences to their concerts. The Des Moines Symphony brings the Beatles to vivid life in Revolution on Sat Oct 9, a stunning multimedia experience featuring new symphonic arrangements transcribed from the original master recordings at Abbey Road. Accompanied by hundreds of rare and unseen photos along with stunning video and animation, Revolution will take audiences on a magical music and visual journey featuring more than 25 top hits like “Ticket to Ride,” “Penny Lane,” “All You Need is Love,” “Get Back,” “Hey, Jude,” and much more.
  4. Central Iowa Wind Ensemble (CIWE) will be performing their first concert of the 21-22 Season on Sunday, October 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the Franklin Junior High. CIWE believes in the power of music to positively impact people and that is why their performances are always free. The theme for their first concert is “Spark” – People, places, and things are the at the center of each of the pieces performed.
  5. Des Moines Performing Arts THE BAND’S VISIT Oct 12 – 17, 2021. Spend an evening in the company of unforgettable strangers at The Band’s Visit—now one of the most celebrated musicals ever. Winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
  6. The 2021 Ames Artists’ Studio Tour will be held on Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During this free, self-guided tour, patrons may choose to visit any number of the 11 participating artists and discover the original art – paintings, glass, jewelry, ceramics, and so much more – created in their studios and workspaces. Participating artists will demonstrate their craft, share techniques, and discuss what inspires their work. Visitors are welcome to ask questions and purchase artwork. Visit the artists in any order you please! Find a full map of participating artists here: The Ames Artists’ Studio Tour is headquartered at Morning Bell Coffee Roasters (111 Main St., Ames).
  7. Des Moines Community Playhouse presents a world premiere, Escaping the Labyrinth, Oct. 15-24, 2021. Selected through the American Association of Community Theatre’s national competition, NewPlayFest, the Playhouse makes its debut as a presenter in this exceptional program.
  8. Gateway Dance Theatre (GDT) will offer a virtual presentation of SPECTRUM along with a pre-show and after-show discussion Oct 15 and 16. SPECTRUM is a showcase of the arts including ten-minute plays, poetry, visual arts, dance, and music. With this performance, GDT aims to not only spotlight the arts, but also invite audience reflection.
  9. Vagrant Fear Productions, a new Central Iowa theatre company, presents The Mirror at the Stoner Theater Oct 22 & 23 at 7:30 PM.
  10. Class Act Productions (CAP) Theatre presents The Addams Family Young@Part Oct 29 – Nov 14. (Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7pm, Sunday at 2pm).
  11. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s summer music series concludes this week! Presented by EMC Insurance Companies, the 15-week series, Music in the Garden, wraps up a stellar weekly presentation of great music this Thu Sep 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.! Food, drink and fun, family-friendly activities will be available at all events!…/sig…/music-in-the-garden/
  12. The Community Jazz Center presents its popular jam sessions the first Sunday of each month at Java Joes Fourth Street Theater.  

Visual Arts

  1. Olson-Larsen Galleries is proud to present “Redefine”, on view Oct 8 thru Nov 27t with an opening reception to be held Fri Oct 8 from 5 pm to 7 pm. “Redefine” is an exhibition conceived through the collaboration of research-based artist and guest curator, Donté K. Hayes and Olson-Larsen Galleries. The show will feature artists selected by Donté, from the Olson-Larsen Galleries’ artist roster in combination with invited artists outside of the gallery’s representation. Olson-Larsen Galleries is excited to introduce their patrons and collectors to emerging and established artists in a new context.  The goal of this presentation is to show artwork that is created with intention.
  2. Greater Des Moines Exhibited XXVIII at the Polk County Heritage Gallery. Oct 25 – Dec 17. AWARDS SHOW – Thu Oct 28 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  3. 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.
  4. The Grinnell College Museum of Art is open by appointment, Tue thru Sat, noon to 5 pm. Visitors need to schedule a visit on Mondays or mornings.
  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 – check for upcoming audition opportunities.
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company invites those interested to sign up to receive notices of future auditions.\
  3. 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.
  4. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  5. 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. 21st Iowa Country School Preservation Conference Friday October 8, 2021. Odebolt IA, Odebolt Community Center, 116E Second St. Carol Raasch, Registrar. A block west is Heritage Square Park.
  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.

Between the covers — author events worth noting:

  • Oct 6 (Beaverdale Books at Franklin Junior High) – Love, Zac: Small Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy. Reid Forgrave
  • Oct 7 (Beaverdale Books) – Bet the Farm. Beth Hoffman
  • Iowa author Linda McCann will be making a series of library presentations about books she has written: Oct 5, (Knoxville) on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Southeast Iowa; (Clive) on POW camps in Iowa. Oct 6 (Monroe) on Prohibition. Oct 7 (Colfax) on Prohibition; (Carlisle) on the CCC. Oct 8 (Pleasantville) on Prohibition. Oct 9 (Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge) on POWs.
  • Oct 9 (Beaverdale Books at Witmer Park, NE Shelter 34th & Washington Street, Des Moines) – Cy’s Perfect Day: The Iowa State Way. John Walters
  • Oct 11 (Beaverdale Books) – Our Friend Sitting Bull: The True Story of a Pioneer Couple’s Friendship with the Famous Lakota Chief. Mary R. Christopher
  • Oct 12 (Beaverdale Books) – The Night We Landed on the Moon & Sacrament of Bodies. Debra Marquart & Romeo Oriogun

Beaverdale Books provides their Top Ten sellers list, updated each month. 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. Peril, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
  2. Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult, Kyle McCord*
  3. Owl’s Head: A Hidden Gem, Sondra Ashmore* and Christine Guzzo Vickery (Illustrated by Sharon Larson)
  4. Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead
  5. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho
  6. The Soul of the Family Tree, Lori Erickson*
  7. Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Kimmerer
  8. Beautiful World, Where Are You, Sally Rooney
  9. Bewilderment, Richard Powers
  10. Matrix, Lauren Groff

* Iowa author

Life Resource books worth your consideration:

  1. The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career is an info-packed gem from Callista Gould. 
  2. You Are What You Click: How Being Selective, Positive, and Creative Can Transform Your Social Media Experience helps us navigate the challenges of social media to our advantage. Brian A. Primack MD PhD.
  3. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals helps anyone regain focus in their life. Oliver Burkeman packs this resource liberally.

Check out The Culture Buzz insightful interviews for these and other authors’ interviews at 

Performing Arts Organizations:
Please check in advance regarding any scheduled performances, exhibitions, museum visits, etc.

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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