Sunday, May 22, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


From the beautiful MainFrame Studios Building at 900 Keosauqua Way in Des Moines, Iowa comes your Listener-supported Community Voice, the Award-Winning independent radio station KFMG-LP 98.9 FM, bringing you music, literature & cultural news from the American Heartland and beyond.
John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts
Podcasts of past interviews may be found at and 

Quote of the Week

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” — Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) Ludwig Philipp Albert Schweitzer OM was an Alsatian polymath. He was a theologian, organist, musicologist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician.

Newsletter content:

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  1. Guests on this week’s Wednesday edition
  2. Performance Arts (Greater Des Moines/Iowa)
  3. Visual Arts (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 resource books, 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 –

  • 11:00 AM – Teresa K. Miller’s newest poetry collection, Borderline Fortune, Is another rewarding journey with a gifted writer. Teresa shares back story and glimpses into the creation of this gem. “Teresa K. Miller explores startling territories in Borderline Fortune. She addresses the lines we’ve drawn and erased for centuries on the earth—that conform to the borders we cross and uncross in the mind…Miller remains radiantly elusive, an escape artist in these marvelous poems of altered terra firma and revelation.” — Carol Muske-Dukes, former California poet laureate and author of Blue Rose
  • 11:12 AM – Teresa K. Miller reads “Our Own Worst Consequence” from her new collection, Borderlline Fortune.
  • 11:13 AM – Mark Minukas co-authored the exceptional life resource book, Unfear: Transform Your Organization to Create Breakthrough Performance and Employee Well-Being. This insightful book provides beneficial guidance for anyone seeing improvement in their organization, and Mark shares some glimpses into what this valuable resource provides. “Many of us charged with charting a path toward sustainable growth—a path that taps into the diversity, authenticity, and genius of all our employees—struggle to find the right way to express and build the type of culture this requires. Terms like risk taking, learning organization, agile, lean, and purpose-driven don’t quite seem to capture it; they are manifestations, not the core, of what is needed. Unfear nails it, and its principles point to the profound personal roots that any organizational transformation requires.” — Monica McGurk, Chief Global Growth Officer of Kellogg Company
  • 11:27 AMWith Honor and Integrity: Transgender Troops in Their Own Words is a powerful unveiling of the challenges many of America’s loyal service persons cope with when their primary goal is to serve the country they love. Mael Embser-Herbert and Lt. Col. Bree Fram provide revealing glimpses about their book, a testimony representing the many who simply wanted to fulfill their patriotic callings. Their book is a compelling collection of twenty-six stories, each very individual, yet each anchored by their call to service. “Prior to coming out as transgender I served the first several years of my career under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” hiding my sexual orientation out of the constant fear of expulsion. I then found myself in the same predicament as when I first joined, wanting nothing more than to serve my country and do my job, but at the cost of sacrificing a major part of who I am. . . . This time, however, I decided that I could no longer sacrifice my own well-being, my own authentic self.” — Mak Vaden, Warrant Officer 1, U.S. Army National Guard, 2006-present
  • 11:42 AM – Marta McDowell returns to the show with another gem, again connecting the world of gardening with the world of literature in Unearthing the Secret Garden: The Plants and Places that Inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett. Marta provides peeks into this author, whose work is as well-known as her name is perhaps not. “Affectionate and informative, Unearthing the Secret Garden is not unlike a garden itself, with its smooth lawns of prose and striking shows of illustration and photography.” —The Wall Street Journal
  • 12:00 PM – Two of Iowa’s best creatives combine their talents for a singularly captivating visually stimulating book, The History of Orthodontics Through Time and Space. This colorful, whimsical book will delight with its imaginative romp and collection of evocative graphics. Enjoy some insights as Priscilla Steele, the visual artist, shares the journey that she and Craig Campbell take their readers on. “infused with an elixir of wit and colorful imagery, The History of Orthodontics Through Time and Space gives young readers (and the elders who share this brilliant book with them) a magical journey as the mundane machinations of orthodontics take on majestic proportions thanks to the brilliance of Craig Campbell and Priscilla Steele.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:13 PM – Lindy Miller returns with another beguiling tale of romance, adventure and more with Sleigh Bells on Bread Loaf Mountain. Lindy’s characters and settings beguile the reader, transporting them into her worlds. Delight in Lindy’s sharing of glimpses into this new story, another fine feather in her storytelling cap. “Miller’s close attention to following these emotional transformations and their wellsprings provides a realistic, understandable story that draws readers with unexpected twists and unanticipated connectionsThe result is a delightful holiday read highly recommended for romance readers seeking a blend of life-changing encounters and love to be found when personal values change.” ~Midwest Book Review
  • 12:26 PM – Dr. Kara Cooney has few peers when it comes to connecting history to its modern context. In her National Geographic The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World, Kara takes her readers on a powerful understanding of the rulers from millennia ago, and compares these long-gone kings to how there are lessons to be learned today. NOTE: If you order Kara’s book from her favorite independent book store, Book Soup, you will receive an autographed copy! “Ancient Egypt can help us understand why we so easily bend toward authoritarianism, why it attracts and comforts us. This book is…a comparative impression of the impossible attractions of masculine rule, both yesterday and today.”
  • 12:40 PM – Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World by Ann R. Williams is a masterful, insightful sharing of 100 global discoveries, many of which we know, many more which we will learn about, through a new lens. Ann provides fascinating glimpses into these fascinating realms, leading us to her book filled with compelling research delivered with a flair in its writing. This National Geographic book is a wonderful tome to proudly display in one’s home or office. “Ann Williams covers the globe in Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World, giving her readers a vicarious series of adventures to ancient times, great civilizations and inspiring worlds.” – The Culture Buzz

Performance Arts

  1. Ames Town & Gown welcomes IMANI WINDS: GRAMMY-NOMINATED WIND QUINTET Fri Dec 10 at 7:30 p.m. Ames City Auditorium, 520 6th Street. The Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association is delighted to congratulate the Imani Winds — featured artists at our upcoming concert, December 10 — on their recent nomination for the 2022 Grammy Award for Chamber Music!
  2. Tallgrass Theatre Company welcomes patrons to the inaugural production in their new home, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. This show promises to be a madcap romp through the holiday season. Thru Dec 19.
  3. Ankeny Community Theatre presents the comedy Geezers thru Dec 12.
  4. The Des Moines Community Playhouse produces one of the all-time great musicals for the holiday season, The Sound of Music, thru Dec 19. Filled with popular songs, this touching story is sure to brighten everyone’s day.
  5. Ballet Des Moines presents The Nutcracker Dec 10-12 at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre and Dec 17-18 at the Staplin Performing Arts Center.
  6. Iowa Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker at Des Moines Performing Arts’ Civic Center Dec 11-12.
  7. Iowa Stage Theatre Company presents an ‘instant classic’ holiday tradition with the return of a new production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Running from Dec 16-23 in the Stoner Theater at Des Moines Performing Arts’ Civic Center, this show is a surefire way to dive into the holiday spirit through an imaginative reinvention of this class story.
  8. Home Free – Warmest Winter Tour 2021.The acclaimed group is set to light up the holiday season by hitting the road on their Warmest Winter Holiday Tour – showcasing songs off their most recent studio album, WARMEST WINTER (2020, Home Free Records), which features 12 festive staples.
  9. Des Moines Symphony’s signature welcoming of the New Year. Dec 31. Michael Cavanaugh was called “the new voice of the American Rock and Roll songbook” by Billboard. From classic Elton John hits “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man” to rock favorites like “Live and Let Die” and “Pinball Wizard,” this Grammy and Tony-nominated Broadway star and his band entertain with a high-energy show that will have you singing along all night! Ring in the New Year with the Des Moines Symphony and the greatest hits of Elton John. The Des Moines Symphony New Year’s Eve Pops has long been considered the ultimate way to welcome in the new year.

Visual Arts

  1. Greater Des Moines Exhibited XXVIII at the Polk County Heritage Gallery. Oct 25 – Dec 17.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Tallgrass Theatre Company will hold auditions for The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Megan Helmers. The auditions will take place on Sun/Mon, Dec 12/13 at 7:30 PM at their new theatre facility, 2019 Grand Avenue, Suite 100, West Des Moines.
  2. Des Moines Community Playhouse will hold auditions for Murder on the Orient Express Mon Dec 13, 6:00 pm. Details:
  3. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at
  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. 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. Shen Yun – Please note that this showed has been reschedued by the producers to Jan 22-23, 2022. THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of music and dance, Shen Yun takes you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Des Moines Performing Arts.
  2. Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles, Apr 2, 2022, presents The Best of Abbey Road Live
  3. Now available, Susan Werner is offering her full catalog of albums, plus bonus tracks (demos and unreleased songs), and live concert video footage. A perfect gift for yourself, for Susan Werner fans, and anyone who simply savors the magic of one of America’s musical gems.

Between the covers — author events worth noting:

  1. On Sat Dec 11 from 1-4, visit the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at Jordan Creek to meet local authors Dawn Terpstra, Dennis Maulsby, Ray Cole, and Stephen Brayton and purchase one of their signed books. When you present the attached coupon at checkout, a percentage of your entire Barnes and Noble purchase will be donated to the Iowa Poetry Association (exclusions apply, please see the coupon for details). This coupon will work only at the Jordan Creek Barnes and Noble.

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. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Nikole Hannah-Jones*
  2. Everything We Didn’t Say, Nicole Baart*
  3. Heard It in a Love Song, Tracey Garvis Graves*
  4. Storm Lake, Art Cullen*
  5. The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles
  6. The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, Dave Grohl
  7. Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside, Nick Offerman
  8. Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr
  9. Big Shot (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 16), Jeff Kinney
  10. The White Man Who Stayed, James A. Autry*

* Iowa author

Life Resource books worth your consideration:

  1.  Leveling the Paying Field: A Groundbreaking Approach to Achieving Fair Pay. Rick Gillis gives us the handbook for evaluating our worth and cashing in.
  2. The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career is an info-packed gem from Callista Gould. 
  3. Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives. Minal Bopaiah packs her book with years of experience and savvy.

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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