Tuesday, May 17, 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 www.TheCultureBuzz.com and https://archive.org/details/@the_culture_buzz 

Quote of the Week

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way throughout our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorange is just as good as your knowledge.’” — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. 

Newsletter content:

  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

Special Cultural Headline News:

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  • Gateway Dance Theatre needs volunteers for event
    Sat Feb 26, Gateway Dance Theatre presents Sanaa ya Sanaa (pronounced Sa-Nee-ah ya Sa-Nee-ah, Swahili for “Art in Art”). Sanaa ya Sanaa celebrates Black History and Black cultural arts and includes a family activities workshop, refreshments, and a showcase. Volunteers are needed to help ensure events run smoothly. Please consider supporting and sharing in this day’s special activities with at least 2 hours of your time, with volunteers needed for one or two of the following:
    · Assist with ushering workshop participants and showcase audience to correct location;
    · Assist with managing an activity table;
    · Assist with signing people up to join GDT;
    · Assist with handing out refreshments;
    · Assist with cleanup.
  • Terrace Hill Partnership ramps up programming
    The Terrace Hill Partnership is proud to present distinguished speakers who will bring timely programs to Terrace Hill’s Drawing Room at 2:00 p.m. each Saturday in February, followed by tea and tasty treats. Tickets are $10 per program or $35 for a season pass. The speakers are donating their time and all proceeds will benefit the Terrace Hill gardens. For reservations or more information, contact Claire Sowder, Communications & Events Coordinator, 515-281-7205, claire.sowder@governor.iowa.gov
  • February 12
    John Zickefoose, “Piety Hill” of Des Moines
    A famous cluster of churches once stood around St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and the current location of the Principal Financial Group corporate campus. John will discuss this now-vanished part of the Des Moines landscape.
    Tickets and speaker bio: https://teaandtalkpietyhill.eventbrite.com
  • February 19
    Kim Perez, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
    Kim Perez, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, will discuss her vision of the vibrant 14-acre public garden, which offers enduring guest experiences, transformative educational opportunities, and engages a wide range of communities.
    Tickets and speaker bio: https://teaandtalkdmbotanical.eventbrite.com
  • February 26
    Tara Gartin and Susan Maupin Schmid, creators of No Company for Christmas
    This artist and author duo will discuss the creative process of transforming Terrace Hill as a central character of the children’s story, No Company for Christmas, which debuted at the Christmas at Terrace Hill event in December.
    Tickets and speaker bios: https://teaandtalkcreativeprocess.eventbrite.com

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – The Des Moines Women’s Club will present its 114th Annual Art Exhibition March 6-13 at the beautiful Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Avenue. Club President Chris Foss and Exhibition Co-Chair Carolyn Kuhn share information for interested artists and art patrons who want to be sure this is on their calendar. The event is free and open to the public.
  • 11:15 AM – Joseph J. Ellis PhD brings another scintillating glimpse into history, while making it read like a novel and have great relevance for today’s times. The Cause: The American Revolution and Its Discontents 1773-1783 provides an exceptional understanding of our founders’ motivations and realities.
    “The colonists didn’t describe their war for independence as the American Revolution, Pulitzer winner Ellis points out in the preface to this richly detailed, multi-voiced history. The term they used was “The Cause” – “a conveniently ambiguous label that provided a verbal canopy under which a diverse variety of political and regional persuasions could coexist.” Ellis skillfully charts divergent interests . . .This expert account highlights the “improvisational” nature of America’s founding.”  — Publishers Weekly
  • 11:36 AM – The Des Moines Community Playhouse provides a constant buzz of creativity within its campus, and Katy Merriman shares news about a new way to quickly glimpse behind the velvet curtains into their world. Join the “Fridays at the Playhouse” Facebook Live event at 10:00 AM each Friday for a few minutes of getting some insider info about this venerable, nationally recognized operation. Participants during the Friday broadcast can participate. Past episodes are archived.
    https://www.facebook.com/DMPlayhouse to catch this offering when it goes Live
  • 11:44 AM – Florence Williams wrote the captivating The Nature Fix, bringing a transcendent reading experience to listeners through our interview several years ago. Since then, life has challenged her and she captures the wide range of emotions, challenges and more with the breakup of her 25-year marriage in her brilliant new book, Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey. Listen as Florence provides glimpses into this latest wonderful reading experience.“Show-stopping…This is a courageous, whirlwind tale of healing and self-discovery.” — Publisher’s Weekly (starred)
  • 12:00 PM – The Unitarian Church of Des Moines will present its 2nd Annual Arts & Musical Festival Sat Feb 26 at their location, 1800 Bell Avenue. Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw and Emily Petty share details about this free event.
  • 12:14 PM – Director Jolene Gentzler and cast member Emmitt Reyerson (‘James’) talk about Class Act Productions (CAP) renewing live performances with James and the Giant Peach Jr. Feb 18- Mar 6. Listen as you learn about this stellar organization, and get some firsthand insights into this great children’s show.
  • 12:27 PM – Lyn Liao Butler’s newest novel continues her ascension as a writer to be watched, read and enjoyed. Red Thread of Fate skillfully displays her rich sense of relationships and family, and Lyn shares some wonderful commentary about this captivating novel.“With a poignant tale and beautiful prose, Butler once again whisks us onto a powerful journey of loss, sorrow, but ultimately a journey of quiet strength.” — Jesse Q. Sutanto, critically acclaimed author of Dial A for Aunties
  • 12:42 PM – Publicity and Events Coordinator Jan Kaiser shares news about Beaverdale Books pending Local Author Fair on Sat Feb 12 from 1:00-3:00 PM. An anchor literary destination, Beaverdale Books celebrates more than 15 years in the business of developing reader/book relationships while serving their growing legions of fans.
  • 12:53 PM – Poet Jihyun Yun reads “All Female” from her brilliant new collection, Some Are Always Hungry. “A lush and moving collection”— Publishers Weekly
  • 12:55 PM – Always uplifting, whether through the bounciness of her music, the wit of her lyrics or the delightful immersion into her brilliant view of the world, Susan Werner is always a welcome addition to any edition of this show. Here is her marvelous “City Kids” from her legacy work, HAYSEED.“When it comes to crafting a song, Ms. Werner’s only peers are Jimmy Webb and Paul Simon.” – No Depression

Performance Arts

  1. Des Moines Community Playhouse roars onto stage with Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express Feb 4-20. With unforgettable characters, bold scenic designs, eye-dazzling costumes, you will want to punch your ticket to take this unforgettable theatrical ride. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/murder-on-the-orient-express/
  2. Tallgrass Theatre Company. The Revolutionists Feb 4-20. Directed by Megan Helmers. Four beautiful, badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. https://tallgrasstheatre.thundertix.com/events/192339
  3. Des Moines Performing Arts. Tootsie! Marks the return of the Willis Broadway Series. Call it “musical comedy heaven” (Rolling Stone). Call it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). Feb 8-13. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/tootsie/
  4. Theatre Midwest. The next in their Fresh Produce concert reading series, Burst is another tantalizing offering. “Being a tech visionary is a heavy load, and Sarah is the only one great enough to bear it.” Feb 12-13, 2022
  5. CAP Theatre. James and the Giant Peach Jr runs Feb 18-Mar 6. http://www.captheatre.org/main/2021james/
  6. Des Moines Performing Arts. The Price Is Right Live comes to the Civic Center on Mar 9. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/2022-price-is-right-live/.
  7. Des Moines Performing Arts. Rent comes to Des Moines as the Final Season of Love national tour makes a stop Mar 11-12. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/rent/
  8. Des Moines Performing Arts. Hadestown comes to Des Moines as the national tour makes a stop Mar 22-27. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/hadestown/

Visual Arts

  1. Polk County Heritage GalleryDouble Exposure is open! Come and see the best that Iowa photographers have to offer. Visit the gallery Monday through Friday from 11:00 to 4:30! Thanks to Rachel Tone and Bob Tone for their tremendous act of service – they worked hard to hang the show beautifully! Due to the omicron surge, the awards ceremony has been postponed until Feb 24. https://www.facebook.com/pchgdsm/
  2. Des Moines Women’s Club 114th Annual Art Exhibition is calling for artists to participate in their exhibition which runs from Mar 6-14. Free and open to the public, this legacy tradition is nestled within the DMWC’s own art collection. https://www.desmoineswomensclub.com/art-exhibition
  3. Des Moines Art Center. Re-connect with old favorites on exhibit from their permanent collection. Explore the constantly changing exhibits, from staff-curated to international, always ready to stimulate the imagination and senses. Always open, always free (except holidays). https://desmoinesartcenter.org/
  4. 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. Terrace Hill Coffee event to discover about volunteer opportunities. A volunteer informational coffee will be held on Thu Feb 17 from 9:30-10:30 AM in the Carriage House at Terrace Hill for those interested in exploring what volunteer opportunities are at this National Historic Register site. Please register to attend by Feb 14. Info: Claire Sowder,
    Communications & Events Coordinator, claire.sowder@governor.iowa.gov | Phone: 515-281-7205
  2. RJF Creative (Robert John Ford). A workshop production of my new musical “Rolf(e)” will be held in two performances – 2:00pm and 7:30pm – on Saturday, April 16, 2022 at the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s auditorium* in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public; the evening performance will also be live-streamed. You know him from “The Sound Of Music,” but how did a gazebo-dancing messenger boy become a member of the Nazi Youth movement during one fateful summer? Was he the villain or just a confused teenager? And exactly how do you spell his name? “Rolf(e)” tells the hilarious back-story of an unheralded and misunderstood hero who would do anything for love and the resistance. Combining music in the style of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the teen angst of “Spring Awakening,” the laughs of “The Book of Mormon,” and the bawdiness of “Cabaret,” “Rolf(e)” is a musical for the entire family… assuming the kids in the family have already figured out how to bypass any parental controls on their TVs and devices. Audition info, production updates, and ticket reservation procedures will be posted in January at RJFcreative.com. Email questions to RJFcreative@gmail.com.
  3. Des Moines Community Playhouse. Pippi Longstocking the Musical Mon Feb 21, 6:00 pm. Performance Dates: Apr. 22-May. 08, 2022
  4. Tallgrass Theatre Company. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities. https://tallgrasstheatre.org/audition/
  5. Theatre Midwest. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.theatremidwest.org/auditions.html
  6. 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. http://www.captheatre.org/main/expect/
  7. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Check their audition page regularly for upcoming opportunities at https://www.dmyat.org/

Planning ahead

  1. Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles, Apr 2, 2022, presents The Best of Abbey Road Livehttps://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/2021Rain/
  2. Des Moines Performing Arts enthusiastically prepares for a 2022 filled with the Best of Broadway as the Willis Broadway Series returns to this revered Des Moines stage. Check out the upcoming lineup of Broadway’s best, and make plans. https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/?s=all&f=all&v=grid
  3. The Okoboji Writers’ Retreat – Sep 19-21, 2022. This has become the must-attend event for writers to learn and network. https://beaverdalebooks.com/event/the-okoboji-writers-retreat/
  4. 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. https://susanwerner.com/music/

Between the covers — author events worth noting:

  1. Beaverdale Books – Feb 12, 1:00-3:00 PM. Local author fair. Details forthcoming

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, http://beaverdalebooks.com/ 515-279-5400.
Top Ten sellers in our store last month — see what everyone’s reading!

  1.  Call Us What We Carry, Amanda Gorman
  2. Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown
  3. Cy’s Perfect Day: The Iowa State Way, John Walters*
  4. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Nikole Hannah-Jones*
  5. The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles
  6. Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr
  7. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy
  8. The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, Dave Grohl
  9. The Sentence, Louise Erdrich
  10. Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside, Nick Offerman

* Iowa author

Life Resource books worth your consideration:

  1. Becoming the Instrument: Lessons on Self Mastery from Music to Life is the masterful follow-up to Kenny Werner’s seminal Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within. The wisdom packed between the covers of this gem will enlighten each and every time you delve into it. https://kennywerner.com/
  2. The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career is an info-packed gem from Callista Gould. https://cultureandmanners.com/ 
  3. Leveling the Paying Field: A Groundbreaking Approach to Achieving Fair Pay. Rick Gillis gives us the handbook for evaluating our worth and cashing in. https://www.rickgillis.com/

Check out The Culture Buzz’s insightful interviews for these and other authors’ interviews at https://archive.org/details/@the_culture_buzz

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. 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/
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: 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
  • 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
  • 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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