Sunday, May 22, 2022

Join our email blast

The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


From the dynamic 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

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” – Gail Sheehy (1936-2020), an American author, journalist, and lecturer.

Newsletter content:

  1. Guests on this week’s show
  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
  • Art Week seeking artists – application deadline looms
    Since 2014, Art Week Des Moines has been dedicated to broader participation and support for our local art scene. New this year, the program focuses on neighborhood activations. 
    Concentrating on one neighborhood each day brings art to new and unexpected places with concentrated activity and attention for our artist neighbors. For those interested in exhibiting, organizing, hosting, or making something during art week, share what’s on your mind in your application.
    Note: You can certainly activate near or far from these areas; Art Week Des Moines is still here to lift you up during Art Week.
    Note also: Your entry can be aspirational. Tell us where you think you want to be, and Group will work to connect you with potential venues.

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – Santino Zafarana distills a lifetime of award-winning visual creativity into an exceptional resource, Think Before You Shoot: The Art of Taking Creative Photographs. This masterpiece helps the new flood of image-capturers with phone cameras capture the best images they possibly can.
    “Zafarana offers an illuminating guide to understanding the art of seeing, with 21 techniques to make taking photographs a conscious act.”
  • 11:14 AM – Abigail Paxton has set up shop next to Raygun, including developing author event programming in that iconic space, with the new indie book store, Storyhouse Bookpub. Listen as Abigail shares her journey into becoming a much-needed destination spot for immersive literature acquisition and experiences.
  • 11:25 AM – Brothers Joshua and Nicholas Sinclair have long been a vibrant part of Iowa’s musical heritage, and join forces again for the new album written by Josh, Ten Songs for Summer. Listen as this dynamic duo shares their back stories and even provides some music during a great interview.
  • 11:41 AM – Appearing this week Poets Daniel Khalastchi (American Parables) and Marc Rahe (Gravity Well) present an evening of their poetry plus lively conversation at Beaverdale Books this Thu Apr 7 at 6:30 PM. Get an advance taste of how great the conversation will be.
    “A book of love poems, honest love poems. All of Khalastchi’s well-wrought declarations make clear that love only occurs in the midst of survival. His poetry reclaims an exact ad exacting language for joy in the midst of a capitalist state that does not require it.” – Jericho Brown, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Tradition
    “In GRAVITY WELL, Marc Rahe’s incisive third collection, the poems beckon readers through an ever-shifting series of landscapes, drawing our gaze across a dynamic tableau-an octopus wearing a sweater, a white sky over the bridge we’re standing on, flowers pressed into a forgotten book-as a means of revealing the most particular thrills and anxieties of the human condition.”
  • 11:58 AM – Poet Jennifer Perrine’s “If Life Gives You Lemons, then Make Lemonade” is from her bounty of poetic gems contained in her collections.
  • 12:00 PM – Appearing this week Writer Jacquie McTaggart brings her popular Memoir Project to the Clive Public Library Thu Apr 7 1:00-4:00 PM. It continues on Thu Apr 21 at the same time. As Jacquie shared in this lively chat, if you can only come for part of this experience, she encourages anyone to do so. You will delight in gaining inspiration and guidance in beginning your own memoir writing. This opportunity is free to anyone.
  • 12:13 PM – In an enlightening preview of what promises to be one of the cultural highlights of the year, composer Beau Kenyon and choreographer Tom Mattingly (also the Ballet Des Moines Artistic Director) share insights into the world premiere of the new multi-discipline work, Of Gravity and Light on Apr 22 at the Civic Center.
    “Bringing an irresistible blend of imported national and international talent with equally dazzling regional talent, ‘Of Gravity and Light’ will be the performing arts experience that will have audiences singing its praises long after the curtain drops.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:30 PM – One of the most influential contributors to a better Iowa is Roxanne Conlin. In her new biography, by William B. Friedricks, a much more complete understanding of who Roxanne is and how she developed her passion for her work is revealed. Listen as this vibrant cultural catalyst shares some wonderful glimpses into her life.
    “Roxanne Conlin is a fierce pioneer for justice. She has opened countless doors for women lawyers who wanted to represent people facing corporate malfeasance and negligence. She has never stopped fighting to protect individuals facing what can look like insurmountable odds. She was the American Association for Justice’s first woman president. She is a hell of a trial lawyer and a true hero to her clients and her friends.” – Linda Lipsen, CEO of American Association for Justice (AAJ), formerly known as The Association of TrialLawyers of America
  • 12:44 PM – Jodé Millman delivers a new Queen City Crimes novel with Hooker Avenue. With strong, yet flawed, female characters anchoring her story, this book will take you on a page-turning adventure sure to please the most ardent crime novel fan.
    “So many skeletons are banging on the closet doors to be set free, in this heady ix of sizzle, punch, and danger. And, even more intriguing, it’s all based on a true crime.” – Steve Berry, International New York Times bestselling author of The Omega Factor

Performance Arts

  1. Des Moines Performing Arts. NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: THE COSMIC PERSPECTIVE. One night only, Apr 5.
  2. Ankeny Community Theatre. The powerful show, Aura, runs thru 10.
  3. Des Moines Symphony. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony “Ode to Joy” beckons audiences with its magnificence. This iconic masterpiece is best experienced in person. Apr 9 & 10. Joseph Giunta and the Orchestra are joined by four singers and a soaring choir in Beethoven’s joyful anthem for humanity. This concert experience can be streamed.
  4. Civic Music Association. Grammy-nominated violinist Tessa Lark, the recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award, and virtuoso composer/bassist Michael Thurber have come together to create a duo unlike any other. By fusing their classical and American music influences, they have created a wholly original sound, which they bring to audiences around the country in a charismatic live show. Apr 9 in Sheslow Auditorium.
  5. Des Moines Community PlayhouseSingin’ in the Rain continues thru Apr 10.
  6. Ballet Des MoinesOf Gravity and Light, a world premiere composed by Beau Kenyon, and choreographed by Tom Mattingly, is a contemporary ballet exploring the beauty and wonder of space through ethereal imagery, abstract sound, and remarkable movement. Apr 22 at
  7. Tallgrass Theatre CompanyTiny Beautiful Things opens Apr 29 thru May 15.

Visual Arts

  1. Des Moines Art Center. Art Exhibit: ‘Immersive’ thru June 5. 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines. Follow a path from darkened space to darkened space where each one is filled with different combinations of light, color and sound.
  2. Worth the trip – be a Cultural Adventurer. ICON Gallery. Fairfield. “Contemporary Realism” at the ICON Gallery in Fairfield. The exhibit features John Preston, Bill Teeple, and Greg Thatcher. The artists’ intention is to highlight the importance of craftsmanship, beauty and the inspiration found working in and with nature. The exhibition runs until the 23rd of April.
  3. Anderson Gallery. Drake University, Des Moines. 2 51st Annual Juried Student Exhibition, juried by Mitchell Squire. Thru Apr 15.
  4. Des Moines Art Center2 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 (except holidays), always free.
  5. Brunnier Art Museum. Ames. 2 This is the flagship for the University Museums, a treasure trove of many days of visual arts immersion at the Iowa State University campus, which includes the Christian Petersen Art Museum, The Farm House Museum, the Anderson Sculpture Garden and the Art on Campus Collection.
  6. The Grinnell College Museum of Art. Grinnell. 2
  7. 2AU. West Des Moines. 1,2
  8. Artisan Gallery 218. West Des Moines. 1,2
  9. Kavanaugh Art Gallery. West Des Moines. 1,2
  10. Kunzler Studios. West Des Moines. 1,2
  11. Olson-Larsen Galleries. West Des Moines.1,2
  12. Moberg Gallery. Des Moines. 2
  13. Hoyt Sherman Place Art Gallery. Des Moines.
  14. Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design. Des Moines.
  15. Polk County Heritage Gallery. Des Moines 2
    1Check these galleries open during semi-annual Historic Valley Junction Gallery Nights.
    2Check website for current exhibitions.

Auditions, Volunteer, and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities

  1. One Actor/One Writer/One Week prepares for its Apr 18 showcase, and still has room for some actors to participate. They can sign up here: Show is Apr 18 at 7pm at the Stoner Theater. Tickets avail now at:
  2. Vagrant Fear. Audition thru Apr 29. Vagrant Fear Presents: Narly’s Night of Scary Good Talent. June 18th at the Ames City Auditorium. We are looking for singers, dancers, comedians, ventriloquists, jugglers, sideshow freaks, or whatever you have to show.  You name it, I’ll audition it. This is a show that will be rated PG-13 to R.  So, please no nudity or vulgarity. Submit an audition video or link to for consideration. If you prefer an in-person audition, let us know at the same email.
  3. AgArt. Call for Art: Foodways and Social Justice: an anthology of art, poetry and information about socially-just food production, is seeking B&W art related to food and agriculture, especially from rural and BIPOC artists involved in foodways and social justice. Stipend for each work selected: $50, plus unlimited access to books at wholesale price. Submit: * Black & white photo of art (600 ppi for 1-bit B&W line art; 300 ppi for 8-bit grayscale continuous tone image). Prefer portrait-oriented art. * Bio of artist, 40 words or less, third person, one media link. * Optional description of art, 150 words or less.
    Submission deadline: May 1, 2022. Notification: May 31, 2022
    Email image, bio and description of art to
  4. Ankeny Community Theatre.
  5. Des Moines Community Playhouse.
  6. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre.
  7. Class Act Productions (CAP).
  8. Iowa Stage Theatre Company.
  9. Tallgrass Theatre Company.
  10. Theatre Midwest.
  11. Urbandale Community Theatre. (Summer 2022 – Bye Bye Birdie

Planning ahead

  1. Des Moines Performing ArtsHAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre. May 17 – Jun 5.
  2. The Okoboji Writers’ Retreat – Sep 19-21, 2022. This has become the must-attend event for writers to learn and network.
  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. Beaverdale Books – Apr 6, 6:30 PM. Sarah Noll Wilson, Don’t Feed the Elephants! Overcoming the Art of Avoidance to Build Powerful Partnerships. Interview link:
  2. Beaverdale Books – Apr 7, 6:30 PM. Daniel Khalastchi & Marc Rahe | American Parables & Gravity Well
  3. Storyhouse Bookpub – New each Saturday beginning in April (9, 16, 23, 30): storybook time at 11:00 AM.
  4. Beaverdale Books – Apr 9, 1:00 PM. Wes Pranschke | Little Ben and the Old Man in the House; 4:00-5:00 PM Paul Brooke | The Skald and the Drukkin Tröllaukin
  5. Artisan Gallery 218 (Historic Valley Junction) – Apr 11, 6:30-8:00 PM. Three poets. Laura Johnson, Hannah Soyer, & Dawn Terpstra | Memento Vivere, The Ending Hasn’t Happened Yet, & Songs from the Summer Kitchen
  6. Storyhouse Bookpub at Raygun in Des Moines’ East Village – The Author Afterparty, Sat Apr 22, 7:00 PM. Liz Lenz, Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women

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. Return to the Root: Reflections on the Inner Life, Joyce Rupp*
  2. Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During
    World War II, Joy Neal Kidney*
  3. Firekeeper’s Daughter, Angeline Boulley
  4. Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, Beth
  5. Maus, Art Spiegelman
  6. Boundless Compassion, Joyce Rupp*
  7. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Nikole Hannah-Jones*
  8. Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown
  9. Fishing for More: A Memoir, Brett Bloemendaal*
  10. I Must Betray You, Ruta Sepetys

* Iowa author

Life Resource books worth your consideration:

  1. Don’t Feed the Elephant! Overcoming the Art of Avoidance to Build Powerful Relationships is a fully digestible and sage guide in how to eat that elephant – one bite at a time. By Sarah Noll Wilson of SNoW Co.
  2. 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.
  3. The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career is an info-packed gem from Callista Gould. 
  4. How to F*ck Up Your Startup: The Science Behind Why 90% of Companies Fail – and How You Can Avoid It. Kim Vhidkjaer captures his mistakes and successes in a compelling handbook for startup success.

Check out The Culture Buzz’s 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. ♦

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.