Monday, May 16, 2022

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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

“The Possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.”– Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) an American poet.

Newsletter content:

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
  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:

  • 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 – Continuing this week. Tallgrass Theatre Company prepares for its season finale in its new performing hall, as Tiny Beautiful Things opens Apr 29 thru May 15. Director Miranda Turner and Lead Actor Jordyn Wiser share thoughts about their production and its unique elements in bringing a special live performing experience to its audiences.
  • 11:13 AM – Callista Gould, author of the essential resource The Exceptional Professional, and a regular and most welcome guest on the show, returns with more enlightening glimpses into the world of culture and manners. Always providing welcome insights into social and business interactions, Callista again provides great information. “For those seeking a character-driven advantage in work and society, Callista Gould and her wonderful resource, The Exceptional Professional, are must-haves for the successful person.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:24 AM – Available now. Jeff Stein, noted historian and broadcast professional, penned a 3-part series for Iowa History Journal, “Making Waves: Centennial in Iowa Radio Stations.” He continues the conversation about this compelling, story-filled series, giving us a few more glimpses into a fascinating century of radio broadcast history.
  • 11:40 AM – Set on the Westside of Los Angeles in 1999, Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre’s first novel The Displaced tells the story of a primarily Latino working-class neighborhood—already polarized by street violence between rival gangs—made even more uneasy by the looming threat of Y2K and gentrification. “With experience in film, Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre’s first novel pulses with a cinematic vitality that quickly draws readers into the world he knows and understands only too well.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:55 AM – Susan Werner’s wit runs rampant again in her latest musical offering: The Birds of Florida. Here is the track, “Florida La La La,” from this delightfully effusive EP.
  • 12:00 PM – Appearing at Des Moines’ Temple Theater May 18. The vivacious Susan Werner, while sequestered in Florida for an extended time, allowed her creative muse full freedom to conjure the bouncy and delightfully witty EP, The Birds of Florida. In this exchange filled with insights, laughter and a marvelously generous dose of Susan, catch glimpses into this latest offering from a musical genius. “Werner has quietly risen to the elite of American songwriters.” – Direct Current
  • 12:16 PM – Daofeng He talks about his epic work, The Human Calling: Three Thousand Years of Eastern and Western Philosophical History. This powerful book explores the diversity of influences over three millennia in concise and informative detail. “…a journey into the past to help us navigate into the future. He believes that we must understand the origins and development of the competing philosophies, beliefs, and ideologies between the East and the West in order to truly understand the roots of conflicts and turbulence in the world today.”
  • 12:32 PM – Using scientific projections and historical and legal precedence, G. G. Kellner spins a seductive plunge into her new ‘cli-fi’ (climate fiction) novel, Hope: A History of the Future. Listen as G. G. shares insights and glimpses into this fascinating reading experience. “This tale inspires dreams of a world we all want to live in . . .” –– Priscilla Stuckey, author of Kissed by a Fox and Tamed by a Bear
  • 12:43 PM – Opening May 17 for three weeks at Des Moines Performing Arts. Preparing for its eagerly anticipated return to Des Moines, Des Moines Performing Arts will present the National Tour of Hamilton May 17 – Jun 5. Listen as Jared Dixon (who portrays Aaron Burr) shares some back story about his role, and his path to it.

Performance Arts

  1. Tallgrass Theatre Company. Tiny Beautiful Things thru May 15. Based on the book written by Cheryl Strayed.
  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company. Girls’ Weekend 2 – The Bachelorette Party thru May 15.
  3. Des Moines Performing Arts. HAMILTON 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. (Interview with Jared Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr)
  4. The premiere staged reading of the new Robert John Ford musical comedy “Rolf(e)” will be presented in two performances (2:00pm & 7:00pm) on Saturday, May 21 at the Iowa State Historical Building auditorium in Des Moines. The reading is free and open to the public, but because seating is limited, I strongly recommend reserving tickets in advance by clicking on the link below. I hope you’ll be a part of the first audience for this show! For more info, visit

Visual Arts

  1. Plymouth Congregational Church Art Gallery. A new, multimedia art exhibition titled FEEL, by American-born artist Jill Wells, will be on display thru July 3 at the Plymouth Gallery, Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. The opening reception of the exhibition is on Sat May 7, from 6.00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (CST), free and open to the public.
  2. Artisan Gallery 218. Mary Kline-Misol’s The GAIA Project – A Climate Crisis Dialogue All Gallery ExhibitThru Jun 30.
  3. 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
  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. 2This 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. AgArt. Shakuntala is an innovative contemporary version of the classic play from India. We have roles for eight men and eight women ages 17 and up as well as one boy aged 8-12. There will also be an ensemble to portray members of the community. No acting or dance experience is required! Auditions will be held at Gateway Dance Theatre’s Studio on June 2nd, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm and June 3rd, 11:30 am- 1:30 pm and 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Performances will be July 7th-9th at Jamie Hurt Amphitheater is West Des Moines.
  2. Ankeny Community Theatre
  3. Des Moines Community Playhouse.
  4. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre.
  5. Class Act Productions (CAP).
  6. Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  7. Tallgrass Theatre Company.
  8. Theatre Midwest.
  9. Urbandale Community Theatre. (Summer 2022 – Bye Bye Birdie)

Planning ahead

  1. The Okoboji Writers’ Retreat – Sep 19-21, 2022. This has become the must-attend event for writers to learn and network.
  2. 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 at Jay Spence Shelter in Greenwood Park (4500 Grand Avenue – next door to Bergman Academy) May 12, 5:00-7:00 PM. Poetry & Pie in the Park. Diane Glass & Pat Boddy, The Heart Hungers for Wilderness.
  2. Beaverdale Books – May 12, 6:30-8:00 PM. Rachel Mans McKenney, The Butterfly Effect.
  3. Storyhouse Bookpub – May 14, 11:00 AM. Storytime reading for children.
  4. Beaverdale Books – May 16, 6:30-8:00 PM. Hugh R. Stone, Wrestling on Starry Nights.
  5. Beaverdale Books – May 18, 6:30-8:00 PM. Ellie Brooks, Amanda’s Journey: A DNA Adventure.
  6. Beaverdale Books – May 19, 6:30-8:00 PM. Poetry Readings, Andrea Carter Brown & Debra Marquart, September 12 and The Night We Landed on the Moon.
  7. Storyhouse Bookpub – May 20, 7:00 PM. Author After Party event, tickets available. Rachel Yoder, Nightbitch A Novel.
  8. Storyhouse Bookpub – May 21, 11:00 AM. Storytime reading for children.
  9. Beaverdale Books – May 22, 2:00-3:00 PM. Children’s author Mark Ceilley, Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale.

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. Don’t Feed the Elephants!: Overcoming the Art of Avoidance to Build Powerful Partnerships, Sarah Noll Wilson*
  2. Being Non-Essential, Madhu Raghavendra
  3. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, Robin Wall Kimmerer
  4. Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began, Art Spiegelman
  5. Half Baked Harvest Every Day: Recipes for Balanced, Flexible, Feel Good Meals: A Cookbook, Tieghan Gerard
  6. The Paris Library, Janet Skeslien Charles
  7. Hello Iowa, Mary Gordon*
  8. The Butterfly Effect, Rachel Mans McKenny*
  9. Matrix, Lauren Groff
  10. Maus, Art Spiegelman

* Iowa author
Highlighted author names’ indicate interviews are in The Culture Buzz Podcast Library.
Please visit: 

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. ♦

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