Thursday, August 11, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Central Time.
Broadcast regionally on KFMG 98.9 FM; Simultaneously streaming globally through

From Iowa’s cultural epicenter, MainFrame Studios Building at 900 Keosauqua Way in Des Moines, comes your Listener-supported Community Voice, the Award-Winning independent radio station KFMG-LP 98.9 FM, bringing you music, literature & cultural news. — John Busbee for The Culture Buzz

The Culture Buzz Podcast Library –
2014 Iowa Governor’s Award for Partnership & Collaboration in the Arts
2018 – voted Best Local Talk Radio Show 

Quote of the Week

“When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character. This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor. But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Stigmatise those who let people die, not those who struggle to live.” – Sarah Kendzior, an American author, anthropologist, researcher, scholar, and author of The View from Flyover Country.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

Curious about my primary source for reliable quotes, often with back stories included? Just visit Mardy Grothe’s exceptional, free source, Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations –

Newsletter content:

  1. Guests on this week’s show
  2. Performance Arts (Greater Des Moines/Iowa)
  3. Culinary Arts
  4. Visual Arts (Greater Des Moines/Iowa)
  5. Auditions and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities
  6. Planning ahead
  7. Author events (Greater Des Moines/Iowa)
  8. 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:

Iowa Arts Summit. The biennial Iowa Arts Summit is the state’s leading professional development and networking event for Iowa’s arts and creative community. Hear from Iowa’s most innovative minds and learn how they are transforming their organizations and communities. The Iowa Arts Summit brings together creatives, nonprofit professionals and community leaders for networking, learning and celebrating the arts in Iowa.
The 2022 conference will highlight the integral role creatives play in community development and explore ways of strengthening support systems for Iowa’s creative workforce.
The three-day program features inspirational, half-day virtual sessions from leading state and national voices in the arts Aug. 10-11 and culminates in an in-person conference on Aug. 12 at Mainframe Studios in Des Moines.

This week’s guests on The Culture Buzz –

  • 11:00 AM – Illustrator/writer/historian Gary Kelley releases his newest multifaceted gem Bach and the Blues: Pablo Casals and Robert Johnson. Through exquisite boldness in his illustrations, he conjoins a special time in history in the 1930s when these two artists separately released what would become seminal albums. “When Gary Kelley releases his passionate curiosity about a subject, capturing it in the beauty of his artwork and storytelling, cultural consumers will benefit from a rare feast. ‘Bach and the Blue: Pablo Casals and Robert Johnson is such a stellar work – indulge your senses, immerse yourself.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:17 AM – Author Mike Lankford, Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci, returns to the show for a thought-provoking continuation on our da Vinci chats from before, plus a few glimpses into his forthcoming series of autobiographies, a chapter-by-chapter series revealing the eras of his life. “A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2017”
  • 11:31 AM – Available now. Award-winning poet Charles Harper Webb dips his pen into the long-awaiting ink of novel writing to deliver a masterfully crafted thriller, Ursula Lake. Charles gives us glimpses into the genesis of this story, and how it had to eventually manifest itself is his debut novel. “Ursula Lake is a rare novel that is equal parts lyrical and suspenseful.  Charles Harper Webb uses his poet’s voice to weave a haunting tale that marries the latent horrors of the natural world to the dark heart of the humans who inhabit it.” — Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women
  • 11:47 AM – Janey Harris is an artist in the world of specialized culinary delights – funnel cakes. She is a manager for The Best Around, a regular at the Iowa State Fair. She concocts new creations constantly, and will be presenting another new flavor this year. Listen as she describes her work, and her passion for what she does.
  • 11:58 AM – Poet Dennis Maulsby reads “After Still Life” from his new collection, Heart Songs.
  • 12:00 PM – Opening this Fri Aug 5 at Ankeny Community Theatre is the beloved musical, Godspell. Listen as Director Michael Hollister, Musical Director Dan Chase, and cast member Corinn Brush lead a lively discussion about their production.
  • 12:12 PM – Available now. Poet Dennis Maulsby talks about the inspirations behind his new collection, Heart Songs. “Dennis Maulsby, poet, short story writer, and novelist, continues to expand his writing repertoire with this new collection, Heart Songs. Delve into a complex and diverse offering of poetic styles and expressions.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:24 PM – Available now. Blair Sadler shares glimpses into this essential life resource book he and his twin brother, Alfred, wrote, (P)luck: Lessons We Learned for Improving Healthcare and the World. Blair energizes the passion that he and brother Fred infused into their invaluable resource, a book that shares vital information that is applicable beyond the world of just healthcare. “(P)luck is a memorable story of the work of two brothers on some of the twentieth century’s most crucial public health and bioethics issues, ending with inspiring lessons for today’s change makers.” – Foreward Reviews
  • 12:41 PM – Just released. Authors Kay Fenton Smith and Carol McGarvey take a deliciously deep dive into the baking and history at the Iowa State Fair, a pinnacle of perfection for bakers and other food preparers across Iowa. This gem of a book is richly illustrated with recipes, photographs and history, and is a masterful immersion into a legacy subject that has previously not been covered like this. This book is available through the Blue Ribbon Foundation website link (below) or at Beaverdale Books. “Filled with images and history that will sate the most ferocious appetite, Kay Fenton Smith and Carol McGarvey have blended a tantalizing mix of ingredients into one of the most comprehensive and satisfying dives into the history of Iowa State Fair Food Department. Filled with recipes, this truly is a blue ribbon immersion into the culture of Iowa’s grandest annual events.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:57 PM – Poet Robert Tremmel reads “Healing” from his new collection, Return of the Naked Man.” “Robert Tremmel continues to take readers on a marvelous poetic journey with his new, award-winning collection, Return of the Naked Man. Enjoy the journey.” – The Culture Buzz

Performance Arts

  1. Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre. Heathers – The Musical. Jul 22-31.
  2. Urbandale Community Theatre. Bye Bye Birdie! Jul 22-31.
  3. Raymond Theatre Company (at Staplin Performing Arts Center). This is a new company of West Des Moines Valley High School students presenting original productions. Watercolors, Jul 29, 30, 31.
  4. Des Moines Performing Arts. My Fair Lady. Aug 2-7.
  5. Ankeny Community Theatre. Godspell. Aug 5-14.
  6. Des Moines Performing Arts. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Aug 23-28.
  7. 48 Hour Film Project. Filming begins Fri Jul 29, ends Sun Jul 31. Screenings Aug 8-10 (3 groups) at State Historical Society of Iowa. Aug 25 for Best of screenings. This is the 18th edition of this highly charged filmmaking event. or tickets at

Visual Arts — Galleries

  1. Polk County Heritage GalleryThe Sea Beneath Our Feet: Photographs by Amee Ellis, a project commissioned by the Des Moines Metro Opera. Opening reception Wed Jun 29, 6:30-8:00 PM. The Sea Beneath Our Feet is a photographic interpretation of the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2022 world-premiere opera A Thousand Acres, based on Jane Smiley’s novel.
  2. Artisan Gallery 218. Fields and Flowers. An exhibition by Gallery artists. Jul 5 thru Sept 30. Artist Reception July 29th 5-8pm.
  3. 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. 
  4. Brunnier Art Museum. Ames. 2 This is the flagship for the University Museums, a treasure trove of visual arts immersion on 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.
  5. The Grinnell College Museum of Art. Grinnell. 2
  6. 2AU. West Des Moines. 1,2
  7. Artisan Gallery 218. West Des Moines. 1,2
  8. 13.  Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Des Moines 2 I added this destination for its unique value as a “living gallery,” where the constantly changing floral exhibitions entice and delight.
  9. Hoyt Sherman Place Art Gallery. Des Moines.
  10. Kavanaugh Art Gallery. West Des Moines. 1,2
  11. Kunzler Studios. West Des Moines. 1,2
  12. Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design. Des Moines.
  13. Moberg Gallery. Des Moines. 2
  14. Olson-Larsen Galleries. West Des Moines.1,2
  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.

Culinary Arts – This new addition will feature regional culinary events and celebrations.

  1.  Area Farmers Markets. Take advantage of the bounty of fresh produce and more at any of the areas farmers markets, beginning with one of America’s best, the Downtown Farmers’ Market (Saturdays). Also, Waukee (Wednesdays), West Des Moines (Thursdays), Norwalk (Fridays), Global Greens Farmers Market (Saturdays, 3200 University, behind Lutheran Social Services), Ankeny (Saturdays).

Auditions, Volunteer, and other Individual Enhancement Opportunities

  1. Polk County Heritage Gallery. Open submissions end Tue Jul 26 for Iowa Exhibited XXXVII.
  2. Des Moines Community PlayhouseHarriet the Spy. Auditions Mon Aug 29.
  3. Ankeny Community Theatre
  4. Class Act Productions (CAP).
  5. Des Moines Community Playhouse.
  6. Des Moines Performing Arts
  7. Des Moines Young Artists Theatre.
  8. Iowa Shakespeare Experience
  9. Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  10. Pyramid Theatre Company
  11. Tallgrass Theatre Company.
  12. Urbandale Community Theatre

Planning ahead

  1.  Uniting Through History – Celebrating Buxton. Aug 28, 12:00-4:00 PM at the Nelson Pioneer Farm, 2211 Nelson Lane, Oskaloosa IA. Fundraiser to help preserve Buxton history.
  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 – Aug 7, 2:30-4:00 PM. Mary Gordon & Candace Calming Hello Iowa
  2. Beaverdale Books – Aug 13, 1:00-3:00 PM. Meet the Authors, Local Author Fair
  3. Beaverdale Books – Aug 17, 6:30-8:00 PM. Angela Tedesco, Finding Turtle Farm: My Twenty-Acre Adventure in Community-Supported Agriculture
  4. Beaverdale Books – Aug 20, 1:00-3:00 PM. Meet the Authors – Bookstore Romance Day, Mary Lee Ashford, Tracey Garvis Graves, Julie Stone, Maggie Martin, Denise Williams
  5. Artisan Gallery 218 – Aug 22, 6:30 PM. Panel Discussion, moderated by Pat Boddy. “The Land Beneath Us,” with agricultural lawyer Neil Hamilton (The Land Remains: A Midwestern Perspective on Our Past and Future), photographer Amee Ellis (The Sea Beneath Our Feet), and farmer Beth Hoffman (Bet the Farm).
  6. Beaverdale Books – Aug 25, 6:30-8:00 PM. Dennis Maulsby, Heart Songs

Beaverdale Books provides their Top Ten sellers list, updated each month. Updated hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM; Sat 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Sun 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM. 515-279-5400.

Top Ten sellers in our store last month — see what everyone’s reading!

  1. Horse, Geraldine Brooks
  2. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
  3. Principal Park: A Diamond in the Rough, Steve Dunn*
  4. Then and Now: Cancer Journals, Alicia Elifritz*
  5. Book Lovers, Emily Henry
  6. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley*
  7. Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, Beth Hoffman*
  8. Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, Michelle Zauner
  9. 6:20 Man: A Thriller, David Balducci
  10. The Land Remains: A Midwestern Perspective on Our Past and Future, Neil D. Hamilton

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

Life Resource books worth your consideration:

  1. (P)luck: Lessons We Learned for Improving Healthcare and the World. Blair Sadler and twin brother, Alfred, the dynamic medical doctor-lawyer team, infuse their invaluable resource with vital information that is applicable even beyond the world of just healthcare.
  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. 

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. Pella Books, Pella.
  8. Prairie Lights Books & Cafe, Iowa City.
  9. Storyhouse Bookpub, Des Moines Historic East Village.

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. An archive library of favorite interviews is on the website, and all recent interviews can be found at
  2. Gentle Guide to Theater – Timothy Rose renews his insights and information about the Central Iowa theatre scene with his new website. This site is anchored by the most navigable, informative calendar of upcoming things theatrical in this region.
  3. Center Stage – This Cityview monthly column covers feature stories about Central Iowa’s theatre scene. Distributed throughout the region and available online. Current column:
  4. 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.
  5. Art Week Des Moines – this annual, community/neighborhood celebration of the arts happens in several Greater Des Moines communities during the week leading up to the Des Moines Arts Festival. Planning, engagement and more happen throughout the year, and a diversity of input is welcomed and embraced by this initiative.
  6. 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.
  7. ia Magazine – Built upon the success of its Central Iowa counterpart, this annual gem brings enticing cultural news from across the state.
  8. Contact Buzz – This new column covers crossroads between creativity and culture, and is offered in the new Des Moines edition of Little Village magazine.
  9. Little Village magazine. This Des Moines edition of the iconic Iowa City monthly brings a progressive voice to Central Iowa readers.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Central Iowa Blues Society is the area’s connecting point for performance, presentations and education in the world of blues.
  13. 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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