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

“Art is not a thing, it is a way.” – Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. Raised in Hudson, Illinois, he had early success as a traveling salesman for the Larkin Soap Company. 

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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 – Madhu Raghavendra’s poetry spans a special spectrum of insights in his Being Non-Essential collection. Penning poetry as eloquent as his conversation, listen as Madhu shares insights into his inspirations and motivations. “When immersing oneself into Madhu Raghavendra’s poetry, the reader plunges into a world of respectfully crafted imagery. Meticulous, loving weavings of words beckon the reader to speak each poem aloud, adding a resonant power to his poetic gifts.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 11:16 AM – Ben Godar is the driving force behind Des Moines Film and Varsity Cinema, with the signature gem of his efforts being the renovation and restoration of the Varsity Cinema to a greater glory, while retaining its unique niche in the metro’s cinematic history. Listen, learn and connect.
  • 11:30 AM – Renee Linnell continues sharing her story in Still on Fire, the captivating sequel to her inaugural memoir, The Burn Zone. Renee has embraced her zest for life and overcome obstacles most will never face, and through her transparency, we all will learn more about ourselves. We shouldn’t be afraid of our stories,” says Renee. “And we shouldn’t see anything that happened to us as ‘wrong.’ We are in these human bodies for such a brief period of time. Why hide who we are?”
  • 11:46 AM – Tallgrass Theatre Company’s Marketing Director, Lisa Richards, shares glimpses into a very appealing 2022-2023 Season of shows. Tallgrass has developed a stellar reputation for its show selection, production values and audience experience, and Lisa chats about these traits and more in this enlightening invitation to become a regular attendee at Tallgrass in their new location. “Tallgrass Theatre Company has blazed its own unique trail in Iowa’s theatre landscape, bringing high-caliber stage shows other companies don’t produce. The intimacy of its new theatre space and its attention to high production values create its signature ‘Tallgrass Experience’ for patrons.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:00 PM – Already a gifted, published writer of critically acclaimed short stories, Caitlin Hamilton Summie’s goal was to write a novel. Geographies of the Heart is her debut, and it is a resounding success, receiving wave after wave of praise. Caitlin takes some time to share insights and the genesis of her beautiful book. Be sure to read this gem – Caitlin represents a new wave of great storytellers. “Geographies of the Heart is a landmark achievement in the remarkable writing career of Caitlin Hamilton Summie. This debut novel captivates, pulsing with a deep, cinematic vibrancy. Geographies of the Heart is filled with characters that beguile, enchant and bond with the reader in a brilliant, immersive literary experience.” – The Culture Buzz
  • 12:17 PM – New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis delivers another historical novel rooted in the vibrancy of ‘if these walls could talk’ allure. The Frick mansion’s legacy provides the foundation for Fiona’s storytelling, as she deftly brings historical and ‘plausible history’ together in a rip-roaring great read. “The colliding narratives and comprehensive descriptions of the historic mansion make for Davis’s best work to date.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • 12:30 PM – Eden Collinsworth takes us on an historical adventure in What the Ermine Saw: The Extraordinary Journey of Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Mysterious Portrait, anchored by da Vinci’s famous portrait of a woman with the namesake animal. Providing peaks into the creation of this gem, Eden delivers a spirited conversation. “Collinsworth unwinds a thoroughly captivating story about a single painting . . . Filled with beauty, passion, greed, and evil, [her] search is a spirited art history yarn.” – Kirkus
  • 12:45 PM – Talented novelist Mary Keliikoa returns with another irresistible story in Deceived, Book 3 of her Kelly Pruett mystery series. Discover the latest adventures that such a wonderful protagonist as Pruett endures to weave her way through the thrilling story. “This mystery hits all the right notes! In the third book of the series, Kelly Pruett’s undercover investigation of a homeless shelter leads to missing girls, drug dealing, and murder. Heartfelt characters and a twisting and turning plot kept me turning the pages. Another winner by Mary Keliikoa.” – David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Anthony and Thriller Award-Winning Author of Winter Counts

Performance Arts

  1. Ankeny Community TheatreGodspell. Thru Aug 14.
  2. Des Moines Performing Arts. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Aug 23-28.
  3. 48 Hour Film Project. Screening Aug 9, 10 (final 2 groups of 3) 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
  4. TeeHee’s Comedy Club. “Live from Des Moines, it’s FRIDAY NIGHT!” After four long years, live and local sketch comedy is back in Des Moines. TeeHee’s Comedy Club on Walnut Street in downtown Des Moines announced two shows on Fri Aug 26 for the Des Moines Sketch Pad – the newest local sketch comedy troupe. Shows are at 7:00 and 9:30 PM with tickets available now from TeeHee’s website. Des Moines Sketch Pad, led by Tim Overton, but filled with seasoned improv and standup talent from the Des Moines area, will be presenting their newly written show, “Iowa Nice.”

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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