Sunday, May 22, 2022

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The Culture Buzz


Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:

There is a diverse and appealing array of cultural indulgences awaiting the Cultural Adventurer in Central Iowa. Leave the personal devices behind and savor the rich offerings that performing arts, exhibitions and more offer. Sally forth and reward yourself.

Featured Cultural Offering:

Celina Karp Biniaz will be visiting Central Iowa for a series of presentations. This amazing woman is one of the last survivors from Schindler’s List and brings her experiences and this unbelievable time in world history into vivid and unforgettable perspective. Proudly presented by Iowa Jewish Historical Society, Ames Jewish Congregation, Hillel at ISU, Chabad of Ames, Ames Historical Society, Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines.

Sun Mar 31 at The Great Hall at Memorial Union, Ames, 2229 Lincoln Way. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Free admission, first come first seated.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

Mon Apr 1 at Tifereth Israel Synagogue, 924 Polk Blvd, Des Moines. 7:00 pm. This is the first time that Celina, Alex, and Ambrose are presenting together! “Memories and Melodies of Auschwitz” featuring Celina Karp Biniaz with Alex Biniaz-Harris and Ambrose Soehn.

Pianists and Composers of “Melodies of Auschwitz.”

Performed at the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, January, 2015

Tue, Wed, Thu Apr 2,3,4 at various DMACC campuses. Tue – Ankeny campus Bldg 6, 10:00-11:05 am; Wed – Urban campus, Bldg 1, Rms 124-126, 10:10 – 11:01 AM; Boone campus, Boone campus theater. 11:15 am – 12:40 pm.

Other Cultural Considerations:

1.       SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY, Stephens Auditorium, Ames,Fri Mar 29,7:30 p.m.

Three members of the San Francisco Symphony will be returning to their Iowa roots as they perform at Stephens Auditorium, managed by VenuWorks, on Friday, March 29 at 7:30pm. Jacob Nissly, originally from Grimes, IA, John Engelkes, originally from Parkersburg, IA, and Linda Lukas, who studied at the University of Iowa, will join what is widely considered to be among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States.

2.       Join Iowa Repertory Theatre Company for the 2nd Annual Cocktails & Cabaret Fundraising Event! Sat Mar 30, 2019 at 6:30pm, Mainframe Studios, 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines. Your generosity will help ISTC continue to bring great theater from the classics to the cutting edge.

3.       Eat Your Heart Out opens Fri Mar 29 for Tallgrass Theatre Company and runs through Apr 14. Alice and Gabe are desperate to adopt a child. Nance, a single mom just starting to date, struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, Evie. And Evie wishes her best friend, Colin, could fall for her rather than just trying to fix things. With both humor and aching insight, these lives are woven together in a tale of parental hopes and fears, and of hearts consumed by longing.

4.       Des Moines Book Festival is Sat Mar 30 at Capital Square in downtown Des Moines. This celebration of literature has a bounty of presentations, activities and engagement opportunities for everyone and the event is free and open to the public. 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

5.       Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus opens Tue Mar 26 at the Temple Theater through Apr 14. This Off-Broadway hit comedy is a one-man fusion of theatre and stand-up, and is a light-hearted theatrical comedy based on the New York Times #1 best-selling book of the last decade by John Gray.

6.       Catch Me If You Can runs through Apr 14 at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. This fast-paced musical is brought to lively appeal on stage as the Playhouse continues its celebration of its 100th anniversary season.

7.       Cinderella Lunch-n-Laughs is a perfect afternoon dinner theatre for families with children between the ages of 3 to 6. A child-friendly buffet lunch is served prior to families settling in for a short play usually 30 minutes to an hour in length. After the play, children are invited to chat with the stars and get autographs. Tickets are available via the CAP Theatre website: – just $10 for youth ages 3-18 and $16 for adults.
Saturdays Mar 30 2019. Doors open 11:00am, lunch by 11:30am, show at noon

8.       ‘One of Iowa’s great unique events, Greenfield’s Iowa Aviation Museum holds its 22nd annual “Chili Fly-In/Drive-In” at one of the state’s most fascinating immersions into aerial history. The food is fun, the flying is fantastic and the memories are priceless. Come support this cultural treasure while enjoying the welcoming warmth of Iowa at its best. Sat Apr 6 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, serving “Buffalo & Chicken” Chili, Homemade bars, hot cider and coffee, the cost is a mere $7.50/adults, $4/children under 12. This dedicated museum board even offers “chili to go.” Located on Hwy 25 just on the north side of Greenfield at 2251 Airport Road, this destination is an easy under-an-hour drive from Des Moines. Check out the short video on their website’s home page featuring Iowa’s Paul Berge (who hosted a travel series on Iowa Public Television).

Auditions and Other Participation Opportunities:

1.     CAP Theatre auditions coming up: Actors ages 7 to 16, auditions for Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr are scheduled for Saturday, March 30 at 2pm at our theatre. Performances are June 7-16 and includes week day matinees for day cares and summer programs.

Actors ages 12 to 22, auditions for William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing are scheduled for Saturday, May 18 at 9:00am at our theatre. Performances are July 25-28 under the beautiful summer sky in the amphitheater at Haines Park in Altoona.

2.     7th Annual Ankeny Authors Fair. Apr 13, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM at the Kirkendall Public Library, 1210 NW Prairie Ridge Drive, Ankeny. Dozens of authors from across Iowa will be on hand to talk about their writing, and sell and sign their books.  The authors will be located all throughout the library’s adult area. Please come and meet authors from all over the state. We will have authors of picture books, poems, mystery, romance and more. There will be something for everyone in our community! Light refreshments will be provided while they last. For more information, contact Justin at 515-965-6458.

3.     Polk County Heritage Gallery ***Call for Artists*** The gallery has currently one limited space remaining for exhibits of individual artists and artists groups from Oct 7, 2019 to Nov 1, 2019. If you are seeking a downtown Des Moines space to exhibit this year, please follow this submission process.

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.     Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny.

3.     Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.

4.     Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),

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.     Center Stage – John Busbee also writes this Cityview column. See what is happening on Central Iowa’s stages. Distributed throughout the region and available online.

2.     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.

3.     A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre is Central Iowa’s source for knowing what productions by which companies are available when. In short, you can know what’s playing before it happens rather than after the fact. Timothy Rose created this site with its comprehensive theatre calendar for you, the cultural consumer. He includes articles and more, making this a worthy destination when curious about what’s happening in Central Iowa’s theatre scene.

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.

Creatively yours, John Busbee

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