dsmWeekly: April 13, 2022
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April 13, 2022

The design and functionality of living spaces such as living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, finished basements, bedrooms and master suites are important aspects of a happy home. Read more.
Award-winning choreographer Sonia Dawkins (right) directs a showcase at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photographer: Leiland Charles.

DMPA to Debut New Dance Theater Show

By Christine Riccelli

Des Moines Performing Arts will add to the city’s growing and vibrant dance scene when it premieres “Pieces of My Heart” June 9-12 at Stoner Theater in the Des Moines Civic Center. World-renowned choreographer Sonia Dawkins is creating the contemporary dance theater piece.

Based on seven unpublished poems by playwright August Wilson and his daughter Azula, the work explores the challenges and joy of love, Dawkins told dsm when she was in Des Moines recently. She says she hopes the audience “takes away a feeling of love from the [performance]—love you have for yourself, love for one another. The ‘Pieces of My Heart’ are the pieces of anyone’s heart.”

In addition to dancers, the one-act “choreopoem” will include actors and live musicians and feature a blues and jazz score. Dawkins says she wants the show to be uplifting, “so when the audience walks out, they feel the type of happiness and joy that can come from music, movement and the [spoken word].”

Dawkins debuted a 10-minute excerpt of “Pieces of My Heart” in 2017 with Philadanco (the Philadelphia Dance Company). Des Moines Performing Arts is underwriting a three-week residency for Dawkins and a team of dancers and actors, supporting the completion of the work into a full-length production.

Dawkins grew up in New Jersey and says she knew she wanted to be a choreographer by the time she was in sixth grade. The founder and artistic director of SD|Prism Dance Theatre, Dawkins currently is on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre School. She’s choreographed for companies across the United States, Europe and the Caribbean and also has been a faculty member at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Showtimes for “Pieces of My Heart” are 7:30 p.m. June 9-11 and 2 p.m. June 12.

A detail of “Bandwidth” by Chris Vance; mixed media on panel. Photo courtesy of Moberg Gallery.


Enjoy Visual Arts at Gallery Exhibits, Museum Talk

Take in an assortment of visual inspiration this weekend. Start early, on Thursday, at the Des Moines Art Center, which will host a gallery talk for its “Modern Concepts 1910-1960” exhibit. Director Jeff Fleming will lead the discussion. The event begins at 6 p.m.; learn more and register here.

Local artist Chris Vance will unveil his newest works at a reception at Moberg Gallery Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Inspired by the coexisting chaos and calm brought about by the pandemic, Vance has incorporated these dual themes into his new works, which will be displayed in couples, their balance and opposition meant to create a conversation between each piece. The event is free to attend; find details on Moberg’s Facebook event page.

Also continuing this weekend is “The Fringe,” a group exhibit that opened at Olson-Larsen Galleries last Friday. The exhibit features pop, surreal, abstract and hyperreal works by eight Iowa artists, including Becky Beckett, Maddy Fusco, Scott Sjobakken and Aaron Tinder.

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Our first look at market: Terracotta color story, wood tones feel natural, curvy sofas are amazing & color layering.
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A Night of Nat King Cole (Friday, 7 p.m.): Fred Gazzo will perform with musicians the Metropolitan 6 at Noce. There will be two back-to-back shows, the first beginning at 7 p.m. followed by a performance at 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

Chelsea Handler (Friday, 8 p.m.): Comedian Chelsea Handler will bring her “Vaccinated and Horny Tour” to the Des Moines Civic Center. If you know her comedy special on HBO Max, binged both of her Netflix series, watched her on E! or read one of her six best-selling books, you’ll want to get tickets for this event.

Comedian Johnny Beehner (Friday, Saturday, times vary): As seen on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Laughs,” comedian Johnny Beener will make a stop at the Funny Bone for two performances. Tickets are available for both showtimes here.

Iowa Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (all weekend, times vary): The Iowa Cubs are back, playing their first home games of the season against the Toledo Mud Hens. Cheer them on at Principal Park on Friday for a special Jackie Robinson Day tribute, or meet the Easter Bunny on Sunday. Tickets and details can be found on the Iowa Cubs website.
Discover Diverse Des Moines: Join us on May 17, when dsm will host Discover Diverse Des Moines at the Des Moines Heritage Center in the East Village (120 E. 5th St.). Local leaders and influencers will let us in on their favorite spots to experience our community’s rich diversity, including shops, restaurants, cultural attractions, neighborhoods and more. Doors open for networking at 4:30 p.m. and the program begins at 5:15 p.m. Get tickets for the event here. We look forward to seeing you there!
Spring Greens: The Des Moines Area Religious Council will host the 70th anniversary edition of its “Spring Greens” fundraising event May 12 at the Scottish Rite Conservatory (519 Park St.) beginning at 6 p.m. Funds raised will help DMARC fight food insecurity in Iowa. For tickets and information, click here. Iowa Stops Hunger is an ongoing Business Publications Corp. initiative to raise awareness of food insecurity and inspire action to combat it.
Book signing: Trailblazing attorney Roxanne Conlin will be at Beaverdale Books on April 19, 6:30-8 p.m., to sign copies of her biography. “Unstoppable: The Nine Lives of Roxanne Barton Conlin” by William B. Friedricks chronicles her rise from a difficult childhood to a leading Iowa attorney, feminist, political candidate and community leader. For more details, see the event on the Beaverdale Books website.

Fun(d) facts: The Des Moines Public Library Foundation will host its 2022 Trivia Smackdown fundraiser at Noce on April 29. Door and team prizes will be given for first place, last place, best team name and worst answer. Register your team here. Proceeds will benefit the foundation.

Jazz in July: Hoyt Sherman Place announced this morning that its free annual Jazz in July concert series is back for 2022. Concerts will be July 12, 19 and 26, with openers playing at 6 p.m. on the lawn and headliners performing at 7:30 p.m. on theater stage inside. Headlining acts include Yaala Ballin Trio July 12, the Gabriel Espinosa Band July 19, and Marilyn Maye 26. For a full lineup and additional details, go to the Hoyt Sherman website.

After a long winter, you can look forward to fresh produce and handmade goods each day of the week at farmers markets across Greater Des Moines. Photo courtesy of Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market.

Opening Soon: Fresh Farmers Markets

By Karla Walsh

My fellow fresh produce fiends, I know it’s been a long winter. But here’s some news that will grow on you: Farmers market season is about three weeks away, and we’ve compiled your guide to the top farmers markets in the metro. Mark your calendars now, and consider this your summer bucket list. Can you make it to them all?

Monday: Pleasant Hill Community Farmers Market (4 to 7 p.m. in the Berean Church parking lot). This small but mighty market is the place to be if you didn’t get your shopping done over the weekend.

Beaverdale Farmers Market (4 to 7 p.m. on the west side of Franklin Junior High)Johnston Farmers Market (3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Johnston Library). With brands with cult-like followings including Pie Bird Pies, Veggie Thumper, Karam's Mediterranean Grill and Scenic Route Bakery—plus  plenty of fresh produce—Beaverdale is giving downtown some serious competition as the buzziest market in Des Moines. And from beets to berries, Johnston can help you restock your shelves and refrigerator if you’re on the northwest side.

Waukee Farmers Market (4 to 7 p.m. in the Triangle); Bondurant Farmers Market (6 to 8 p.m. in Bondurant City Park); Indianola Farmers Market (3 to 6 p.m. at the Warren County Fairgrounds). This trio of smaller markets still offers plenty of variety. Swing by for everything from sourdough and sugar cookies to tomatoes and tubers, depending on the season. Bondurant showcases live music every week.

Valley Junction Farmers Market (4 to 8 p.m. along Fifth Street in Valley Junction).
After filling your reusable bag with produce and pies, pop into the main drag’s stores, including Candle Bar DSM, Heart of Iowa Marketplace, Bozz Prints and MoMere  before grabbing dinner at Cooper’s on 5th or G. Mig’s.

Grimes Farmers Market (4 to 7 p.m. at Grimes Public Library); Dallas Center Farmers Market (4 to 7 p.m. at Norwalk Christian Church). Craving fresh produce and food truck fare to wrap up the workweek? Head to the western suburbs and enjoy a two-stop market crawl.

Saturday: Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market (7 a.m. to 12 p.m. along Court Avenue), LSI Global Greens Farmers Market (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 3200 University Ave.); Ankeny Farmers Market (9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Ankeny Market and Pavilion Park); and Heart of Des Moines (on select summer Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sixth and Washington avenues). Options abound on Saturday. Tune in to next week’s dsmWeekly for the scoop about the brand-new downtown vendors. Or if you prefer to avoid the crowds, head to LSI’s central location, where your dollars will help support former refugees building small businesses. Up north, you’ll find your Heart of Des Moines one Saturday per month, and in Ankeny, save room for dinner after at Trailside Tap.
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