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John Schmidt, Corrine Ganske and Eric Lothe were among those attending last year's event for Lifting the Veil.


We're grateful for your support of recent dsm events, and we hope many of you will join us for the launch of another magazine we proudly produce: Lifting the Veil is an annual look into important aspects of mental health in Central Iowa.

Why? Because it’s imperative that our community recognizes the importance of mental health care and the challenges surrounding its availability. And because every person in Greater Des Moines is affected, directly or indirectly, by mental health issues.

We invite you to join us and dignitaries ranging from mental health advocates to Gov. Kim Reynolds. Learn about health care perspectives from a panel discussion, and get a copy of Lifting the Veil, 7-9 a.m. Dec. 10, at the Science Center of Iowa. For more information and tickets ($35, $20 for nonprofits), click here.  

Everything is better in pairs. Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Bert and Ernie. But one of the best pairs is burgers and beers. When you’re in the mood for a hearty burger and a cold brew, here are the top five places in Edina. ... Read more »

Ally Koch Billhorn of Wilton creates flour-sack tea towels, printed with her famous banana bread recipe.


By Wini Moranville

Sending gifts near and far this holiday season? Consider skipping the usual food-basket catalogs, and offer friends and family a food (or food-related) gift that’s Iowa made or purveyed. And, by the way, this Saturday would be a great time to do so – it’s #SmallBusinessSaturday; the items here hail from small businesses:

• Gong Fu Tea: Eight years ago, I gave a San Francisco-dwelling friend a gift box of rare specialty teas from this East Village shop. She said she’s never found a better white tea than the one I sent her. She continues to order it from our local venue, which attests to just how impressive these teas are.

• Beaverdale Confections: This cute neighborhood candy shop’s homemade chocolate-covered marshmallows are sheer delight; in fact, I try to pop in and buy a small box every time I’m in the area. For someone on your list who’s been very, very good, consider sending the "Cocoa and Marshies" combo gift ($19.95), with homemade marshmallows and a tin of their select hot cocoa powder.

• Famous Banana Bread Flour Sack Heirloom Towel: Food bloggers are small businesses, too (unless they’ve gone mega like the Pioneer Woman!). Ally Koch Billhorn, who blogs from Wilton, Iowa, has recently produced a charming flour-sack tea towel ($17.98), printed with her famous banana bread recipe written in her trademark handwriting. Sweet on its own, the flour sack will make an even better gift if you bake a batch of the bread to present with it. Order the gift on Billhorn’s Sweet and Savory Eats website.

"Home Alone" never fails to amuse, especially when the John Williams score is performed onstage by an orchestra.


The Des Moines Symphony shares its funny side with Thanksgiving weekend screenings of "Home Alone," the beloved holiday comedy film released in 1990. Led by guest conductor John Beal, the orchestra will play John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score as the complete film is shown in HD on a giant screen. A 70-voice choir of Des Moines Public School students will join the orchestra onstage to sing carols featured in the film.

"Home Alone," dubbed a "carefree and wry" comedy by the New York Times, features Macaulay Culkin as an 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation and must defend his home against two bungling burglars.

"Home Alone in Concert" will be performed at the Des Moines Civic Center on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 1, at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-$75 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 515-246-2300, or at the Civic Center ticket office.

A partial view of "Victory!," silkscreen on paper by Jason Garcia (Okuu Pin), is among contemporary works by indigenous artists, which will be exhibited through Jan. 12. Photo: Rich Sanders.


In honor of Native Americans, the Des Moines Art Center and the Iowa Capitol have exhibits that should be of interest to all Iowans.

The Art Center is featuring
work from the museum’s holdings by contemporary indigenous artists. From the pop art-inspired works of Fritz Scholder to Duane Slick’s poetic reflections on prairie wildlife, this exhibit presents an array of subject matter and concerns, from historic conflict to environmental preservation. The exhibition will feature ledger drawings from the collections of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, offering contemporary takes from previous centuries. Works by Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith and Jason Garcia will also be on view, as well as a suite of recent accessions by Kent Monkman.

Likewise, the Capitol has something new to intrigue visitors: a permanent display of flags representing Native American tribes with ties to Iowa.
The flags were added earlier in November, which is Native American Heritage Month.

Superman, Batman and Robin ride epic surf in "My Wave," by Santlov; C-Print, 12x18 inches.


If you’ve never attended a local gallery opening, you now have no excuse not to: Three of the city’s top galleries will host opening receptions for new shows Dec. 6; coordinate your schedule and transportation route to hit all three.

  • At Liz Lidgett Gallery and Design in the East Village, artist Andrea Ferrigno will be in the spotlight. A native of Des Moines who now lives in Galesburg, Illinois, Ferrigno creates bright, engaging abstractions that she says are "inspired and informed by the systems of science and mathematics and how those systems describe natural phenomena." (Opening reception 4-7 p.m.;

  • Moberg Gallery’s annual winter group show features the work of Miami photographer and graphic artist Santlov. He has gained a following through his use of toys and images of toys, and cartoon and movie characters from his childhood, placing them in eerie yet captivating scenarios that we’re eager to see in person. (Opening reception 5-8 p.m.;

  • The annual and intriguing small works show at Olson-Larsen Galleries showcases compact works, ideal for holiday gifts. For that reason, says gallery owner Susan Watts, "it’s one of our more popular shows." Among those featured this year is Tilly Woodward, whose hyper-realistic oil paintings are photo-like, even on a small scale. (Opening reception 5-7 p.m.;

It's the joyful time of year for parties and dining out with friends. We have you covered with dsm's new Party Book.


'Tis the season for friends and family. So we thought 'tis also the season for a guide to drinking and dining, shopping and entertaining in Greater Des Moines. Check out dsm's The Party Book, a handbook for the season--and all year long. It's filled with our recommendations, from bars to boutiques, from bargains to fine dining. You can read it (and refer to it often) on our website here. Or stop by our office for a free copy (we'll be happy to meet you). We're in the Depot on Fourth, 100 Fourth St. in downtown Des Moines.

An illuminating tribute to "The Wizard of Oz," this display represents the enchanting realm of "Jolly Holiday Lights."


Like many of you, we enjoyed diving into the holiday season last week at the East Village Holiday Promenade. Within the next week, we're looking forward to these additional favorites of the season.

• It's always fun to discover crafts and other gifts at Market Day Black Friday, which runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, in Capital Square's atrium. To learn more, click here.

• If you want to see expressions of gleeful wonderment on the faces of little kids, introduce them to the slow drive through "Jolly Holiday Lights" at Adventureland in Altoona. Proceeds go to Make-a-Wish Iowa, which has used this event to fund some 700 children's wishes. The adventures begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, and continue to Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24 and 25). The 2.5-mile drive through 100 light features costs $20 per car. For details, click here. (A tip: Weekends get very busy, as do days during the week before Christmas. Just sayin'.)

• Also consider the Festival of Trees and Lights, a five-day public event that raises money each year for Blank Children's Hospital. Expect an indoor forest of festive trees, plus entertainment, children's activities, food and shopping. For details, click here.

• And the gentle jazz of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," a cartoon favorite for more than 50 years, will fill the jazz caberet Noce on Tuesdays—Dec. 3, 10 and 17—performed by the Peter Roberts Band. Tickets start at $20. For details on this and other Noce shows, click here.
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