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This video captures some of the character of our last unveiling event. We hope you can join us for the one today.


Your resolutions included attending more dsm events, didn't they? Today's a great opportunity: We'll unveil our new January/February issue at a swell reception. It's a come-anytime open house at the new Warners' Stellian Appliance, 370 Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines. We'll be there from 5 to 7 p.m (short program and distribution of the magazines will be at 6 p.m.). The new issue has a stunning cover and some surprising stories. Get your free copy today.

Want a bigger incentive? OK, some lucky person at this event will win a Wolf gourmet countertop oven. Someone else will win a KitchenAid Pro Line toaster. You'll also enjoy food, drinks and networking. See you there.

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The spirit of the day before Prohibition is rekindled in retro style in Ken's Speakeasy, in the basement of the Iowa Taproom.


By Wini Moranville

The 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of liquor, officially took effect on Jan. 17, 1920. Imagine the kind of end-of-the-world revelry that likely went on the night before the bars closed up and everyone went underground to drink.

The Iowa Taproom is celebrating the centennial of the end of legal drinking with a special event. "Last Day of Freedom" will be 6 to 9 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 16. The event will be a chance to party like it's the last day of legal booze as well as a way to get a taste of libations that will be served in the soon-to-open Ken’s Speakeasy. Honoring infamous Des Moines bootlegger Kenneth Sonderleiter, Ken’s will serve whiskey and gin cocktails that feature Templeton Rye and other Iowa-distilled spirits.

The speakeasy will be located in the Iowa Taproom basement, in the handsome and cozy Joliet Room, which looks rather 1920 in itself, thanks to its exposed-brick walls, unfinished wood ceilings and vintage bar. The "Last Day of Freedom" party will preview exclusive Templeton Rye cocktails soon to be served in the speakeasy. These include a winter-perfect Hot Buttered Rye.

Iowa Taproom co-owner Jeff Bruning feels that Ken’s is a perfect fit for the Iowa Taproom, which has "always prided itself on All Things Iowa." He adds that with Ken’s Speakeasy, he hopes to eschew the "high-dollar drinks and gimmickry" that you sometimes see in today’s neo-speakeasies.

"Ken’s drinks will cost $6 to $8," says Bruning. "Most drinks will have three or less ingredientsthey’ll be simple drinks, which I think would have been predominantly sold at a real speakeasy back in the day."

Knowing how thoroughly talented Bruning and his Full Court Press colleagues are at bringing a genuine feel to great cultural/historic ideas (e.g., the Royal Mile and High Life Lounge), I’ve no doubt Ken’s will hit that mark.

The Iowa Taproom is at 215 E. Third St., Suite 100; 515-243-0827;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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Chris Cain's prowess as a blues performer has taken him from his native California to international prominence.


Twenty acts will perform over two nights on three floors when the 26th annual Winter Blues Fest returns downtown at the Marriott, Feb. 14 and 15.

The show is produced by the Central Iowa Blues Society, and will include a guitar workshop presented by blues master Chris Cain. A two-day pass is $45; tickets for Friday, Feb. 14, are $20; and Saturday only is $30. Tickets purchased at the door are $5 higher. For tickets, the schedule and info about performers, click here.

We're celebrating the centennial of universal suffrage—but in millennia past, women didn't just vote, they were in charge.


We're intrigued by a new theater series at the Civic Center—in addition to the Dance Series, Broadway Series and other programs, Des Moines Performing Arts has added a National Geographic Live series, presenting archaeological and natural history topics through the wisdom of extraordinary experts on the subjects. 

So it should be fascinating to see "When Women Ruled the World," at the Civic Center Tuesday, Jan. 21. Presenting the program is respected American Egyptologist Kara Cooney. With the number of U.S. female candidates hoping to become president, it might seem we've come a long way. But Cooney will focus on a time when women ruled the world, with a power and influence that is undeniable. One of them was the first woman to claim the title of king. 

Tickets are $15 to $48. Click here for tickets and more information.

A detail from "Jazz," a 48 x 72-inch mixed-media painting by Chuck Hipsher, represented by Moberg Gallery.


Winter days are a great time to wander through local art galleries, looking for "that perfect piece" or some new inspiration. Moberg Gallery on Ingersoll, for example, has a couple of featured artists this month.

Frank Hansen is an Iowa artist who uses reclaimed materials to create works drawn from childhood memories, social/political topics, inside jokes and absurd imagery. He's the focus of a current exhibit that opened Friday. Raised on a small farm near Des Moines, Hansen formed his artistic vision early on by collaging the rusty old junk found nearby. Hansen's process can be spontaneous at times, while other works are constructed over months and years.

An exhibition of work by Chuck Hipsher opens with a free public reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Hipsher is interested in the gesture or movement involved in the act of creating his art. He believes nothing is precious, that all is subject to change and depends on state of mind during the development. His abstract paintings indicate the tension between motion and rest, with a vibrancy of color and stroke.

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