LGBTQ Legacy Leaders, Pizza Party, Winefest
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June 1, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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We at dsm are pleased to announce the 2021 honorees for our annual LGBTQ Legacy Leader Awards, spotlighting leaders and role models across the state for their work in advancing equality of LGBTQ+ individuals and for their other civic contributions.

The honorees include five people from the LGBTQ community as well as one ally:

  • Tim Hickman, Des Moines, principal at Substance Architecture.
  • Eugenia Kutsch-Stanton, Des Moines, research scientist at Corteva Agriscience.
  • Randy Mayer, Ames, chief of the Bureau of HIV, STD and Hepatitis at the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • John Schmacker, Des Moines, retired certified public accountant and nonprofit executive.
  • Elle Wyant, Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, account executive at United Parcel Service.
  • Dr. Kyle Christiason (ally), Cedar Falls, physician at UnityPoint Health.

We'll recognize these individuals during a virtual event in October. Watch our website and social media for dates and registration information.
    A fun and rewarding project that created a room we would love to hang out in.
    Pizza at the Plant Life Pizza Picnic has homemade crust with slightly charred edges and a "perfectly crunchy exterior," Karla Walsh writes.


    Writer: Karla Walsh

    While I adore the variety of a mixed menu, I’m pretty sure I could eat pizza every day. Hey, with the sauce, crust and toppings, you can cover all of your food bases! For this reason, I’m always on a quest to discover the latest and greatest slices.

    This summer, that just might be at the Plant Life Pizza Picnic. Making its debut on Friday, June 4, and occurring monthly throughout the summer, this event is co-hosted by Crafted Food Services owner/chef Jacob Schroeder (who you may remember from his Scotcheroo Hot Cocoa recipe featured in dsm) and Plant Life Designs owner Tara Dudley. I was lucky enough to score an early taste of the just-thick-enough homemade crust and was delighted by the slightly charred edges, tender crumb and perfectly crunchy exterior.

    “Every menu will include three different pizza topping options,” Schroeder says. “We’ll always have one cheese-focused pie, another vegetable-rich and one with meat.”

    With “all ingredients as local and seasonal as possible,” Schroeder says, each of the picnics will offer a fresh lineup of local partners, including Simple Life Farms cheese, Bread by Chelsa B and Bay Laurel Baking. A $60 ticket includes a welcome snack, one 10-inch wood-fired pizza, vegetable side, summery dessert and two cocktails—all offered in compostable and biodegradable containers. A cash bar will be available for additional drink purchases and you can snag supplemental snacks.

    To allow for timely pizza delivery and ample spacing, only 40 tickets are available, split by 10 across four time slots: 5, 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. Score your tickets here, while supplies last, and watch the Plant Life Designs website for future dates. Can’t make it this year? After the 2021 season, “the pizza picnic concept will be a private party option for summer 2022,” Schroeder confirms.

    If you're in the mood for more pizza ideas, Karla revealed her favorite locally owned pizza restaurants for every occasion.

      Winefest Des Moines is hosting a number of in-person events over the next couple of weeks, including wine tastings, its annual Lawn Party and more. Photo: Winefest Des Moines


      Winefest Des Moines is selling tickets for events between today and June 12, which include the annual Lawn Party, a community tasting featuring Ballet Des Moines, and a couple of virtual parties. But act fast: Some of the events have already sold out.

      The event kicks off today with Toasting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Des Moines Heritage Center in the East Village. Tickets are $110 and include a host of wines to try with paired appetizers from Gateway Market. The Lawn Party, one of the most popular events, takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on June 6. Included in the ticket price is a picnic from Tangerine Food Co., which has two packages at $25 and $35. There will also be live music and samples of local beverages.

      If you're interested in participating at home, Sips and the City (3:30-5:30 p.m., June 11) and the Grand Tasting (2-4 p.m., June 12) are virtual this year. Both have wine tasting packages for two, four or eight people with appetizers and desserts from five fabulous establishments.

      Find the full event lineup and registration information online.
        Spacious new townhomes and apartments put you in the heart of Des Moines’ iconic Beaverdale neighborhood, less than a block from locally-owned shopping, dining and services... Read more »
        This Des Moines outdoor kitchen was designed by Outdoor Transformations. Photo: Kristi Cobb.


        Designed by Outdoor Transformations of Granger, this Des Moines terrace is the perfect summer entertaining space.

        With a granite-topped island for perching with a glass of wine and slice of pizza made in the wood-fired oven, the dog-friendly outdoor space features zones for cooking, dining and relaxing. Other amenities include a sink, built-in cabinetry and a grill.

        “A common challenge with this type of overall design is making sure each element, the outdoor kitchen in this case, is the appropriate scale,” says Lynn Kuhn with Outdoor Transformations. “This was accomplished with ample counter space between appliances and an oversized unobstructed island top.”

        This project was an entry to dsm’s inaugural Home Design Awards. See the winning projects at

        Organizers say mortality, relationships, loyalty, love, honor, trust, assumptions, bias, family, how we treat caregivers, and dealing with dementia are all themes in "A Love Offering." Photo: Des Moines Community Playhouse


        "A Love Offering," a collaboration between the Des Moines Community Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Co., opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday. There will be both livestream and in-person viewing options.

        The show, written by Jonathan Norton, tells the story of T'Wana Jepson (played by Heaven Booker), a nurse's aide who works with Alzheimer's and dementia patients. She's been scratched, kicked, punched and called every name in the book. But after Jepson is attacked by a patient, her trust and friendship with Miss Georgia (played by Courageous Fire), her work companion, become threatened.

        Tickets are $29; $15 for students. Find registration information here. We'll be talking with Tiffany Johnson, Pyramid Theatre's artistic director, and Mark Pullen, an actor in the show, on the next dsm CultureCast podcast, released later this week. Listen to it, and subscribe, on Apple Podcast, Spotify and more.
          Joanie and Dan Houston at a past Bravo Gala.


          A photo showcase of nonprofit fundraising events, dsm’s rsvp section has always been a fan favorite; readers tell us again and again how they love finding out what’s been happening on the party scene and discovering who was where. The section was launched with the first issue of dsm, back in 2003, and appeared in every issue until the pandemic forced an abrupt halt to in-person events.

          But now, as the virus continues to retreat and in-person fetes are starting to return, we’re excited to report we’ll resume the rsvp section starting with the September issue. If your nonprofit organization is hosting an event, send us your photos! The deadline for the September issue is July 1. You’ll find instructions on how to submit and additional details here. We look forward to sharing your soiree with our community!
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