dsmWeekly: November 23, 2021
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November 23, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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Editor-in-Chief Christine Riccelli (right) unveils the latest issue with photographer Jill Neil. You can take part in our unveiling parties and other community-focused events when joining our team.


We've just posted two exciting opportunities at our company! We're looking for people who are passionate about local publishing and our community to join our team.

Assistant Editor: Working with dsm magazine, the assistant editor will provide multiplatform project leadership and editorial coverage of topics related to arts and culture, food and dining, events, home, shopping, and more. A major focus will be on digital, including our newsletters, video strategy and social media.

Content Strategy Manager: This position will serve as the content leader and strategist for our creative agency division, WriteBrain. The content strategy manager will oversee project direction for dsm publications and WriteBrain custom content publications, as well as plan, organize and create content that drives results for clients.
Neutrals are at the core of much of today's interior design. And white may be the perfect neutral for you.
The Cheese Shop's monthly subscription includes two 8-ounce seasonal cheeses, a perfect gift for the holiday.


Writer: Karla Walsh

Some of the biggest shopping days of the year—Black Friday and Small Business Saturday—are just hours away. But no need to wait. All of these gifts can be purchased at a local shop. We’ve made your list, now check it twice and see who is lucky enough to deserve one of our 2021 gift guide selections.

Best for Those Who Don’t Want “Stuff”
Known for her legendary focaccia and laughter-filled cooking classes, local chef and Italian food expert Alessandra Meschini has assembled at-home recipe kits. Each $45 package includes one of her signature recipes, plus all of the shelf-stable ingredients needed to whip it up at the recipient’s leisure. Opt for that focaccia, pasta with from-scratch tomato sauce, or chocolate and nut biscotti.
Buy it: $45

Best for Cheese Board Devotees
For a gift that keeps on giving, subscribe to the Cheese Shop’s club. Each month, the gift recipient will be treated to two 8-ounce monger-selected seasonal cheeses along with details about the creamery, the cheese-making process and ideal food and drink pairings. No worries if they don’t live within driving distance; the club box can be shipped across the Midwest, or score a 40% discount if they live locally and can snag it in-store.
Buy it: $340 for six months

Best for Wine Aficionados (or Those Who Want to Be)
You’ve seen your loved one’s social media photos and know they often enjoy meals with wine but have no idea what their favorite grape or flavor might be. Enter the Cave's curated two-pack of wine. Peek at whether they lean toward red, white or rose—or a mix—then choose that from the drop-down menu. Then name your price range ($50 or $75) and the recipient’s “adventure level”mildly, pretty or so adventurous. Co-owners Nick and Heather Leo and their wine pro team will pull the perfect bottles for you to pick up and deliver.
Buy it: $50 or $75

Gift Idea Speed Round
  • For avid home cooks, consider the Olive Tap’s You-Pick-4 Sampler Set of 100-milliliter gourmet oils and vinegars ($37.50).
  • For at-home mixologists, buy a bottle of Foundry Distilling Co.’s “The Real Stuff,” a whiskey that pays homage to rural farmers ($30).
  • For those who can’t start the day without a cup of coffee, sign them up for DreiBerge Coffee’s monthly bean subscription. Their brick and mortar shop closed, but they’re still selling wholesale versions of their top-notch coffees ($18 for 12 ounces per month).
  • For the hard-to-shop-for, opt for a gift card to their favorite restaurant—or one of your MVP spots to introduce them to something new.
Michael Kennedy, founder of Component Wines in California, will take patrons through three varieties of wines at an upcoming Winefest Des Moines event. Photo: Winefest Des Moines


Winefest Des Moines will host a Behind the Blend Wine Flight event Dec. 9 with Michael Kennedy, founder of Component Wines in California's Napa Valley. At Splash Seafood Bar and Grill downtown, Kennedy will walk patrons through what goes into creating Component's petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon and merlot, all of which will be available for sampling.

Splash will provide cheese plates and chocolates to pair with the drinks. Tickets are $220 and on sale until Dec. 8. Get them fast—Winefest events typically sell out quickly.
Betta splendens, a freshwater fish, is just one of the new characters introduced in Ballet Des Moines' refreshed second act of "The Nutcracker," which will have showtimes stretching two weekends on Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 17-18.
Photo: Jami Milne, Ballet Des Moines


If you haven't seen "The Nutcracker" in a whileand even if you havethis is the year to go. Ballet Des Moines is updating the beloved holiday show to be more inclusive and thoughtful while retaining the story's classic elements and iconic Tchaikovsky score.

As part of the update, the company will shift the second act of the show to replace "Chinese, Arabian, and Russian stereotypes with scenes and characters that imaginatively bring the classic music to life in breathtaking new ways," organizers say. The new characters will come to life through the help of well-known local fashion designer Sarah Dornink, who has joined Ballet Des Moines as wardrobe director.

“Ballet has more to offer than imitation and re-enactment. We are inspired to use our art to bring a wide range of relevant stories to life,” Tom Mattingly, Ballet Des Moines’ new artistic director, said in a news release. “We hope everyone can find something personal to connect to in our performances, whether it’s the bravado of a young stag, the sparkling beauty of a Dew Drop Fairy, or the wonder of a child’s imagination.”

In addition to shows Dec. 10-12 at Hoyt Sherman Place, there will be a second weekend of showtimes on Dec. 17-18 at the Staplin Performing Arts Center in West Des Moines. Audiences can expect to see a performance led by 10 professional dancers alongside hundreds of students from 34 Central Iowa dance studios. See the full "Nutcracker" schedule online.
Walk through holiday lights and decor at the Festival of Trees and Lights. Photo: Catch Des Moines


Blank Children's Hospital will host the 38th annual Festival of Trees and Lights at the Iowa Events Center this weekend. The event will have a guided, one-way path through decorated trees and holiday decor. Also featured will be stories of children cared for at Blank.

In addition, visitors can browse and buy items at the holiday gift shop or participate in a gingerbread contest. There also will be children's activities.

Tickets are $5 per person. For safety precautions, masks are required, and there will be designated starting times. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Funds raised will benefit the hospital's Child Life program and the Center for Advocacy and Outreach.
A freshman at Drake University, December Paw developed a love of abstract painting and drawing through ArtForce Iowa.


This story appears in our Lifting the Veil issue, which was released this week. Find the full publication here.

Writer: Brianne Sanchez

It was the guitar that first drew her in. When December Paw was a student at North High School, leaders from ArtForce Iowa, a nonprofit organization with a mission to transform youths in need through art, visited her family’s apartment complex. Paw remembers deciding to participate in the program after seeing Christine Her, the organization’s executive director, perform a few songs.

“They said there were a lot of opportunities for drawing, painting and music,” Paw says. “It was the instrument I was interested in first. I wanted to learn how to play guitar.”

ArtForce Iowa artist mentors facilitate an uplifting space for program participants, 12- to 19-year-olds who either come from immigrant, refugee and first-generation backgrounds or are court-involved. Designed specifically to serve participants who have experienced trauma, weekly creative workshops use healing-centered engagement strategies that build resiliency. (Currently, workshops are being held virtually while the organization searches for a suitable physical location.)

Read the rest of the story online.
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