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Here at dsm magazine, we are pleased once again to share the annual list of civic leaders to be celebrated as Sages Over 70. They'll be the toast of the town in November, when we honor their accomplishments in print and at a reception Nov. 11 at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel, where each will share insights into their approach to life. In addition to success in their own careers, each has contributed significantly in the personal development of others, in the growth of Greater Des Moines and in support of charitable causes and institutions. This year's sages:

  • Penny Furgerson, choreographer, pharmacist and mentor.
  • Ruth Ann Gaines, legislator, teacher and mentor.
  • Ruth and Tom Harkin, double honorees who have devoted their lives to public service.
  • John Pappajohn, business developer and philanthropist. 
  • Ila Plasencia, Latina community leader and civic volunteer.
  • Mary Seidler, banker, commercial real estate broker and advocate for the arts.

Watch our website (, this newsletter and our Facebook page for more information about these remarkable individuals and the reception to honor them.


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One of the nicest places to enjoy outdoor dining is poolside on the Des Moines Art Center's courtyard.


By Wini Moranville

Gastronomic options have narrowed now that Baru 66 and Proof have shuttered. While spokespeople for both promise a reprise, here are two epicurean feasts to consider while we await more news:

• Outstanding in the Field: This annual series of long-table dinners set in idyllic spots wherever food is grown or harvested is making another stop in Iowa this year, on Tuesday, July 30, at 4 p.m. Jordan and Whitney Clasen of Grade A Gardens are the host farmers, as they were last year, when Jordan proposed to Whitney during the reception (she said yes). Heading up the kitchen is Kevin Scharpf of Dubuque’s Brazen Open Kitchen a restaurant I’ve thoroughly enjoyed on two visits. Tickets cost $265 per person (not including tax and ticketing fees). Find out more on the Outstanding in the Field website.

• A Celebration of Summer by Tangerine at the Art Center: As I reported in this recent article in dsm magazine, Tangerine catering company, the new steward of the Des Moines Art Center restaurant, is doing ambitious, fine-tuned work for lunchtime service. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, food lovers will have a chance to see what this talented kitchen can do in a more relaxed and extended dinner setting. According to co-owner Susan Madorsky, the goal of the seven-course dinner is to celebrate summer, alfresco dining and the fabulous courtyard at the Art Center. "We are so in love with the space; we want to use it more than our limited lunch hour allows," Madorsky says. She says to expect more such events in the future. Wine pairings, tax and tip are included in the $135 ticket price. Get tickets on the Art Center’s website.

The Flaming Lips, formed in Oklahoma, perform in Des Moines tomorrow.


After a soggy start to its first season, the amphitheater at Water Works Park has two concerts in the next week, with more slated through September. The Flaming Lips perform tomorrow (Wednesday, July 24), along with the Claypool Lennon Delirium and Particle Kid. Then on Sunday, July 28, the Des Moines Symphony performs the music of noted movie composer John Williams.

Catch Ben Folds and the Violent Femmes Aug. 15, along with Savannah Conley. Three final amphitheater concerts are scheduled for September. Find details on all performances at

Balloons will fill the skies over Indianola again Friday, with the opening of the National Balloon Classic.


Things are looking up in Indianola, where the nine-day National Balloon Classic starts Friday, July 26. The event features more than 100 brilliantly colorful hot-air balloons with ascents scheduled each morning and evening, weather permitting. Balloon pilots are competing, but throngs gather for the spectacle at the takeoff site, 15335 Jewell St. Mornings are free; evenings require tickets. For details, click here.

Intaglio monoprint on handmade kozo paper by Timothy Freichs, one of the artists featured in an exhibition at Olson-Larsen Galleries. 


A trio of art professors are featured in the Olson-Larsen Gallery exhibition "Lines and Layers," opening with a public reception Friday, July 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. The artists are Tim Frerichs, who teaches at the State University of New York, Fredonia; Susan Chrysler White, from the University of Iowa; and Andrew Kaufman, of Grinnell College. The versatile Kaufman considers himself a "convergent artist," letting idea dictate medium, ranging from video and sound to sculpture and digital printing. The exhibition runs through Sept. 7.

This ninth and most recent "art bus" in the DART fleet hit the streets in March. The next will be revealed Thursday.


The 10th in a series of local "art buses" will be revealed Thursday, July 25. The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation and the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) report that this latest bus in the series will feature a design created by noted local artist and architect Mitchell Squire, an associate professor at Iowa State University. Read more about Squire in this story that appeared last year in dsmWeekly.

The bus unveiling Thursday will be at 1 p.m. in front of the sculpture "A Monumental Journey," located at Grand and Second avenues in downtown Des Moines.

What young child can resist dancing through the spontaneously gushing fountains at Cowles Commnons?


"Fam Jam" is a series of three family-friendly free events this summer at Cowles Commons. You can experience it Sunday, July 28, when it features the music of Alex & the Kaleidoscope. Each "Fam Jam" event starts at 11 a.m. and includes a band with music tailored for children, bounce houses, art projects and activity stations, and food trucks in addition to the Commons' popular fountains.

Alex & the Kaleidoscope presents interactive musical entertainment, targeted for children 4-8 years old, that encourages and inspires kids to celebrate and learn through the power of songs, fun facts and adventures.

To learn more about the "Fam Jam" dates and programs, visit

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