In Des Moines, the sounds of summer include Jazz in July followed by chamber music in August.


Plan now to attend the concert series of the annual Zenith Chamber Music Festival, with performances scheduled Aug. 15-19. This festival is dedicated to highlighting professional musicians from across the globe as well as local artists. The free concerts include:
     • Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.: Salisbury House and Gardens (although the concerts are free, you can reserve a Salisbury seat for $10 here). 
     • Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m.: Johnston Public Library
     • Aug. 17, 6 p.m.: Jasper Winery
     • Aug.18, 7:30 p.m.: St. John’s Lutheran Church
     • Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Drake University, Sheslow Auditorium
 For featured artists, performance details and other information about the festival, click here.

All Hands on Deck: Game Over for this Backyard Space
A perfect hangout zone! We created a new design for a Des Moines deck in need of a serious transformation. See ‘before’ pics and Silent Rivers’ artisan Jenna Frideres as she skillfully builds the bones of our client’s new outdoor space. ... Read more »

"Do these sleeves make my legs look short?" This double-breasted dachshund strikes a pose, as will a variety of breeds on Saturday.

We were surprised yesterday to see that tickets were still available for the Animal Rescue League's runway show featuring well-heeled dogs and other adoptable pets escorted by nicely dressed humans. It's always fun, so if attending slipped your mind, you're in luck. Pets will be strutting their stuff — on a catwalk, of course — Saturday, Aug. 5, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Ankeny campus of Des Moines Area Community College. The event includes live music, raffle prizes, hors d' oeuvres and cocktails, a silent auction and a chance to adopt a model. Admission to the annual fundraiser is $40. Get tickets and more info here.

A Different Take on a Hearth Room
My job as an interior designer is to figure out the functionality that my clients need out of each room, and then find a way to put a unique spin on the design to make it custom for that client. ... Read more »

By Design presents dsmDining —
Jake Demars is the new head chef at Marlene's at Sevastapol Station on Des Moines' south side.


By Wini Moranville

Jake Demars has taken over the kitchen at Marlene’s at Sevastapol Station, and the Massachusetts native brings with him some major culinary pedigree.

While his CV doesn’t include culinary school (an early mentor advised him that learning on the job was the better path), he has been working in the industry since he was 13. As an adult, Demars cooked through restaurants in Denver for three years; he later moved to Chicago to gain experience in Michelin-starred restaurants. While working on the culinary team at Elizabeth Restaurant, the venue was awarded a Michelin star for the first time.

Demars’ five years in Chicago also included stints at Spiaggia (another Michelin-starred spot), Steadfast, Trencherman in Wicker Park and Juno, where he worked his way up to executive chef. He also operated his own underground restaurant, Open Circuit.

What is he hoping to bring to Marlene’s? “The goal is to bring the type of food that Des Moines hasn’t seen here yet,” he says. “My pop-up restaurant was very artistic. We’re being as experimental as we can, while staying on path with the neighborhood.”

Kim Carstens, owner of Marlene’s, is enthusiastic about the changes Demars is bringing. “Jake heading up the kitchen at Marlene's is an eye-opening experience. … His dishes look like art, and there are levels of flavor as you enjoy each bite. He brings fun to the dining experience with the 'first bite,' which is a white chocolate sphere with matcha tea, jalapenos and orange bitters. Pop it in your mouth, bite down and let the flavors take over.”

Marlene’s is at 1938 S.E. Sixth St.; (515) 288-0898;

Wini Moranville covers food, wine and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.


The Indo American Association of Iowa invites you to enjoy India Day Saturday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Living History Farms. It's an annual celebration of Indian Independence Day (India obtained its independence from the United Kingdom Aug. 15, 1947). Saturday's events—all free—will include Indian music and dance, sports, cultural presentations and kids' activities. For more information, click here.

Rod Massey's Cement Factory Complex (21-by-31-inch oil on panel) reflects his focus on urban scenes.


Two new art exhibits open Friday, Aug. 4, with receptions at Olson-Larsen Galleries and Artisan Gallery 218 in Valley Junction.

Olson-Larsen’s reception, from 4 to 7 p.m. will introduce new work by three artists:
     • Rod Massey, from Minneapolis, interprets urban scenes in paint.
     • Stephen Metcalf, also from the Midwest, paints non-objective images.
     • Brian Roberts teaches in Pella, where he creates stoneware in iconic rural forms.

The Artisan reception, from 5 to 8 p.m., marks the opening of "Iowish," an exhibition of regional art and featuring painter Mary Kline-Misol presenting her work, "The Breeds."

Chalk artist Kathleen Roling will work on fabric rather than pavement when she participates in the Battle of the Brushes, a 90-minute competition among local artists Thursday at the Summer Street Party.


What’s more neighborly that a summer street party? The Roosevelt neighborhood invites you to join one Thursday, Aug. 3, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Rollins Avenue, between Des Moines Community Playhouse and the Shops of Roosevelt. The shops, the Playhouse and Roosevelt Cultural District are producing this shindig, featuring food trucks, live music, kids' activities and more. For more information party, contact vomFASS at 515-244-5020.

Des Moines Performing Arts will have tickets to select shows available Monday, Aug. 7, starting at 9 a.m. The shows include "The Color Purple," "Waitress" (pictured) and Stomp. For tickets, visit or the Civic Center ticket office, or call 515-246-2300.


Peek into the future of Greater Des Moines' arts and cultural events with these calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. Looking for even more categories? Check Catch Des Moines.
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