dsmWeekly: April 20, 2022
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April 20, 2022

When you’ve run out of space in your home, the only place to go is out! Add square footage to your living space by maximizing your outdoor entertaining and relaxing spaces. Read more.
Kiana’s Cookie Creations, a new addition at this year's Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market, specializes in colorful cookies and other sweets made by owner and baker Kiana Hines.

36 New Downtown Farmers Market Stands Revealed

Writer: Karla Walsh

Our enthusiasm about all things local produce is growing quicker than sweet corn in July. In case you missed it, last week we compiled your essential guide to farmers markets across the metro each day of the week. And today, we’re planting one more seed to inspire you: Your exclusive roundup of every new vendor at the largest farmers market of them all, the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market.

Click here to see the entire never-before-published list of all 36 new bakers, makers, farmers, foragers and beyond, then read on for my picks for the top three first-time vendors during the 2022 season.

This booming market draws about 25,000 shoppers each week, which grows to a whopping 40,000 on opening day. That lands on Saturday, May 7, this year, and the market runs from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. through the end of October along Court Avenue from Fifth Avenue to Water Street and extending onto side streets north and south.

Joining the ranks of the approximately 275 rotating vendors, you’ll find these three must-visit tables:
Kiana's Cookie Creations: What started as a childhood hobby for Kiana Hines turned into a fundraiser several decades later to support her three kids’ extracurricular activities. In 2020, Hines became a full-time baker, launching her business that she now runs out of her certified home kitchen. Known for her almost-too-pretty-to-eat customized sugar cookies, she may have cream pies, drop cookies and other sweets at her market booth as well. (Learn more about Hines in our August 2020 interview.)  

Nebullam: Launched in May 2019 at the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, Nebullam takes the motto “go green” to the next level. Using hydroponic indoor farms, they grow leafy greens, microgreens and several tomato varieties year-round.

Marissa Kay Apothecary: In their own garden, Marissa Kay and her husband, Jonathan Hansen, nurture and harvest many of the herbs and seeds they use in their products. In addition to buying her handmade wrapping paper and lavender goat milk soap, I can’t wait to stock up on Kay’s unique seed paper vintage greeting cards that have wildflower seed mix in every card. Yes, that means the recipient can plant the card to start their own garden. (You can read more about the seed cards in the May/June issue of dsm, which will be published May 3.)

Note that vendor schedules are subject to change, so if you have your heart set on a specific brand, check their social media page or reach out directly to confirm attendance before going.

Eight of Ballet Des Moines' dancers will perform in "Of Gravity and Light," demonstrating through their own movement how forces in space orbit, rotate, revolve and eclipse one another. Photo: Jami Milne.


Ballet Des Moines to Premiere New Work Friday

Ballet Des Moines will present an original new ballet, “Of Gravity and Light,” this Friday, April 22, at the Des Moines Civic Center. The multimedia work was composed by Beau Kenyon and choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Tom Mattingly.

Featuring eight movements exploring the wonder and beauty of space, the performance will also include ethereal video projections by artist Yu-Wen Wu and live musicians under the direction of conductor Tim McMillin. Tickets are available through the Des Moines Performing Arts website.

To learn more about the story behind the production, and the ballet’s collaboration with NASA’s Iowa Space Grant Consortium and Iowa PBS to create educational opportunities for students, read our story from March/April issue
The 10 Commandments of Interior Design

Keep these rules in mind on your design journey to create your own perfect room.
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GAIA Earth Day Programming (Friday, 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m.): Celebrate Earth Day at Artisan Gallery 218 (218 Fifth St., West Des Moines) with two special events. On Friday, the gallery will host a reception as part of the GAIA Project exhibit—a four-panel polyptych by artist Mary Kline-Misol. On Saturday, a formal gallery talk will take place, hosted by nature photographer and TED presenter David Thoreson.

Abbie Sawyer (Saturday, 6 p.m.): Abbie Sawyer will perform at xBk Live following the release of her debut solo album, “Love Is a Flood.” You may recognize the Des Moines native from other musical projects, including Abbie & the Sawyers, Diplomats of Solid Sound and NOLA Jazz Band. For tickets and more information, click here. To read stories about Sawyer from the dsm archive, click here and here.

Gross Domestic Product Music Festival (Saturday, times vary): This single-night music festival will host a variety of Iowa-based musicians at venues throughout downtown. Acts include Bouquet, Good Morning Midnight and LVVMAKING. Tickets for the full event can be purchased here. Otherwise, ticket prices for individual events are also available. Find the complete schedule and map of stages on Des Moines Music Coalition’s website.

Henry Rollins (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.): Singer, actor and comedian Henry Rollins will perform at Hoyt Sherman Place, recounting the events from the past few years, during his “Good to See You 2022” tour. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

“From Iowa With Love” Benefit Jam (Sunday, 11 a.m.): This first-ever fundraising event will benefit humanitarian aid in Ukraine in the form of a music festival featuring folk, rock and blues artists. The festival will be held at the Lauridsen Amphitheater in Water Works Park (2251 George Flagg Parkway), with food, wine and beer available for purchase. A minimum donation of $10 is required for entry. To see the full list of performers and find more information, click here.

Author talk: Amanda Montell will be in town as part of Des Moines Public Library’s AViD 2022 series this Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m. She’ll discuss her most recent work, the critically acclaimed nonfiction book “Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism,” followed by a Q&A session and book signing, at Central Library. Visit the DMPL’s website for details.
A must-read for your bookshelf: “The Land Remains: A Midwestern Perspective on Our Past and Future” by Neil Hamilton (Ice Cube Press) will be released this Saturday, April 23. Hamilton, an emeritus professor of law and the former director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University, focuses on how the land shapes our lives, telling the story through personal experiences, a history of Iowa conservation, and fresh perspectives on contemporary land use issues. The compelling book includes parts creatively narrated by the “Back Forty,” a field on his family’s farm. “The Land Remains” ($24.95) will be available at local bookstores as well as through Ice Cube Press and Amazon. To learn more about Hamilton, read this 2010 story from the dsm archive.
Wine and more: Des Moines Metro Opera’s annual Wine, Food and Beer Showcase will return April 28 at the Downtown Marriott Hotel (700 Grand Ave.) from 5 to 8 p.m. Vendors will include new restaurants like Tupelo Honey and favorites like Gateway Market and Peace Tree Brewing. The event also will include a silent auction and raffles. For a full list of the 33 restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries and distilleries participating and to purchase tickets, click here.

Arts showcase: As part of Gateway Dance Theatre’s 50th anniversary season, the company is collaborating with Grand View University’s Theater Department to present a variety show consisting of 10-minute plays, movement and music today, Thursday and Friday (April 20-22) at Grand View’s Viking Theatre. The shows begin at 7:30 p.m.; admission is free. Go to to learn more about the performance and other anniversary events.

Jason and Emma Walsmith took their music careers on the road in 2020 with dogs Potter (bottom) and Pepper in tow. They continue to travel and live part time in their van. Photographer: Duane Tinkey.

At Home on the Road: Making a Pandemic Pivot

Writer: Missy Keenan

When COVID-19 hit, Jason and Emma Walsmith’s income nosedived within a few days.

The Nadas, the popular band Jason co-founded in 1995, play at venues and events across the country. But in March 2020, the performances the band had booked were canceled. Jason and Emma’s other income sources at the time—his photography business and her ticketing company, Tikly—also relied on live events for income.

The Walsmiths weren’t alone in the challenges they faced. In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates the music industry lost more than $10 billion in just the first six months of the pandemic.

For Jason, losing the ability to play music for a live audience affected more than just his wallet. “COVID quarantine was the longest I’d been home in my adult life, and I started getting restless,” he says. “I wanted to play music for people again, so I decided to offer outdoor solo shows to fans all over the country in what we called the ‘I’ll Play Anywhere, Man’ tour.”

See how they overcame the challenges of life on the road. Read the full story at

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