Here's where to find us this evening: Our new issue unveiling is at Goodwill headquarters in Johnston.


To our party regulars, today's the day! And for those of you who still haven't attended one of our unveiling parties for a new issue of dsm magazine, consider joining us this evening to meet and mingle with the dsm team and make new friends and business connections. From 5 to 7 p.m., we'll be celebrating at Goodwill of Central Iowa. These are always fun, catered, drop-in-anytime receptions. We distribute free magazines after a brief program at 6 p.m. Two reasons to come to this party in particular: dsm's sales and editorial teams will be dressed in stylish outfits purchased for the occasion from Goodwill, and our cover—for this first issue of our 15th year—is unlike any we've had before. Ever. We sincerely hope you'll be there.

The historic charm of this 125 year-old home was enhanced when we returned to these past clients to remodel their kitchen. We designed a more functional space while maintaining the original Victorian aesthetic with custom-built cabinetry, intricate tile patterns, vintage-styled stove and lighting. See all the photos here! ... Read more »

By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —
There's plenty of seating and beverage options at the bar in RoCA on Court Avenue. A good catch in the rye: Try the sazerac.


By Wini Moranville

I’ve often said that I never understood Riesling until I went to Alsace. In that same vein, I never understood whiskey until my recent trip to Tennessee and Kentucky.

What I learned first and foremost, sipping an Old-Fashioned in the plush, historic lobby of the Brown Hotel in Louisville, was that I’d been drinking whiskey the wrong way: either as a quick “bump” with college friends (when the 3.2 beer wasn’t doing anything for us), or mixed with other things—7-Up, soda or really bad sour mix straight from the soda-gun nozzle. No wonder I never saw its appeal.

But when I savored it in a sipping kind of cocktail, I reveled in the depth, richness and spark of fiery brightness it brought to the drink. I became so taken by the spirit that I enjoyed one classic rye or bourbon cocktail every night of the trip.

Imagine, then, how thrilled I was to find that three classic whiskey cocktails are being handcrafted locally:

• The Scofflaw at Baru 66: While this drink originated in Paris, it calls on good-old American rye, along with dry vermouth, lemon juice, grenadine, Luxardo cherries and orange bitters. (P.S.: Of all the whiskey cocktails I tried while traveling, this was my favorite—there’s something about whiskey, citrus and cherries that’s pretty amazing.)  (6587 University Ave., Windsor Heights; 515-277-6627;

• Old-Fashioned at Bubba: Back when I was a cocktail waitress, this classic was always watered down with soda and made murky with a muddled orange slice. The bracing, glinting beauty I tasted at Louisville’s Brown Hotel was muddle- and soda-free—just bourbon, orange peel, simple syrup, bitters and a Luxardo cherry. Bubba makes theirs exactly the same way (no muddling involved!), though without the cherry. (200 10th St.; 515-257-4744;

• The Sazerac at RōCA: Said to be created by a Frenchman in 1930s New Orleans, this storied New Orleans cocktail originally called for Cognac, absinthe and bitters. Soon after, rye or bourbon became the base spirit of choice. RōCA uses Bulleit Rye, which has emerged as a personal favorite. (208 Court Ave., 515-282-3663;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

Four quick changes to make in your home for the New Year
When you take down the Christmas decorations and before you put your regular decor back, take a minute and really look at your home. Try to see your home from an outsider’s perspective. What’s the first thing you notice when you enter the room? ... Read more »

Playwright, lyricist and all-around-theater guy Robert John Ford in his current Utopia—the creative world of Mainstream Studios.


A new version of “UtopiaThe Iowa Musical Revue” makes its debut Thursday, Jan. 11, for an extended run at an intimate new theater inside Mainframe Studios.

Created by multifaceted playwright Robert John Ford, who splits his time between Des Moines and New York City, "Utopia" celebratesand pokes a little good-natured fun atthe unique people, places and traditions of Iowa. The all-new version, dubbed "Utopia 5.0," features more than a dozen original sketches and 30-plus parodies of songs from musicals including “Hamilton,” “Rent” and “Hairspray.”

With performances scheduled every Thursday through Sunday, Ford sees potential for “Utopia” to become Des Moines' signature theater event. Learn more about Ford, his work and the new theater in this sneak peek from the new issue of dsm magazine.

January performances are listed here, and February dates will be added next week (Jan. 15). Tickets are $33 ($23 for students). Click here for more information. Mainframe Studios is located at 900 Keosauqua Way.

From Lincoln, Nebraska, the Wildwoods bring their distinctive sound to the Des Moines Social Club this Friday.


The Wildwoods, an acoustic group from Lincoln, Nebraska, headline a concert of indie/folk music at the Des Moines Social Club this Friday, Jan. 12, from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The five-member group writes, records and performs music that is rich in love, happiness and passion—all wrapped in a distinctive style with influences from old-time country masters and today’s indie/folk sound.
“There are perhaps few Nebraska acts that represent a merger of past and present quite like The Wildwoods,” according to Nebraska music writer Andrew Stellman. Learn more about the band here

Performing in the same show: Des Moines’ own Adam Bruce and Ryne Doughty. Bruce is a singer/songwriter who frequently performs with his wife, April Lynn. For over 15 years, he has worked with Des Moines bands, most recently fronting alt-country group the New Bodies. Doughty is a roots-Americana musician whose stripped-down, earthy sound is influenced by the rural towns of his youth.

Tickets—$10 in advance, $15 on Friday—can be purchased here.

A sampling of the artwork represented in Sarah Bozaan's "Line Project," on exhibit at the State Law Library in the Capitol.


To say artist Sarah Bozaan grew up in a family filled with conflict is an understatement. Born in Saudi Arabia to a Syrian father and Ecuadorian-American mother, tensions within her family involved her young life decisions, including teenage pregnancy, divorce and an uncle who refused to attend one of her weddings because of a political disagreement he had with her father.

Confused about her uncle's decision, she asked him to visit with her about his views and beliefs.

"I appreciated his candor and commitment to his core beliefs," she said. "It was clear to me he was not ill-intended. In fact, he believed he was coming from a place of concern and was leading by example. The tone of the conversation was friendly, though our viewpoints were radically different. I was struck by the similarity in our intentions."

Inspired by their conversation, Bozaan started asking people to collaborate with her on a collection of drawings called "Line Project," which is on display now through April 30 in the Art at the Library exhibition in the State Law Library at the state Capitol. The free exhibit is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm. weekdays through April 30.

As part of the creative process, she asked each participant to fill out a questionnaire about their convictions, how they maintain them, and how they might be perceived by others with opposing views. Each subject also was asked to imagine issues from the opposing viewpoint and the reasons why others hold on to their beliefs.

Next, she met with them one-on-one, passing a pen back and forth to draw 108 straight linesa reference to Buddhist prayer beadswithin a 6-by-9-inch frame while discussing their convictions. The result is a collection of unique line drawings of various expressions contained within identical parameters.

"All of those pieces were done with people from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, and some family members," she said recently from her home in North Liberty. "I wanted the project to force people to sit with me and create something together regardless of viewpoints and beliefs, and discover how you cultivate relationships and maintain them when all these things are going on."

That may be especially poignant for her family, whose issues came full circle when her uncle was diagnosed with cancer and recovered after surgery. "My father went to see him, and the visit was warm and amicable," Bozaan said. "Two people together ... how comedic our bluster in the face of death."

Shania Twain has a Des Moines show July 25 on her current world tour.


Tickets are going fast for Shania Twain at the Iowa Events Center July 25. Not impressed? All right, explore your other great entertainment options with a pair of easy-to-use online 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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