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New Issue, Gateway Market, Iowa Stage Theatre
September 1, 2020  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
 
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September 19-20 is the Tour of Remodeled Homes presented by the Remodelers Council of Greater Des Moines. Among the select homes on this year's small-group tour is this stately Colonial brick with a beautiful addition, carport, and new front entry. ... Read more »
This perfect-for-fall salad stars honeynut squash, bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Find the recipe, by Dogpatch Urban Gardens' Jenny Quiner, in the new issue of dsm.

SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF DSM NOW AVAILABLE

The newest edition of dsm magazine is out, and, like always, we promise you'll find engaging stories from around the community. In "A Celebration of Blackness," you'll learn out about the intriguing exhibit opening in early October at the Des Moines Art Center. "From Moment to Movement" focuses on a new storytelling project by photographer Janae Gray that seeks to amplify the voices of the Black community.

You'll also find inspiring profiles of this year's Sages Over 70 honorees. Don't forget to thumb through the Savor section, where you'll discover a recipe for a tasty honeynut squash salad recipe and a list of nine Black-owned restaurants.

Plus: In our special health section, you'll learn how to get better sleep, what to eat to improve your mood, and how to get fit while staying safe.

Find all of the content on our website or in the digital version of the publication.
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A cartload of goodies at Gateway Market, a natural and organic food store on Woodland Avenue in Des Moines.

GRAB GEORGE'S CHOICE AT GATEWAY MARKET

Writer: Wini Moranville

George Formaro never stints. You’ll never get a meager portion at any restaurant the chef/partner oversees (Django, Centro, Malo, et al); ask him to lend you a few vintage matchbooks to illustrate an article on 40 Years of Des Moines Dining, and he’ll hand over his entire collection of hundreds.

So it came as no surprise that when I asked him to tell me about a few of his favorite things at Gateway Market, he sent photos of 25 fascinating products to consider. I whittled down his list to a mere cartload; while everything I purchased proved delightful, here’s what I keep thinking about most:

  • Crushed Aleppo Pepper: “When you look at these chile flakes, you think they’re going to be hot, but instead they have this unique earthy flavor,” Formaro says. The burnished-red flakes also remind him of the chiles his father used to grow and dry—chiles his mother added to “almost every vegetable dish she would make.” I personally thought they were divine sprinkled atop a Tuscan-esque white-bean salad just before serving. ($6.99/2 ounces)

  • Nueske’s Smoked Bacon: Smoked is the operative word here—when I sizzled this bacon up, my kitchen smelled (irresistibly) like a smokehouse. Formaro says this is one of his favorite bacons, and it’s great for BLT season. He recommends not cooking to uber-crisp, stiff-as-a-plank form. “It’s great when it has some give to it,” he says. ($10.99/12 ounces)

  • Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter: Why was one bacon-loving carnivore telling another bacon-loving carnivore to buy vegan butter? “I want to continue to eat meat and bacon for as long as I can,” Formaro says. “So I try to balance this by eating more plant-based foods when I can, especially when they taste really good.” He loves spreading this butter on toast made from his multigrain bread for breakfast. I used the coconut-oil and cashew-milk-anchored butter for simple fried potatoes; they browned and crisped beautifully and tasted impossibly good. ($7.99/8 ounces)

Other must-haves included Mimolette cheesea mild, nutty-sweet, strikingly red-orange cheese that, Formaro says, “you’ll wonder why you don’t buy more often”and the Rustichella d’Abruzzo brand of pasta, a life-changing product I’ve lauded in the past.

Gateway Market is at 2002 Woodland Ave.; 515-243-1754; gatewaymarket.com.

Annette Bening will give a prerecorded address to people attending Cocktails and Cabaret. The four-time Academy Award nominee has starred in such films as "The Grifters," "American Beauty" and "Being Julia."

COCKTAILS AND CABARET GOES VIRTUAL

Like many cultural organizations, Iowa Stage Theatre Company is taking its annual fundraising gala—Cocktails and Cabaret—online, but that doesn’t mean it's dialing back any of the excitement. To wit: Hollywood A-lister Annette Bening will greet the crowd at the Sept. 12 livestreamed event, followed by a conversation with, and a performance by, well-known Broadway actor and singer Roosevelt A. Credit, who’s appeared in such shows as “Porgy and Bess” and “Show Boat.”

The $125 ticket, available through the Iowa Stage website here, includes two cocktails, dinner and dessert in a take-home pack that can be picked up at the Conservatory in the East Village before the 7 p.m. event. There also will be a wine raffle and silent online auction, along with a conversation with Broadway performers Laura Osnes and Timothy Shew.

And just how did Iowa Stage get such a high-wattage star like Bening? Turns out she’s a second cousin of Richard Maynard, a highly regarded and versatile Iowa Stage actor who is perhaps most well-known for playing Ebenezer Scrooge in the company's annual production of “A Christmas Carol.”

Iowa Stage’s fall season will be virtual as well, according to Matthew McIver, the company’s artistic director, starting with a reading of a new adaptation of Jane Austen's “Persuasion” by local playwright and actor Kerry Skram that’s set in the era of “Downton Abbey.” That will be followed by a livestreamed performance of “Tuesdays With Morrie” in October and “It’s a Wonderful Life” in December. Details of the season will be announced at Cocktails and Cabaret.

“Obviously, we’re living in a very different time now, and we have to find ways to keep artists and audiences engaged, even if they can’t be in the same room,” McIver says.

“We’re continuing to find a way forward,” he adds. “As human beings, it’s important for us to stay artistically fulfilled and connected with one another and the community.”
This sculpture, "Black Crown of Recurring Loss," by Larassa Kabel on the front lawn of Plymouth Place at 42nd Street and Ingersoll Avenue, is one of the newest pieces of artwork in the Ingersoll and Grand district. Photo: Ben Easter Photography.

THE AVENUES DESIGNATED A CULTURAL DISTRICT

Writer: Allaire Nuss

After more than 20 years of strategic planning, the Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand has been designated as an official Cultural and Entertainment District by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The 10-year designation “recognizes well-identified, walkable, mixed-use, compact areas of a city or county in which a high concentration of cultural facilities serves as the anchor,” according to the IDCA. The Avenues, which stretches between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and 42nd Street in Des Moines, was the only area recognized in Greater Des Moines.

That's no small feat, as Kris Maggard, executive director of the Avenues, can attest. The effort began about two decades ago with streetscaping for accessibility and later included creating an urban renewal district on the west side of Des Moines.

“Ingersoll and Grand are connectors in the city of Des Moines,” Maggard says. “We connect to downtown and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, connect to the [Des Moines Art Center], and connect people to venues like the Salisbury House and Terrace Hill. This [designation] will allow us to create programming and educational opportunities around all of the art and culture and history that already exist. It's a feather in our cap.”

Maggard’s focus in the time of COVID-19 is holding cultural events that engage the community while keeping everyone safe. This past weekend, the Avenues restored live music to the district through a socially distanced pop-up event, headlined by NOLA Jazz Band and the Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps.

“The idea for the recent pop-up events was simply to bring entertainment and joy into the neighborhood, and to the people on patios or sidewalks,” Maggard says. “It was fun to see the excitement, especially right now. Live music and art make everything better.”

There is more on the horizon as well, Maggard promises: “We have some huge things coming up, but those are stories in themselves.”

    Attendees of the Art Center's virtual gala will pick up their meal and wine pairing in person at the museum before returning home to safely enjoy. Photo: Des Moines Art Center.

    EXPERIENCE A DIFFERENT ART CENTER GALA

    Writer: Allaire Nuss

    Like everything else in 2020, the Des Moines Art Center’s Annual Gala will look a little different this year. The event will be held virtually from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. While it may not be an in-person affair, attendees can expect some familiar formalities.

    Between 6 and 6:45 p.m., attendees will drive up to the Art Center to pick up a gourmet meal from Tangerine at the Art Center, paired with a fine bottle of wine. Director Jeff Fleming and Tiffany Nagel Spinner, director of development, will hand out goodies, dressed in formal attire. Participants will then return home to await the start of the virtual gala at 7 p.m. The night’s agenda will include a quick guide on the "art of plating food" and messages from community members about the role of art in Greater Des Moines. The evening will conclude with an announcement of the Art Center’s new inclusion statement.

    The annual gala is an essential stream of revenue for the Art Center, bringing in an average of $150,000 to $175,000 each year. “It’s a large source of income for us, and it’s an imperative source,” Spinner says. Financial support helps the Art Center continue to offer free admission and also helps fund free art programming for other community nonprofits, Spinner adds. This year’s gala theme of “Illuminate, Invest, Impact” helps to remind the gala patrons why their investment matters.

    Tickets are available online until Sept. 11. Single tickets, which include the to-go meal and bottle of wine, are $250; or $150 for young professionals under 35. Whereas in previous years the gala typically sold out early, the virtual gala has no attendance cap.

      Madison Ray hosted the 2020 virtual Cloris Awards this past weekend, honoring both theater organizations and personalities around Greater Des Moines. Photo: Cloris Awards.

      CLORIS AWARDS HONOR LOCAL THEATER

      Theater artists and fans across Central Iowa tuned in Sunday for the sixth annual, and first virtual, Cloris Awards Ceremony. Eleven participating theater companies received special “DIY Cloris Awards,” as this year, the panel of volunteer judges saw only 27 of the 45 scheduled shows before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season.

      Rather than competing for the typical production-based awards, the participating companies agreed to stand in solidarity with those who were not able to produce any shows and honor one another with “do-it-yourself” awards they created themselves.

      For example, the Des Moines Playhouse won the “Best Use of Recycled Materials in a Play (and Musical)” Award for salvaging the waterproof set from “Singin’ in the Rain,” which closed in March after just two performances, and repurposing it this summer for an outdoor stage for drive-in shows. Iowa Stage Theatre won the “Season of Firsts” Award for producing two shows in repertory (a company first), a new production of “A Christmas Carol” (an Iowa premiere), and the politically inspired musical “Adore Us! Line” (a world premiere). Pyramid Theatre Company won the “Resilience” Award for giving Black artists a platform to tell stories of experiences and struggles of being Black in the United States.

      Also, Jay Michael Jagim received a lifetime achievement award for his behind-the-scenes contributions to numerous companies and dozens of productions in Greater Des Moines. “Jay’s theatrical talent and achievements are legendary,” Iowa Stage Theatre Artistic Director Matthew McIver said. “His tireless work behind the scenes to raise standards, grow companies and create new spaces for theater are less well known, but just as vital.”

      Host Madison Ray, a theater artist and musician, offered a rallying cry to an industry that is still struggling during the pandemic. Most theaters have been dark since March. “We’re in this together,” he said. “There have been so many industries that have been bailed out, and we, also, could use some of that love. We’re hanging on by a thread, and getting everyone in our community, including our politicians, off the bench is going to be paramount to our long-term survival.”
       
       
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