Once again, Greater Des Moines has shown us how fortunate we are to live in a community shaped and guided by generous mentors, philanthropists and visionaries. Reviewing nominations for dsm's annual Sages Over 70 honor is always an exciting process and a welcome challenge.

This year's honorees are:

• Don Blumenthal, business leader and philanthropist.
• Joyce Chapman, banking executive and community leader.
• Jim Cownie, developer and philanthropist.
• Paul Danforth, clinical social worker and community leader.
• Jody Reynolds, philanthropist and charitable fundraiser.
• Stephen Roberts, lawyer and civic leader.

They will be honored in the November/December issue of dsm magazine and at a special event Nov. 7 at 320 River Center, a new events venue being developed on South Third Street. Tickets for the Sages Over 70 celebration are available online; just click here.

Project in Progress! Historic Victorian Kitchen Remodel in Des Moines
Gorgeous Victorian details in this historic home inspired us! A full kitchen remodel includes a modern reproduction of a vintage stove and a dramatic, multi-colored ceramic floor design. Also, see the Victorian-style bathrooms we remodeled for this client a few years ago. ... Read more »

Detail from a recent painting by Jordan Weber, who says growing up in Des Moines has influenced his artwork.


New work by provocative artist and environmental activist Jordan Weber is featured in an exhibit at Moberg Gallery. Weber, a Des Moines native, uses imagery from pop culture to create works intended to shock viewers from their daily routine and increase their compassion for aspects of the world around them. In addition to public murals and other paintings, Weber creates three-dimensional works constructed from repurposed building materials and personal property. He recently received an artist fellowship from the Iowa Arts Council and a grant from the African American Leadership Forum. His work is included in collections worldwide. For information about the gallery and shows, click here. The Weber exhibit continues through mid-August, followed on Aug. 25 by an exhibit of work by Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger.

Mid-Century Modern Design Style
Mid-Century Modern design style has been surging in popularity for a few years now … and for good reason! Interior designers, millennials, baby boomers all love this look. ... Read more »

By Design presents dsmDining —
The patio at Baru 66 is Frenched-up with curtains along the side street and a cheery welcome for diner's dogs.


By Wini Moranville

Bastille Day (July 14) may have come and gone, but you can still spend an entire evening celebrating all things French any night this week. As of press time, tickets for "An American in Paris," the new Tony-award-winning musical at the Des Moines Civic Center, were still available for the six-night run (starting tonight).

To prime yourself, head to Baru 66, where Chef David Baruthio will serve a three-course “An American in Paris” menu to celebrate the local run of this show. The meal costs $39 and is available through Saturday night (whether you do or don't go to the show).

The special dinner will kick off with a complimentary cocktail. First-course choices include a tartar of tuna and crab, a melon-port combo or a warm goat cheese salad. For the second course, choose from a fish of the day, duck breast with cherry-port reduction or risotto with pan-seared scallops. When it comes time for dessert, diners will have a hard time choosing between the blueberry-lavender clafoutis, a rum baba or a cheese plate.

If you really want to go all French, try Baru 66’s new patio—and bring your furry four-legged friend (yes, in true-to-France fashion, the patio is dog-friendly). The mix of soft seating and intimate cafe tables makes it all quintessentially French.

Baru 66 is at 6587 University Ave., Windsor Heights; 515-277-6627;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining. Follow her at All Things Food dsm -- Wini Moranville.

From Chicago, the Joe Policastro Trio performs July 29 at Noce. "We are an alternative jazz trio," says Policastro. "Some people call it modern creative." They perform jazz arrangements of other musical styles, such as rock, soul and pop tunes, in addition to originals and jazz favorites.  


LyrIcist Richard Rodgers came up with "June is bustin' out all over" for the 1945 musical "Carousel." Fast-forward to the present overheated day, and jazz is bustin' out all over Des Moines.

Thanks to the efforts of Des Moines Metro Arts (and the stamina of local musicians), the free concert series Jazz in July continues to charm audiences at sites from the city's core to the 'burbs. This week, you can catch a lunchtime performance tomorrow (Wednesday, July 19) at Cowles Commons, or duck indoors for the Foxtrot Hot Shots at Hoyt Sherman Place July 20, the John Morgan Orchestra at Drake University July 21, or the band Tighten Up making waves at Waveland Golf Course July 22. Click this link for details on these and other performances.

Meanwhile, local jazz and cabaret club Noce isn't missing a beat this summer. Every Thursday, Noce hosts a free-admission late-night happy hour. Doors open at 6 p.m., with live music from 7 to 10 p.m. Too much fun for a school night? OK, check this: Every Friday, Noce stays open late with no cover, drink specials, and live jazz performers, usually joined by pianist Nick Leo. Fill your mind with details with one click here.

You can stroll through this and six other elegant, furnished homes at the Home Show Expo.


Seven sparkling new homes are open for oohing and aahing at the annual Home Show Expo, produced by the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines. Homes are open July 20–23 and July 27–30 in the Echo Valley area of Norwalk. Parking is available only at Norwalk High School, 1201 North Ave., where free shuttles will deliver you to the site. As in the past, the homes are fully furnished and elaborately equipped. Admission is $10 ($5 for ages 5-12). You can purchase tickets online here or at the gate when you arrive. Daily hours and other details about the event and each of the homes are available here.

At age 79, the legendary Simon Estes has a lot to look back on, which he does with gratitude, for readers of dsm magazine.

In the current issue of dsm magazine, renowned opera singer Simon Estes reflects on the early experiences that shaped and guided his life. Iowans know this Centerville native by his achievements: singing with 84 opera companies on six continents and with 115 symphony orchestra. He has sung for the heads of 23 countries, including six U.S. presidents. In this story titled "Song of Thanksgiving," this grandson of a slave credits his parents and religious faith for helping him to rise from a childhood in which they were called "colored" and worse, and eventually to be revered as a gifted artist, a dedicated teacher and generous philanthropist. 

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