dsmWeekly: June 29, 2022
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June 29, 2022

Did you know that Silent Rivers offers Historic Preservation services? We love and care for many historic homes around Des Moines and would love to assist you in maintaining your own historic home!
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Jackie Ackerberg has followed a plant-based diet for three years and says she not only feels better but also enjoys food "more than ever before.” Find her favorite recipes @jackfruitfulkitchen. Photographer: Duane Tinkey

Local Vegan Food Blogger Shares Her Success

Writer: Karla Walsh

“Following a plant-based diet should never feel like a chore.” This mantra is what motivated Des Moines-based Jackie Akerberg to create her popular vegan food blog Jackfruitful Kitchen two years ago. Fully plant-based herself for three years, Akerberg touts the benefits—better skin and mental clarity, fewer cravings, and feeling less puffy and foggy. “I also enjoy food more than ever before,” she says.

Her blog and Instagram, @jackfruitfulkitchen, with 32,000 fans and counting, showcase recipes and a four-week refresh meal plan. She’s also written a cookbook, which is expected to be published in January 2023.

Her husband, Clinton, is “my guinea pig” for her rainbow-hued recipes, which also are easy on the planet. Steering clear of meat and dairy products can reduce a person’s carbon footprint by up to 73%.

“A meatless day one day a week or a meatless meal one time per day is a great place to start,” Akerberg says. “Listen to your body and your lifestyle and see how you feel.”

Find recipes and more on, and check out Ackerberg’s five must-try vegan ingredients in this dsm article.
Liam Beck-O'Sullivan will play Puck in Des Moines Metro Opera's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which opens this Saturday. Photo: Ben Easter.


DMMO’s Summer Festival Season to Begin

Celebrating its 50th anniversary Summer Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera will open “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Saturday. As of Wednesday morning, there were still limited tickets available here. (All of DMMO’s performances of “Porgy and Bess,” including this weekend’s shows, are sold out.)

There are also limited tickets still available for performances of  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on July 15 and 23, and for “A Thousand Acres” on July 13, 19 and 22 (the July 9 premiere is sold out). Check showtimes and find more info here.
Recliner Flash Sale

The amazing Comfort Recliners and stylish Re-invented Recliners are on sale at BY DESIGN through July 5th!
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First Friday at Mainframe Studios (Friday, 5-8 p.m.): What would a long weekend be without a round of golf? This month’s First Friday event will feature a playable miniature golf course designed and constructed by teams of local artists. There will also be open studios, a printmaking exhibit and a chance to view photographer Jami Milne’s ceramics project, “Under Pressure.”

Yankee Doodle Pops (Friday, 8:30 p.m.): Another Iowa tradition is back to celebrate Independence Day. The Des Moines Symphony’s 28th annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert will take place at the West Terrace of the Iowa Capitol, with performances of patriotic ballads like “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The free event will conclude with a fireworks display over the Des Moines city skyline. Find the full performance lineup and other information here.

All Iowa Bash (Sunday, 5-11 p.m.): A classic Iowa block party will take place under the Railroad Avenue Arch in Valley Junction during and after the West Des Moines Independence Day Parade. Live musical acts include the Dick Danger Band, June Bugs, B. Well and School of Rock. Free admission, with food and drink available for purchase.
Gallery reception: A photo exhibit of Iowa landscapes by Amee Ellis opened at Polk County Heritage Gallery on Monday. An opening reception will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery. This exhibit, titled "The Sea Beneath Our Feet" (pictured from a first showing last October), is part of the Acres Unearthed series, inspired by Des Moines Metro Opera’s premiere of “A Thousand Acres,” to explore the themes and connections throughout the novel of the same name.
New show announced: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will perform at Hoyt Sherman Place Sept. 17. Trombone Shorty, born Troy Andrews, is a musician from New Orleans who has collaborated with artists such as  Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Foo Fighters and more. His most recent album, “Lifted,” came out in April. Tickets for the show go on sale tomorrow (June 30) at 10 a.m.

Last call: The nomination deadline for this year’s Sages Over 70 honor is tomorrow. This is your last chance to nominate community leaders over age 70 who have positively influenced Greater Des Moines with their expertise, talents, dedication, generosity and willingness to mentor others. Click here to submit.

A pop of culture: Nizigiyimana Danifodi chose thread in the colors of the flag of Burundi, his home country, for this suit’s buttonholes. Photo: Duane Tinkey.

The American Dream Is Alive in a Custom Suit

Writer: Hailey Allen

Nizigiyimana Danifodi (Niz-gee-MANA Danee-FODEE) is a tailor and custom suit designer serving Greater Des Moines and beyond. His road here has been one marked by overcoming obstacles.

Growing up, Danifodi lived in a refugee camp in Tanzania for 13 years after fleeing with his family from the 1993 ethnic violence in Burundi, a landlocked country that’s one of the smallest in Africa. In 2006, when he was 14, he arrived in the U.S. and settled with his family in Virginia, with no knowledge of American culture, the English language or what lay ahead.

Fast-forward to 2014, when Danifodi was working as a bank teller. He was required to wear suits every day and had trouble finding sizes that looked good on his 5-foot-2-inch frame. Danifodi says he felt awkward and uncomfortable in ill-fitting clothes. So he decided to make his own.

There are “people who think twice about doing things. I don’t,” the now-28-year-old Danifodi says. “If I think that something is going to be beneficial to me, I do it. If I fail down the road, that’s fine, as long as I [try].”

Read about how he launched his tailoring business and how he gives back to his community in this dsm article from our May issue. Plus, see Danifodi’s five style tips.
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