dsmWeekly: March 9, 2022
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March 9, 2022

Moving through these late days of winter, and looking forward to spring, now is the perfect time to dream and plan your outdoor spaces. Add functional charm to your home with an arbor, pergola, or gazebo by the award-winning designers and builders at Silent Rivers.
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An "inside look" at the colorful stuffed cookies offered by Oh High Bakery. For Women's History Month, a portion of sales of a special six-pack box will support education of girls around the world.

Oh High Bakery Stars Over-the-Top Cookies

Writer: Karla Walsh

Since 2019 Lesley Rish has co-owned Nosh Cafe & Eatery (424 E. Locust St.) with her friend Veronica Tessler. But she closed her other business, Dumpling Darling, last December due to the pandemic and the fact that “the numbers weren’t where they needed to be,” Rish says.

Within three years, she had grown her dumpling brand from food cart to two brick and mortar shops, plus Nosh. And her plate was overflowing: “It turned out that I could either go big or I could go home, but I couldn’t do both.”

So Rish took that literally, heading home to begin to develop a home-based business, Oh High Bakery. She spent a year testing a wide variety of flavors to perfect the brand’s signature stuffed cookies—filled with brownies, cheesecake, nut butter and beyond—which are now sold at Nosh and available via bulk orders online.

Her favorite? “The Wake N Bake, a chocolate and butterscotch chip cookie stuffed with espresso cream cheese,” she says. “We also have vegan and gluten-free variations of this.” Other fan favorites, she says, are the OH G (chocolate chip stuffed with brownie ) and the Red Eye (red velvet stuffed with Oreo cream cheese).

Oh High was born at the perfect time for Rish and Andrew Norton, “my life partner and business partner,” Rish says. “Andrew has a corporate day job and has a lot to bring to the table in terms of overall business strategy. My 6-year-old stepdaughter, Lila, is the head taste tester.”

Norton and Rish are expecting to welcome their first child home in July. Her little one is currently weighing in at roughly 6 ounces, “the same size as an Oh High cookie.”

This month, your cookie purchase will go further than simply pleasing your palate. For Women’s History Month, Oh High Bakery has launched a six-pack women’s cookie box, with 10% of sales going to the Malala Fund to support education for girls around the world. The treats inside each box are inspired by game-changing women past and present; for example, the Baby RBG cookie is made with chocolate chips, caramel chips and peanuts stuffed with caramel brownie and topped with a Baby Ruth bar. The packs are
available for purchase online.

Ran Hwang (Korean, born 1960), “Garden of Water,” 2010 (detail); beads, crystal, pins, video on Plexiglas. Des Moines Art Center permanent collections. Photography courtesy of the Art Center.

Experiential Exhibit to Open at the Art Center

The Des Moines Art Center will open its new exhibit, “Immersive,” this Friday with a celebration beginning at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and at 6 p.m. Director Jeff Fleming will give remarks.

Featuring artists Matthew Willie Garcia, Ran Hwang, Oyoram and Bill Viola, “Immersive” will be experiential, inviting visitors “to be literally immersed in artworks,” Fleming told dsm magazine. “[You’ll] follow a path from darkened space to darkened space, each filled with light, color and sound.”

“Immersive” not only promises to stir your emotions, Fleming says, but to provide "a place to step fully into the art." The exhibit runs through June 5.

Custom Dining Rooms

You really don't have to settle for warehouse furniture. Consider custom furniture for your dining room. Create your perfect room.

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Opening at Moberg Gallery (Friday 5-7 p.m.): Moberg Gallery will open a new exhibit on Friday featuring works by Des Moines-based artists Sarah Grant and Scott Charles Ross. The opening reception is free and open to the public.

Rent! 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour” (Friday and Saturday):
Des Moines Performing Arts will present the final tour of this Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning phenomenon at the Civic Center. The story follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.

Charlotte’s Web” (Friday, Saturday and Sunday): The Kate Goldman Children's Theatre at the Des Moines Community Playhouse will present E.B. White's “Charlotte’s Web.” Tickets for in-person performances as well as a video-on-demand option are available at

“Black Futures” (Sunday 5 p.m.): Oakridge Neighborhood’s Youth will present “Black Futures” at Wooly’s to raise money for college visits. The show will celebrate Black creativity with local artists and youth performances as well as a mini pop-up market featuring Black businesses.
Artists named: The Des Moines Arts Festival has announced the 190 professional visual artists who will show and sell their works at the juried art fair, which this year will be June 24-26 in downtown’s Western Gateway Park. More than 800 artists from across North America applied. The list of artists can be found on the festival’s website. Pictured: Award-winning artist Ella Richards.
Leadership change: After 12 years as executive director for the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, M. Jessica Rowe is stepping down. Since 2010, Rowe has guided significant local public art projects, including “A Monumental Journey” by Kerry James Marshall downtown, “Liftoff” by Alice Aycock at the Des Moines International Airport, and “Miffy Fountain” by Tom Sachs outside Des Moines Public Library, among many others. A search committee has been formed to identify Rowe’s successor.
Grand opening: Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar, an Asheville, North Carolina-based Southern-style restaurant and bar, will open March 22 downtown (in the Miesblock Building at 665 Grand Ave.). The menu will feature small plates for sharing as well as entrees that pay homage to traditional Southern fare–with a contemporary twist. The restaurant also will have a dog-friendly patio.
New season lineup: The Des Moines Community Playhouse announced its 2022-23 season on Monday, which includes seven musicals ("Guys and Dolls," "Kinky Boots") plus drama, comedy and children's shows. This season will also feature two co-productions with the Pyramid Theatre Company. To view the full schedule and purchase Playhouse season tickets (on sale March 22), visit

Speaker series: DMACC’s 13th Annual Celebrate! Innovation (ciLive! 13) Speaker Series is today and tomorrow at the DMACC West Campus. The event features 11 national leaders in science, technology and the arts. If you can’t make the live event, don’t worry: All presentations are being livestreamed, at no cost to viewers, via e360tv, YouTube and Facebook Live.

Help tornado victims: We continue to think of those who lost their lives, homes and businesses to the tornadoes that ripped through Central Iowa this past weekend. Here’s a reminder of some ways you can help: There’s a GoFundMe set up for a family whose father and two of the children died near Winterset, while the mother and one child survived with injuries. PepperHarrow Farm, a popular fresh cut flower vendor at the Des Moines Farmers’ Market, experienced extensive damage. A GoFundMe has been set up to help rebuild its operations. The Des Moines Register published a list of additional ways you can donate and volunteer.
Guests gathered at Willow on Grand Tuesday evening to celebrate home design, network and enjoy food and cocktails.

Home Design Awards and Magazine Unveiled

A lively crowd of about 250 people gathered yesterday evening in the new Willow on Grand to celebrate the winners of our second annual dsm Home Design Awards, a showcase of the best home and landscape projects of Greater Des Moines. The stunning kitchens, baths, living rooms and other interiors, the artfully crafted gardens, and more awed the crowd. ICYMI: Check out this video.

In addition to the awards ceremony,
we unveiled the new March/April issue. Shot by local award-winning photographer Trav McAvaddy, the cover features Des Moines native Nyayop Toang. The issue is chock-full of stories you won't want to miss: You'll discover a new home store; meet fascinating creatives, including Cruz Garcia and Emma Murray; get intrigued by wallpaper design; and learn how to make easy Latin dishes such as tres leches cake and fish tacos. You also can check out the full issue online here.
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