Visionary Chaden Halfhill talks about the party coming to the Sixth Avenue Corridor on Monday, Oct. 29.


Be an urban explorer with us Monday, Oct. 29, when the unveiling party for our November issue of dsm magazine visits the Sixth Avenue Corridor, one of several areas near downtown that are going to see new vitality in the months to come. Our hosts are the very creative Chaden Halfhill and his team at Silent Rivers Design + Build, celebrating their 25th anniversary.

Expect valet parking, ethnic and neighborhood foods, local performers and artwork, all in and around an 1880s brick building that is being renovated at 1601 Sixth Ave. Catered foods will include Latin favorites from Tacos La Familia and Brazilian truffles by Samba Cakes & More. Among the featured artworks will be Paula Egan's giant butterfly wings, abstracts and portraits by Kelly Boon, and photographs by Karla Conrad. And you can enjoy music by Dartanyan Brown and performances from CultureAll ambassadors. For more details, click here.

The site is an exciting work-in-progress, so dress for the weather and choose clothes from the comfy/casual side of your business wardrobe. Party hours are 5 to 7 p.m., with brief comments and distribution of the new issue at 6 p.m. And remember, for the first time ever, this new-issue party is on a Monday.

Silent Rivers is 25 and we’re hosting a dsm Unveiling like no other! Celebrate the power of connection MONDAY as we transform an empty building at 1601 6th Ave into an unforgettable event with art, wine, performance, Tacos La Familia, Brazilian truffles ... Read more »

By Design presents dsmDining —

In America, you can grow up to be anyone you want to be—never more true than at a costume party like Hollywood Halloween.

By Wini Moranville

Usually, only the actors get to wear costumes at Des Moines Community Playhouse events. This Friday, Oct. 26, however, it’s everyone’s turn to dress up. Get out the '50s-style get-ups for Hollywood Halloween: '50s Night at the Drive-In, a costume party/fundraising event for the Playhouse’s education programs.

The event will be held in the Big Room at Mainframe Studios, an artist studio space in the former Century Link Building at 900 Keo Way. Music for dancing will be provided by Richie Lee & the Fabulous 50s. In keeping with the drive-in theme, the food, provided by the Tangerine Food Co., will include burger and hot dog bars, grilled cheese sandwiches and a soda fountain with milkshakes and banana spits.

If that all sounds like too much "Happy Days" and not enough "Some Like it Hot," don’t worry—those milkshakes can be spiked, and beer and wine will also be served. Plus, the hot dog and hamburger bars swing 21st century, with items like kimchi, shaved fennel and onion jam on the hot dogs, and wasabi mayo and spicy slaw on the burgers.

Tickets were still available at press time. They cost $125 per person, or $75 per person for young professionals (age 35 and under). Find out more at

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

Check out some of our favorite furniture and accessories from the Fall Furniture market! ... Read more »

The Mississippi River meanders over walls and ceilings in the sequined artistry of "River," at the Des Moines Art Center. An example of the workmanship is detailed below.

dsm Art Review by Michael Morain

How have you spent the past 12 years? What has happened in your life since 2006?

That’s the year the artist Jen Bervin started hand-stitching silver sequins onto irregular strips of paper. And now, a dozen years later, those shiny strips curve along the ceiling and walls at the Des Moines Art Center, combining to form a shimmering map of the Mississippi River.

If you could stretch out the whole thing, "River" would measure 230 feet, or about one inch for every mile of the real thing. The artist, who grew up in Dubuque and now lives in Connecticut, estimates that it took her as long to sew each section of her handmade river as it would to walk the real one, from its Minnesota headwaters to its Louisiana delta.

The artwork is as beautiful as it is hard to photograph. It snakes across the Pei wing’s rough concrete walls and catches light from the big windows. One section seems to float on wires between the rafters.

When I pulled out my phone to snap a shot or two, with mixed results, I called up Google Maps to see if I could identify certain sections of river. I spotted the swells of Lake Itasca and Lake Bemidji at one end and Lake Pontchartrain at the other but couldn’t pinpoint the Iowa section that forms what I’ve always thought of as the state’s eastern snout.

A docent told me the map is actually geocentric, as if the viewer is looking at the earth’s surface from the inside out. But most maps are top-down, as if we’re gazing at the world from an airplane.

The artist has a knack for shifting perspectives like that. In a project last year, called "Silk Poems," she wrote a poem from the perspective of a silkworm, nano-printing the critter’s DNA code in gold onto a piece of silk fabric.

Bervin "finds impossibly poetic ways to imagine the unimaginable," University of Illinois scholar Kendra Paitz writes in an eloquent pamphlet that accompanies the installation and opens up questions of history, culture and ecology. She cites an essay by Toni Morrison called "The Site of Memory," which suggests that the Mississippi doesn’t "flood" so much as "remember" where it used to flow, before it was straightened here and there to make room for human development.

"The Mississippi River’s vastness precludes us from ever fully knowing what those gallons contain as they meander and connect communities and climates, pasts and futures," Paitz writes. "Yet Bervin’s ‘River’ allows us to ‘remember where we were’ and imagine where we can go."

"River" remains on display through Jan. 27 at the Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave. Free admission.

At Archie's Waeside in Le Mars, owner Bob Rand cuts New York strip steaks by hand and checks each meal before it is served. Photographer: Austin Hyler Day.


Our statewide magazine, ia, offers some dandy dining destinations, whether your goal is the fine local fare at the Rapid Creek Cidery in Iowa City or the finest steaks in a state long known for its beef. A 2015 James Beard award took excellence to even higher levels at Archie’s Waeside in Le Mars. The restaurant has appeared on foodie bucket lists and in the pages of The New York Times. Click on the links above to read more about dining opportunities that are worthy of an occasional trip beyond Greater Des Moines. Or visit to see additional stories from the new issue of ia magazine.

Conductor Joseph Giunta, marking his 30th year with the symphony, will be the subject of "How I Got Here" in dsm's November issue.


Bernstein's back, as the Des Moines Symphony plays through its 81st season this weekend, marking 30 years with conductor Joseph Giunta. This year's theme, "Giunta Celebrates Bernstein," continues at the Des Moines Civic Center with Leonard Bernstein’s first musical, "On the Town," an energetic valentine to New York City. With performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, the program features three of the symphony’s principal musicians as soloistsfirst in Bernstein’s jazz-inflected clarinet showpiece "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs," then in Mozart’s sparkling, elegant "Flute & Harp Concerto." After intermission, listen as Sibelius’ rich, melodic First Symphony conjures the wintry landscape of his native Finland.

Tickets ranging from $15 to $68 ($7.50-$33 for students) are available here.

Prelude Talks begin 45 minutes prior to each concert in the east lobby. And learn more about the pieces being performed from the symphony's program notes.

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco's Stay Hungry Tour comes to Hoyt Sherman Place in April.


Tickets went on sale Friday for Sebastian Maniscalco, the 2016 "Just for Laughs" Stand Up Comedian of the Year, coming to Hoyt Sherman Place April 19. For other fun opportunities, explore 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. For even more categories, check Catch Des Moines.

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