dsmWeekly: October 12, 2021
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October 12, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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South of Des Moines, a custom home celebrates the fresh air of its rural setting. Incorporating repurposed materials from the owner's family farm, this industrial farmhouse dwelling looks right at home among the rolling hills.
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"The Band's Visit" opens at the Civic Center tonight. Photo: Des Moines Performing Arts


Writer: Luke Manderfeld

It's been nearly 18 months since a Broadway show last came to Des Moines. "The Band's Visit," winner of 10 Tony Awards, will change that when it opens tonight at the Civic Center for a six-day, eight-show stay. Des Moines Performing Arts was an initial investor in the musical, based on a 2007 film of the same name.

The story is based in a small town in Israel, where a cafe owner, Dina (played by Janet Dacal), takes in a group of Egyptian musicians. Over the course of the night, Dina and other local residents find their lives are changed by this unexpected encounter with the band. The musical score was written by David Yazbek, mixing theater with jazz and traditional Middle Eastern sounds. It won a 2019 Grammy Award for best musical theater album.

"This is a very special show," Dacal said in an interview with dsm. It will be "unlike anything you've seen before. And the fact that it is different is what makes it so special. It's a celebration that we're more alike than different. And I feel like that's something that we can really hold on to nowadays."

Des Moines is the second stop in "The Band's Visit" back-again national tour, which resumed last week in Durham, North Carolina. The tour was originally scheduled to stop at the Civic Center in May 2020 before the pandemic put a halt to those plans.

"I'm thrilled. I feel very, very blessed that our show was able to come back because quite a number of them weren't able to come back," Dacal said. "We're excited to come visit Des Moines. I feel like [the show] is something that really resonates with people, and we're all thrilled to ... share this really beautiful musical with you all."

Find more ticket information here. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test is required for entry.
It looks as warm and cozy as it sounds! Our selection of fabrics in this new trend is constantly growing.
Oatmeal cream pies are one of the products at Thistle's Summit, a local bakery making vegan and gluten-free goods.


Writer: Karla Walsh

It was love at first bite when I sampled my first oatmeal cream pie from Thistle's Summit, made with tender, warmly spiced cookies surrounding a cloud-like cream filling. And somehow it was all vegan and gluten-free?! It’s unlike most other vegan and gluten-free baked goods I’ve sampled—many can err on the dry, crumbly or chalky side. Everything coming from Marti Payseur’s Kitchen Spaces spot, where she’s run her bakery business since March 2021, is full of flavor—and heart.

“My partner, Ash, developed some health issues a couple years ago,” Payseur says. “In an effort to improve the symptoms, we cut out dairy, eggs and, later on, gluten. Everything I make, I make for Ash. I want people to be able to taste the love.”

Payseur believes that the future of food is more plant-based (more on the many benefits and local outlets that speak to this food trend here), but she finds much of her inspiration from the past. Ideas arise from childhood favorites, Martha Stewart episodes Payseur watched as a kid and Instagram bites. "I think desserts are such a beautiful platform to expose people to new flavor combinations, especially when using some of the unconventional ingredients that I do in gluten-free and vegan baking,” Payseur says. (Her miso scallion scones and sea salt chocolate chip tahini cookies are two tempting pieces of evidence.)

Thistle Summit’s recipes, and the mission behind the brand, are why Payseur was chosen as the 2021 recipient of the Flourish fund, a $3,500 grant to support one Central Iowa business idea from a woman or non-gender- conforming person.

“I hope to open a brick-and-mortar space to serve as a space for people that feel 'othered' in our community to feel comfortable, cared for and seen," Payseur says. "I want my business to be an agent for change that supports mutual aid, hires queer employees and prioritizes social justice.”

Find Thistle's Summit at the Slow Down Coffee Co., Grounds for Celebration and Dogpatch Urban Gardens.
Learn more and stay up to date on their website or Instagram.

Tobi Parks is the founder of Station 1 Records and xBk, a local music venue that opened in late 2019.


As the founder of xBk and Station 1 Records, Tobi Parks witnessed firsthand the effect the pandemic had on music. But if there was one positive that came from the past year and a half, it was learning the importance of community, Parks said on the latest dsm CultureCast podcast.

Parks and xBk, a live music venue near Drake University, joined the National Independent Venue Association, created at the beginning of the pandemic. Today, that connection allows Parks and other venue owners to talk shop and bounce ideas off each other. The organization also advocates for funding, which resulted in the Save Our Stages Act and other government grants.

"We needed to find a way to save ourselves," Parks said. "I'm relatively new to the live music scene, but being an active part of that organization has helped me build a lot of relationships I wouldn't have had."

As for how xBk has fared in the past year since reopening, Parks said it's been "surprisingly good." One popular series has been Live, Local and Loud, featuring local musicians on an every-other-week basis and funded by a grant from the state. Parks said they wanted to funnel money back into the community and showcase the local live music scene.

"For us, it was a way to give back to the community and take some of that money from the state and give it to the artists," Parks said. "And also, to slowly reopen and to try to get our foot in the door and get people enthusiastic and excited about our local live scene. We have a lot of amazing artists."

Listen to more podcasts wherever you get your audio, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Read more about Parks and xBk in this story from the dsm archive.
Located near Rathbun Lake in south-central Iowa, this private chapel has won a top architectural award. It also is featured as the cover photo on our latest ia magazine. Photo: Cameron Campbell.


The new issue ia magazine is out now! In print or online, you'll find stories about Iowa arts, culture, food and much more, all paired with beautiful photography. One of our favorite pieces focuses on a breathtaking house on West Okoboji Lake. You can also read about a weekend trip to Okoboji, one of Iowa's first Black-owned bookstores and artists passionate about painting the outdoors.
The Des Moines Art Center has put on a Dia de los Muertos celebration for 21 years, honoring the traditional Mexican holiday. Photo: Des Moines Art Center


Help honor ancestors at the Des Moines Art Center's 21st Dia de los Muertos celebration, with events throughout October and the first week of November. One of the main features will be an ofrenda—a traditional Mexican altar, built to honor lost loved ones—created by local artist and executive director of Al Exito Dawn Martinez Oropeza. The piece, inspired by the monarch butterfly and its significance to the indigenous Nahuatl people of southern Mexico and Central America, will be on display in the Art Center lobby from Oct. 19 through Nov. 4

Other works include a series of short videos from Vince Valdez honoring lives lost to COVID-19. Kids can learn more about Dia de lose Muertos by picking up educational kits on Oct. 25, available at local Des Moines Public Library branches. For more updated information and events, head to the Art Center website.

Art Center Launches Capital Campaign With Major Gift
The Des Moines Art Center received a $5 million gift from the Harriet S. and J. Locke Macomber Fund in support of the museum's 75th anniversary campaign. The $11 million capital campaignchaired by Harry Bookey and Pamela Bass-Bookeywill support the expansion of community programming, renovations and improvements to the building, and acquisitions to enhance the museum's permanent collections. The Macombers were longtime supporters of the Art Center; J. Locke died in 1998 and Harriet in 2020.
Suit, Express; crew neck T-shirt, Banana Republic; cuff bracelet, Jaxxon; messenger bag and sneakers, Aldo. Model: Erick Jay Charley, the Peak Agency. Location: Surety Hotel


After a year-plus of remote work when sweats and slippers dominated workwear, many of us are ready for more polished and complete outfits—beyond the waist-up demands of those endless Zoom meetings.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re willing to give up comfort and return to sky-high heels. “Everyone is reevaluating their wardrobe right now,” says personal style consultant Courtney Conlin. “As you ease back into reality, you don’t have to trade comfort for style.”

Take a look at some potential looks and tips from local fashion experts in this story from the September/October issue of dsm.

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