The new Kum & Go building, envisioned above, is one example of how the richness of Des Moines architecture continues to expand. 


Get a fresh perspective on downtown architecture with Architecture on the Move, a series of downtown Des Moines architectural walking tours offered by the Iowa Architectural Foundation. The first tour of the season will be this Friday, May 11. Future tours are slated for June 15, July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14.

Choose one of four routes, covering both contemporary and historic architecture. You will learn about architectural detail, style and elements, along with intriguing stories and the historical significance of the buildings that shape the downtown skyline.

Come at 5 p.m. for beverages and snacks before setting out on the tours at 5:30 p.m. All tours leave from the Iowa Center for Architecture on the first-floor level of Capital Square. A skywalk tour will be offered in case of inclement weather. 

Each tour is $15. Reservations are encouraged: Call the Iowa Architectural Foundation at 515-244-1888, or email Proceeds benefit the Iowa Architectural Foundation’s educational programs.

Farmhouse-Industrial new home with brilliant custom table
Salvaged wood from her family farm and a love of barn style inspired her dream home created by Silent Rivers, including a clever dining table. Hinge open the 6’ table to its 12’ length to entertain beside the steel hearth, which extends to the adjacent patio. ... Read more »

By Design presents dsmDining —

DSM Brew brings international flavors to the local coffeehouse market.


By Wini Moranville

These days, you can find good coffeehouses in nearly every neighborhood, so if you’re going to open one, you’d better set yourself apart. Judging from a recent visit, DSM Brew does just that. In addition to offering top-notch coffee drinks, including nitro coffee (cold-brewed, nitrogen-infused coffee), the venue veers off the beaten path with:

•  Tuesday Tea Times: On Tuesdays only, the kitchen serves a traditional afternoon tea, featuring a choice of quality loose-leaf tea, a selection of dainty sandwiches (e.g., egg with dill mayo, cucumber and chive, smoked salmon with pickled onion), scones and pastries. Reserve in advance at

• Heavenly Gelato: DSM Brew scoops up 16 flavors of Villa Dolce gelato, a rich, dense, colorful and intensely flavored Italian-style ice cream made in California. Flavors spotted recently: Madagascar vanilla bean, pure Sicilian pistachio, coffee chocolate chip, Argentine sea salt caramel and Rosanna Raspberry (a vegan gelato). 

• Affogato!: In Italian, "affogato" means "drowned." It also refers to a dessert made from a scoop of gelato "drowned" in a shot of espresso for a singularly uplifting effect: The gelato indulges your sweet tooth while the espresso brings you back to life after a heavy meal. DSM Brew serves this classic Italian concoction—remember that the next time you’ve had a great meal out, but aren’t quite ready to head home yet.

DSM Brew also serves beer and wine, a limited selection of cold sandwiches and grilled panini as well as brunch on Sundays. Also of note: Brunch costs $12.95. Brunch with endless mimosas costs $17.95. Sounds like day-drinking on a dime to me.

DSM Brew is at 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, #140; 515-259-3634;

There’s a new movement in design that we’re getting really excited about at by Design. Deciding on a name for a new design style usually takes a while to catch on, but for now, we’re liking the name California Casual. And that’s what Emily Henderson is calling it and if it’s good enough for her – it’s good enough for us! ... Read more »


Local musicians liven up summer nights in the "Social Irrigation" series at the Botanical Garden. Photo: Ivory House Photography.


By Michael Morain

If the spirit of Maria von Trapp ever tires of cavorting through the Alps, she should come to Des Moines. This time of year, the city is alive with the sound of music.

In fact, if you play your cards rightand toss a lawn chair in the trunkyou could catch an outdoor concert almost every day of the week from now through September. The list below comprises 160 concerts in 11 series, ranging from elegant "Social Irrigation" events at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden to come-as-you-are picnics at Summerset Winery. Most are free, but a few require a small cover charge.

Beaverdale Farmers Market
Beaver and Urbandale avenues
4-7:30 p.m.

June 5-Sept. 11

Jasper Winery
Just south of Water Works Park
6-9 p.m.
This week (Ade and the Soul Brothers) through Aug. 2

Music in the Junction
At the Valley Junction Farmers Market in West Des Moines
5:30-8:30 p.m.
This week (Brian Holtz Band) through Sept. 27

Social Irrigation
Trellis Cafe at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
6-8:30 p.m.
June 14-Sept. 27

Camp Dodge Summer Concert Series
7 p.m. at the camp’s pool complex

May 24-July 19

The Belin Quartet
Various downtown venues
12:15-1 p.m.
May 25-July 27

Snus Hill Winery
Between Madrid and Slater
6:30-9:30 p.m.
This week (Hot Tamale and the Red Hots) through Sept. 21

Tunes on the Terrace
Cafe Baratta’s at the State Historical Building of Iowa
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

This week (Austin Ellis) through July 27

Covered Bridges Winery
7-10 p.m.
May 19; June 2, 9, 30; July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 22; Oct. 20; Nov. 10

Snus Hill Winery
Between Madrid and Slater

2-5 p.m.
This week (Bill Martin Group) through Oct. 14

Summerset Winery
2-5 p.m.
This week (Tony Valdez and the Retro Rockets) through June 24

Music Under the Stars
On the west terrace of the state Capitol
7-9 p.m.
June 10-July 15

In addition to the weekly concerts listed, remember Nightfall on the River,,
and Windsor Heights’ casual Music in the Park series is being planned again. Watch for details to be announced here:

Artist Yayoi Kusama's career is dotted with distinctively colorful, graphic and playful works to be celebrated Friday.


The Des Moines Art Center got our attention this week with two events marking artwork old and new.

A "Polka Dot Party" from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 11, celebrates Yayoi Kusama and the installation of her "Pumpkin (L)" in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. You're invited to wear polka-dot attire for the free party that will include simultaneous events on 15th Street near the Sculpture Park and at the Art Center. A shuttle will run continuously between the locations. 

The street party will feature music from the Punching Pandas, hands-on art activities for guests of all ages, on-the-spot tours, a cash bar and food truck eats.

For those who are seeking a more refined way to experience Kusama’s work, head to the Art Center for an unexpectedly dotty cocktail party in the lobby and courtyard. Feast on round light bites and enjoy hosted beer and wine. For more information, click here.

Also at the Art Center, a current exhibit takes a fresh look at the work of Iowa's celebrated Grant Wood. "Sultry Night: Selected Works by Grant Wood" features 19 lithographs and the rarely seen "Sultry Night" painting, a controversial depiction of a bathing farmhand, on loan from Wisconsin. This marks the first time the painting has been publicly exhibited in Iowa. Also on view are early impressionist paintings of the Iowa landscape that Wood produced in the early 1920s.

A free one-hour lecture, "Grant Wood's Sultry Night and the Politics of Depicting Males Bathing," will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17. Reed Anderson, an associate professor of art history at the Kansas City Art Institute, will examine the controversy that erupted over Wood’s print and discuss how it relates to and departs from other artistic representations of male bathers, which are conspicuously scarce in the history of art. The lecture will also explore the calculated eroticism implicit in the print’s composition and title, as well as the possibility that Wood deliberately invested this image and other depictions of male bathers with a gay subtext. Reservations are required and can be made here.

Get a uniquely close-up view of symphony musicians performing Saturday at the Temple for Performing Arts.


Get a whole new perspective on Des Moines Symphony musicians in Spotlight at the Temple, an intimate concert experience in the grand hall of the Temple for Performing Arts.

The concept will be introduced Tuesday, May 15, with music by four small chamber ensembles performing in the round. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-concert cocktail reception for VIP ticket holders. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Patrons are invited to stay and mingle with musicians at an informal post-concert reception in the hall's bar area. General admission is $15; the VIP experience is $45; reservations can be made here.

Megan Evans, a social-media influencer in matters of style, will offer thrift-shop tips in a Goodwill event Saturday. Photo: Paige Peterson.


Style is defined by personal taste, not budget. This Saturday, May 12, Goodwill of Central Iowa will present two  social-media influencers who may inspire you to explore thrift shopping and styling for your closet and home.

Tyler Wentworth of Wentworth Vintatge will offer tips on decorating with thrift store treasures at 11 a.m. Saturday at a pop-up shop in the Johnston Goodwill location, 5355 N. W. 86th St.

Megan Evans of As Seen on M.E. will share styling tips and "best practices" of thrifting at 1 p.m. Saturday at her pop-up shop in the West Des Moines Goodwill site at 6630 Mills Civic Parkway. She was featured in dsm magazine recently in this story about vintage fashions.

We can practically smell the clematis in this photo from the Botanical Garden. Get close to the plants at this week's garden festival.


You've waited long enough! The fifth annual Spring Garden Festival will be held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Thursday through Sunday, May 10-13. This four-day pop-up retail festival includes nearly 500 limited-edition plant varieties, a garden art and merchandise fair, educational sessions, family-friendly garden activities, drop-in demonstrations and more.

The plant sale features a curated collection of new, unusual or hard-to-find perennials, with an emphasis on natives and perennials that support pollinators and other wildlife.

Friday through Sunday, access to the plant sale, garden art and merchandise fair and drop-in activities is included with the regular cost of Botanical Garden admission. Mothers receive free admission on Mother’s Day. Ticketed events and workshops require pre-registration and an additional fee.

The festival begins with an opening night ticketed event from 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Attendees will enjoy early access to the plant sale, hors d’oeurves and cocktails and participate in a butterfly release. Tickets are available at For a full schedule of events Friday through Sunday, click here.

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