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02.28.2017: Performance Posting

Hamilton star coming to the Capital City:

(Capital City News Service) Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to announce that Hamilton Tony Award®-winner, LESLIE ODOM, JR., will perform in concert with the Des Moines Symphony on the Civic Center stage Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. This captivating performance will be offered as an add-on to the 2017-2018 Willis Broadway Series Season Ticket Package and as part of the Symphony’s Pops Subscription Series. Ticketing details will be announced at a later date.

Performance Schedule:
LESLIE ODOM, JR. with the Des Moines Symphony
Des Moines Civic Center
Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Multifaceted performer LESLIE ODOM, JR. has most recently been seen in the blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for the role of “Aaron Burr.”

He is a Grammy Award winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton’s Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won t2015 award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Odom, Jr. originated the role of “Burr” in a sold-out run at The Public Theater in 2015, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical.

02.27.2017: Movie Magic

Pass the word to budding movie makers:
"The Film Lounge" premiere receives high praise from Iowa filmmakers
Submissions for next season accepted through June 1

(Capital City News Service) The television premiere of "The Film Lounge" wrapped last weekend with high praise from filmmakers, and submissions for the next season are already being accepted.

"The Film Lounge" is a new public television series that showcases short, independent films by Iowa artists and celebrates the economic and cultural vitality that filmmaking brings to the state. The show is produced by Iowa Public Television in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The program's first episodes featured multiple short films compiled in two, one-hour shows that aired on Iowa Public Television this month. Those who missed the television premiere can find a schedule of additional air dates and an online version of the program at [goog_365476725]

Filmmaker reactions:

Steve Jennings and Kathy Buxton of Grasshorse Studios contributed "The Sacrifice" to this year's "Film Lounge." Their hand-illustrated, animated film was inspired by the story of Saint George and the dragon. “'The Film Lounge' is a great first step in marketing talent. It creates an opportunity for us as filmmakers to share our work and create a fan base. Artists like us don’t survive without them."

Filmmaker Kristian Day, who works on independent films and national television shows in Iowa and Hollywood, said "The Film Lounge" was a great opportunity to showcase his "Cactua" movie to other filmmakers and new audiences. "It was a great experience and I was really happy with (the program). It definitely appealed to filmmakers, and I'm hoping it really connected with the general public and that they engaged with it."

Des Moines filmmaker Bruce Bales contributed a music video he produced for musician Christopher Ford's song, "Everybody Rains." "I plan on applying again. It is great exposure and it helps me to make connections and put names to faces of other filmmakers. To have your voice amplified by an authority like IPTV is impressive. I enjoyed the quality of the films that were included in the episodes and want to know more about each (of them)."

New submission deadline:

Iowa filmmakers may submit films for the next "Film Lounge" season by June 1, 2017. Submitted films must be two to 20 minutes in length, including credits, and will be accepted in the following genres:

Music video
Applicants will be notified by Aug. 1 and selections will be announced Sept. 1. The next season will air in February 2018. Selected filmmakers will receive a stipend of $500.

The submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 1, via an online application portal available at Only one application may be submitted per individual. Films produced as part of a production competition, including the 48-Hour Film Project, are not eligible.

More information can be found at

02.24.2017: Ag Art

Celebrating Iowa Agriculture and the arts:
Iowa artists can submit art that showcases farming
Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award offers $5,600 in prizes

(Capital City News Service) From the gentle swells of landscapes to barnyards and farm animals, the "Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibition" captures the splendor of the Iowa's rural heritage.

Organizers of the sixth annual exhibit are accepting new submissions online at through July 1. The competition offers $5,600 in prizes, with ​ awards presented​ during the Iowa State Fair and ​finalist artwork ​ displayed August through October at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. The exhibit is overseen by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs; the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

“This exhibit has been well received since its inception and continues to be a great success," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. “We thank the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Arts Council and Iowa Farm Bureau for partnering with us, and we look forward to seeing what Iowa artists submit this year.”

“Iowans have honored the beauty and diversity of our land through art long before we were even a state," Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. "We are grateful to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation for partnering with us to showcase Iowa artists of all ages and encourage their talent."

“Agriculture accounts for one out of every five jobs in Iowa, but few Iowans get a chance to work the land," Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill said. "So it's very satisfying that this exhibit draws attention to our passion for growing crops and caring for animals."

"Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibition" is a juried exhibit that recognizes Iowa artists and celebrates Iowa’s role as a global leader in agriculture. Artwork will be judged on innovation of concept and the aesthetic and technical quality of the work. There is a Youth Division (17 years of age and younger) with a $1,000 first place prize and an Adult Division (18 years of age and older) with a $1,500 grand prize. Second, third and other finalists will also receive monetary awards.

Exhibit entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges arranged by the Iowa Arts Council. Eligible participants must be Iowa residents working in 2D media. (Sculpture, film, video, or installation work will not be accepted.) Accepted works must be ready for display (with frames, if necessary, and any related hanging gear) and must not require set-up by the artist. Only one application may be submitted per individual.

02.23.2017: Movie Magic?

CCDC tap instructors are ready if this ever becomes a thing in the Capital City:
(Capital City News Service) -- Los Angeles and New York dance studios are cashing in on the popularity of the movie "La La Land." Many who've never danced before now want to kick up their heels after watching Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone bebop their way around L-A. The 3rd Street Dance Studio in Los Angeles kicked of its La La Land workshops Saturday with 30 dancers of all ages packing the studio. Fancy footwork is the main focus as instructors shout "five, six, seven eight" as dancers step in unison. It's the same story in New York as would-be tap dancers learn the steps.

02.22.2017: Performance Posting

Fans of anime art take note:
Studio Ghibli's Latest Opens Friday at the Fleur Theaters

From the acclaimed animation workshop Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Ponycomes THE RED TURTLE. Nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, THE RED TURTLE is a lush, medatative animated feature with no dialogue but plenty of sumptuous landscapes and a gorgeous color palette.

Entertainment Weekly raves that THE RED TURTLE "...invites us–as in, anyone who’s ever felt stranded–to consider our little spot in the world. Lavish with stunning imagery, the experience will ripple into your dreams."

02.21.2017: Performance Posting

DsM Playhouse has just unveiled its ambitious agenda for next year:
The Des Moines Community Playhouse has the most rootin-tootin', fan-crazed, dreamy, jazzy, gut-wrenching season ever. The theatre's 99th season includes four musicals, plus drama, comedy, and family shows.


July 14-Aug. 6, 2017
There's trouble in River City! Fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill cons Iowa-stubborn citizens by convincing them to purchase instruments and uniforms for a boys' band. But his plans to skip town with the money are thwarted when he meets Marian, the librarian, and falls in love… first with her, and then with the town. The Music Man is Meredith Willson's tribute to his home state, and one of the Playhouse's most-requested musicals.


Sept. 8-Oct. 1, 2017
Seventeen dancers audition for eight ensemble roles in the next Big Broadway Musical. From tap dance sensation Mike to Cassie, a former featured performer now begging for any role, each one has a story and unique reason for performing. A Chorus Line shows what actors do for love of the theatre in a life that is demanding, heartbreaking, and exhilarating. A Chorus Line is one singular sensation!


Oct. 13-29, 2017
World Premiere! Liz is a recent widow with a bad dating track record. Her spunky friends each set her up with a different guy, manipulating things along the way, of course. In the hilarious intrigue that follows, Liz finds out just how difficult making choices can be. Choices, where the women are smart and the humor is sharp, is the latest comedy by Des Moines playwright Karen Schaeffer, author of Girls' Weekend, a hit in the Playhouse's 2014-15 Season.


Nov. 3-20, 2017
Ma, Pa, Mary, and Laura Ingalls gather the whole family together at their home in Kansas to celebrate the holidays. When a natural disaster strikes, it seems like Santa won’t be able to make it! But Christmas is a time for miracles, and Laura and Mary are determined to help ensure Ma and Pa don’t have a gift-less holiday. Based on the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, A Little House Christmas is a perfect way for families to kick off the holiday season.


Dec. 1-24, 2017
Ariel may have fins, but she wants nothing more than to leave her kingdom under the sea. After saving Prince Eric from a storm at sea, she knows she’s in love and her father will never understand. But when Ariel makes a deal with Ursula, the evil sea witch, to experience the life she's dreamed of, things go terribly wrong. Make The Little Mermaid part of your family's world this holiday season!


Jan. 5-21, 2018
From the pages of Mo Willem’s beloved books comes a musical adventure that will have families rolling with laughter. Gerald, an elephant, and Piggie, a pig, are “bestus” friends. Gerald worries about their friendship, but Piggie is completely confident, especially because they’re invited to a party! Through singing and dancing, the pair learns important lessons about the meaning of friendship, and what to wear to a fancy pool party.


Jan. 26-Feb. 11, 2018
A horrible automobile accident nearly claims best-selling author Paul Sheldon’s life. Luckily, his biggest fan, Annie, is there to save him and nurse him. It doesn’t take long, however, for Paul to realize he is living a nightmare. Completely at Annie's psychopathic mercy, he's unsure if he’ll make it out alive after all. Based on the book by Stephen King, Misery will have audiences on the edges of their seats.


Feb. 23-Mar. 11, 2018
Miss Nelson’s class is the worst in the whole school. Why? She’s just too nice. One day, Miss Nelson doesn’t show up and the evil substitute teacher Viola Swamp takes her place. Under Swamp's tyranny, the students begin to see the error of their ways. Based on the book by Harry G. Allard Jr. and James Marshall.


Apr. 6-29, 2018
At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing and anything is possible. Three families -- embodied by an upper-class wife, a Jewish immigrant, and a Harlem musician -- cross paths and their lives intertwine in pursuit of the American Dream. After a tragedy, people discover they have more in common than anyone thought. Based on the best-selling book by E.L. Doctorow with a Tony Award-winning score, Ragtime is a powerful and inspiring portrait of America, and musical theatre storytelling at its finest.

02.20.2017: Performance Posting

Latest at the DsM Playhouse:
Feb. 24-Mar. 12

Based on the award-winning book by Louis Sachar, Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats (Michael Cunningham), who continues his family's curse of bad luck and finds himself at Camp Green Lake, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. But this isn't any ordinary camp; the boys are forced to dig, day in and day out, in search of historic treasure.

Stanley and fellow "campers," X-Ray (Elvin Soe), Magnet (Calvin Wilner), Armpit (AJ Mortale), and Zigzag (Harold Norris), find themselves digging up the story of Kissin' Kate Barlow (Katy Merriman), one of the most feared outlaws in the west. Hole by hole, Stanley begins to also dig into his past and with the help of his friend Zero (Jarhon Hill), reshapes his destiny.

Holes won the 1998 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

The Playhouse cast is directed by Nathan Jorgensen. The cast includes Brooks Blackwood, Melody DeRogatis, Michael Garrison, Ella Henderson, Emmett Phillips Jr., Michael Ream, Corbett Reeves, Gary Scherer, Rebecca Scholtec, Michael Tallman, and Lauren Vickers.

Holes is 1 hour 45 minutes including a 15-minute intermission.

02.17.2017: Even More Tips From Teachers

Here's some coaching from various ballet experts:

02.16.2017: Movie Magic

This note from the Fleur Theaters:
Documentary and Foreign Nominees Open Friday

This Friday you'll finally get a chance to see two more Oscar nominees: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, a trenchant documentary about James Baldwin's observations of race in America nominated for Best Documentary Feature and TONI ERDMANN, a ribald German comedy nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Critics are lavishing praise on both films.

The Associated Press calls I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO "…searing and utterly necessary…It is not only a must see, but one that should be studied and absorbed over many viewings."

The New York Times made TONI ERDMANN a Critic's Pick, praising the film as "its own kind of rebellion, a thrilling act of defiance against the toxicity of doing what is expected, on film, at work and out in the world."

Finally, mark your calendars: The Fleur will once again host a free Oscars Watch Party with the live broadcast on the big screen on Sunday, February 26. Check out the event details here.

02.15.2017: Local Listings

Latest from the weekly update from The Culture Buzz:
1. Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Fancy Nancy The Musical will hold auditions on Sun Mar 5 for 5 women and 1 man roles. For complete information, please visit
Other Cultural Considerations:
1. Repertory Theatre of Iowa is offering a unique opportunity for cultural patrons to take their support to a new level. For its next show, August: Osage County, opening Fri Mar 3 in the Kum & Go Theater at the Des Moines Social Club, leading champion for performing arts has pledged a $3000 matching grant for anyone interested in sponsoring an actor or other production member. For example, your $250 will be matched to sponsor a lead actor. For complete details and who to contact, please visit
2. Goldfinch Theatre Company continues its world premiere of Mike Draper’s No Coast with Thu, Fri and Sat shows at 7:30 pm, and a closing show on Sun Feb 19 at 2:00 pm in Grand View University’s Viking Theater (a marvelously refurbished performing venue). "...the snark of Mike Draper, the range of the talented Scott Seipker and a well-crafted script make NO COAST a delightful stroll on the Midwestern cultural beach..." -The Culture Buzz
3. Ankeny Community Theatre its run of one of the most iconic small musicals of musical theatre history, The Fantasticks, through Sun Feb 19.
4. Des Moines Big Band has been delighting audiences for years, and continues its weekly tradition each Wednesday at Noce, the hottest jazz and music club in the Heartland. Drop by some Wednesday to unwind and soak in the audio ambience as a cavalcade of legends and emerging stars treat those in attendance to a jazzy journey.

02.14.2017: Arts Festival Update

The Arts Festival just sent this out:
The Artists On January 26 we proudly announced the professional and emerging artists selected by the five-panel jury to exhibit during the 2017 Des Moines Arts Festival. The announcement came at REVEAL presented by Foster Group, a special event at Wells Fargo Arena.

Artists were selected from 29 states and the countries of Canada and Argentina. A balance of mediums including jewelry, mixed media, photography, wood, sculpture, and more will be represented in June.

The jury included 2016 commemorative poster artist, Brice McCasland, 2016 Leysens Family Award-winner, Kristen Greteman, Liz Lidgett, Des Moines artist, Alex Braidwood and Michael Morain.

Head to our website for a complete list of artists and also to enjoy a slideshow of the exhibiting artists.

Kind Regards,
Stephen King, CFEE
Executive Director

02.13.2017: More Tips From Teachers

Here's some coaching from the Prix de Lausanne experts:

02.10.2017: Arts Opportunity

Calling all Iowa female artists!
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Art Council Call for Iowa Women’s Arts Exhibition Artwork Submissions

(Capital City News Service) – Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Arts Council today announced an open call for female artists to submit art for the Iowa Women's Art Exhibition, which showcases works from female Iowa artists and celebrates their contributions to the vitality of the arts and quality of life in Iowa.

"All across Iowa, business leaders tell me our state's quality of life is one of the top considerations when they're looking to expand or recruit new employees," Reynolds said. "Iowa's female artists have played a significant role in improving our quality of life in Iowa, and they've done it in a way that improves our economic vitality, too. So I am pleased to highlight their works in my formal office and encourage them to apply to be in the exhibit."

The new round of art will rotate semi-annually at the State Capitol in the formal office of the Lt. Governor with a Fall Exhibit July-December 2017 and a Spring Exhibit January-June 2018. The submission deadline is May 1, 2017 and artists must apply at

Applicants must be a current Iowa resident, female, 21 years of age or older and not enrolled in a degree-granting program. Submissions must be original pieces in 2D or 3D media completed within the past five years. Film, video or installation work will not be accepted. Works also must be display-ready including frames, fastening/installation material, and stand-alone without set up needs. Selected artists will receive $250 stipends to underwrite transportation and display costs.

Currently, works from Jody Boyer of Council Bluffs, Jane Gilmor of Cedar Rapids and Rachel Merrill of Des Moines are on display in the exhibit through June 30, 2017.

The exhibit series was created in 2014 by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Iowa Arts Council. The public is welcome to visit the exhibit 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the State Capitol.

The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at or 515-281-5111.

02.09.2017: Performance Posting

Opportunity at the institution lovingly referred to as "Party Hearty U":
Faculty/Graduate Concert
Presented by the Department of Dance

Department of Dance faculty and graduate students present their work at Space Place Theater in North Hall on the University of Iowa campus. The performance will include the following works:

Choreography by Marc Macaranas
Informed by a curiosity for science fiction, sleek futurism, and slippery fixity, DYAD is a dance for two that explores jigsaw-like interactivity and intricate dysfunctions.

Mommie Queerest
Choreography by Jesse Factor
This piece began as a study investigating the aesthetics of Camp. Jesse is interested in the excessive body and the counterpoints of glamor and abjection. Inspired by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, Jesse mines the Hollywood tropes of the diva in distress for humor and beauty.

Enthusiastic YES
Choreography by Jessica Anthony, in collaboration with the dancers
Enthusiastic YES explores affirmative consent through a shared weight duet between two women.

She Was
Choreography by Kwame Azalius Ross
This work is a movement in response to a poem written by Christine Yohannes from Addis, Ethiopia who was a member of the International Writers Project this past semester. It was a great pleasure to continue to investigate this work and to give continuous awareness of the horror of sexual assault against the youth of our global world.

Variations once for sixteen, now eleven
Choreography by Armando Duarte
Variations once for sixteen, now eleven is composed of short and long abstract contemporary dance phrases; it intends to fully explore the dancers performance ability; motivated by the wonderful scores composed by Mr. Philip Glass.

This production contains adult content, adult language, and the use of theatrical haze.

Tickets are available through the Hancher Box Office at 319.335.1160 or 1.800. HANCHER or online at

02.08.2017: Playhouse Performances

The Playhouse set to release next season's line-up:
Des Moines Playhouse 2017-18 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
5:30 PM, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017

The season announcement party is free, but RSVPs are required. You will be emailed your admission ticket. You need a ticket for each guest, and each guest needs to sign up individually. Questions? Contact Lee Ann Bakros, 515-974-5358,

Venue: Lobbies
Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines, IA 50312

02.07.2017: Latest Interview

A CCDC student recently asked to interview me for a school assignment. Here are the answers and you can find the questions on our FaceBook page:
  1. I'm from Hawai'i and was hatched like a hatchimal many, many moons ago. Never ask a dancer how old they are or when they were born.
  2. My dad was the most influential person on me as a young child. He was a no nonsense kind of guy who always wanted me to do my best.
  3. I went to Kalani High School in O'ahu. But, don't ask me when I graduated (See answer to number one)
  4. I started formal training in ballet when I started attending the University of Hawai'i. But, I had been dancing most of my life. I was considered quite the dancer in high school. Always made it a point to know the latest steps.
  5. I trained in martial arts when I was younger. I reached san-kyu ranking in Judo and was an instructor in Huk-Hu Gung Fu. I was also a tournament-winning high school wrestler and tri-captain my senior year.
  6. I started training at the University of Hawai'i and danced with several companies in Honolulu. I danced with a small ballet company in Crystal Lake, Illinois when I first came to the mainland. I then went on scholarship at Maria Tallchief's School of the Chicago City Ballet and ended up teaching there. I became a principal dancer at the Duluth Ballet one season and then danced for two seasons with the Des Moines Ballet, that became Ballet Iowa my last season.
  7. My greatest accomplishment was leaving my home to pursue my dreams of dancing professionally. There were some trials and tribulations, but, I can say what few others can say: I have been a professional ballet dancer.
  8. Favorite color? Silver-blue comes to mind, but, I wear black most of the time.
  9. Favorite thing I've done is what I do every day today: try to get better at ballet or try to get others to be better at ballet.
  10. My parents always wanted me to excel at whatever I did. I think they enjoyed the fact that I became an award-winning journalist. But, I think they would've preferred me to become a doctor or engineer. I think they were dumbfounded by the fact I chose to become a professional dancer, the first in our family.
  11. I met Melissa at a ballet studio. I think only another dancer can understand the time commitment it takes to feed our obsessions.
  12. I define happiness as the byproduct of working towards a goal. Set a goal and work towards it to achieve happiness.
  13. My most memorable travel experience was a visit to the 2013 Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. We also got to travel across the lake to step foot in France for the first time.
  14. Funniest thing told to me is when a fellow dancer traveled to Poland for a summer intensive. She was deposited in front of the school with her big bags. She asked some of the guys standing around outside for help carrying her luggage up to the third floor. Her future husband looked at her with a puzzled expression on his face. "Oh," she thought, "I wish I spoke Polish!" She then acted out carrying luggage and struggling and pointed to him with a questioning look. He replied in perfect English, "Oh, you want some help with that?" He spoke perfect English all along, just enjoyed seeing the cute foreign dancer pantomiming her questions!
  15. Greatest hope is to be of service, to influence young people in a positive way. To be an asset to the world and to control my negativity.
  16. Favorite thing about dance is traveling to different cities, taking class from new teachers and finding out different dancers are all the same. Ballet is in the blood.

02.06.2017: Tips From Teachers

Here's some coaching from the Prix de Lausanne experts:

02.02.2017: Prix de Lausanne Week

Day Three of the 2017 Prix de Lausanne International Youth Ballet Competition:

02.01.2017: Prix de Lausanne Week

Day Two of the 2017 Prix de Lausanne International Youth Ballet Competition:

01.29.2017: The 2017 Prix Begins!

The premiere international youth ballet competition getting underway in Lausanne, Switzerland today:

Bookmark this page to find the livestreaming of the finals.

01.27.2017: Performance Posting

Support local theater:

JAN 27 - FEB 12, 2017
Adapted for the stage by Simon Levy

Performance Times:
7:30 PM Wednesday through Saturday; 2:00 PM Sunday
Run Time: 1 hour 50 minutes including a 15-minute intermission

What would you do for true love? Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, takes Long Island newcomer Nick Carraway under his wing and into his decadent world of obsession, greed, and danger. Gatsby hopes to reunite with Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan.

Narrated by Carraway looking back seven years, the story reveals not only the true impact that Gatsby had on Nick’s life, but also the real reasons behind Gatsby’s lavish lifestyle.

The glamour of the Jazz Age comes to life in this new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.

The performance on Sunday, Feb. 5, will have live audio description, provided by IRIS. Please contact our ticket office at 515-277-6261 if you would like to use this free service.

01.26.2017: Chance 2 Dance Or Trip The Light Fantastic!o)

Parents! Dance with your kids! Lovers! Celebrate V-Day!o)
Sweetheart Dance
February 10, 2017, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (CST)
Location: Blank Park Zoo

Dance the night away with your favorite Valentine! On Friday, February 10 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, bring the whole family to Blank Park Zoo for an evening filled with music, sweet treats, crafts, and much more. Music will be provided by 'Affordable Music & Sound'.

Ticket information
Member: $12.00 per person
Non-Member: $15.00 per person
Click here to purchase tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be food at the dance?
There will only be a dessert bar and light refreshments, so guests should plan to eat before or after the dance.

Will we be able to see all the animals?
Indoor exhibits will be open until 8 p.m. Outdoor exhibits are closed as the animals must go in for the night 30 minutes prior to sunset for the safety of the animals and animal care staff.

Is this a Father/Daughter or a Mother/Son dance?
It’s both! Bring the entire family!

01.25.207: Preparing For The Prix!o)

Gearing up for this soon!

Prix de lausanne

45th International Ballet Competition
January 29th - February 5th, 2017
Finals Saturday February 4th
Le Presbytère Av. Bergières 14 1004 Lausanne Switzerland
Check out their blog, their photos, their videos or their live-streaming.

01.24.2017: Guten Morgan!

Videos of interest to CCDC dancers:

01.23.2017: Arts Opportunity

Free art exhibit on display:
Art and law converge in new exhibit at State Capitol
First-time exhibit features Yun Shin of Orange City

(Capital City News Service) A new art exhibit is open today in the State Law Library in the State Capitol. Legal eagles and sharp-eyed visitors will spot it on display amid the room's ornate spiral staircases and towering shelves of books.

Created by a partnership between the State Law Library and the Iowa Arts Council, the State Law Library Art Exhibit features works from Iowa artists on a rotating basis beginning today with 2016 Iowa Artist Fellow Yun Shin of Orange City. The exhibit is free and open to the public 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the State Law Library in the State Capitol. The State Law Library is a division of the State Library of Iowa. The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to bring art into a nontraditional setting where it can inspire and reflect the work that takes place there," Iowa Arts Council Administrator Matt Harris said. "Our state law library is a beautiful work of architectural art in and of itself, so this exhibit complements the space perfectly. We are very pleased to partner with the State Law Library on this exhibit and encourage Iowans to see it."

In her work, Shin draws upon her experience as a South Korean immigrant living in rural Iowa. She uses the process of making art to reconstruct memory and relationships from her homeland. Often, she photographs or digitally scans a a family artifact, such as a bedsheet, and then embellishes the new two-dimensional form with repetitive motifs that echo the tedium traditionally associated with women's work, such as embroidery.

The simple materials -- little more than pencils and paper -- as well as the artist's time and labor are important elements of the final product, which can reveal subtle insights about both family and personal history. Many layers lie below the surface.

"Yun Shin's art is very thoughtful and mirrors the way our patrons approach their work and conduct research," State Librarian Michael Scott said. "There is a certain degree of parallelism between the contemplative nature of her work and the law that makes the exhibit perfect in this space."

01.20.2017: Arts Opportunity

Expand your horizons!o)
Des Moines Art Center hosts public discussion on “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life”

(Capital City News Service) On Thursday, March 23, 6:30 – 8 pm, the Des Moines Art Center will host a public discussion on Sharon Louden’s latest book The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. Louden is an artist, advocate, and editor of the book. Featured speakers are Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief and co-founder of the arts blogazine Hyperallergic, who wrote the forward of the book, and Art Center Director Jeff Fleming. (Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today, founded in 2009.) The discussion will be moderated by Louden, will take place in Levitt Auditorium, and is free and open to the public but reservations are required.* The community is highly encouraged to attend and engage in the discussion.

This extraordinary event is organized around the launch of the book and speaking tour, with the goal being to demythologize the tired cliché of the ‘artist hero’ by dispensing with the notion that contemporary artists should be treated differently from other members of our communities. Topics will include: views on current issues in the art world today, an exploration into what models exist that allow an artist to sustain his or her creative life, and what it means for an artist to be a "culture producer." The community is invited to a book signing in the lobby of the museum following the program.

01.19.2017: Performance Posting

Support the DsM Playhouse!
(Capital City News Service) ― What would you do for true love? Jay Gatsby (Matthew Phillip Smith), a self-made millionaire, takes Long Island newcomer Nick Carraway (Benjamin Sheridan) under his wing and into his decadent world of obsession, greed, and danger. Gatsby hopes to reunite with Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Emma Kay Banner), his true love from a lifetime ago. The glamour of the Jazz Age comes to life in this new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.

The Playhouse cast is directed by John Viars. The cast includes Greg Blumhagen, Mason Ferguson, Kate Fitzgerald, Kristin Gredys, Shelby Jensen, Alexandria Porter, Dakota Rachuy, Jason Rainwater, and Gabriel Tejeda-Benitez.

The Great Gatsby is 1 hour 50 minutes including a 15-minute intermission.

01.18.2017: Performance Possibility

Support local theater!
Don't Miss This Stunning Cast

Directed by David A. VanCleave
Produced by Bob Filippone
Tickets at or (515)770-4210

The Normal Heart is a largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer.

It focuses on the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gayfounder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. Ned prefers loud public confrontations to the calmer, more private strategies favored by his associates, friends, and closeted lover Felix Turner. Their differences of opinion lead to frequent arguments that threaten to undermine their mutual goal.

The Normal Heart Cast List:

Craig Petersen: Ned Weeks
Spencer Gilbert: Felix Turner
Karen Schaeffer: Dr. Emma Brookner
Hank Fisher: Bruce Niles
Shane Donegan: Mickey Marcus
Bob Filippone: Ben Weeks
Jasen Emamian: Tommy Boatwright
Jake Leiberton: Craig Donner/Grady/Orderly
Tim Rodriguez: David/Hiram/Examining Doctor
Performances: January 20th-28th
Written by Larry Kramer

01.17.2017: Performance Posting

Yuks and brow-furrowing heading your way…
Tickets on sale Jan. 20th

(Capital City News Service) ― Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to present comedian, political commentator, and talk show host BILL MAHER at the Des Moines Civic Center on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to BILL MAHER will be available starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at, the Civic Center Ticket Office, by phone at (515) 246-2300, or on the Des Moines Performing Arts app (available for Android and IOS users).

For more than 20 years, BILL MAHER has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect” (Comedy Central, ABC, 1993-2002), and for the last 14 years on HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him 38 Emmy nominations. Maher won his first Emmy in 2014 as executive producer for the HBO series, “VICE.” In October of 2008, this same combination was on display in Maher’s uproarious and unprecedented swipe at organized religion, “Religulous,” directed by Larry Charles (“Borat”). The documentary has gone on to become the eighth highest grossing documentary ever.

In addition to his television program – which has featured such visitors as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kerry Washington, Michael Steele, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Eva Longoria, Drew Barrymore, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gen. Wesley Clark, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner, Gary Hart and Pat Buchanan, Maher has written five bestsellers: “True Story,” “Does Anybody Have a Problem with That? Politically Incorrect’s Greatest Hits,” “When You Ride Alone, You Ride with Bin Laden,” “New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer,” and most recently, “The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their A**.”

Maher started his career as a stand-up comedian in 1979, and still performs at least 50 dates a year in Las Vegas and in sold out theaters all across the country. Four of his 10 stand-up specials for HBO – 2014’s “Bill Maher: Live from DC,” 2007’s “The Decider,” 2005’s “I’m Swiss,” as well as the hilarious, “Bill Maher … But I’m Not Wrong,” – have been nominated for Emmy Awards.

Maher was born in New York City, raised in River Vale, N.J. and went to Cornell University. He now resides in Los Angeles.

01.16.2017: Playhouse Plea!

Got some spare room?
(Capital City News Service) The Playhouse is looking forward to welcoming guest designer, Travis George, for our upcoming production of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Travis is a rising international designer and we are eager to see his vision for this classic tale come to life on the Playhouse stage. Travis is not from the Des Moines community, so he needs a place to stay. We are reaching out to Playhouse friends and volunteers to see if you have a space within your home that would offer a bedroom, bath and privacy, but still afford the opportunity to interact, when possible, with the host family. While in Des Moines, Travis will be working most nights and doing correspondence during the day. Past home host volunteers have found the process to be rewarding, while helping the Playhouse bring new and varied talent to Des Moines. Housing is needed January 21 - January 28.

To offer your home, or for more information, please contact production manager, Jonathan Hudspeth, at or 515.974.5359.

01.13.2017: Performance Possibility

Support the local arts scene!o)
(Capital City News Service) The Des Moines Symphony continues its 2016-2017 79th Season with Cathedrals of Sound, 7:30PM Saturday, January 28 & 2:30PM Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Des Moines Civic Center (221 Walnut Street, Des Moines).

Acclaimed by the New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” JoAnn Falletta is a much-sought guest conductor and a vibrant presence on the podium. At the invitation of Joseph Giunta, she leads the Symphony in a soaring symphonic showcase. This energetic concert opens with Brahms’s lively Academic Festival Overture. Next, the virtuosic Oasis Quartet plays Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso, a masterpiece for four saxophones and orchestra. Finally, Bruckner’s monumental Fourth Symphony, his “cathedral of sound,” will take your breath away with its blazing power and majesty.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 28 / 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 29
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines
Tickets: $15-$65 through [] or [] (up until two hours prior to performances) and at the Civic Center Ticket Office (515.246.2300, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines; open 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday and two hours prior to performances).
More info here.

01.11.2017: Arts Hapz

Des Moines Art Center brings new context to work by Alberto Giacometti

(Capital City News Service) On Friday, January 20, the Des Moines Art Center will open Giacometti. The exhibition runs through April 23, 2017 in the Blank One Gallery. Alberto Giacometti’s L’homme au doigt (Man Pointing), 1947, is a critical work in the Art Center’s collection, and a seminal expression of the artist’s existential view of humanity. This spotlight exhibition features the hauntingly intense figure alongside five of the artist’s works on paper also from the museum’s holdings. Two loans from regional collections further enhance this exploration of one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. Giacometti is organized by Curator Laura Burkhalter.

01.09.2017: Movie Monday

Watch and learn, Grasshopper! Watch and learn…

01.06.2017: Happy New Year, Pt 2!

Congratulations to the CCDC alum nicknamed "Mmmadd Skyllz"!!o) Here's her bio from the Cleveland Ballet website:
Madison Campbell

Madison Campbell first began her ballet training in Des Moines, Iowa with Melissa and Emery Uyehara and supplemented her dance education with summer courses at Joffrey Midwest Summer Intensive, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Dance, The School of American Ballet, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and The School of Nashville Ballet. She then spent a season at Miami City Ballet School training under Lourdes Lopez, Carter Alexander, and Geta Constantinescu. Next, she accepted an offer to study at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet on full scholarship under the direction of William Degregory and later Arantxa Ochoa. There, she had the honor of performing George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (on tour at the Kennedy Center), Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, and George Balanchine’s Serenade with the Pennsylvania Ballet. The following year Madison accepted an opportunity to become a trainee with the Nashville Ballet and had the privilege of dancing Paul Vasterling’s Nashville’s Nutcracker as well as participating in several outreaches where she performed variations such as Giselle .This season, Ms. Campbell is very excited to call the Cleveland Ballet home and can’t wait to perform in her favorite ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

...Good for you! Now, about that promotion to principal dancer...

01.05.2017: Happy New Year!

Congratulations to the CCDC alum nicknamed "2K2M"!o)
"...I just found out today that I got promoted to apprentice starting immediately!!! I am so excited and had to let you both know!!!!!..."

"...I'm so excited!! I didn't see this coming until the end of the season!..."

...Good for you! Now, about that promotion to principal dancer...

01.04.2017: Parent and Child Reunion

Only a few chances for fathers to dance with your daughters or Moms to have fun with your sons:
(Capital City News Service) – Join Des Moines Parks and Recreation Saturday, February 4 for a night of fun for the whole family. This year, there will be two events - the annual Father Daughter Dance and the inaugural Mother and Son Fun: Spy Adventure. Tickets for each event are only $10 and are available online at starting today. No phone orders will be taken and tickets will NOT be sold at the door.

Father Daughter Dance The 2017 Des Moines Parks and Recreation Father Daughter Dance will be held Saturday, February 4 from 6:30 – 8:30 the Science Center of Iowa (401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway). New this year, ticket pricing has changed to $10 per person. This occasion provides an evening of dancing, refreshments, photo opportunities and activities for fathers and their daughters. Dads, don’t miss out on this memorable opportunity with your daughter(s). The Father Daughter Dance is sponsored by Des Moines Parks and Recreation, along with the Friends of Des Moines Parks, University Photo, and Boesen the Florist. Visit website for more information.

NEW!! Mother and Son Fun: Spy Adventure The 2017 Des Moines Parks and Recreation Mother and Son Fun: Spy Adventure will be held Saturday, February 4 from 6:30 – 8:30 Four Mile Community Recreation Center (3711 Easton Blvd.) Admission is limited to 75 mothers and their children so get your tickets now! Gear up for adventure, excitement and this extreme challenge as you try to succeed in your mission. Make your way through lasers, drive past danger and conquer a daring obstacle course to hone your skills! Enjoy watching a spy adventure on the big screen while refueling with a fun food treat with your special date. Don’t miss your chance to take a special photo with your fearless partner (that’s you, mom!). Every aspiring secret agent spy is in for a night of adventure and thrills where the action never stops. Visit website for more information.

Volunteers needed in a variety of capacities for both events. If you are interested in helping out, please email or call 248-6373.

01.03.2017: Video Viewpointe

Today we're featuring men en pointe, boys in ballet and auditioning for the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive:

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