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From Business Publications Corporation Inc., 100 4th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Copyright © BPC Inc. 2012.

All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content in any manner is strictly prohibited.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Welcome to the first edition of dsmArts! We're launching this newsletter to showcase Greater Des Moines' thriving, vibrant arts community. Each month, we'll bring you behind-the-scenes news and insights into the metro area's visual, performing and literary arts. Do you have news, an idea or a viewpoint to share? Email us at dsmeditor@bpcdm.com.

New and Notable


Kim Poam Logan
Forming Alliances
Metro Arts Alliance (MAA) has refashioned its mission to focus on the "alliance" part of its name. "We want to be a true alliance of local arts organizations," says Kim Poam Logan, MAA's executive director. "Our goal is to celebrate, showcase, market and promote…their programs and services." MAA also is striving to be a central clearinghouse for information on the local arts scene. "We want to make it easy for people to be arts consumers," she says.

In the past, some have perceived MAA as being akin to an artist guild, says Poam Logan. But MAA's new emphasis, the result of extensive strategic planning, is to help foster partnerships among arts organizations, neighborhoods, schools and universities, and other local groups to help ensure the sustainability of the arts and enhance their collective impact.

MAA's signature programs--Jazz in July, Metro Arts Expo and GreenArts--will continue, but play an expanded role, Poam Logan says. "We'll be looking at how we can use these vehicles to collaborate with other arts and community organizations," she says. More info: metroarts.org.

New Bravo Partner
Waukee is the newest partner of Bravo Greater Des Moines, joining Altoona, Carlise, Clive, Des Moines, Indianola, Johnston, Norwalk, Polk City, Polk County, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights. Each city provides a percentage of the hotel/motel tax to Bravo, which then awards grants to metro area arts, cultural and heritage organizations. Since 2005, Bravo has awarded more than $16 million to 84 Greater Des Moines organizations. bravogreaterdesmoines.org

Art App
Using a free new art app by the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, our writer planned three public art crawls. Find out what she discovered by clicking here.


Frank Hansen
Hansen's Way
Des Moines artist Frank Hansen opens a new exhibit at Moberg Gallery May 18. Bulging with bold colors and textures, his impossible-to-ignore images explore everything from childhood memories and inside jokes to world events and politics. He shares how he creates his evocative, and provocative, paintings and mixed-media works in this video. Click here


Wicker Van Orsdel and Dr. Robert Larsen

"The Book of Mormon" will play the Civic Center in early 2013.

Jeff Chelesvig
At the Ruby Ball April 20
Galas come and galas go, but Des Moines Metro Opera’s (DMMO) Ruby Ball last Friday night was clearly one of the best parties of the year. Sure, the wine and food--created to evoke “La Rondine,” which DMMO will perform this summer--were top-notch. But the entertainment and the tribute to Dr. Robert Larsen, DMMO co-founder and artistic director emeritus, made the first-class affair a fitting--and fun--celebration of DMMO’s 40th anniversary. Singers performed arias from several operas throughout dinner, and the Simpson College Choir and Chamber Singers performed as the peasant chorus from “Eugene Onegin.” Entertainer and dsm columnist Wicker Van Orsdel kept the auction lively. Plenty of socializing and dancing to the sounds of The Des Moines Big Band capped the evening. Bravo to all! To read more about DMMO’s 40th anniversary celebration, click here for the story in dsm’s new issue. To read Wicker's dsm blog post on the evening, click here.

At the Civic Center April 9
The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines not only hosts great performances, it also knows how to throw a good party. Earlier this month, some 1,200 people gathered at the venue to find out the lineup for the 2012-2013 season. After sipping wine and socializing in the lobby, guests took a seat in the auditorium, where performers imitating Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley put on a rollicking show. Civic Center President and CEO Jeff Chelesvig and others involved with the Center then took the stage to reveal the lineup.

By now, you've no doubt heard what's in store for next season ("The Book of Mormon"! The return of "Les Miserables" and "Jersey Boys"!), but Chelesvig also revealed some intriguing facts and figures that show just how far the city has come in embracing and supporting the arts. To wit: The number of series the Civic Center produces has jumped from one in the 1995-96 season to seven today and the number of performances it presents a season from 60 to 232. Attendance has grown from about 95,500 to nearly 250,000.

Still, Chelesvig made a good case for why support is more necessary than ever. The Broadway series is the only series that makes money; all the others require additional funding from grants, donations and sponsorships. For example, 80 percent of the cost of the Applause series is subsidized so the ticket price can be held to $1. The series, which reaches about 46,000 students and educators a year from 44 of Iowa's counties, costs about $250,000 a year. For more info about the Applause series, the new season or subscriptions and tickets, go to civiccenter.org.


This work will be available for auction at Art Crazy.

The Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble. Photo by Rachel Chambers.
April 26: Art Crazy
You'll have a chance to add to your art collection at this new event April 16 that benefits the Des Moines Art Center. Mingle with other art lovers and listen to live music as you browse and buy the donated paintings, prints, ceramics, posters, works on paper, sculpture and more. The preview party begins at 6 p.m., with the main event starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$75; location is 1717 Ingersoll Ave. More info: desmoinesartcenter.org

May 3: Chocolate, Wine & All That Jazz
Tap your toes and treat your taste buds at this benefit for Civic Music Association. The May 3 event begins at 7 p.m. and includes a silent auction, tent party and concert at the Patty & Fred Turner Jazz Center on the Drake University campus. Tickets are $35-$150. Details at civicmusic.org.

May 20: Vocal Arts Concert
If you haven't attended a performance by the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble (DMVAE), you have a chance to mend your ways: The choir will end its 20th anniversary season with a concert May 20 at Faith Lutheran Church in Clive. You'll leave wondering why you haven't had DMVAE concerts on your must-do list before now.

The anniversary concert will feature the world premiere of a commissioned work by Florida composer David Brunner. The four-minute composition "is a stunning piece," says Tim McMillin, DMVAE's director. The concert also will include works created by the two winners of the inaugural composition contest DMVAE launched this season. Ben Sides, a student at Lincoln High School, won in the apprentice division, and Stephen Lounsbrough, a student at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, won in the scholar division.

We're also excited about this concert because Carol Stewart, a DMVAE former director who influenced countless students and professionals in her decades conducting choirs throughout the city, will return to conduct two pieces, as will former director Earl Sides. Tickets are $15 ($6 for students) in advance and $18 at the door. To hear the DMVAE, click here. For tickets or more info: dmvae.org.

New Catalog
The Des Moines Art Center is creating a new print catalog of its permanent collections as well as placing the information online, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation's American Art Program. The first 325 online images should be ready by the end of June and the print catalog completed by the end of December.

Pictured: "Automat," (1927), by Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967), oil on canvas, 28 1/8 x 36 inches. Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections.

The Ripple Effect
MD Isley, Bravo Greater Des Moines' executive director, reminded us recently that "the arts create a ripple effect" in terms of their economic impact. Indeed, that effect can easily be seen through just one arts-related outing. Let's say you're planning to attend Repertory Theater of Iowa's "Tartuffe" ($22 a ticket) at the Kirkwood Theater this weekend or maybe "Memphis" ($20-$75 per ticket) at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. But first you have a few friends over for wine ($18.99 for a bottle of Prentice Ramato pinot gris from Gateway Market) and cheese ($17.99 for a pound of the exquisite Holland's Family Farms smoked gouda and $22.99 for a pound cloth-bound Cabot cheddar from The Cheese Shop; $5 for a loaf of ciabatta bread from La Mie; $4.20 for a half pint of Kalamata olives from Gateway Market). Then the four of you catch dinner at Splash Seafood Bar & Grill, feasting on an entrée, dessert and one more bottle of wine (about $200-$225). After the show, you hit Court Avenue Brewing Company for a nightcap ($20-$30). Earlier in the day, you went to the car wash ($20) so your friends wouldn't have to sit in the dirt your dog left behind after a romp in the park. And let's say you bought a new spring outfit to make the night even more special ($250). So, you end up infusing anywhere from $601.17 to $691.17 into the local economy--and getting a clean car in the bargain.

If you're an arts organization or a visual, performing or literary artist, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at dsmeditor@bpcdm.com. The deadline for the next issue is May 10. Also, get the word out about your upcoming event by listing it on our online community calendar. Go to dsmMagazine.com and follow the instructions. You also can go to our website to find out how to submit party pictures from your organization for dsm's rsvp section.

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