FYI – Nov/Dec 16

What you’re reading

Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, is reading “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future,” by Steve Case (Simon & Schuster, 2016): “Case provides leaders with valuable insights on how to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital world. He also makes a strong case for the ‘Rise of the Rest,’ providing hope and guidance for emerging startup ecosystems like we are collectively building in Central Iowa.”

Weinhardt & Logan attorney Mark Weinhardt is reading “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, 2013): “While the book is fundamentally about change—the rise of the Progressive movement around the turn of the last century and its reliance on investigative journalism—it also teaches how much doesn’t change: The discussions on both sides of the issue of income inequality 115 years ago sound exactly like today.”

Weinhardt recently finished “The Simple Art of Murder,” a collection of 1930s and ’40s detective stories by Raymond Chandler (Houghton Mifflin, 1950): “Intricate and intermittently violent plots aside, I could read such work all day for descriptions like this: ‘The girl slept on, motionless, in that curled-up looseness achieved by some women and all cats. Her breath made no slightest sound against the vague murmur of the radio.’ ”

Sherry Gupta, executive director of CultureALL, is reading “Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do,” by Claude M. Steele (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010): “I love this book! It reveals so much about my life, interactions and passion for the work we do at CultureALL. Written by a social-psychologist academic and researcher, the narrative methodically unfolds how our assumptions about other people—and their assumptions about us—alter behaviors and shake our intellect. The research and revealing personal stories illuminate how to change our social environment and create a fundamental belief in inclusion.”

What are you reading and what do you think about it? We’d love to know! Email us at Your book and comments may appear in our next issue.



Hear …
… what’s sure to be a dynamic concert when Manhattan Transfer and Take 6—two of the most innovative and acclaimed a cappella groups in pop music history—perform together at Hoyt Sherman Place Nov. 5. With a total of 20 Grammy Awards between them, they cover a range of genres, including jazz, swing, gospel, pop, and rhythm and blues.

“Civic Music is all about bringing legends and rising stars to Des Moines, so when we learned that these two groups were touring together, we jumped on it,” says Peter Stevenson, executive director of Civic Music Association, which is presenting the concert. “Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 are masters of vocal performance. Their tight, crystal-clear harmonies are a joy to hear. It’s going to be a concert with a lot of variety, delivered with a ton of energy.”

We have no doubt about that. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35-$65 for adults; $21-$39 for students. For more information, visit or


11 “Ugly Lies the Bone” focuses on a newly discharged soldier from Afghanistan who arrives home with physical and emotional scars but finds unexpected help through virtual reality video game therapy. Presented by StageWest Theatre Company. Through Nov. 20 (dates and times vary), Kum & Go Theater at the Des Moines Social Club. $20-$33;

17 Don’t pass up the opportunity to see legendary guitarist Buddy Guy (pictured, above), who, at age 79, is still one of the best blues performers you’ll hear anywhere. 7:30 p.m., Hoyt Sherman Place. $59.50-$89.50;

19The Des Moines Symphony presents an all-Russian program, including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, starring Lise de la Salle on piano. 7:30 p.m.; also Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m., Des Moines Civic Center. $15-$60;

25 A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” “Rent” returns to Des Moines as part of its 20th anniversary tour. The story follows a year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams. Presented by Des Moines Performing Arts. Through Nov. 27 (times vary), Des Moines Civic Center. $30-$103;



6 “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” (pictured) showcases the life of the famous songwriter and performer, who became one of the most successful musical acts in history. Presented by Des Moines Performing Arts. Through Dec. 11 (dates and times vary), Des Moines Civic Center. $35-$139;

9 Jazz up your holidays with Canadian Brass. The brass quintet has sold some 2 million albums worldwide. Presented by Civic Music Association. 7:30 p.m., Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University. $25-$55;

9You’re sure to get inspired at “A Christmas Carol,” the enduring Charles Dickens story that follows Scrooge as he encounters the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Presented by Repertory Theater of Iowa. Through Dec. 22 (dates and times vary), Kum & Go Theater at the Des Moines Social Club. $18-$33;

16 Celebrate the season with Tonic Fol-Sa, an Emmy Award-winning a cappella ensemble.
7:30 p.m, Hoyt Sherman Place. $22-$39.50;

31 Greet 2017 to the tunes of Frank Sinatra at the Des Moines Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops concert. Guest artist Steve Lippa will perform the late crooner’s most famous songs, accompanied by the symphony and the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra.
8 p.m., Des Moines Civic Center. $35-$90;

Now and Then


Postcard courtesy of Anthony Horvath
Photograph: Duane Tinkey

The 14-story art deco Des Moines Building, towering on the left side of Sixth Avenue in the image from the 1930s, has been transformed into apartments plus office and retail space today. Down and out just a decade ago, some $25 million in improvements restored its luster and ensured its future as an anchor on a street once known statewide for its office towers.

On the opposite side of the street, then as now, stands the 12-story Liberty Building. The 1923 landmark, once the home of Bankers Life Insurance, now houses Hyatt Place Des Moines, a fitness center and condos.

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