Weekender Central Iowa! Des Moines Arts Festival, Tank Anthony, Rainbow Safari, and ArtsFest Midwest


Your weekly editor-curated arts compendium

Congratulations to the Des Moines Arts Festival, which celebrates 25 years this weekend! They’re bringing in performers like G Love & Special Sauce and William Elliott Whitmore to their stages to complement 188 of the nation’s best artists. But don’t get too swept up, because there’s a lot more going on this weekend, too! Catch Tank Anthony at Music in the Garden; get comedy and music at the Bigfoot Bash at xBk; and you’ll find your LV staff tabling at ArtsFest Midwest, the locally-focused alt to the Arts Festival! Top pick: Rainbow Safari, a day at the zoo for LGBTQ families.

Lefty's Live Music

Angelic Desolation/Carnographer/Heir Of Sorrow/Forever Tormented/Zod Vistrg

Jun 23 – 5:00pm

All-ages metal ripper

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University Library Cafe

Becoming – An Immersive Art Experience & Portable Monument to Collective Healing

Jun 23 – 5:30pm

Come experience a secret garden with hanging letter lanterns and contribute your own writing about the things left unsaid.

More info >>

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Music in the Garden

Jun 23 – 6:30pm

Don’t miss Music in the Garden, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden summer concert series. This week: Tank Anthony. Concerts will be held live and in person in the outdoor Koehn Garden

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xBk Live

Durry w/ Mr. Softheart

Jun 23 – 7:00pm

xBk Presents: Durry w/ Mr. Softheart (formerly Hex Girls)

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Des Moines Community Playhouse

Buffalo Women

Jun 23 – 7:30pm

Juneteenth. New lives. new freedoms. A co-production with Pyramid Theatre Company, Buffalo Women is a tale of hidden figures living extraordinary lives on the frontier in 1865.

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Western Gateway Park

Des Moines Arts Festival

Jun 24 – Jun 26 – 12:00pm

Help us celebrate 25 years of impacting lives through the arts in Des Moines!

More info >>

Blank Park Zoo

Rainbow Safari

Jun 24 – 5:30pm

A family-focused evening hosted at Blank Park Zoo, the Rainbow Safari is an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community to come together in an inclusive space and spend time enjoying nature.

More info >>

Lauridsen Amphitheater

Fitz & The Tantrums & St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Jun 24 – 6:00pm

Fitz and The Tantrums and St. Paul & The Broken Bones w/ special guest Devon Gilfillian

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Girls Rock! Des Moines Summer Showcase

Jun 24 – 7:00pm

Girls Rock! Des Moines Summer Showcase at Wooly’s

More info >>

Iowa Events Center

ArtsFest Midwest

Jun 25 – Jun 26 –

Held during Arts Week in Des Moines, ArtFest Midwest is a free fine arts show that features Iowa, regional, and national artists.

More info >>

xBk Live

Joshy Gee's Bigfoot Bash

Jun 25 – 8:00pm

Take a break from the hum drum with some live comedy and music!

More info >>

Cowles Commons

Vegan Summer Market

Jun 26 – 12:00pm

VegLife Des Moines is excited to announce the return of their successful Vegan Summer Market series!

More info >>


Art was Robert Moore’s ‘saving grace.’ Now his work graces T-shirts, walls and buildings in Iowa and beyond

by Courtney Guein, June 21
A boy with a hidden talent fell into the wrong group of people, leading him down a scary path. His job in corporate IT and project management left him feeling empty. It took Robert Moore going to the hospital in 2019 after a night of too much drinking for him to turn his life around and find a positive outlet: art.

‘We never do anything remarkable just for ourselves’: ‘Buffalo Women’ opens on Juneteenth

by Lily DeTaeye, June 20
Three minutes to curtain on June 19, 2022, the Kate Goldman Theatre at the Des Moines Playhouse was mostly full. The blackbox was decked in a sparse yet effective smattering of western themed set pieces and there was an excited hum emanating from the audience about what was to come.

Jo Allen celebrates being both Black and queer with Pride and Soul skate night

by Courtney Guein, June 17
“I was just recognizing that there wasn’t anybody that was doing something that focused on the intersections of the Black community and also the queer community, and me being both of those identities, skating was a big part of my culture growing up as a kid. So, that’s why I thought skating would be a good segue to bring those communities together,” Jo Allen, creator of Pride and Soul, said.

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