Weekender Central Iowa! Game Jam | Shakespeare | The Mountain Goats


Your weekly editor-curated arts compendium

Opportunities abound this weekend in the greater DSM area! Get creative at the Game Jam, go hard for the Bard with double Shakespeare opportunities or hit the local breweries for everything from spice to bikes. Top pick for the weekend: erstwhile Iowan John Darnielle brings the Mountain Goats back for a gig at Wooly’s.

Lua Brewing

Kingmaker Kölsch Day

Jul 14 – Jul 15 –

Bringing a bit of Köln to Historic Sherman Hill.

More info >>

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Music in the Garden

Jul 14 – 6:30pm

Don’t miss Music in the Garden, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden summer concert series presented by EMC Insurance Companies. Concerts will be held live and in person in the outdoor Koehn Garden

More info >>

xBk Live

Bad Bad Hats

Jul 14 – 7:00pm

Bad Bad Hats with Gully Boys and Cavves

More info >>

Gravitate Coworking

Hatchlings Game Jam

Jul 15 – Jul 17 –

Are you a developer, designer, or other creative in the Des Moines area? Then seize this opportunity to collaborate, network, and build something memorable.

More info >>

Waukee Centennial Park

Waukee Arts Festival

Jul 15 – Jul 16 –

Music, 100+ artists, food trucks, beer garden, kids activities, and two concerts

More info >>

xBk Live

Andrew Hoyt Album Release Show

Jul 15 – 7:00pm

More info >>

Teehee's Comedy Club

Alien Head Emoji

Jul 15 – 7:00pm

BlAS presents Alien Head Emoji! In one night you will see 2 stand up comedians abducted by an improv group and brainwashed to perform LONGFORM IMPROV COMEDY SCENES!

More info >>

Blank Performing Arts

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Jul 15 – 7:30pm

Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented by the DSM Opera.

More info >>

Salisbury House and Gardens

Shakespeare on the Lawn: King Lear

Jul 15 – 7:30pm

Salisbury House Foundation (SHF) and Iowa Stage Theatre Company (ISTC) are excited to announce the return of a beloved summer tradition, Shakespeare on the Lawn, as a fundraising collaboration.

More info >>

Hoyt Sherman Place

Don McLean

Jul 15 – 8:00pm

Don McLean American Pie 50th Anniversary Tour

More info >>

Gas Lamp Des Moines

Calliope Musicals, Luke Bascom and the End Times

Jul 15 – 9:00pm

Calliope Musicals, Luke Bascom and the End Times at Gas Lamp

More info >>

Evelyn K Davis Park

Christmas in July

Jul 16 – 11:00am

A free event with food, fun and lots of giveaways!

More info >>

Exile Brewing Company

Spice Fest

Jul 16 – 1:00pm

Spice Fest: an event to celebrate local vendors of your favorite hot sauces, salsas, peppers, and everything in between!

More info >>

Franklin Junior High School

Singing Black Stories: A Concert of Selected Works

Jul 16 – 2:00pm

Join us for a curated performance with Dr. Naomi André and members of the DMMO Apprentice Artist Program as they come together for a lecture and performance of selected works by Black composers.

More info >>


Beaverdale Bluegrass Festival

Jul 16 – 5:00pm

Seventh annual Beaverdale Bluegrass Festival!

More info >>


The Mountain Goats

Jul 16 – 7:00pm

The Mountain Goats at Wooly’s

More info >>

Teehee's Comedy Club

Wisenheimer: Uncensored, Long Form Improv Comedy

Jul 16 – 7:00pm

Wisenheimer | Uncensored, Long Form Improv Comedy

More info >>

The Iowa Taproom

Moonlight Classic

Jul 16 – 7:30pm

Moonlight Classic at the Iowa Taproom

More info >>


Album Review: William J Locker — ‘BRAINWASH’

by Genevieve Trainor, July 13
Those of us of a certain age who spent any time on the rave or club scenes during their heyday are familiar with that distinct sensation of coming out the other side of a night of partying, with the sun starting to rise and the DJ lifting the music along with it to something bright and effusive.

Album Review: FlyLife — ‘A Different View’

by Chris DeLine, July 13
“Cause who the fuck gon’ save your family if it isn’t you?” raps FlyLife on the title track from his recently released album. “I know it’s usually guns and drugs but this a different view.” The song serves as the culmination of a broader idea, each prior track helping to redefine a concept of what it means to be successful. Throughout the release, the Des Moines-based MC does this by addressing cultural archetypes and challenging the proliferation of stereotypes in his own life — a contrast which speaks to the promise behind the album’s title.

Contact Buzz: Girls Rock! Des Moines gives kids the instruments for confidence

by John Busbee, July 13
Girls Rock! Des Moines (GR!DSM) is a powerful music program for young women and gender nonconforming youth aged 8 to 18 using music, songwriting and unity to express themselves and elevate their creativity.
Since its initial summer camp in 2013, GR!DSM has conducted 19 summer camps, utilizing 247 volunteers and staff, for 586 campers served. Add weekend retreats, special events and the network of creative connectivity, and GR!DSM’s influence is year-round, anchored by its summer camps.

Jane Smiley’s Iowa-set classic ‘A Thousand Acres’ is adapted to the stage for Des Moines Metro Opera’s 50th

by Rob Cline, July 13
When an arts organization celebrates 50 years of sharing wonderful work with enraptured audiences, the time is right to do something exceptional. The question, of course, is what that something should be.

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