NOVEMBER 29, 2016

Coasters encourage drinkers to have "just one more" thing to read.

The Des Moines Public Library is tapping a new brew of readers--young adults at local taverns, an age group most likely to be interested in the library's 21,000 books, magazines and audiobooks available digitally. And they're promoting the service with beverage coasters under drinks at University Library Cafe, Iowa Tap Room, El Bait Shop, Fong's Pizza, Highlife Lounge and the Royal Mile.

The system is simple: G
o to and click the "E-books and More" button and follow the instructions. Once you have access to the e-library catalog, you have an instant solution for snow days, long winter nights and boring holiday travel time--or any time, really.

Also for young adults, the Des Moines Public Library Foundation is forming a group of library enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s called "The Next Chapter." The foundation consists of members of the community who support the library through fundraising and advocacy. The Next Chapter is a way to get involved early, with engaging activities and a valuable group of peers.

The Next Chapter will hold its first event on Jan. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Madhouse Brewery, 501 Scott Ave. Take a tour, enjoy Iowa craft beer, and learn about the art and science of brewing. For more information, contact Dory Briles, the foundation's executive director, at 515-248-6402 or
Overheated by a western exposure, this backyard had potential! Transformed by a new design, 4-season sunroom and hot tub, it'll be a cool retreat for the whole family. ...  Read More »
This Valdobbiadene Prosecco is one of the holiday season's great values.

By Wini Moranville
When you stock up on holiday wines now, it's one less thing to deal with as the busy days of December speed by. Here are three of my favorites for entertaining during the holidays--two to kick off the evening with panache and one to wind down the evening with warmth and good cheer.
  • Everybody loves Prosecco: Crisp and refreshing, but with enough fruit to make it a crowd-pleaser, Italy's fun and festive sparkling wine is great for casual get-togethers. For a shockingly good value, look for Grandi Mori Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore ($8.99) at Aldi.
  • Best Champagne look-alike: If you're more serious about your bubbly, look for a Crémant d'Alsace Rosé. Brimming with bright red fruits and elegance to spare, these sparkling wines compare favorably with their more expensive counterparts in the Champagne region but cost much less. For an exemplary case in point, try Lucien Albrect Crémant d'Alsace Rosé ($21.99) from Ingersoll Wine and Spirits (3500 Ingersoll Ave. location only).
  • Graham's Six Grapes Port: Invite everyone to move from the table to the fireside, then pass around a bottle of this deep and lusciously fruity port for a great way to linger into the evening. This makes a great gift, too. Widely available for around $25 a bottle.
Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm . Follow her at  All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville
Fred Easker, a master of Iowa landscape scenes like this, is among artists featured in the Winter Group Show at Moberg Gallery.

Get acquainted with some-- lots--of the area's best artists in two holiday receptions this weekend:

Moberg Gallery's Winter Group Show opens with a reception Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit, featuring new work from 20 artists, runs through February at the gallery, located at 2921 Ingersoll Ave. New exhibitors include Wendell Arneson, Sarah Grant, Julia Katz, Igor Khalandovskiy, Doug and Eileen Leunig, Jonathan Pearson and Conn Ryder.

More than 30 artists will welcome you to their studios in the annual Fitch Building open house Saturday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. You know the building at 304 15th St., filled with four floors of artistic talent. Saulaman Schlegel plans to have an installation in the lower level, and each floor will showcase literal and abstract paintings, plus artwork in fabrics, metal, filmmaking, photography and a variety of mixed media.

Artists are eager to discuss their work, and you just might find that perfect addition to your own collection. Some of the participating artists are Rebecca Eckstrand, Brent Holland, Robb Spellman, Rachel Buse, Christopher Chiavetta and Larassa Kabel.
Two puzzling problems: What do you get the state that has everything? And who can blow out 170 candles?

Say it three times fast: Happy septuagennicentennial!
Or maybe centenniseptuagennial? However you say it--the experts disagree--Iowa will turn 170 years old in December, and the State Historical Museum is celebrating with new exhibitions and a gala party.
"Our new exhibits and programs will give Iowans a chance to learn what our state was like 170 years ago," says director Susan Kloewer, "and our fifth annual gala will celebrate the best of current Iowa arts, music, history and cuisine."

The annual Celebrate Iowa Gala is Dec. 9, from 7 to 11 p.m., at the Historical Building. The evening will be filled with arts, history, cuisine and cocktails from around the state, with entertainment by Chad Elliot, DSM Dueling Fiddles and Christopher the Conquered. Tickets are $100 (with special rates for young professionals and those wanting to attend a VIP reception prior to the gala). Purchase tickets here

Gala celebrants will get a preview of new exhibits opening Dec. 10. These exhibits will be free to museum visitors and feature dozens of historic artifacts in the museum gallery, plus a "hands-on history" exhibit designed for children ages 10 and younger.  

Experience the vision of others in street photography at the Des Moines Art Center. The collection includes this untitled image by Derek Ban.

Inspired by the Des Moines Art Center's exhibition  "Vivian Maier: Through a Critical Lens," local photographers entered their own street photography in a competition that has yielded an exhibition of 67 photos.

The exhibit opens Dec. 12 in the Adrienne and Charles Herbert Galleries and runs through Jan. 3. A " community celebration" event will be Dec. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. Street photography documents and explores urban centers, focusing on scenes of city life, urban landscapes and portraits made on the street.  

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