Say ‘No’ to Nasty

The angry, curse-driven phrase jumped out during Howard Schultz’s announcement he was considering a run for president. “You egotistical billionaire asshole,” shouted a man, chiding Schultz for possibly contributing to a future Trump victory. I admit, it was a little satisfying. I’m as weary as anyone of the continuing parade of older, rich, white, straight, cis males who think we actually need more of their perspective in top tiers of leadership. But the moment also crystallized for me that Trump has injected yet another form of poison into our discourse,…

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Last chance for two films about authenticity

These two stories showing at FilmScene are set thousands of miles, and hundreds of years, apart. One features several actors considered legends; the other is a project of admired newcomers. One centers around a building, and the other revolves around a garden. But the beautiful themes shared by “All Is True” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” are themes that can transform attitudes in difficult times, reinstate faith in authenticity, and revive or create a love of film. First off, apologies upfront that you have only one day…

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The activist behind Iowa’s only MCC pulpit

QUAD CITIES – Rich Hendricks got his first job working as a clerk at Gruber’s Gladiola’s in the big building at 3019 N. Harrison St. in Davenport. Today, decades later, he is the pastor of a church in the same building. And not just any church: Hendricks leads Iowa’s only Metropolitan Community Church, a primarily Christian denomination openly serving mostly LGBTQ people. Founded in 1968 by the Rev. Troy Perry, the MCC denomination now has 300 congregations in 22 countries. But in Iowa, there is only one. It draws about…

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Teens “shatter the silence” with spoken word

DES MOINES — In a world where many of us are still ignored, a group of talented high school poets in Des Moines turned to spoken word as a way to shatter the silence. They take the stage in hopes to share the stories they’ve kept secret, or to shed light on those struggles their loved ones face. Influenced by different art forms and cultures, each of them brings a unique style; and through harnessing the power of spoken word, they find their own home and growth. Youth Speaks is…

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