PRESS RELEASE: “John Schlimm Named Cultural Exchange Ambassador”

PRESS RELEASE: “John Schlimm Named Cultural Exchange Ambassador”

February 28, 2020
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John Busbee

The Culture Buzz



The Culture Buzz

Launches “Importing Ideas & Inspiration” Initiative By Naming

Award-winning Author, Artist, Educator, and Advocate John Schlimm

as its First Visiting Cultural Exchange Ambassador

and Cultural Catalyst for Iowa



Upcoming Visit to Des Moines and Dubuque: March 6 – 15



Des Moines, IA ~ Iowa’s leading cultural advocacy network The Culture Buzz is proud to announce that it has named international award-winning author, artist, educator, and advocate John Schlimm as its first Visiting Cultural Exchange Ambassador and Cultural Catalyst for Iowa. This appointment launches The Culture Buzz’s initiative “Importing Ideas & Inspiration” during John’s first of many upcoming visits to Iowa from March 6 to March 15 to the Des Moines and Dubuque areas.

In this role, John will bring his 25 years of multi-tiered, culture-based experience as the author of 20 books ranging in topics and genres; his work as a Participatory Art creator of such projects as THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours); his achievements as a Harvard-trained educator and university professor; his background in public relations, business, and hospitality, including as a member of one of the country’s oldest and most historic brewing families (Straub Brewery, founded by his great-great-grandfather in the 1870s); and his unbridled passion for advocacy efforts that span the Arts and Humanities, mental health and wellness, education and students/Gen Z, anti-abuse, rescue dogs, volunteerism, and much more.

“A quintessential culture leader and role model, John’s inspiring work in helping all people to embrace their best and happiest lives will be utilized to further establish productive partnerships within our state, and to shine a bright light on the amazing spectrum of cultural work being done by Iowans at every level, from grassroots upward,” Culture Buzz Founder John Busbee said. “From exchanging ideas to harnessing creative synergy, this fun guy from Pennsylvania is about to become Iowa’s new best friend and cheerleader!”

To kick-off his new role as Visiting Cultural Exchange Ambassador and Cultural Catalyst, John will road-trip the 14-hour drive from his small hometown of St. Marys, Pennsylvania, to Iowa in March for a series of events in the Des Moines and Dubuque areas. This visit will highlight the broad scope of what he and The Culture Buzz hope to eventually accomplish statewide through this ambitious initiative to help facilitate and celebrate the ever-expanding range of cultural endeavors happening everywhere in Iowa.


In Des Moines, John’s events will include:

  • Friday, March 6, _5:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Installation of John’s Participatory Art piece THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) at the region’s premier open house First Friday at Mainframe Studios (900 Keo Way, Des Moines);
  • Saturday, March 7, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Whiskey-tasting fundraiser at The Iowa Taproom (215 E. 3rd Street, Des Moines), benefitting the Puppy Jake Foundation;
  • Monday, March 9: Roundtable discussion about mental health and wellness with the team at NAMI Iowa;
  • Monday, March 9, 6:30 p.m.: Extraordinary Dogs Q&A and booksigning at Beaverdale Books (2629 Beaver Avenue, Suite 1, Des Moines);
  • Tuesday, March 10: Roundtable discussion with students at Drake University to discuss the issues facing Generation Z; and
  • Wednesday, March 11: Launch of John’s Participatory Art project titled City of Change with the youth artists at ArtForce Iowa.


In Dubuque, John’s events will include:

  • Thursday, March 12, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.: Extraordinary Dogs Discussion and booksigning at Loras College (Loras College Ballroom, 1450 Alta Vista, Dubuque);
  • Friday, March 13, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.: “Healing Through Animals” Presentation at Canticle of Creation Center (3390 Windsor Avenue, Dubuque);
  • Friday, March 13: Roundtable discussion with Psychology students at Loras College; and
  • Saturday, March 14, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.: “Dog (God) Moments That Heal” Presentation and debut of John’s Participatory Art project Planting PEACE at Canticle of Creation Center (3390 Windsor Avenue, Dubuque).


“I believe in meeting people where they are and helping them to rise from there to achieve their greatest potential,” John Schlimm said. “Iowa is the very heart and soul of the great American Heartland, and in this new role I look forward to being the state’s #1 fan while letting the rest of the country and world come along for the ride! The inspiring and impactful pulse that ripples from every corner of this very special place and the folks who live here remind me so much of my own hometown. The ultimate goal of this endeavor is to bring us all closer, so we can then rise together.”





For more information about John’s Des Moines visit, please contact John Busbee at The Culture Buzz at or 515-707-1532.

For more information about John’s Dubuque visit, please contact Mary Potter Kenyon at Shalom Spirituality Center at

For more information about John Schlimm and his projects, please see the attached biography or visit


About The Culture Buzz

The Culture Buzz is Iowa’s gateway to theatre, arts, literature, culture, history, and entertainment. The cultural network for creative exploration, the organization inspires individuals statewide to indulge their imagination, and enhance their life.

Since 2007, The Culture Buzz has been producing its weekly, two-hour short interview format radio show in Central Iowa and streaming globally each Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT. Host/producer John Busbee, the 2014 Iowa Governor’s Arts Award for Collaboration & Partnership in the Arts recipient, leverages more than 40 years of Arts practice, advocacy, and promotion to make the Greater Des Moines area his primary market, while also serving a global audience seeking news about an eclectic array of literary guests.


About John Schlimm

John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, artist, advocate, and international award-winning author of 20 books.

His newest book is EXTRAORDINARY DOGS: Stories from Search and Rescue Dogs, Comfort Dogs, and Other Canine Heroes. John’s other books include the Christopher Award-winning memoir Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship That Answered Life’s Greatest QuestionsMoonshine: A Celebration of America’s Original Rebel Spirit; Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World, And How You Can, Too!; and a series of plant-based cookbooks, including The Tipsy VeganGrilling Vegan StyleThe Cheesy Vegan, and The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour. John’s first children’s book, The Star Jumped Over the Moon, will be released in 2021.

A professor in the Division of Communication and the Arts at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, John has also traveled the country speaking about inspirational/motivational topics, his artwork, Generation Z, cooking and entertaining, and public relations, including his university commencement address titled “The Road to YES is Paved with Many NOs” and his “Embrace Compassion, Change the World” keynote address on Capitol Hill. He has appeared on such national media outlets as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, NPR, Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday FoodThe Splendid Table, QVC, EWTN’s The World Over, and Fox & Friends.

John’s essays and other writings have been widely published, including at The Huffington Post and as an “Architect of Change” for

John is also the creator of the Participatory Art pieces Planting COMPASSIONA Garden of Kindness coloring book; The Garden of Gratitude; and My America Is…, as well as THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours), which has been installed across the country, including at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, following debut installations in Canada and Washington, D.C.

Follow John on Facebook (; Twitter (@JohnSchlimm); Instagram (@JohnSchlimm); Snapchat (@JohnSchlimm) and LinkedIn (@JohnSchlimm). For more information, please visit

John Schlimm

John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, advocate, artist, and the award-winning author of 19 books on dogs, memoir, entertaining/cooking, history, how-to, and essays.

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