Founded in 2014, River City Art and Music (RCAM) shares art and music news and information from around the world and promotes Iowa Creatives from all disciplines through Facebook, Instagram, and RCAM also provides opportunities for them to share their words, sounds, passions and works at regularly scheduled public events called Riverview Artist Salon.

Riverview Artist Salon (RAS) is a two hour, programmed event that includes spoken word, art advocacy, community outreach, creative showcase and a pop-up art show/exhibition. It’s Mission, to elevate the status of Creatives living in our city and state and provide a center for networking, public engagement, new ideas, personal development and artistic growth. Since 2017, eighteen Riverview Artist Salon’s have been held in Des Moines, Iowa.

RCAM and RAS are the passion projects of Founder, Valerie (Val) Van Horne, an Artist and Advocate for Iowa’s creatives and their communities.



Riverview Artist Salon 18

Thursday, October 17th, 2019
Mainframe Studios, The Big Room
Photographs by Dan Troxell


Crystal Stone’s poetry has been published in various international journals including Writers Resist, Poets Reading the News, Coldnoon, Southword Journal, and others. She is currently an MFA candidate at Iowa State University, where she gave a TEDx talk called, “The Transformative Power of Poetry” and edits poetry for Flyway: Journal of Environmental Writing. Her first collection of poetry, Knock-Off Monarch, was released by Dawn Valley Press in December 2018.


A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Lauren Hickman’s work– in writing, astrological interpretation and intuitive energy balance – has been called both “fierce” and “vulnerable”– the variety of her experience lending to the unique voice of an old soul– both troubled and transcendent. Having trained under astrologers and metaphysical teachers from an early age, she continues intensive study of traditional Reiki and Ageless Wisdom studies, serving the community with intuitive counsel and healing sessions in Des Moines. Lauren studied literature and writing at Central University and has written, acted, directed and produced the underground film flick.


Mia Farrell is a Des Moines lover and native. Mia uses her energy as teacher, healer, spirit, and for the last 4 years has accepted the responsibility that comes with the title “artist”. Often working in interactive performance Mia has created art at the Vaudeville Mews, Kitty City, Petal Palace, the Chapman House, the Barnum Factory, Art Terrarium, and the Des Moines Art Center in the form if artist lead participatory walks. Mia believes that art is gift giving, and she honors this role and strives to gift joy, foster empathy, empower connections, and respects her audience and community enough to challenge them to grow.


Annalibera refers to the musical projects as well as the stage name of vocalist, pianist and songwriter Anna Gebhardt. She plays with various Iowa musicians, including Caleb Swank-Ferrara, David Hurlin, Natalie Simon and Ryan Stier. Focusing on a mix of genres, such as alternative folk, pop, indie rock and experimental, Annalibera crafts wide-eyed, atmospheric indie songs that are equal parts pensive and heartbreakingly beautiful. The Nebraska ex-pat has been performing under the moniker of Annalibera since 2012, but she made her first indelible mark on the music world with 2015’s Nevermind I Love You—a dense, soaring eight-song collection of chiming, beautiful indie rock songs. Blending synth-rock, dream pop and the Laurel Canyon-style songwriting of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, Annalibera’s music creates a gorgeous, immersive atmosphere.

Her most recent album, 2018’s Opia strengthens Annalibera’s typically drama-filled and cinematic approach to pop music. Little Village Magazine succinctly described the album’s “exciting and engaging” sound, remarking that Gebhardt’s voice “pierces the fog like the headlights of an oncoming car: unexpected and illuminating.”


Dan Troxell is a photographer living in Des Moines, Iowa, specializing in digital-or-film street and event portraiture wherever there’s light, and sometimes where there’s not.

It’s all about the people, it’s all about the art.


Riverview Artist Salon 17

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
Des Moines Social Club, The Basement
Photographs by Dan Troxell


Champagne Harrington is a Des Moines native, a mentor, and a spoken word artist. Known for spoken word performances that are raw, passionate and anthems of self-love. Champagne recently graced the stage of Teresa Zilk’s, “Stories to Tell My Daughter“, a storytelling event at Grandview College where wit, grit, and wisdom ruled the evening.


In the spring of 1989 Sarah Spain had almost completed a year scholarship at one of Japan’s universities. While there, studying the Japanese language, geography, history, and Butoh Dance, she obtained through limited English news sources what was happening with students demonstrating in China on Tiananmen square. Sarah shared with the audience her Art Action performed two weeks before the 1st year anniversary of Tiananmen Square.


A native of Des Moines, Don Brown performed on television for a well-known Iowa State Fair Talent Search, won a national writing award at 17 and attended Drake University majoring in Journalism. After Drake he moved to New York City and within a few years began a career on Wall Street that lasted over a decade.

Don’s love of writing was never forgotten, and he continued to write poetry, publishing as a feature writer for his local paper. In addition, he resumed an interest in acting, performing with community theater and landing some small television roles as an extra. Music and writing were always connected.

As a solo artist, Don performed in several groups throughout his 30 years on the East Coast. After a market meltdown, he left Wall Street and began working in the publishing industry. He returned to school, this time at St. John’s University, and began assisting individuals seeking to change their lives and gain relief from addiction and HIV/AIDS.

In 2001 Don’s life and many others changed on September 11. That afternoon, Don and his wife of over 40 years, decided to move back to Iowa with their two children. Don continues to perform throughout central Iowa, pursuing his interests in both music and acting.


Founded in 2007, the After-School Arts Program (ASAP) connects underserved 1st–8th graders in the heart of the city, with challenging, enriching arts experiences and provides quality instruction from professional teaching artists who lead studios ranging from ceramics and painting to drumming and dance.


Robert Moore, Visual Artist and CEO of Morezarte was Riverview Artist Salon 17’s Guest Emcee.  Robert brought his enthusiasm and passion for the arts to the Riverview Artist Salon stage for an evening enjoyed by all.

Guest Emcee Robert Moore with River City Art and Music Founder, Valerie Van Horne.



River City Art and Music’s Event Photographer, Dan Troxell will unveil his collaborative performance project, “What is Art?” through a pop-up exhibition at Mainframe Studios on Friday, September 6th. His exhibition will have a large collection of instant-film, poster-sized “What Is Art?” collaborations covering nearly 75 feet of wall space in the 4th floor common area of Mainframe.




Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
Des Moines Social Club, The Basement
Under the Kum & Go Theater
901 Cherry St. Des Moines, Iowa 50309

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Free Admission and parking in the ramp between 8th & 9th St. and Mulberry & Cherry St. after 5:00 p.m.

Iowa Creatives takeover The Basement at the Des Moines Social Club for a night filled with spoken word, art advocacy, community outreach, creative showcase and art show. Hosted by River City Art and Music and supported by the Iowa Arts Council and the DMSC, this event connects the audience with Iowa’s vibrant and growing art and music scene.

For more information about this event click on one of the following links: Des Moines Social Club, or Riverview Artist Salon.


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River City Art and Music promotes Iowa Creatives through Facebook, Instagram, and provides support through a regularly scheduled, two hour programmed event called Riverview Artist Salon.

Riverview Artist Salon provides an opportunity for creatives to share their words, sounds, passions and works with the community, family, friends and fellow creatives through a relaxed evening event.

Program segments included Poetry Intermezzo, Art Advocacy, Community Outreach, Creative Showcase and either a month long or pop-up art show/exhibition.