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  Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
Why Museums Matter
posted: Monday, May 22, 2017  Post Comment

With the recent discourse around the possible elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (amongst other departments and agencies), now is the perfect time for all arts and culture organizations to make a case as to their impact on their communities, the states they operate in, and the nation as a whole. Why do we matter? More specific to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, why do art museums matter?

This is a very good—and very important—question. For far too long, arts and culture organizations have done a poor job of communicating why we matter. Sure, we have inspiring mission statements and vision statements but those tend to be focused inwardly—what do we want to say, do, be? But those statements resonate little with the people we serve or the general population at large. We continue to be seen as a “nicety,” not a “necessity.”

That is why in the CRMA Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Trustees in November 2015, one of our goals was to craft a “Value Statement”—a brief statement which addresses the questions of why we matter, what difference do we make to this community, and why should anyone care if the Museum succeeds or fails. While we have not tackled the actual language of that Value Statement, a number of recent surveys have helped us to begin to articulate our importance to society, as well as demonstrate the economic impact we make, both locally and nationally. While I have shared some of these findings at various venues over the past few months, I have not shared them with you, our loyal readers.

Why do museums matter? Because 850 million people told us so. That’s how many people visit a museum in the United States on an annual basis. 850 million people. That’s more than the number of people who attend all major league sports events and theme parks combined. Museums are the number one most trusted source of information in America, more than Wikipedia, local newspapers, professors, or the U.S. Government. We preserve and protect more than one billion objects—many of them national treasures—and our museum volunteers contribute more than 1 million hours of service every week. Recent surveys concluded that students who attend a field trip to an art museum demonstrate improved critical thinking skills, historical empathy, and tolerance. We need these things now more than ever. Why do museums matter? Simply put, they are necessary to our survival as a nation and as a people.

In addition to what we bring to the “quality of life” discussion, museums serve a vital role for area businesses. The CRMA has been asked by major employers on several occasions to give tours to prospective hires in an attempt to woo them to this community. As companies recruit the best and brightest, many hail from larger metropolitan areas and often have concerns that a move to Cedar Rapids might result in fewer cultural offerings—less live theatre, fewer museums, no symphony or opera—in short fewer things to do. Area arts and cultural institutions work hand-in-hand with local employers to dispel that fear by demonstrating that Cedar Rapids possesses a vibrant cultural scene.

Similarly, businesses are hiring more and more people with an arts background because people trained in the arts think differently. They solve problems differently and thus are a welcome addition to most work environments seeking to move their companies forward. Any group of employees can solve problems the way they always have, but insert an arts person into the mix and suddenly the conversation changes, new solutions appear, and companies prosper.

Finally, there are the economic impact numbers. In addition to the value seen by businesses, the arts and cultural industry nationally is an economic powerhouse. It is a $700 billion industry contributing more that 4.2% to the U.S. GDP according to 2013 data compiled by the Department of Commerce. That’s bigger than construction ($587 billion) and transportation and warehousing ($464 billion). In addition to employing 4.74 million people, the nonprofit arts and culture industry annually generates $22 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenues, far more than it receives from government sources. Locally, in a 2010 survey that analyzed the economic impact of 62 participating Corridor arts and culture organizations, it was determined that there was nearly $80 million in economic impact annually, with $50 million spent by the organizations themselves and another $30 million by our visitors. Locally, some 2,700 people are employed by these 62 non-profits which equates to $52.4 million in household incomes. These same 62 organizations generated $7.4 million in local and state government revenues. Even if you are not actively involved with an arts and culture organizations yourself, the economic impact is clear.

Why do arts and culture organizations matter? Why do museums matter? We matter because people want to visit us, businesses need us, and we make an economic impact that is both quantifiable and impressive. We are not a just a nicety, but are truly a necessity. So go visit one of your local museums, attend a play or concert, and support any arts and culture organizations that you feel passionate about. We need you, and you need us.

Sean M. Ulmer, Executive Director
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art


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Explore the Arts this May
posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017  Post Comment

Explore the Arts this May

 

As we wash away the April showers with May flowers, I challenge you to continue making arts and culture a part of your life. Whether you are celebrating your mom, a birthday, Memorial Day or doing something just for you, there are plenty of arts and cultural happenings this month all throughout The Corridor. It’s time to get outside and enjoy the springtime arts, sun and fun!

 

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting spring events brought to you by our 85+ arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for May:

 

5/1/17 – Making God Laugh Old Creamery Theatre invites you to a brand-new comedy that follows one typical American family over the course of thirty years’ worth of holidays. Starting in 1980, Ruthie and Bill’s grown children — a priest, an aspiring actress, and a former football star — all return home, where we learn of their plans and dreams as they embark on their adult lives. As time passes, the family discovers that, despite what we may have in mind, we often arrive at unexpected destinations. Rated PG. Performances are May 1-14. Main Stage shows are on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.50-$31 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 319-622-6034.

 

5/5/17 – Annie Get Your Gun – The Coralville Center for Performing Arts presents a bright, funny musical about love and showbiz. This classic musical tells the fictionalized story of sharp-shooter Annie Oakley, and her days as a performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. As she falls for Frank Butler, formerly the star shooter of the troupe, elements of the battle of the sexes come into play. The show, by Irving Berlin (music, lyrics) and Dorothy and Herbert Fields (book) is bursting with familiar tunes. Showtime’s are May 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and May 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$27 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-248-9370.

 

5/5/17 – Peter PanTheatre Cedar Rapids brings you another great classic. Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick Tinkerbell visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night, and with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates and the villainous Captain Hook. Performances are May 5-28. Showtime’s are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $31-$40 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8591.

 

5/6/17 – 1001 Arabian NightsOrchestra Iowa performs Rimsky-Korsakov's masterpiece, "Scheherazade," and Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije Suite, and the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Liszt featuring guest pianist Andreas Klein. Undeniably Slavic in character and feel, 1,001 Arabian Nights explores the storytelling mastery of the Russian culture. Come enjoy an evening that explores the storytelling mastery or the Russian culture. This event will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids and starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$16 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8203.

 

5/6/17 – Kirkwood Concert Band and Chamber Winds ConcertKirkwood Community College invites you to the final performance of the semester. The concert will feature Kirkwood’s concert band and chamber winds, both under the direction of Joe Perea, director of instrumental music at Kirkwood Community College. This concert will be held in Ballantyne Auditorium and starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5-$10 and available at the door or by emailing Ballantyne@kirkwood.edu.

 

5/6/17 – Maifest – The Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau invites you to celebrate spring in the historic village of Amana with Maifest. The festivities start Saturday morning with a parade at 10 a.m. Plenty of kids' activities Maipole dancing and German folk music are offered throughout the weekend. This event is free and open to the public. Visit www.festivalsinamana.com for a full schedule of events.

 

5/20/17 – Marion Arts FestivalMarion Arts Festival presents collaborative, creative merrymaking at its finest. Consistently named among the top tier of fine art and fine craft events nationwide, the Marion Arts Festival presents nationally sourced artists to an audience of 12,000 patrons. The Marion Arts Fest is a free, family friendly community art party with accessible high quality culture for all. A half marathon and 5K run and fun walk, hands-on art activities and demonstrations complete the event. Join the fun in City Square Park in uptown Marion from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Commitment to the Arts in Iowa’s Creative Corridor
posted: Monday, January 9, 2017  Post Comment

Commitment to the Arts in Iowa’s Creative Corridor 

Happy New Year from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance! 

Here we are at the start of a brand new year, and we all know what that means – a New Year’s resolution. Have you considered a New Year’s resolution supporting the arts and culture in your community? The arts not only make a significant economic, social and cultural impact in the Corridor, but they also have a positive impact on each of us as individuals. There are many interconnections between the arts and well-being, which is all the more reason to increase your involvement in arts and culture! 

Start small by attending one arts event each month. Or, start big and attend an arts event each week. Or, better yet, volunteer your time and serve on the board of an arts organization. You’ll soon see how rewarding the arts can be both in experience and as a valuable way to give back to your community. 

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse the ICCA app to discover hundreds of cultural opportunities in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. You’ll find a calendar full of events to attend in 2017. Here is a small sampling for January: 

1/13/17 – Next Fall – Join Theatre Cedar Rapids for the funniest heartbreaker in town! Geoffrey Naufft’s Next Fall takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. While the play’s central story focuses on the five-year relationship between Adam and Luke, Next Fall goes beyond a typical love story. This timely and compelling new American play forces us to examine what it means to believe and what it might cost us not to. Performances are January 13 through January 28. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees start at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $21-$30 and can be purchased by calling the TCR Box Office at 319.366.8591. 

1/13/17 – Cavalleria Rustincana and Pagliacci – Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is excited to bring opera lovers a double bill this winter with the popular pairing of “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni and “Pagliacci” by Ruggiero Leoncavallo. Stage director Anthony Laciura brings these two timeless stories of love and revenge to the Paramount Theatre stage. Laciura, a tenor, has performed onstage at the Metropolitan Opera over 800 times, and is known for his portrayal of the character Eddie Kessler in the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire. Performances are January 13 at 7:30 p.m. and January 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19-$69 and can be purchased by calling the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Box Office at 319.366.8203. 

1/20/17 – The Cleveland Orchestra – Join Hancher for an undeniably extraordinary show. Declared “the best in America” by the New York Times, the orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, has continued to build its nearly 100-year-old reputation both in the United States and abroad. Known for its superb concert programming, The Cleveland Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Opus 44 and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 43. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$80 and can be purchased by calling the Hancher Box Office at 319.335.1160. 

1/20/17 – A Point of Departure – Orchestra Iowa presents Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players performing chamber music in the Opus Concert Care. The works in the program include the Brahms Piano Quintet in f, Op. 34, and also works by Loeffler, Shaw, and Schnittke. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and available by calling the Orchestra Iowa Box Office at 319-366-8203. 

1/20/17 – A View from the Bridge – Join Riverside Theatre for an American classic.  The great Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale. In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. A story about family, betrayal and in America who gets to belong. Performances are January 20 through February 12. Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m. and matinees start at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$30 and can be purchased by calling Riverside Theatre Box Office at 319.338.7672. 

1/21/17 – Winterfest – Join the Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau for a celebration of the experience of winter in the Amana Colonies. You’ll find a variety of activities including a 5K run/walk, outdoor games, open fire chili, a wine walk featuring samples of locally made wine and beer, and a dance to round out the day. Join in the fun and celebrate winter. Winterfest takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. throughout the Village of Amana. This event is open to the public. 

1/21/17 – Mid-Winter Renaissance Faire – The Cedar Rapids Public Library brings good cheer and a place where frivolity rules for the day. The Mid-Winter Renaissance Faire is back and bigger than ever. Every January, the library is filled with all things medieval for our biggest family event of the year. The Society for Creative Anachronism, The Brotherhood of Steel and the Shattock School of Defense will perform and demonstrate sword fighting, the proper way to drink tea with a queen, and so much more. Musicians will entertain guests as they witness the magic of the Renaissance. The faire is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and open to the public.


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Holiday Season in the Corridor
posted: Friday, December 9, 2016  Post Comment

Holiday Season in the Corridor

There are so many festive things happenings all throughout the Creative Corridor that will hopefully add a little extra holiday joy to your December days. With plenty going on, you’re sure to stay in the holiday spirit all season long. Whether you enjoy holiday music, classic Christmas stories, holiday festivals, or even engaging in some winter activities outdoors, the Corridor has so much to offer, festive or not, this holiday season.

On behalf of everyone at the Cultural Corridor Alliance, I’d like to wish each and everyone one of you a safe and joyous holiday season!

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting winter events brought to you by our 100+ arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for December:

11/28/16 – Every Brilliant Thing – Riverside Theatre presents a truly beautiful evening at the theatre. Starring one of the area’s most beloved actors, Every Brilliant This is the story of a young boy who attempts to ease his mother’s sadness by creating a list of all the best things in the world. Ice cream, water fights, tigns with stripes, Christopher Walken’s voice are rollercoasters are just a few. Through adulthood, as the list grows, he learns the deep significance it has on his own life. This production is a holiday must-see. Performances are November 26 – December 17. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$30 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-338-7672.

12/1/16 – Joseph Hall: Elvis Rock’n Remember Christmas Show 2016 – Coralville Center for the Performing Arts is proud to bring this award-winning Elvis show back to Coralville. Joseph goes through three decades of Elvis hits including some of Elvis’ greatest Christmas songs! Recreating the moves, the looks and the sound of Elvis Presley, you’ll think you are watching the King himself. A must for all ages to see. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12-$37 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-248-9370.

12/1/2016 – The Joffrey Ballet, The Nutcracker – Hancher is proud to present special preview performances of he Joffrey Ballet’s new rendition of The Nutcracker. Featuring choreography by Christopher Wheeldon and an updated story and art by Brain Selznick, this Nutcracker is set in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair. Local children will once again take the stage with the Joffrey dancers as we usher in a new holiday tradition. Performances are December 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and December 3 and 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$75 and can be purchased by calling the Hancher Box Office at 319-335-1160.

12/3/16 – Sing-Along Messiah – Join the Coralville Center for Performing Arts for a festive sing along with Handel’s beloved oratorio! Conductor Ed Kottick brings together an orchestra, professional soloists and local choirs to fill the Center with a joyful holiday celebration. Buy your tickets in advance for general admission or to sit by vocal part (soprano, alto, tenor, or bass). Tickets purchased the day of the show will be seated in the general admission area. General admission seating is for any voice part, for families wishing to sit together, or for those who would simply like to listen and enjoy the music. Limited sheet music will be available for purchase at the event, so please bring your own sheet music with you. Tickets are $8-$12 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-248-9370.

12/1/16 – Gingerbread House Contest – The North Liberty Community Library invites you and your family to create a festive and fun gingerbread house. Gingerbread, frosting, licorice, and Red Hots, oh my! Can your family create the winning gingerbread house? No rules except to have some good old-fashioned family fun! Submissions accepted December 1-19. Give your house a fun festive name and bring it to display in the library by December. 19. You can also email a photo of your house to mharrison@northlibertyiowa.org. Images must be clear and close up. Photos of each house will be posted in an album on our Facebook page on Tuesday, December 20. The house with the most likes on Thursday, December 22 at 8 a.m. will win a festive family prize. For more information, call the library at 319-626-5778.

12/3/2016 – Merry TubaChristmas: White Lights Holiday Music Series – Cedar Rapids Public Library brings you the 15th annual Cedar Rapids Area Merry TubaChristmas concert. This concert is part of the Fire and Ice Festival sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. The concert starts at 2 p.m. at the Downtown Library. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about this event, contact the Cedar Rapids Public Library at 319-261-READ.

12/17/2016 – Holiday Spectacular – Celebrate the holidays with Maestro Tim Hankewich, Orchestra Iowa, and friends from the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, Discovery Chorus, Espressivo Strings, Carillonneurs and more! This fun and festival musical celebration has become one of Cedar Rapids’ favorite holiday traditions. Enjoy a special performance by local star performer, Alisabeth Von Presley. Performances are December 17 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 18 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$54 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8203.


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#IowaFashion vs. New York Fashion Week
posted: Thursday, September 8, 2016  Post Comment

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) has begun and will consume the Big Apple. What’s new and what’s hawt! Who’s in and who’s interesting. And maybe most importantly, what’s relevant in the world of fashion. Or so we’ve been led to believe. More so than any other industry, fashion has been driven by tastemakers, influential publications, fashion houses and organizations that used to wield enormous sway over what the rest of us thought. However, I don't think that’s the case anymore.


Don’t get me wrong, NYFW is still cool and probably important. But there are things happening elsewhere in the world of fashion that are simply more interesting than anything we’ll see at NYFW. One only needs to pay more attention. There's a broad movement of fashion communities and brands propping up in unconventional places like Nashville, Omaha, Raleigh, Redding, and yes, here in Iowa! Disrupting, innovating and creating the type of relevancy that can shape the future.


Why so? Technology and our increasing connectedness have opened up a world of possibilities for anyone creating anywhere, and slowly but surely there’s an ecosystem developing to support the arts and creative entrepreneurial endeavors. Coupled together, these forces have changed Iowa and allow Iowans to have a global cultural impact. Ideas, individuals and brands can now project to audiences across the world. And, “#IowaBrag”, isn’t only a clever marketing tag line . It’s a statement of fact. Indeed there are lots of people and things to brag about in the Corridor and throughout the state.

 

Let’s quickly take stock of fashion in Iowa.

 

We’ve got brands: Men’s Style Lab, GentlemenCare, Born Leaders United, Written Apparel and many others.

 

We’ve got designers.

 

We’ve got a large institution that regularly churns out top fashion talent in Iowa State University.

 

There’s amazing retail in downtown Iowa City, popping up in Cedar Rapids and even in Cedar Falls.

 

We’ve got two key fashion events: Flyover Fashion Fest and DSM Fashion Week that bring the community and the industry together. Check and...check!

 

All of this is to say, we’ve got the talent and the human capital capable of competing anywhere. But doing so in our own backyard.


NYFW celebrates its seventy-fifth year. What’s everyone talking about leading up to this year’s event? That at long last many brands are conforming to a ready-to-wear approach. That the clothes seen on the runway will be available for purchase shortly after being seen on said runway. Does that sound all that innovative or interesting to you?

 

NYFW and events of similar ilk, used to captivate us so. It truly was a collection of the top creative and artistic minds. When the lights turn on, the music hits and the first model walks the runway undoubtedly the room will be oozing with talent and energy. I’m just convinced that up and down and throughout the Corridor, we’re oozing with talent, artistic insight and creative genius too!


Simeon Talley

Co-Founder, Iowa Fashion Project

Producer, Flyover Fashion Fest



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Wrap-up summer by taking in an event!
posted: Monday, August 8, 2016  Post Comment

As we near the last full month of summer, be sure to take advantage of the warm weather and plethora of arts events. Whether it’s a local arts festival, a theatre production, music in the park, a visit to a museum, or picking up fresh produce or flowers at a local farmers’ market, there are plenty of activities yet this summer to keep you busy, active and enjoying the arts. 

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting summer events brought to you by our 100+ arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for August: 

8/4/16 – Jazz Under the Stars – Join KCCK-FM Jazz 88.3 for the 29th year of free jazz concerts in Cedar Rapids. Concerts are held at Noelridge Park every Thursday in August, with the exception of the final concert, which will be held at McGrath Amphitheatre. This year’s line-up includes Ten of Soul, Mirage, Summit and Eddie Piccard Quintet. The concerts are free and open to the general public. More information about the concerts can be found at www.kcck.org. 

8/5/16 – Shear Madness – Back by popular demand, Old Creamery Theatre invites you back to the scene of the mayhem. This unique comic-whodunit takes place today in the "Shear Madness" hairstyling salon. During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery seen on stage. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again. Rated PG. Performances are August 4-28. Main Stage shows are on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12-$30 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 319-622-6034. 

8/6/16 – Hoover’s Hometown Days – Join the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site to celebrate the birthday of Iowa's only president with music, crafts, food, and activities at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and in downtown West Branch, the hometown of our nation’s 31st president. The celebration is from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and open to the general public. 

8/12/16 – Coggon Harvest Home Coggon Opera House brings music, food, and a carnival to the streets of Coggon. The fun and activities begin on August 12 live music and end on August 14 with a fireworks show at dusk. This event is free to attend and open to the general public. For more information and schedule of the weekend’s events, visit www.coggonharvesthome.com. 

8/13/16 – Uptown Marion Market – the Marion Chamber of Commerce invites you to City Square Park from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, plants, meat, wines and an array of artisan items. Food vendors, live entertainment and children's activities will also be featured. Admission is free and open to the general public. 

8/20/2016 – Throwback Saturday/Model A Day – The Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau will have you stepping back in time. Throwback Saturday will play host to 80 plus Model A vehicles from across the region. Along with viewing the cars, you’ll find special events and food. Cars will be on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the general public. 

8/26/16 – The FlickTheatre Cedar Rapids presents a hilarious show with a heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world. In a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35-millimeter film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on screen. Performances are August 26 – September 17. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18-$24 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8591.


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Springtime with the Arts
posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2016  Post Comment

Whether you are celebrating your mom, Memorial Day or doing something just for you this May, there are plenty of arts and cultural happenings this month all throughout The Corridor. 

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting spring events brought to you by our 150+ arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for May: 

4/29/16 – 1776 – The Coralville Center for Performing Arts presents an award-winning musical that tells the story of John Adams and his struggle to convince his colleagues to vote for independence. This is a rousing, funny, smart tale of the founding of our great nation in 1776 with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone. Shows are Friday, April 29-30 and May 6-7at 7:30 p.m., and May 1 and 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$27 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-248-9370. 

4/29/16 – Steeple People Old Creamery Theatre invites you to a brand new southern gospel comedy. Great gospel tunes are performed by the “Steeple People” men’s quartet of Stinking Creek, Tennessee as they sponsor a benefit concert and clothing drive with tight harmonies, terrific music and lots of laughs. Rated G. Performances are April 29-May 22. Main Stage shows are on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12-$30 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 319-622-6034.

 5/7/16 – Mount Vernon’s Chalk the WalkThe Mount Vernon/Lisbon Community Development Group invites you to the 11th annual Chalk the Walk, Iowa’s largest-ever street-painting festival. Scheduled to take place Mother’s Day Weekend, this year’s event will feature the work of more than 300 artists utilizing a downtown city street as a canvas and more than a half-ton of chalk. The two-day festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 7-8. This event is free and open to the general public. 

5/13/16 – Disney’s The Little MermaidTheatre Cedar Rapids brings you one of the most iconic Disney films of all times.  Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order in the ocean's depths. Performances are May 8-June 5. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $24-$39 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8591.

5/21/16 – Marion Arts FestivalMarion Arts Festival presents collaborative, creative merrymaking at it’s finest. Consistently named among the top tier of fine art and fine craft events nationwide, the Marion Arts Festival presents 50 nationally sourced artists to an audience of 12,000 patrons. The Marion Arts Fest is a free, family friendly community art party with accessible high quality culture for all. A half marathon and 5K run and fun walk, hands-on art activities and demonstrations complete the event. Join the fun in City Square Park in uptown Marion from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

5/21/16 – Big Bad Voodoo DaddyOrchestra Iowa brings back this high-octane, action-packed program of high-energy swing. You’ll be jumpin’ and-a jivin’ all night long with this dance band, sporting their crazy zoot suits. It was an unstoppable hit when they played in the Paramount during its 2012/2013 season, and now they’re back, joined by the full forces of Orchestra Iowa. This event will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids and starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19-$49 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8203.


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Hello ICCA!
posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016  Post Comment

On behalf of the 2016 ICCA Board of Directors, welcome to the regions most comprehensive site for all things arts, culture and entertainment. The spirit of ICCA (the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance) lives throughout our eleven county community. It's found in every exhibit revealed, dance performed, instrument mastered and event experienced. Our purpose is two fold. First-to provide collaborative experiences for our ICCA members and strengthen their support system to continue the amazing experiences  they bring to patrons every day. Second-to build the business case on the economic/quality of life our arts and culture community serves in our region. As recruitment and rooting remains a common thread priority, our offerings stand apart yet fold well into everything a region has to offer an individual, large employer and everything in between.  What our ICCA members provide -unique corridor experiences-does have impact and will continue to be a strong voice in the development of core neighborhoods and beyond.

Our board is proud to announce our project focus for the remainder of 2016. Each project is seeking member and community partner input. Please review our project list below and join our initiatives. My final ask.,.support each other, keep your voices strong. The arts in every sense of interpretation is alive and stronger than ever. The ICCA board is one piece to our voice -our members and community partners are critical to keeping our gifts to the region top of mind for all to enjoy. 

Cheers!
Quinn Pettifer, 2016 ICCA Board President

2016 ICCA Projects
  • Development and Enhance ICCA Programming
  • Member Mixers
  • Internal Message Development & Outreach
  • External Message Development
  • Community Partnerships
  • Coordinator Development
Please contact Quinn (quinnpettifer@gmail.com) for information on joining these initiatives. 


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Beat the Winter Blues with the Arts
posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2016  Post Comment

As we patiently wait for spring, I’d like to remind you that there’s a calendar full of things happening throughout the Creative Corridor to get you out and about and beating the winter blues. Whether it’s warming up at a local museum, enjoying a theatre or music event, or participating in another fun activity, the Corridor has a little something for everyone! Add a little sunshine to the remaining days of winter through arts and culture.

 

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting winter events brought to you by our 150+ arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for March:

 

3/1/16 – Cedar Rapids Restaurant Week: The Hungry Games – Get your eat on with the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. This year's edition of Cedar Rapids Restaurant Week will be a week-long social media competition that culminates in a foodie event recognizing the best restaurants the area has to offer. Which restaurant will prove themselves the victors of the most exciting food competition Cedar Rapids has ever experienced? Follow the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cedarrapidscvb to vote for your favorite participating restaurant! The week's top vote getters will advance to the Dinner of Champions where a Victor will be crowned! Restaurant Week is March 1-6. Lunch is priced at $10 per person and dinner is $25 per person. Find event details and a list of participating restaurants at http://www.cedarrapidsrestaurantweek.com.

 

3/4/16 – Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams – Dreamwell Theatre presents their production of Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams and directed by Matthew Falduto. Over the course of a parent/teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed primary school teacher have a fraught conversation about the tragic suicide of the mother’s son, Gidion. Gidion may have been bullied severely—or he may have been an abuser. As his story is slowly uncovered, the women try to reconstruct a satisfying explanation for Gidion’s act and come to terms with excruciating feelings of culpability. Performances are March 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Public Space One. Tickets are $10-$13 and can be ordered online at www.dreamwell.com.

 

3/4/16 – Next to NormalTheatre Cedar Rapids is excited to take audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting one family's story with love, sympathy and heart. Dad's an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal, because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years. Performances are March 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $24-$34 and can be purchased by calling the Theatre Cedar Rapids Box Office at 319.366.8591.

 

3/12/16 – Elvis: Rock ‘N’ Remember, presented by Joseph Hall – Join Coralville Center for Performing Arts for an incredible production featuring the greatest hits of the King of Rock ‘N Roll! Joseph will blow you away as he recreates the legend of Elvis Presley, live, onstage. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$35 and can be purchased by calling the Coralville Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 319.248.9370.

 

3/12/16 – New Frontiers - Orchestra Iowa brings you a memorable evening of musical daring. Featuring the works of Milhaud, Mozart and Schumann, this concert marks principle bassoonist, Matthew Ransom’s debut performance as a soloist with Orchestra Iowa. Each composer broke new ground in their own unique way whether it was the shocking embrace of 1920’s jazz idioms in Mihaud’s whimsical interpretation of the Creation of the World, Schumann’s exuberant hyper romanticism or Mozart’s unprecedented precocious ease with his musical mastery.  Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19-$49 and can be purchased by calling the Orchestra Iowa box Office at 319.366.8203.

 

3/13/16 – Markus Zusak ReadingThe Linn Area Reads committee is thrilled to bring author Markus Zusak to the Hotel at Kirkwood Center on March 13 at 5 p.m. for a live author event. Markus will sign books following his reading. Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion and Hiawatha Public Libraries. This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is requested at http://bit.ly/LinnAreaReads.


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Ring in the holiday season in the Corridor
posted: Friday, December 4, 2015  Post Comment

December is one of my all time favorite months of the year and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else during the holidays than right here in The Corridor. 

I love driving by houses and down Main Streets prettily decorated with wreaths and lights, taking in the light scent of cozy fireplaces burning, and a light dusting of snow. 

Of course, there are so many festive things happenings all throughout the Creative Corridor that add a little extra holiday joy to your days, keeping you in the holiday spirit all season long. Whether you enjoy holiday music, classic Christmas stories, holiday festivals, or even engaging in some winter activities outdoors, the Corridor has so much to offer, festive or not, this holiday season. 

On behalf of everyone at the Cultural Corridor Alliance, I’d like to wish each and everyone one of you a safe and joyous holiday season. Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting winter events brought to you by our 100+ arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for December: 

12/1/15 – Brucemore’s Daytime Holiday Mansion Tours – Brucemore is excited to bring you a unique holiday experience. Enjoy the seasonal splendor of 13 glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, the lush garland adornment of the grand staircase, and other seasonal cheer throughout the Mansion. The holidays at Brucemore are sponsored by Pearson. Daytime tours will be offered Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and, Sundays, 12 to 3 p.m. Tours begin on the hour except on Saturdays and Sundays when they begin on the half hour. The last tour will begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $3-$7 and can be purchased by calling 319-362-7375. 

12/4/15 – Prelude to Christmas – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Amana Colonies. The Amana Colonies Convention Center and Visitors Bureau invite you to start your holiday season with a visit to the Tannenbaum Forest. Visit the craft bazaar and cookie walk. Enjoy live music, refreshments and demonstrations. Prelude to Christmas is December 4-6, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. This is a free event and open to the public. 

12/4/2015 – Christmas in the Park and Peppermint Walk – Join the Marion Chamber of Commerce for a family event that has been a holiday tradition in Uptown Marion for over 25 years. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa and popcorn, live holiday music, the lighting of the Peace Tree, and children's activities at the library. Don't forget the jolly man himself! Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in style escorted by the Marion Fire Department. Visitors are encouraged to bring new hats, gloves and blankets to donate to the Keep Your Neighbors Campaign, which helps area families in need. Uptown Marion businesses will be hosting a Peppermint Walk, a holiday open house with a minty treat in each store! Join the festivities from 4-8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

12/4/15 – Aesop’s Fable-ous Christmas Tree – The Coralville Center for Performing Arts brings you a dozen vignettes illuminating important life lessons. Reinventing the classic fables, blending humor, rhythmic elements, rapping, puppetry, poetry, song and storytelling will create a fast-paced, fun-filled show that's filled with Christmas spirit. Performances will be held at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum December 4 and 5. The Friday evening performance starts and 7 p.m. and Saturday performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Box Office at 319.248.9370. 

12/5/2015 – The Nutcracker – Orchestra Iowa once again brings you the most iconic ballet of all time. This captivating performance filled with holiday magic will take your family on an enchanted adventure with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they journey to the Land of Sweets and battle the Rat King. Scores of dancers from our community and the Orchestra Iowa School’s Discovery Chorus join Ballet Quad Cities and Orchestra Iowa for this visually stunning, must-see family favorite. Performances are December 5 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 6 at 2:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets are $19-$49 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 319.366.8203. 

12/11/15 – Holiday Tubas Concert – Join the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums as the University of Iowa Euphonium Ensemble brings the sounds of the season to the museum with their annual Holiday Tuba Concert on the steps of the Old Capitol Museum. Hear new takes on traditional favorites such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” The public is invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Strong Partners Empowering Change and Solidarity (SPECS). Following the performance cider and cookies will be served inside the museum. The concert starts at 12:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

12/12/15 – Eastern Iowa Brass Band Christmas Concert – The Eastern Iowa Brass Band invites you to attend their annual Christmas concert of exciting holiday brass band music. You are invited to join the musician's after the concert for special holiday treats. The concert will be held in District Auditorium at Mount Vernon Middle School and starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $4-$10 and available at www.easterniowabrassband.com or at the door. 

12/19/2015 – Holiday Spectacular – Let your heart soar as Orchestra Iowa heralds the holidays and rings in the New Year with more merry guest artists than ever before! Gather your family and friends to celebrate the season with a mix of timeless classics, audience sing-alongs, the thrilling sounds of “The Mighty Wurlitzer” organ, special yuletide surprises and warm cheer for all. Performances are December 19 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 20 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $19-$41 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8203. 

Rebecca Larkin is a member of the ICCA Board of Directors and Marketing Coordinator at Kirkwood Community College. rebecca.larkin@kirkwood.edu.

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Summer in Amana
posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2015  Post Comment

ICCA Culture Corner BLOG

Summer in Amana

By Lily Allen-Duenas 

The Amana Colonies are chalk full of fun happenings this summer! With brand new festivals, wonderful theatre productions, and an abundance of fun things to do what more could you hope for? 

June 4 – 28, The Andrews Brothers is on the Old Creamery Theatre’s Main Stage. A USO show is threatened with cancellation when a certain famous trio of singing sisters fails to appear, and it’s up to three earnest and determined stagehands to go on with the show! Mistaken identities and madcap adventure along with the music of an entire generation highlight this wonderful valentine to the heroes of World War II. 

Andrews Brothers

 


June 13 – 27, The Reluctant Dragon, the Old Creamery Theatre’s summer Theatre for Young Audience show takes the stage! A boy who "reads too much" encounters a dragon who would rather write poetry than fight and breathe fire. Their secret friendship strengthens until St. George, the famous dragon slayer, comes to town! Find out what happens in this show that is rich with harmony and musical whimsy. Children and adults alike thrill to this show's comic antics and unforgettable melodies. 

June 20 is the first annual Wurst Festival, celebrating “the best of the wurst!” Sausage makers from across the Midwest will come to Amana and offer tastings and sell their delicious products. With live music, beer, and games it’s the perfect way to spend Father’s Day weekend. Give your father the WURST (aka BEST) Father’s Day ever! 

July 2 – 19, Heroes takes the Old Creamery Theaters’ Studio Stage by storm. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy! A quirky quartet comprised of three elderly WWI veterans and a stone dog statue, spend their days occupying the terrace of an old soldiers home in France in 1959. The three men share stories, memories, and ideas of varying mental clarity. Troubled over their monotonous lives, they hatch an escape plan — destination: Indochina or just over the nearest hill. Heroes is a touching and achingly honest portrayal of what it means to be a survivor. 

July 23 – August 16 brings us the seven times winner of the “BEST COMEDY OF THE YEAR” voted by the Boston Globe: Shear Madness his the Main Stage at the Old Creamery Theatre! This unique comic-whodunit takes place today in the "Shear Madness" hairstyling salon.  During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery seen on stage. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem. 

August 1 marks the beginning of Colonies in Bloom, where all of the Amana Colonies plant flowers galore and even turn some gardens into fairy sanctuaries! The lotus lilies will in in full bloom on Lily Lake. What a wonderful way to spend your weekend — enjoying the beauty of nature. Don’t feel like walking? Van tours will be available. 

August 8 is the Amana Festival of the Arts! Fine art, folk art displays, demonstrations, sales, performances, food, and kids' activities. Come out and support the Amana Arts Guild and find some treasures. 

August 15 is Model A Day. More than 100 Model A cars, food, vintage fashion show, workshops, demonstrations, entertainment. There will also be a Throwback Weekend celebration in Amana, with barbershop quartets, music on the streets, ice cream festival, antiques shop displays and a Shake, Rattle & Roll celebration of food and live music at Millstream Brewery. 

August 20 – September 6 brings Waiting for The Parade to the Old Creamery Theatre’s Studio Stage. Struggling through life at home during WWII, five women brave unique battles. Waiting for the Parade offers a rare glimpse into the effects of war on those left behind. Mirroring the spectrum of emotions that soldiers would likely possess, each woman feels differently about the war, whether it is pride, worry, or loneliness — each woman must combat adversity, crisis, and pain.

August 21 to August 23 is Woodfest. Woodcraft displays and hand-made wood art will be for sale, from cabinets to bowls to Christmas ornaments; there will be something for everyone. There will also be live demonstrations of different wood carving and crafting techniques. 

Amana makes the perfect day trip, residing only 30 minutes away from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Hop on over to Amana and join in on the summer fun! 


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Music IC - Where Music and Literature Meet
posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2015  Post Comment

2015 marks the fifth anniversary of MusicIC, the chamber music festival that explores how music and literature inspire each other. 

The four concerts take place June 17-21; all are free and tickets are not required. These concerts are performed without intermission; they are short and high in impact. 

The first two concerts take place in Trinity Episcopal Church and begin at 7:30 pm. June 17’s concert features music that celebrates America by Copland, Barber and Dvorak. The June 18 concert explores unrequited love in music by Brahms and Janacek. 

Abundant Happiness: The Music of Robert and Clara Schumann takes place on June 19 at The Englert Theater and celebrates the love and marriage of the two composers in a theatricalized production with actress Saffron Henke and soprano Meagan Brus. 

On Saturday June 20 at 10:30 am the MusicIC musicians present a family concert at the Iowa City Public Library. 

MusicIC is a component of Summer of the Arts.

Please contact Judy Hurtig with questions about MusicIC. judith-hurtig@uiowa.edu


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Summer in the Corridor
posted: Friday, June 5, 2015  Post Comment

By Rebecca Larkin

Take advantage of the early summer warm weather as you are out and about and enjoy the abundance of culture that surrounds the Creative Corridor! Whether it’s a local arts festival, a theatre production, music in the park, a visit to a museum, picking up fresh produce or flowers at a local farmers’ market or a summer camp for the kids, there’s plenty of activities to keep you busy. Don’t forget to plan something special to celebrate Father’s Day with the special dad in your life!

6/5/15 – 2015 Iowa Arts Festival – Join Summer of the Arts for the most anticipated visual art-centered event of the summer! The Iowa Arts Festival is a weekend-long, free, community celebration featuring over 115 local and national visual artists displaying and selling artwork, a music festival, a “Culinary Row” serving regional and ethnic food, a variety of activities and entertainment, both creative and educational, for children and families. The festival runs June 5 through June 7 in downtown Iowa City. It is free and open to the public.

6/6/15 – Chocolate Stroll – The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), invites you to the 6th Annual Mount Vernon Chocolate Stroll. Stroll down Mount Vernon’s historic First Street where participating businesses and chocolate vendors will offer chocolate and chocolate products for sampling and sale. Other activities include a chocolate baking contest, a screening of the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, live bands, a lawn party for children, and much, much more! Join the fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Uptown Mount Vernon. This event is free and open to the public.

6/6/15 – Water Music – Orchestra Iowa brings you Wagner’s tale of a legendary ghost ship, opening this concert featuring four works inspired by water. Italian composer Respighi’s first symphonic poem in his “Roman Trilogy” describes a beautiful Roman fountain at different times of the day. French impressionist Debussy completes the program with his two greatest symphonic masterpieces, rich with maritime mood and nautical ambiance. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets are $19-$49 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8203.

6/11/15 – The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra – The Coralville Center for the Performing Arts invites you to enjoy the present-day Glenn Miller Orchestra. Formed in 1956, The Glenn Miller Orchestra as been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world. Nick Hilscher is the orchestra’s current musical director. This event is sponsored by Hills Bank. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-248-9370.

6/14/15 – Heartland Marimba Festival Concert – The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art invites you to enjoy a rare musical experience at the Museum – a zestful propelling soundscape of four dueling marimbas performing under the direction of acclaimed marimba virtuoso Matthew Coley. Youthful Coley has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He is a music professor at Iowa State University and is leading the Heartland Marimba Festival tour throughout Iowa this summer. The concert starts at 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission is free.

6/19/15 – The Burnt Part Boys – Theatre Cedar Rapids presents an unforgettable coming of age story; The Burnt Part Boys follows the adventures of a group of teenagers deep in West Virginia's coal country in 1962. Fourteen year-old Pete's fighting to claim his past. His older brother Jake's hoping to forge a future. With an eclectic band of friends teetering on the brink of adulthood, they've embarked on a life-altering journey to the coalmine that took their father's life. With its bluegrass and pop-inspired score, this inspirational new musical finds both the streaks of light and the heart of darkness within us all. Performances are June 19 through July 18. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows start at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$29 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8591.

6/26/15 – Brucemore’s Tahitian Party – Brucemore invites you to revel poolside amid flickering tiki torches and listen to the beat of steel drums with a cool beverage in hand during the fifth annual Tahitian party. Throw on a hula skirt or Hawaiian shirt and relish the atmosphere of Tahiti in Cedar Rapids thanks to Howard Hall’s famous Tahitian Room located in the basement of the Brucemore Mansion. Enjoy roast suckling pig, noshes and Polynesian drinks. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased by calling 362-7375.

Rebecca Larkin is a member of the ICCA Board of Directors and Marketing Coordinator at Kirkwood Community College. rebecca.larkin@kirkwood.edu.


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MusicIC - Where Music and Literature Meet
posted: Friday, May 29, 2015  Post Comment

2015 marks the fifth anniversary of MusicIC, the chamber music festival that explores how music and literature inspire each other. 

The four concerts take place June 17-21; all are free and tickets are not required. These concerts are performed without intermission; they are short and high in impact. 

The first two concerts take place in Trinity Episcopal Church and begin at 7:30 pm. June 17’s concert features music that celebrates America by Copland, Barber and Dvorak. The June 18 concert explores unrequited love in music by Brahms and Janacek. 

Abundant Happiness: The Music of Robert and Clara Schumann takes place on June 19 at The Englert Theater and celebrates the love and marriage of the two composers in a theatricalized production with actress Saffron Henke and soprano Meagan Brus. 

On Saturday June 20 at 10:30 am the MusicIC musicians present a family concert at the Iowa City Public Library. 

MusicIC is a component of Summer of the Arts.

Please contact Judy Hurtig with questions about MusicIC. judith-hurtig@uiowa.edu


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Springtime Arts, Sun and Fun
posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2015  Post Comment

By Rebecca Larkin 

Last month I talked about reviving your spring with the arts. As we wash away the April showers with May flowers, I challenge you to continue making arts and culture a part of your life. Whether you are celebrating your mom, a birthday, Memorial Day or doing something just for you, there are plenty of arts and cultural happenings this month all throughout The Corridor. It’s time to get outside and enjoy the springtime arts, sun and fun! 

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting spring events brought to you by our many arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for May: 

5/8/15 – American Girl Fashion Show – The Coralville Center for Performing Arts brings you the American Girl Fashion Show. Hosted by The Iowa Children’s Museum, the American Girl Fashion Show is a fun-filled event for girls and their families, friends and favorite dolls! Celebrate the experience of being a girl, whether yesterday or today, through a colorful presentation of historical and contemporary fashions. Enjoy elegant refreshments, enter to win door prizes and learn how clothing has changed over the years to reflect history, culture and girls’ individual styles. Shows are May 8 at 7 p.m. and May 9 and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available by calling the Coralville Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 319-248-9370. 

5/8/15 – Disney’s Mary PoppinsTheatre Cedar Rapids brings you a musical based on the similarly titled series of children's books by P. L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film, and is a fusion of various elements from the two. The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduce us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Performances are May 8-24. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $24-$35 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8591.

 5/9/15 – Kirkwood’s Concert BandKirkwood Community College invites you to their spring band concert featuring Kirkwood instrumental students and community musicians under the direction of Dr. Beth Zamzow. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Ballantyne Auditorium on Kirkwood’s main campus. Tickets are $5-$10 and may be purchased at the door. 

5/14/15 – Living Legends Tour West Music Company invites you to see and play the very Steinway pianos your musical heroes have performed or recorded upon. These pianos have felt the touch of some of the world's greatest artists, including:

Keith Jarrett, Diana Krall, McCoy Tyner, David Benoit, Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Bruce Hornsby, Allen Toussaint, Ramsey Lewis, Harry Connick Jr., Fred Hersch, Regina Spektor, Jason Moran and Billy Joel. This is your opportunity to discover the responsive touch and superior sound that enthrall the world's most renowned musical artists. It's your opportunity to imagine the electricity of your favorite performer's fingertips. It's your opportunity to touch greatness. Tour dates are May 14-20. Playing appointments are free can be scheduled by calling 319-351-2000. 

5/16/15 – Marion Arts FestivalMarion Arts Festival is excited to bring you collaborative, creative merrymaking at its finest. Consistently named among the top tier of fine art and fine craft events nationwide, the Marion Arts Festival presents 50 nationally sourced artists, offering both fine art and fine craft to an audience of 14,000 patrons. The Marion Arts Fest is a free, family friendly, come-as-you-are community art party with accessible high quality culture for all. A half marathon and 5K run & fun walk, hands-on art activities and demonstrations complete the event. Join the fun in City Square Park in beautiful uptown Marion from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

5/16/15 – Cirque MusicaOrchestra Iowa is proud to take audiences on a journey to a faraway land of dazzling beauty and mystery. The show blends the grace and thrills of the world’s greatest circus performers with stunning symphonic music from classical and popular repertoire. Audiences are treated to a full sensory experience that will have them on the edge of their seats and in awe of the beauty, thrills and majesty that is….Cirque MUSICA. Performances are May 16 at 7:30 p.m. and May 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $27-$54 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8203. 

5/29/15 – Clue: The Detective Game Event – The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art invites you to dress up as your favorite character from the board game "Clue" or in the fashion of the 1940s if you choose. Unique drinks, hors d'oeuvres, dancing, a social Clue game, unlimited mysteries and a silent auction await you! The fun starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 319-366-7503, ext. 207. 

5/30/15 – Junkin’ for a Cause – The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy invites you to a spectacular junkin’ event. Shop for antiques, collectibles, art, home and office furniture, estate items, household décor, music equipment, sporting goods, lawn and garden items, and much, much more. Junkin’ time is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the general public.

Rebecca Larkin is a member of the ICCA Board of Directors and Marketing Coordinator at Kirkwood Community College. rebecca.larkin@kirkwood.edu.

 


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Revive Your Spring with the Arts
posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015  Post Comment

Spring and springtime often refer to the season, but did you know that spring and springtime also refers to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal and regrowth?

I’d say spring is great opportunity to say good-bye to the winter blues and the perfect time to add some color and freshness back into you life. Arts and culture can do the trick!

While most of the Corridor’s outdoor activities are still a month or so away, there are plenty of other great indoor activities to revive your day. Start your spring off right and enjoy something new. Whether it’s a trip to the theatre, the museum or a local musical performance, don’t let these early spring rainy days stop you from getting out an enjoying some cultural fun!

Visit the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org, or browse our mobile app to find a calendar full of fun and exciting winter events brought to you by our many arts and culture partners. Here is a small sampling for April:

4/9/15 – A Lost Letter – Join Kirkwood Community College for the ultimate election-time comedy, replete with adulterous governors, cuckolded elder statesmen, corrupt politicians, drunken voters, and incoherent candidates. Sounds familiar? The action happens to take place in 19th-century Romania, but it would be just as valid today in any other part of the world. Translation by Mircea Tomus. Directed by Rick D. Anderson. Performances are April 9-12. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5-$10 and available by emailing Ballantyne@kirkwood.edu.

4/10/15 – Clybourne Park – Theatre Cedar Rapids brings you a riveting show that explodes in two acts set fifty years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification. Performances are April 10-26. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13-$24 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-366-8591.

4/10/15 – Housebroken – Riverside Theatre presents an exciting world premiere that gleefully skewers the hilarity and heartbreak of buying and selling a house in today’s rocky economy. The offers, the counter-offers, the closings that don’t close, the granite countertops and the cracked foundations cause Megan to question the truth of the American Dream. Written and performed by Megan Gogerty. Directed by Alexis Chamow. Performances are April 10-26. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$30 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-338-7672.

4/11/15 – Slow Art Day at CRMA – The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art has joined a global event with a simple mission: encourage more people to discover for themselves the joy of looking at and loving art. Visitors are invited to come slowly enjoy five pieces of art. A free, informal discussion of experiences and observations with CRMA Associate Curator Kate Kunau will take place in the CRMA Carnegie Library, outside the Museum Store. Bring your own lunch. The pieces selected for Slow Art Day will be available as a list at the front desk near the galleries. Participants are encouraged to spend ten minutes (or more) looking at an individual works. Visitors may make notes or sketches on paper and pencil. The intention is to purposefully immerse yourself in art to have a meaningful experience. Join the fun from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Normal admission rates apply for the galleries, but there are no additional charges.

4/11/15 – The Secret Garden – Old Creamery Theatre is excited to bring you a childhood classic. A golden key opens a secret ivy-covered door to a wondrous garden, for neglected orphan Mary. As she learns how to help the garden thrive, she blooms into a lovely young girl herself all while helping her ill cousin Collin to heal. Friendship and flowers all flourish in The Secret Garden! Adapted by April-Dawn Gladu. Based upon the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Performances are April 11-18. Show times are at 1 p.m. on April 11 and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 18. Tickets are $10 and available by calling the Box Office at 319-622-6034.

4/24/15 – Into the Woods – The Coralville Center for Performing Arts is proud to bring you Into the Woods presented by City Circle Acting Company. In their journey in and out of the woods, they meet a woman fleeing a ball, a girl with extraordinary hair, a cow-sick boy, a sweet-loving granddaughter, a couple of princes, and at least one giant. Music by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. Christopher Okiishi directs this audience favorite. Performances are April 24-May 2. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$27 and available at the Box Office by calling 319-248-9370.

4/26/15 – Jay Unger and Molly Mason – CSPS/Legion Arts is proud to host Jay Unger and Molly Mason. Listen to the timeless renditions of hard-driving Appalachian, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, stirring Civil War classics, sassy songs from the golden age of swing and country, stunning waltzes, and deeply moving original compositions. Their performance of Jay’s haunting composition Ashokan Farewell—the musical hallmark of the PBS series—earned the couple international acclaim. The soundtrack won a Grammy and the PBS series—originally inspired by Jay & Molly’s annual fiddle and dance camps—was nominated for an Emmy. Performance starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 319-364-1580.

Rebecca Larkin is a member of the ICCA Board of Directors and Marketing Coordinator at Kirkwood Community College. rebecca.larkin@kirkwood.edu.


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ICCA in 2015
posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2014  Post Comment

I joined the board for the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA) in April of 2013 after reading about a board opening in ICCA’s weekly e-blast. The application asks all the pertinent questions about past experience, commitments, and also includes this gem: “Why are you interested in serving on the ICCA Board of Directors?” It seems straightforward enough and looking back, the first part of my answer was rather pat. My response noted my belief in the importance of good citizenship, community activism and volunteering, and touched on the breadth of arts and cultural amenities in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. 

But I included two more components to answering “Why are you interested in serving on the ICCA Board of Directors?” that mean much more now as I being my term as President of ICCA in January. 

The first part of my reply was acknowledging the structure of ICCA, serving as the voice and as an advocate for more than 120 cultural organizations in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. I knew we had strength in numbers and in the power of our network, but I blindly (foolishly?) considered ICCA primarily a promotional vehicle with a robust website and calendar of events. 

I see now that our organization provides so much more to our membership including educational programming, professional development, resource sharing, and advocacy-focused events. This is the focus of our board in addition to our public-facing efforts of arts and cultural awareness and promoting cultural tourism within the communities we serve. ICCA truly is a regional organization and member-based alliance striving to provide an equitable experience for all of our members, looking beyond geography, programming and size of our associates. 

Looking forward, this is a message we need to spread throughout the Corridor. 

The last part of my answer to “Why are you interested in serving on the ICCA Board of Directors?” was about workforce. I work in economic development and workforce has been and will continue to be an area of concern as we endeavor to build our area’s economy and help local employers. 

In a global economy, companies and workers have their pick of communities. So why come here? Certainly there are business decisions. Quality of education is important. Weather can be a factor. Housing plays a part. But the out-of-home and away-from-the-office experiences created by ICCA members in our performance halls and museum corridors, along our city sidewalks and in studios and galleries are what builds our reputation as a place to live life to its fullest. Simply, companies need people and ICCA plays a key role in workforce development. Our membership helps shape and create… Actually, let me rephrase… our membership is the quality of life for Iowa’s Creative Corridor. 

Looking forward, we have to acknowledge this past year. With Sean Ulmer’s leadership, and facilitation from Regenia Bailey of the Bailey Leadership Initiative, ICCA completed strategic planning for its next three years and will adopt a plan this month. Additionally, with the help of Quinn Pettifer and We Create Here, ICCA completed two months of advocacy talks with our membership to help us identify key areas for membership needs. Combining our strategic planning and membership input, ICCA will unveil new programming and initiatives for 2015. Look for those to be announced in January. 

The worlds of business, arts and culture, non-profit and tourism are beginning to blend as we all work to support one another and this region. In fact, for the first time in its 15+ years, the ICCA President and Vice-President are not directly connected to the arts and culture community. This speaks to the role ICCA plays in impacting and improving Iowa’s Creative Corridor. 

I’m excited for this journey and invite you to take part. 

Eric Hanson is the incoming President for ICCA and the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Iowa City Area Economic Development Group (ICAD). ehanson@icadgroup.com.

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MusicIC: Where Music and Literature Meet
posted: Monday, May 19, 2014  Post Comment

This fourth season of MusicIC continues to explore the fascinating connections between chamber music, literature and poetry. The influences flow back and forth. Great composers set poems to music. A great novelist is inspired by a violin sonata. Music can even add levels of fun to beloved children’s stories.

The great Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca wrote a poetic elegy to a great bullfighter who was also his dear friend. “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Majias” sets the background to three musical elegies for violin and piano by Poulenc, Copland and Leon Kirchner to be played June 18. On June 19 MusicIC celebrates the music of American Samuel Barber who wrote dozens of songs setting poetry to music. The concert also includes Barber’s great string quartet that includes his beloved Adagio for Strings.

On June 20 MusicIC mounts its most ambitious production that explores the relationship between Beethoven’s violin sonata called “The Kreutzer Sonata” which inspired Tolstoy to write his novella of the same name. The Czech composer Leos Janacek was then inspired by Tolstoy’s passionate story to write his own string quartet also called “The Kreutzer Sonata.” Playwright Jennifer Fawcett and director Sean Christopher Lewis have created a theatrical evening that includes musicians and actors to explore this circle of inspiration.

Finally on June 21 MusicIC presents a very special concert for families that brings together beloved classics – “Strega Nona” and “Madeline” – with delightful music for soprano and piano.

The musicians come from around the country. Some have participated in previous festivals and are excited to return to Iowa City. Then there are a couple of very special ones, Meagan Brus and Yi-heng Yang. Meagan grew up here and received her formative music education at City High. Yi-heng, daughter of a Computer Science professor, was born in Mercy Hospital on a snowy Christmas night but she grew up in New Jersey. MusicIC is an opportunity to celebrate these two hometown successes.

For full information on all the musicians and the full schedule check out MusicIC, a part of Summer of the Arts.


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Get Involved in the 2014 Iowa Cultural Caucuses
posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014  Post Comment

Planning for the 2014 Cultural Caucuses is underway! Held every 4 years, the Iowa Cultural Caucuses fulfill a key charge, made to the Department of Cultural Affairs by the Iowa Legislature, to engage Iowans in a dynamic conversation about the future of arts and culture in our state. Over the next few months, the Iowa Arts Council will be seeking Iowans' input, highlighting local success stories and analyzing cultural data from the state in order to prepare for a statewide convening in Spring 2014. Get involved by signing up for updates and information on the upcoming 2014 Iowa Cultural Caucuses. Sign up by visiting the Iowa Arts Council website: http://www.iowaartscouncil.org and clicking "Iowa Cultural Caucus" under "Opportunities" in the center of the home page.

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Happy Holidays from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance
posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013  Post Comment

The holiday season has officially arrived in Iowa’s Creative Corridor! I continue to be amazed by the number of cultural events we are blessed with each day, and the holidays truly bring to light all we have to be thankful for. From theatrical and musical performances to holiday festivals and exhibits, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful opportunities to enjoy the arts in our community. 

While you are searching for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, please remember to give the gift of art. Consider purchasing tickets to a local performance or giving someone a year-long membership to a local arts organization. These wonderful gift ideas are a creative and fun way to enjoy the holiday season long after it has ended and the New Year has begun. 

On behalf of the board and staff of the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season. As you invite family and friends to gather with you to celebrate the season, be sure to check out www.culturalcorridor.org for arts and cultural events that are sure to please the whole family!


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Conquer the Creative Corridor with ICCA and the Economic Alliance
posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013  Post Comment

Are you new to the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Creative Corridor area? Or perhaps you’re a long-time resident who doesn’t feel well-connected or engaged in the community? The Creative Corridor is filled with things to do and ways to get involved…but where do you go to find it all? This summer, the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA) launched a new partnership with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance (Economic Alliance) to jointly present “Conquer the Creative Corridor” around the region. The one-hour, interactive presentation is designed to engage and educate individuals about the resources available in their community.

Discover the where and how of culture, nightlife community development, volunteerism and more as community adovoates and resource experts guide you through trivia, statistics and story. Whether you're new to the area or have lived here your whole life, this guide through the Creative Corridor region will spark excitement and pride about what the community has to offer.  Arts and culture, volunteering, networking, recreation, neighborhood updates and beyond will get the wheels turning on how you can become more involved. Feel a new found sense of pride in the community you call home. In addition to the high energy presentation, attendees are given a resource packet along with a calendar of upcoming Corridor events.

Would you like to help your employees connect to the Creative Corridor? Schedule your free “Conquer” session today! Are you an individual who would like to get more plugged in to your community? ICCA and the Economic Alliance present quarterly Inclusive Conquer the Creative Corridor sessions to the public throughout the year. There is no cost to attend the inclusive event, and refreshments will be served. Contact Jessica Johnson at jessica@culturalcorridor.org or 319.849.8ART to schedule an event or for information about the next Inclusive Conquer the Creative Corridor session.

 

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Iowa’s Longest-Running Film Festival Continues in Tipton
posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013  Post Comment

The 16th Annual Hardacre Film Festival will be held August 2 & 3 in Tipton, IA. The Hardacre Film Festival is Iowa’s first independent film festival and takes place in the historic Hardacre Theatre, a locally operated Art Deco-style theater that has been in operation since 1917. The theater provides an intimate setting for cinephiles and casual fans to come and appreciate independent film in Tipton.

 

The Hardacre Film Festival is one of the few precious opportunities those of us in our region of the Midwest have to screen truly independent and underground cinema. One of the primary goals of the Hardacre Film Festival is to bring a diverse selection of cutting-edge independent motion pictures to an Eastern Iowa audience who otherwise would not have an opportunity to view these films.

 

The festival screens independent films of various lengths–narratives, documentaries, animation, experimental and student films–and attracts independent filmmakers from around the world to Tipton. Last year, nearly 150 films were submitted to the festival from around the world, and 24 features and shorts were screened.

 

If you want to come to a festival free of the typical indie film politicking, blatant schmoozing and commercialism, the Hardacre Film Festival is for you! The focus is cinema as art, and the filmmakers as artists. Direct interaction between artist and audience is encouraged during formal Q&A sessions and informal discussions at other times during the festival. The weekend is filled with great films and an enthusiastic crowd, and the Hardacre Film Festival staff takes great care in providing a high-quality program for moviegoers.

 

This year’s festival will be on Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3. Admission to any of the film festival’s three programs –Opening Night, Saturday Day or Saturday Night (including the wrap party) - is $8 each or an all-festival pass can be purchased for $20. Films on Friday begin at 6:00 PM and will run all day on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The Hardacre Theater is located at 112 East 5th Street in downtown Tipton. For more information and updates, go to www.hardacrefilmfestival.com or follow the festival on Facebook or Twitter at @hardacrefest.

 

We hope to see you in August!

 

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Strategic Marketing - Your Critical Checklist for Success
posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013  Post Comment

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance held “Strategic Marketing: Your Critical Checklist for Success” on June 10, featuring a presentation by the NextGen Marketing Group™. They presented a practical approach to guide participants through essential marketing elements. Following the presentation, attendees applied the concepts to their real-life marketing challenges during breakout sessions. Click here for a copy of the presentation.

For more information about NextGen Marketing Group, visit the website: www.nextgenmktg.com or call 1-319-887-5665.


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MusicIC: Where Music and Literature Meet
posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013  Post Comment

This third season of MusicIC continues to explore the fascinating connections between chamber music, literature and poetry. The influences flow back and forth. Great composers set poems to music. A great novelist writes a new script inspired by music. Music can even add levels of fun to beloved children’s stories.

MusicIC is committed to supporting the connections between music and literature. The 2013 festival will include the world premiere of a work for soprano and string quartet by David Gompper, the director of the UI Center for New Music, who has set newly written poetry by Marvin Bell, emeritus professor of the UI Writers Workshop. Variations on a Sonic Imagination is MusicIC’s first commission.

Some of the festival musicians are local; others come from around the country. Most of them have participated in previous festivals and are excited to return to Iowa City. Then there are some very special ones – Conor Hanick, Emmet Hanick and Meagan Brus – who grew up in Iowa City and received their formative music training here. They have now gone on to promising careers elsewhere. MusicIC is an opportunity to hear them again and to celebrate their successes.

This festival includes a staged performance of Stravinsky's "A Soldier's Tale". Performed by seven musicians and four actors, this version of Stravinsky's well known work dispenses with the original script in favor of a new one by famed novelist Kurt Vonnegut which recounts the story of Pvt. Eddie Slovik, the only soldier to be executed for desertion since the Civil War.

Finally MusicIC presents a very special concert for families which brings together beloved classics -- "Good Night Moon," "Ferdinand the Bull" and "Pecos Bill" -- with delightful music performed on the piano and violin.

For full information on all the musicians and the full schedule check out www.uiowa.edu/musicic


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Building Future Audience Resources
posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013  Post Comment

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance featured guest speaker John Abodeely, Program Manager of National Partnerships at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, at its “Building Future Audiences” event on April 30th. Mr. Abodeely presented the latest research in arts education, including information on best practices and successful model programs around the country. Click here for a copy of his presentation. Mr. Abodeely referenced many great resources, all listed with links below:


Irvine Foundation Arts Innovation Fund
http://irvine.org/aiflearning/
Cultivating Demand for the Arts
http://bit.ly/14Ry2LS
Revitalizing Arts Education through Community Wide Coordination
http://bit.ly/11Uc2vx
Arts Education for All: Lessons from the First Half of the Ford Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative
http://bit.ly/m2e0Xt
Annenberg Institute for School Reform
http://annenberginstitute.org/
SSIR's series on Collective Impact
http://bit.ly/11AGvgk
National Endowment for the Arts Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (most recent)
http://1.usa.gov/1020TEP
National Endowment for the Arts' How Technology Influences Arts Participation
http://1.usa.gov/ZUPHO8
Albany Park Theatre Project (Chicago, IL)
http://aptpchicago.org/
New Urban Arts (Providence, RI)
http://newurbanarts.org/
West Michigan Center on Arts and Technology
http://www.wmcat.org/
National Arts Marketing Project
http://artsmarketing.org/
Americans for the Arts Arts Advocacy Center
https://votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/campaigns


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Culture Builds Community
posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013  Post Comment

As a regional organization, the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA) promotes the arts and nurtures a sustainable cultural community in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. ICCA works to facilitate collaboration and build partnerships throughout the community. Nurturing a strong arts sector has a direct impact on the greater region. Partnerships among for-profit and non-profit organizations; arts, social service or religious institutions; artists, parents and neighbors have the potential to create a vital “ecosystem” where the arts and communities flourish.

It only takes a quick glance to see how culture builds community in the Corridor. Community art centers bustle with young people learning to dance or draw. Murals and other forms of public art reclaim neglected spaces. Outdoor movies light up parking lots on a summer night. Street fairs draw thousands of people and theatre performances give voice to the issues of a community. Cultural participation builds bridges across geographic, ethnic and class divides that many other forms of civic engagement do not.

The impact of the arts goes far beyond economic or even social values. The arts provide a means for learning and creative expression, offering our community a constructive way to give voice to issues that may be controversial. Through the arts citizens can engage these issues and emerge an even stronger community.

Visit the ICCA website, www.CulturalCorridor.org, to learn more about the arts and discover hundreds of cultural opportunities throughout Iowa’s Creative Corridor.

--Jessica Johnson, ICCA Executive Director


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Valentine’s Dinner for a Cause: Help Save Tipton’s Hardacre Theater
posted: Monday, January 14, 2013  Post Comment

Looking to treat your Valentine this February—or just treat yourself while helping a noble cause? Tipton Community Development invites you to “Hearts for the Hardacre”—a dinner fundraiser to help save Tipton’s historic Hardacre Theater—on Saturday, February 16th. Dinner and live entertainment will be served at A Place to Land, 523 Cedar St., in Tipton, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The event will feature a candlelit dinner, wine and desserts from local vendors, and area musicians will provide entertainment during the meal. There will be limited seating, so reservations are required.

The cost is $90 per couple or $50 per person. All proceeds from “Hearts for the Hardacre” will go to the Hardacre Theater Preservation Association (HTPA)’s fundraising drive to purchase and renovate the Hardacre Theater. The group’s mission is to provide an affordable and enriching moviegoing and theatrical experience for Tipton and its surrounding communities.

The menu will include:

  • Red and white wines from Dan Boddicker of Red Cedar Wines
  • Entrees: Chicken kiev or roast beef
  • Sides: Mixed green salad, dinner rolls, baby red potatoes with onion and butter, green bean almondine, vegetable medley
  • Desserts from local vendors

“This is the first of many fundraisers we’ll hold in 2013 for the benefit of the Hardacre,” said Greg Brown, president of the HTPA. “We hope area residents will embrace this chance to help save a great local art venue while getting a taste of Tipton this Valentine’s Day weekend.”

Reservations must be received by Monday, Feb. 4. To make a reservation, e-mail thehardacre@gmail.com or call (319) 325-6593 , and please note your choice of entree. For more information about the Hardacre Theater Preservation Association, go to www.thehardacre.org .


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New Year’s Resolution: Consume More Culture in 2013
posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013  Post Comment

Happy New Year from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance! January is an exciting time to look forward to what 2013 will bring. As we begin a happy and healthy new year, I encourage you to include the arts in your resolutions. The arts are a defining feature of every great community, and we are fortunate to have an abundance of arts and culture opportunities in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Be a part of that!

Include a resolution to consume more culture in 2013. You’ll be glad you did! Make it a point to visit your local museums, galleries, theaters, dance companies and music venues. Better yet, sign up for an annual membership or subscription. ​You’ll receive discounts and more importantly, you’ll help support an organization that adds value to your community and enriches your life. Many cultural institutions offer special opportunities to learn, to participate and to make the world a better place. The arts not only educate and entertain, but they help us to better understand ourselves and others.

On CulturalCorridor.org you will find 150+ arts and culture organizations you can connect with, as well as a full calendar of events to attend in 2013. Well, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

--Jessica Johnson, ICCA Executive Director


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Happy Holidays from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance
posted: Friday, December 7, 2012  Post Comment

The holiday season has officially arrived in Iowa’s Creative Corridor! I continue to be amazed by the number of cultural events we are blessed with each day, and the holidays truly bring to light all we have to be thankful for. From theatrical and musical performances to holiday festivals and exhibits, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful opportunities to enjoy the arts in our community.

While you are searching for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, please remember to give the gift of art. Consider purchasing tickets to a local performance or giving someone a year-long membership to a local arts organization. These wonderful gift ideas are a creative and fun way to enjoy the holiday season long after it has ended and the New Year has begun.

On behalf of the board and staff of the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season. As you invite family and friends to gather with you to celebrate the season, be sure to check out www.culturalcorridor.org for arts and cultural events that are sure to please the whole family!


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Connecting with Students in Iowa's Creative Corridor
posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012  Post Comment

The Higher Education Connection, Iowa City Area Development Group, and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance welcomes all Creative Corridor organizations to a special networking event with the region’s top student talent on Thursday, November 13 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at the Hotel at Kirkwood Atrium. Upwards of 100 students from seven area colleges and universities will participate in the “Mocktail Reception” to network with employers looking to hire in the near to immediate future.

Networking is a vital process of the career search, and the event will help college seniors throughout the Creative Corridor practice their networking skills as well as learn about the exciting opportunities available throughout the region. In advance of the event, many of the Higher Education Connection members will be working with students on etiquette, conversation topics, appearance, and networking dos and don’ts, including simple things like the importance of exchanging business cards.

As part of ongoing workforce development strategies, the Iowa City Area Development Group and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance partner with the Higher Education Connection to provide perspective from the local human resources community. The partnership between the economic development organizations and with the colleges and universities is an opportunity to keep educated youth here in the Creative Corridor. Employers will appreciate the direct connection with career centers and hearing firsthand from college students and potential applicants by participating in the networking event.

The Higher Education Connection is comprised of colleges, universities, and education centers including Coe College, Cornell College, Kirkwood Community College, Mt. Mercy University, University of Iowa, Kaplan University, and ITT Technical Institute. The organization hosts events throughout the year to connect employers, students and the community. Event topics have ranged from internships and career placement tips to hiring international students and brain drain.

RSVPs preferred by Friday, November 9 via email to RJ Holmes-Leopold, Chair of the Higher Education Connection and Director of the Career Engagement Center at Cornell College, rholmes-leopold@cornellcollege.edu .


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Celebrate National Arts & Humanities Month in Iowa's Creative Corridor!
posted: Friday, September 28, 2012  Post Comment

Every day we celebrate the arts, but October is the month to commemorate the arts in a big way. It is National Arts and Humanities Month—the largest annual celebration for the arts and humanities in the nation!

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities.

Want to join in the celebration? In Iowa’s Creative Corridor, we can celebrate NAHM by helping recognize the contributions of cultural organizations in our region. Every day, arts and cultural organizations act as economic drivers - supporting jobs, generating government revenue, and serving as the cornerstone of our tourism industry. The arts also provide joy to our daily lives through our participation. I hope you choose to be a part of this impact on our community by attending one of the many events that can be found right here on our website, under the Calendar tab.

--Jessica Johnson, ICCA Executive Director


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Fifth Annual Landfall Festival of World Music
posted: Thursday, September 13, 2012  Post Comment

The Fifth Annual Landfall Festival of World Music kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 19 and winds up Saturday, Sept. 22 with a free day of music in Greene Square Park. If you’re counting, that’s 50 musicians from 10 countries performing at seven different venues. Musicians this year hail from countries including Brazil, Portugal, Sweden, Tunisia, China and Mexico.

When Legion Arts presented the first Landfall Festival in 2008, the city of Cedar Rapids was just beginning the long process of flood recovery. “Landfall” may have seemed an odd moniker in light of its association with disastrous weather, but the word’s original meaning is “arrival at a destination after a long journey over land or sea or air.” That’s what these artists are doing. We thought that was a hopeful activity, and one that deserved a good celebration at the end.

Since that first year of providing welcome respite to flood volunteers and residents impacted by the disaster, Landfall has grown in ambition and scope. In 2012, we’re working with more venues than ever, including Orchestra Iowa’s new Opus Concert Café and the African American Museum of Iowa. And we’re planning afterparty jam sessions every night to keep the fun going. Parties will run from 10 pm to midnight at Parlor City (Wednesday), Gatherings (Thursday), Little Bohemia (Friday) and CSPS (Saturday, 8 pm).

We’re also developing more in-depth ways for audiences to interact with the musicians and their music. Area blues virtuosos Craig Erickson and Skeeter Lewis will convene a Global Blues Summit Friday at the African American Museum of Iowa. They’ll be joined by Cameroon musician Kenn Wanaku for an exploration of how different styles of blues from around the world have influenced each other.

I think we can honestly say that this is one of our most diverse and exciting line-ups ever. Landfall artists are extremely skilled in their particular traditions, which they spend a lot of time and imagination updating. This year the mix of influences is richer than ever: Tunsia’s MC Rai blends Algerian raï music with hip-hop while China’s Hanggai shows a clear affinity for American cowboy songs.

In addition to the free slate of Saturday shows, reasonable ticket prices ($10 single show admission, $20 all-evening passes and $50 all-festival passes) give lovers of music and culture the chance to sonically orbit the Earth for four days straight.

Other Landfall musicians include New Orleans’ Panorama Jazz Band, choro virtuosos Trio Brasileiro, the Finnish fiddling onslaught of JPP and hip hop-influenced rhythms from nations as far-flung as Tunisia and Sweden. Great local acts will join the line-up, too: Cedar Rapids’ own keyboard sensation Akash Gururaja playing Indian Carnatic music, Iowa City’s Irish-folk exemplars The Beggarmen, and Craig Erickson and Skeeter Lewis.

Additionally, acclaimed Mexican musician Rana Santacruz will spend the entire week in Cedar Rapids as part of a National Performance Network residency speaking with and performing for students, community groups and local artists.

This remarkable line-up is made possible through Legion Arts’ collaboration with events throughout the Midwest. Over the years, we’ve established relationships with world music festivals that take place each fall in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago and Bloomington, Ind. By cooperating with them, we’re able to host world-class artists that we could never afford on our own.

Legion Arts is mainly known for presenting art, theatre and music from around the world at storied CSPS Hall in the flourishing New Bohemia district. Since 1991, we’ve hosted artists from more than 80 countries. Landfall is an opportunity for Legion Arts to expand that work, partnering with community-minded groups and businesses to give the people of Eastern Iowa a unique cultural opportunity… and a really good time.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.


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Guest blog by Doug Elliott, founding member of SPT Theatre Company and a producer of the Tales from the Writers’ Room series
posted: Monday, August 27, 2012  Post Comment

“You can’t do that!?!”

Is there any better incentive to rise to a challenge than the incredulity of the naysayer? Well, it’s part of the motivation behind SPT Theatre Company’s Tales from the Writers’ Room series… but only just a part. Writers’ Room, as we like to call if for short, will open its fifth season on September 14, 2012, at CSPS in Cedar Rapids.

Built on the television model, Writers’ Room features the original works of five area writers: Jason Alberty, David Martino, Mary Sullivan, Akwi Nji, and Adam Witte. Roughly every six weeks, these five work individually and together to create original sketches, monologues, and poetry around a theme determined by the SPT producers. Once a week during that time, they meet to review and discuss each other’s work, to find pieces for collaboration, or just to provide mutual support and encouragement. Depending on your era, think The Dick Van Dyke Show or 30 Rock.

About twenty pieces will usually come out of the writers’ room at the end of the six-week period, and the SPT producers winnow the list down to around twelve that will make it into the show. Placed in a preliminary order, the actors (usually five to six) and artistic director have one week to memorize and block the pieces.

On the Wednesday before the performance, live music is added. On Thursday, lighting and minimal theatrics are added to weave the individual pieces into an experience that will hopefully entertain and provoke the audience, and maybe even make sense. And along the way, pieces may be changed or cut, acting assignments may be altered, and the final order may look totally different from the preliminary one. After performances on Friday and Saturday, the material is put aside, and the process starts all over again.

And we all look at each other and say, “Hey, we did that!”

Being able to say that is an accomplishment unto itself—an incentive. But, there are other incentives that are key to SPT Theatre Company’s mission and our commitment to endeavors like The Writers Room. Among those are:

  • Providing opportunities for artists to make a living at their craft: SPT provides over 70 paying opportunities for writers, actors, musicians, and technicians through Writers Room.
  • Promoting the creation and presentation of original work: Over the course of a season, more than 100 original works will be written and the majority of those will be presented to live audiences, even if only twice.
  • Providing new experiences for area audiences: In addition to original work, the series also promotes young & emerging artists.
  • Contributing to a vibrant cultural community: Through a partnership with the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, SPT was one of the first organizations to provide live theatre in a recovering downtown Cedar Rapids in 2009. Now in partnership with Legion Arts, SPT is an active member of the NewBo community.

To purchase tickets to Tales from the Writers’ Room click here. For more information on SPT Theatre Company, visit the website at www.spttheatre.org.

--Doug Elliott is a founding member of SPT Theatre Company and a producer of the Tales from the Writers’ Room series.


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Coralville Center for the Performing Arts Celebrates its First Birthday!
posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012  Post Comment

The Coralville Center for the Performing Arts will be celebrating its first birthday on August 25 and 26!

I recently spoke with ICCA President Dennis Green about the upcoming celebration, and he said, “On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s already been a year; on the other, it feels like you’ve always been there.”

When I stop and think about all that’s happened at the Center in such a short time, it is overwhelming.

It’s easy to toss off the aggregate statistics: more than 30,000 visitors; over 2,500 performers (adult and child; professional and amateur) on our stage; almost 3,000 volunteer hours contributed; 11 uses by Coralville schools free of charge. But I think it’s really the individual moments that best illustrate why venues like the CCPA are important to the community. Moments like:

  • Taping a “sold out” sign in the front window for the first time
  • Watching a group of 3rd and 4th graders file onto stage and look awestruck at a full auditorium of family and friends
  • Seeing the joy in a pianist’s eyes the first time he plays our Steinway D grand piano in our acoustically superb space
  • Watching a volunteer bring visiting family and friends by to show off her theater
  • Hearing from the owner of a nearby coffee shop that she’d run out of food the previous weekend due to the foot traffic before and after our shows
  • Turning off the houselights after a show and still feeling the energy from the performance

We’ll be celebrating these moments and those still to come next weekend during our first birthday celebration. And true to our mission, we’re inviting our community to celebrate with us, onstage and off.

Our birthday performance, “Show Us Some Razzle-Dazzle” features several local performers bringing glitz and energy to the CCPA stage. This show was inspired by charity walks – but instead of walking or running, our participants are performing! Every act made a fundraising commitment to the Center. We’ll showcase some regular CCPA performers, as well as some surprise local talents. And what’s a party without birthday cake? Attendees will enjoy cake from New Pioneer Coop, and can bid on arts-related prizes during our silent auction.

There’s a lot to celebrate next week – and many celebrations still to come. To find out more about Show Us Some Razzle-Dazzle and other CCPA events, please visit our website at www.coralvillearts.org.

~Megan Flanagan

Managing Director, Coralville Center for the Performing Arts


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Investment in the Arts is the Foundation for Building Vibrant Communities
posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012  Post Comment

In Iowa’s Creative Corridor, we are fortunate to enjoy an excellent quality of life. That is largely due to the abundance of arts and culture in our community.

We live in a global economy where creativity is a key driver. The ability to attract and retain skilled employees is a central issue for businesses today. An increasing number of people choose where they want to live first and find a job in that area. Quality of life has never been so important to attracting talent, and the arts are significant to creating a quality of life that people seek out. In addition, the arts support inclusion in our communities by bringing people of diverse backgrounds together for shared experiences and by celebrating what makes us each unique and different.

Representing more than 150 arts organizations, the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA) nurtures a sustainable cultural community in Iowa’s Creative Corridor through advocacy, promotion, professional development and raising awareness of arts and culture opportunities. In a region with a spirit of creative innovation, ICCA works to foster collaboration within the arts community, as well as between arts organizations and the business community.

ICCA works with economic development organizations and local businesses to develop initiatives that connect residents and visitors with the arts community. One of the resources offered through ICCA is a central website with information about cultural opportunities in the region, CulturalCorridor.org. The website provides background, contact information and links to the arts and culture organizations in the Corridor. The website also features a community calendar with thousands of events to choose from.

In today’s hyper-connected, highly-customized world, I truly believe arts and culture are the most important tools to ensuring growth in our communities. When you observe the cities, both big and small, who are doing it right, they all have a flourishing arts sector. They recognize that successful economic development and community revitalization starts with a quality of life, which means a significant and well-supported arts scene. An investment in the arts is the foundation for building a vibrant community for future generations.

--Jessica Johnson, ICCA Executive Director


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MusicIC: a festival of music inspired by literature
posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012  Post Comment

MusicIC: It’s a festival of chamber music inspired by literature. How perfect for Iowa City, the UNESCO City of Literature, a town of writers and readers!

MusicIC takes place June 10-16 with three free, high impact concerts that explore the connections between music and literature. The concerts include readings or projections of the important literary connections for each piece of music. Plus there’s a free family concert. Full information can be found at www.uiowa.edu/musicic. But here are the highlights:

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My

A family concert followed by a scavenger hunt

June 10, 3:30 pm UI Museum of Natural History

All Schubert: Music about Animals

June 14, 7:30 Trinity Episcopal Church

Reception follows

Proust’s Musical World

June 15, 7:30 Trinity Episcopal Church

Pierrot Lunaire: Celebrating the Centennial of the Premiere

June 16, 7:30 The Englert Theatre

Reception follows

The French writer Marcel Proust listened to a lot of music that helped shape sections of his masterpiece In Search of Lost Time. There will be two discussions that are open to the public to explore What Proust Heard: Music, Memory and Inspiration. Facilitated by Hugh Ferrer with MusicIC musicians, the discussions take place June 12 at 7 pm and June 13 at 11am in University Capitol Center Recital Hall.

It’s all free; it’s all in downtown Iowa City; and you might just hear music in a new way.


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Anamosa Celebrates the Life and Spirit of Grant Wood
posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012  Post Comment

One of the world's most well known regional artists, Grant Wood, was born right here in Eastern Iowa and spent most of his life in the area. Wood spent much of his childhood in his hometown of Anamosa, Iowa and was brought back and laid to rest in the Riverside cemetery on the edge of town.

Each year the town celebrates the life and spirit of Iowa's most famous painter with an art festival in his honor. The Grant Wood Art Festival began 40 years ago in Anamosa, then moved to Stone City, the site of Wood's Stone City Artist Colony in the 1930s. Several years ago the festival returned to Anamosa, and is currently housed at the Lawrence Community, Fountain Park and the Anamosa Library and Learning Center.

The one-day event, this year on June 10, 2012, features something for everyone. At the Lawrence Community Center and Fountain Park, artist from around the region compete in a juried art show and sell their creations. The community center is also home to the kid's activities, Grant Wood presentations and food. Artists set up in Fountain Park as well, and the park's gazebo serves as a stage for regional musicians. This year features blues singer David Moore, folk singer Anna Laube and Bluegrass band Kodiak Flats.

In the Anamosa Library and Center guests will find a large Grant Wood Originals Art Exhibit featuring artwork from Wood as well as faculty and students of the Stone City Artist Colony. This year the show boosts 68 pieces of art, including all 21 of Wood's lithographs, which have only been shown together a few times.

The library will also feature guest speaker, Dr. Randy Lengling, who will discuss Grant Wood's works. An expert panel made up of Kristy Raine, who conducted an extensive research project on the Stone City Art Colony, When the Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony & School, R Tripp Evans, author of Grant Wood: A Life and Sue Taylor, author of Grant Wood's Family Album , will discuss Wood's life and career.

The festival highlights art education as well. Each year students compete in an art competition to design the festival's admission badge, rotating between elementary, middle school and high school students from the area. This year's winner is Kalli Minger of Anamosa for her depiction of the painting Sister Nan. In addition to the badge art competition, the festival awards a scholarship to a high school student in Jones County. The scholarship is $200 and the expense is shared with the Grant Wood Gallery in Anamosa.

We hope you will get a chance to come out to Anamosa and spend the day celebrating the life of Iowa's most famous native son. For more information about the event visit www.anamosachamber.org/grantwoodartfestival.


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Guest Blog by Ryan Heiar, City Administrator of North Liberty
posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012  Post Comment

I hope this finds you culture fans well and preparing for a season of fun. One of the many things I enjoy about living in Iowa’s Creative Corridor is the availability of cultural and community events. North Liberty Blues and BBQ, the most recent Convention and Visitors Bureau Event of the Year award winner, is no doubt my favorite.

We kicked off North Liberty Blues & BBQ five years ago to unveil a new park and business district in the heart of town. Since, it has transformed into a day-long celebration of arts and culture in North Liberty and across Iowa. Blues & BBQ emphasizes and celebrates Iowa’s cultural heritage by hosting great Iowa blues musicians, serving delicious food from local vendors, and offering carefully crafted beers from some of the best small brewers across the state. And this year we’ve invited Iowa artists to display, share and sell their work.

We believe it’s important to get kids involved in the arts at an early age, and with so many young families moving to town, North Liberty’s a perfect place to do that. Blues & BBQ has always been geared towards families with what it calls The Playing Ground, an area of games and activities for kids. This year kids can make their own musical instruments. That is, when they aren’t playing on the inflatable playground or dancing to the live music on the main stage.

The festival hasn’t been without its setbacks. Last year, early morning storms left tents shredded, the grounds waterlogged and the event in disarray. While the celebration was rescheduled two months later, it fell on a rainy morning that kept some families from coming to enjoy the party.

But even then, the evening dried up and the party returned with an all-Iowa lineup of musicians and the night concluded with a fireworks show that sparkled above the Liberty Centre pond.

This year, the event is scheduled for Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. I’m planning to take my family, and I hoped we're joined by folks from all over the region in this celebration of the arts, culture, and, of course, North Liberty.


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EcoFest Guest Blog by Kari Lammer, Community Outreach Manager at Wickiup Hill, Linn County Conservation
posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012  Post Comment

Festivals, festivals, festivals. They are all over the Corridor. This weekend is no different – so what is the celebration, you ask? It’s EcoFest , the premier Earth Day event in Eastern Iowa! This year’s theme is Good Green Fun , and it will be! If you haven’t seen the line-up of events, you are missing out! Here’s a quick glance at the activities:

  • Hot glass blowing demonstration
  • Recycled iron pour
  • Music all day long
  • Tribal dancing
  • I-Green-CR EcoFest Vendor Fair
  • Sustainable/recycled fashion workshop
  • Altered books workshop
  • STEMulation Station kids’ workshop
  • Race to Clean Up CR
  • EcoLips Bike Ride
  • Healthy Counties/Healthy Families 5k Walk/Run

And that is not all. All events can be found on the EcoFest website:www.ecofestcr.wordpress.com. One of the neat things about this festival (similar to many of the festivals organized in the Corridor) is that it is organized by a partnership of 15+ different eco/art organizations. Almost all of the events are free. There are activities for adults and children.

Get out this weekend on Saturday, April 21st in the NewBo neighborhood of downtown Cedar Rapids and join in for some Good Green Fun!


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Guest Blog by Diversity Focus Executive Director Chad Simmons
posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012  Post Comment

I received an email regarding last year’s “The Roots” concert two days before the show. I am a huge fan. Regrettably, I could not change my schedule to attend. Why did I not know about the concert earlier? My circle of friends (Neo-Soul enthusiast) were also unaware of the concert. Nine months later, I asked a group of African American professionals, who are social media gurus, whether they knew if the group came to town and all I heard was crickets.

For most of us, Arts and Cultural activities are only one facet of our life. But theater, concerts, art shows and festivals are not only entertaining, they can be therapeutic and spiritual in nature. So it is hard to imagine life in the Creative Corridor without the Arts. Unfortunately, this is what many people experience when they move to our region.

Connecting people through their cultural lens allows individuals to be their authentic selves and supports a thriving diverse community. The lack of authenticity creates a dull and depressing existence. This is what many new community members experience when they come to our region. A tree may not make a sound if it falls in the middle of a forest, but for many people in the area, a tree that falls right next to them does not make a sound. They are not deaf…it’s just that they are focused on other joys and challenges that life brings them and sometimes tune out the things that are less of a priority, at that particular time. Sure, we can continue to encourage everyone to receive another 100 emails a day by registering for every list serve in the area, but finding that special event feels like looking for a needle in a haystack. Is there an E-Harmony like tool that connects people to the cultural events they are interested in by specific community group or even artistic interest?

Eventually I will get over my disappointment of missing “The Roots” concert, but I hope you understand the broader question that I am attempting to bring to light. Without Arts and Culture, life is just another shade of gray. How can the Cultural Community assist people in building a healthy, happy and prosperous life in Iowa’s Creative Corridor?


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Guest Blog by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Quellhorst
posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012  Post Comment

The arts are good for business and business is good for the arts.  Arts and culture contribute mightily to the economic activity in Iowa’s Creative Corridor.

Spending by arts and cultural organizations and event-related consumption by their audiences support 1,986 full-time equivalent jobs, generate $33.9 million in household income to local residents, and deliver $6.21 million in local and state  government revenue.  The typical arts attendee spends $27.79 per person, per event, not including items such as meals, parking, and shopping.

The arts industry also supports the international export industry.  Our own West Music Company employs more than 170 people in six regional locations in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Talented workers are an essential element of our region’s economic success.   Creativity is among the skills most frequently sought by employers.  Exposure to art, music, drama and dance prepares young people to be creative, imaginative, entrepreneurial adult employees.

Arts and culture provide social cohesion and foster collaboration.  Studies show that early exposure to the arts results in better academic performance and stronger team skills later, all of which prepare our future workforce.  Longitudinal data of 25,000 students demonstrate that students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and even better attitudes about community service.

The Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce appreciates the abundance of arts and culture organizations that contribute directly and indirectly to our economy.


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Guest Blog by Marion Chamber of Commerce President Jill Ackerman
posted: Friday, February 24, 2012  Post Comment

Our regional brand moving forward will be known as “Iowa’s Creative Corridor”. As UI President Mason noted in last months blog, the roots of this region were seeded by the creative’s. They have created the things that Iowa has become famous for- right here in the corridor. It’s no secret that we’ve had a hard time telling our story in the past, maybe it’s because we’re humble or maybe it’s because we just didn’t know how. This new brand is something we can all adopt and share.

This led me to think about how Marion can help deliver on the brand, “Iowa’s Creative Corridor”. In my line of work I have the pleasure of hearing about various projects happening throughout the region. Its exciting how quickly the area is growing and evolving. The Corridor branding project made me think about how every new project is an opportunity to create something that will leave a lasting impression. It teaches those around us about who we are and what is important to us.

Thinking about what draws people to our community- many people say, “Marion is quaint”. Dig deeper into that- how did Marion get to be quaint or “old fashioned”? Marion wasn’t built new. Many buildings date back to the late 1800’s. Marion has 100+ year old brick streets. Why is this important? It teaches a lesson about quality, the importance of aesthetics and it speaks volumes about the people of that time. They were entrepreneurs and innovators. The buildings tell the story of the days when the railroads blazed through town and business was bustling. Those two-story brick buildings have stood the test of time- much like a Grant Wood painting or the stories of the Cherry Sister’s performances.

We should think about what this region will look like 100 years from now. What will be torn down and replaced by something else? What will the future leaders of this region value? My guess is that those leaders will continue to place value on quality. Whether it’s a public or a private project, are we really doing our best and pushing ourselves to the point of excellence? Are we tweaking plans and making sure that every detail is right?

We have labeled ourselves Iowa’s Creative Corridor. We need to be creative and have a vision that goes beyond twenty, fifty even one hundred years. We all have wonderful projects underway in our communities. Let’s focus on putting our best work forward!


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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance
posted: Saturday, February 11, 2012  Post Comment

Are you looking for a last minute gift for your Valentine? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Share a cultural experience in the Corridor with your special someone. A date at one of our cultural organizations will not only win you big points for creativity, the shared experience will be a memory you will cherish forever. Visit www.culturalcorridor.org to plan a fun and creative date. With hundreds of events to choose from, you can’t go wrong.

Try the Valentine’s Day Pairing Dinner at Cedar Ridge Vineyards, or a serenaded dinner of Romantic Guitar at Tuscan Moon in historic Kalona. Experience a Day in the Gardens of Monet at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts or take a Winter Wine class at Usher’s Ferry Historic Village. Tickets to a live music show or a performance at one our many theatres throughout the Corridor make a wonderful and unique gift.

Make this Valentine’s Day special by sharing a cultural date in the Corridor. It will be an experience you will not soon forget. Visit www.culturalcorridor.org to find a calendar full of cultural activities and start planning your special day now!

--Jessica Johnson, ICCA Executive Director


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Guest Blog by University of Iowa President Sally Mason
posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012  Post Comment

Art, heritage, culture, and education—we value those important qualities of life highly here in the Corridor. Our community members’ dedication to those values makes the Corridor a truly remarkable, vibrant place to live and work.

The arts empower us. They fuel human progress. They unite us in wonder, awe, and appreciation. The arts and culture have been central to the legacy and character of the UI for many, many decades. Our heritage includes faculty and students who are now household names, such as Grant Wood, Tennessee Williams, Simon Estes, and Marilynne Robinson. At the same time, we are deeply grounded in our community and region, providing our students and the general public with inspiration and learning through our world-class programs.

As we embark on the very exciting design phase of our renewed arts campus, we know we must provide the best and most visionary facilities to bring our storied arts program into the 21st century. But even as we work on building their new physical homes, our music, theater, dance, visual arts, and Hancher Auditorium programs continue their excellence in teaching, research, and creative endeavor right now, both on campus and in other venues throughout the Corridor.

Collaboration among our Corridor and statewide partners is essential to our vision of bringing the arts to a wide audience. A great example of this kind of partnership was the “Professor Kubínek Meets the Orchestra” program a little over a year ago, a collaborative project of Hancher Auditorium, artist Tomás Kubínek, and Orchestra Iowa, with performances in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and other Iowa communities.

A more recent significant community-university collaboration was Telling: Iowa City, a unique theatrical production that brought Iowa veterans to the stage to share their service experiences from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Groups involved with this innovative project were Working Group Theatre (founded by three UI theatre alumni), the UI Veterans Association, the UI Department of Theatre Arts, numerous other UI departments and offices, Iowa City’s Riverside Theatre, the national Telling Project, Humanities Iowa, the American Legion of Iowa Foundation, and Rockwell Collins.

The university’s major mission is the discovery, teaching, and public sharing of new knowledge. Creativity and the arts are essential to our mission as much as cures for cancer, explorations of outer space, understandings of the Constitution, and teaching the next generation of doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and more. That is why Iowa is known as the first university to award academic credit for creative work. That is why we are rebuilding our arts campus that will define creativity in the university—and in the community—for generations to come. And that is why we will continue to collaborate with the many stellar arts and culture organizations throughout this wonderful region that we call home.


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“The Merry Widow” ~A Glimpse of the Opera
posted: Monday, January 9, 2012  Post Comment

The Washington High School band room is glowing with energy on a cold Iowa night. Talented performers of all ages gather in groups around the room, taking a five minute break from rehearsal of The Merry Widow, a Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre production showing January 13 & 15 at Theatre Cedar Rapids. I’m here to observe and learn more about all that goes into an opera production.

Upon my arrival I catch a glimpse into the festive operetta composed by Franz Lehar. An operetta is a genre of light opera, both in terms of music and subject matter, and is closely related to musical theatre. The Merry Widow, a story of a rich widow and her countrymen’s attempt to keep her money in the community by finding her the “right” husband, falls perfectly into this category. The scene is Act III, set in a burlesque house: the beautiful cancan girls are dancing a vibrant and colorful performance. While watching, I learn that all staging and choreography was taught in only five days!

One of only two professional operas in Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s talent is impressive. The Merry Widow’s principal cast boasts talent from around the nation. Laura Perdersen, a New York-based, nationally acclaimed lyric soprano (and Iowa native!), plays the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari. Austin Kness, a Cedar Rapids native who recently completed his tenure as an Alder Fellow with the world-renowned San Francisco Opera, plays Count Danilo Danilovitsch (First Secretary of the embassy and Hanna's former lover). John Muriello, Assistant Professor of Voice with the University of Iowa, plays Baron Mirko Zeta (the Ambassador). Mr. Muriello has concertized in London at The Wigmore Hall and in Moscow at the Moscow Conservatory. Alicia Berneche , who has appeared on many prominent stages including the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Portland Opera, plays Baron Zeta's wife, Valencienne.

Talent from the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s own Young Artist Program, as well as students from Washington and Xavier High Schools, help round out the cast. Some of the young artists are local, however, most are from around the Midwest, either as undergrads, grad students, or post-graduate emerging professionals. This opportunity provides exposure for aspiring young artists, as well as the experience of performing with and learning from seasoned professionals.

Led by noted opera director and singer, Marciem Bazell, the cast comes together to rehearse part of the Finale and Act I. Commanding voices and playful waltz bring the story to life. I can only imagine how rich the sound will be once complimented by musicians from Orchestra Iowa, who will serve as the opera orchestra. The orchestra will be conducted by Daniel Kleinknecht, who is also the founder and executive director of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

Lead principal Laura Pedersen best summarizes The Merry Widow: “It’s in English, it’s fun, there is dancing and no one dies!”

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre provides an adventurous repertoire with a wide range of opera from historic works to contemporary American works. An opera production is by far one of the most expensive arts endeavors, limiting the number of productions in the opera season. Be sure to take advantage of this rare and unique opportunity to enjoy culture at its finest in your community!

--Jessica Johnson, ICCA Executive Director


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American Craft Week
posted: Monday, October 17, 2011  Post Comment

October 7 through 16 was American Craft Week and businesses in Iowa City did their part to celebrate handmade objects in our neighborhood. Specific businesses who participated are Iowa Artisans Gallery, the Chait Galleries, AKAR, and the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center’s Old Post Office Gallery. When we think about art it's easy to think about the "big" places like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, Broadway, and the New York City Ballet. In reality, you don't have to go very far to find great art. Right here on ICCA's website you can find many events happening each day that showcase great art in the Corridor, and if you go to any of these events, you'll find many talented local artists. These artists made a choice to live and work in the Corridor versus a "big" place.

Living and working in the Corridor is a wonderful opportunity for local artists and a great benefit to our community. Artists receive a welcoming community interested in their work, and the community has the luxury of great art happening right outside its back door. American Craft Week is a great opportunity to become introduced to the art happening around you. If you live in the Iowa City area, check out what art is on display in local businesses. If you live outside Iowa City, make a point to find out about an artist in your community and how you can support him or her. Or if you are an artist, think of ways you can connect with your own community using your artwork.

If you're interested in crafts or handmade items, you can also check out the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art's exhibition of A Show of Hands: Ceramics from the Collection. October is also Arts and Humanities Month, which is just another reason to appreciate the art around us.

--Ash Bruxvoort, ICCA Marketing and Communications Intern


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Using Facebook for Your Organization
posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011  Post Comment

As part of my duties as Marketing & Communications intern I’ve been working on connecting with all of our partners on Facebook. This way it’s easier for me to keep up with what each organization is doing in addition to the Cultural Corridor website so I can help promote their events. The best way for me to do this is to “like” an organization’s Facebook page, however, not all organizations have Facebook pages. When I “like” your Facebook page I’m able to see everything you post and then I can share these posts on our own ICCA Facebook page. Some organizations don’t have any Facebook presence, some use Groups, and some make a Personal Profile (like what you would have for yourself personally) under their organization’s name. To give ICCA partners a better idea regarding the differences between Pages, Groups, and Profiles, I’ve outlined them below:

Facebook Page

1. Anyone can see what you post on your Facebook Page, whether they “like” your organization or not. If a user likes your page, all of yours posts will show up in his or her news feed.

2. You can like other pages and their posts will you show up in your newsfeed. For example, Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance “likes” the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Facebook page. If the Cedar Rapids Public Library posts a story I can choose to share it on the ICCA page for everyone who likes ICCA to see.

Facebook Group

1. If a user is in a Facebook Group he or she gets notifications every time something is posted in that group and he or she can decide to go read those posts. Users must be added to the group by an administrator, or join the group on their own but often still needs administrator approval.

2. Facebook Pages cannot join Facebook Groups, only personal pages can join Facebook Groups.

Facebook Personal Profile

1. Personal Profiles are the same service you use for yourself. This means all the same rules apply. If a user wants to see your posts he or she must add you and you must approve the friend request. Stories show up in the news feed just like “real” friends’ stories would. As the owner of a Personal Profile you have the same abilities a “friend” would, meaning you can view people’s photographs, status updates, and chat with them.

2. Facebook Pages cannot become “friends” with Personal Profiles, but Personal Profiles can like Pages. This means you can like ICCA on Facebook and see everything we post, but we cannot see anything you post.


If you don’t use Facebook for your personal life or business this probably very confusing; Facebook isn’t as difficult as it seems though, and creating a Personal Profile on your own is a great way to learn the basics before starting a Page for your organization. As you can see from this quick rundown, Facebook Pages are great for businesses and organizations because they allow community interaction with any person who likes the page and cross organization interaction between different Facebook Pages. Plus, it helps us have another great tool by which to market your organization.

--Ash Bruxvoort, ICCA Marketing and Communications Intern

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Importance of Art After Disaster
posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011  Post Comment

Disaster is unavoidable. Recently we've been reminded of this over and over again. Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Lee, remembering September 11; these are all examples of events we see and hear about in the news every day. It's hard to think anything positive can come from events like these, but that is what makes the a oorts so important during the aftermath.

Here in Eastern Iowa we experienced the flood of 2008, which we are still recovering from. While the flood was painful for arts organizations in Eastern Iowa it also produced some wonderful art. On the University of Iowa Libraries' website there is a fantastic resource for oral stories about the effects of the flood. This is part of a larger project called StoryCorps, a program that takes oral stories from people who were involved in disasters. Their website includes recordings about extreme disasters such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as personal stories about love and loss.

In remembrance of 9/11 Life Magazine created a gallery of the 25 most powerful photographs from that day. When these photographs were first released they were meant to relay news to the concerned public. Ten years later, they serve as not only history but also part of the series of art pieces dedicated to 9/11.

Art helps us understand the world around us, and when the world we know has been shaken beyond belief it makes sense for us to turn to a variety of art forms to explain what is really happening. By hearing or seeing the way others feel about a disaster we can validate our own feelings and feel united. Art is an important part of the grieving process after disaster and an important, if not the most important, aspect of relaying these stories to future generations.

--Ash Bruxvoort, ICCA Marketing and Communications Intern

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Small Town, Big Benefits
posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011  Post Comment

There are many of us in the Corridor who have lived in larger cities and either returned to make our home here or came for a visit and never left. As someone who was born in a very small town north of Cedar Rapids and left the Corridor for a few years to explore larger cities, I made a conscious decision to return to the Corridor to raise my son. And while doing so meant leaving all the cultural amenities associated with a big city, it didn’t mean leaving culture behind. In fact, in many ways, my cultural experience has grown since returning to Iowa.

Where else can a person get first-hand experience working with such a variety of arts and culture organizations? I find the opportunities to get involved are endless and diverse. Whether I am looking for something to help further my career knowledge and professional development, or planning a family outing that offers a new experience for my son, I have found it here.

The variety of events happening all the time in the Corridor astounds me. As a person who likes to do a little bit of everything, I have found that there is always something new to try. From historical tours to improvisational comedy troupes; from a nationally recognized community theatre to a library that thinks beyond the traditional. The opportunities really are endless and I am thrilled.

I have learned in the last few years that you don’t have to leave the Corridor to experience something remarkable. Take the upcoming TEDxIowaCity event, for example. This national program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. And it is happening right here in our neighborhood.

On September 9, the Cedar Rapids Public Library is bringing Food Network star and bestselling author Alton Brown to Cedar Rapids. This type of event has not happened before but will now happen each fall as part of a new series—Inside Out. And this is just one of several author readings done by the local libraries to celebrate literacy and libraries.

Our Corridor is bursting with activities—see www.culturalcorridor.org—it is up to each of us to take full advantage of them. And it is up to each of us to be a part of the planning and creating and imagining and inspiring so that the next generation, like my son, will grow up knowing that in his hometown there is always something to do.

-- Amber Mussman, ICCA Board Member and Public Information Officer/Adult Programming Coordinator at the Cedar Rapids Public Library


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Taking a Lesson from Grade School
posted: Monday, August 8, 2011  Post Comment

A few years ago, I worked for a symphony orchestra in Wisconsin.  As an employee, I went to each concert and always invited a friend along.  One of the concert weekends, I asked my friend Alex if he'd like to join me for a concert. He politely thanked me for the offer, but said he did not like orchestral music. I asked Alex when the last time he had been to a concert was, to which he replied, "never."  After a little bit of prodding, he agreed to join me for the symphony's Friday evening concert.

After the performance, Alex was singing a different tune. It was he who was astounded by the music he had heard and by the abilities of the musicians he had witnessed. He couldn’t believe their artistic skill and told me that he’d happily join me for another concert anytime.

So I asked myself: what assisted in this 180-degree change in my friend?  The answer: the buddy system. We learn it in grade school, but it is truly the means by which to experience arts and culture in a fun and exciting way. So the next time you are headed to an art gallery, museum, performance, or any other artistic or cultural event, invite a friend along. You may be surprised what comes of the experience.

-- Abby Ballain, ICCA Executive Director


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Sand Sculptures Six Feet Tall and Other Corridor Happenings
posted: Monday, August 1, 2011  Post Comment

What a great community we live in! As one of those people who came to the University of Iowa and fell in love with the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area, I’m proud to call myself an Iowa Citian over 30 years later! I don’t think there is any other place in Iowa where arts and culture abound! We have the opportunity to experience all kinds of art through our museums, galleries, theaters, festivals and businesses.

Where else can you see art on the sidewalks like Chalk the Walk, pianos in public, on the streets of downtown Iowa City, boats made out of cardboard at the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival, live outdoor theater at the Shakespeare Festival and intricate sculptures made out of sand at Summer of the Arts’ Sand in the City, presented by Bank of the West.

For anyone who ever says “there’s nothing to do this weekend”, they haven’t visited www.culturalcorridor.org. For our partner organizations, we know there’s LOTS going on every day! We all need to share the glory by talking about our own events and activities, in addition to the other activities in the area as well. People in the Corridor can experience all forms of the arts. I’m proud to be associated with an organization which provides free arts and cultural programming to over 100,000 people every year. I’m also proud and happy to talk about all of the other great arts and cultural opportunities in the Corridor because it’s absolutely amazing what we have to offer.

On August 12-14 you will find downtown truly amazing sand sculptures up to 6 feet tall lining the streets of downtown Iowa City at Sand in the City. This year the event takes on a slightly new twist. Our 13 teams have been given the task of creating a design that ties in with children’s stories. What a great way to cross-promote Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature and the Bookmarks program! Look for some of your childhood favorites as you stroll Iowa Avenue and view the magic!

So, what are you doing this weekend? I bet you can easily find plenty of opportunities for fun with the click of a mouse, or the flash of your phone to check out ICCA’s QR Code!

-- Lisa Barnes, ICCA Board Member and Executive Director of Summer of the Arts


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This Time, Don't Dodge the Survey!
posted: Monday, July 25, 2011  Post Comment

Survey.  The word sometimes sends a shiver up my spine thinking about answering question after boring question.  Most of us learned at a young age to respond with a polite "no, thank you" whenever we were asked for five minutes of our time by a telemarketer.  Or we learned to dodge the person with the clipboard in the mall hoping to make eye contact.  We are busy people and five minutes is a lot to ask of us!

Still, I hope that you will think of surveys in a positive light if you see someone asking for your time at an arts and culture event in the Corridor.  In today’s world, information is key, and we want to help the Corridor community understand the importance of arts and culture.  ICCA is currently working with Americans for the Arts to collect information for their Arts & Economic Prosperity IV ™ study.  We collect data from arts and cultural organizations and audiences to determine the impact that their spending has on local economies.  Throughout 2011, we will collect more than 800 audience surveys to help us determine this amount (we are at 404 and counting right now!).  The last time we participated in this survey, it was concluded that the national impact of the arts and culture industry was over $166 billion. In the Corridor (Linn County, Johnson County, and the nine adjacent counties), the economic impact of arts and cultural organizations added over $63 million annually to the economy!  We look forward to sharing new numbers with you in May of 2012.

How will we use this information?  The overall data is very important the the Corridor's arts and cultural organizations, as they can use it when they apply for grants and create publications for their orgnaizations.  Our Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, and Economic Development Groups can also use the information when they speak with businesses and individuals about bringing different opportunities to the Corridor. 

So how can you help?  If you see someone surveying at a Corridor arts and culture event, take the survey!  It only takes about five minutes and is extremely important.  If you would like to help us survey, contact us!  We'd be delighted to train you and have you assist. Simply e-mail abby@culturalcorridor.org.  Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

-- Abby Ballain, ICCA Executive Director


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Love of the Arts Lasts a Lifetime
posted: Thursday, July 21, 2011  Post Comment

I visited Preucil School of Music, one of ICCA’s 150+ arts and cultural partners, late last week. Visiting and seeing all of the young students taking music lessons was a rejuvenating experience. Preucil, like many other ICCA partners, is fostering a love of the arts in their students that will last a lifetime.

Many of us began like these young students. We took instrumental or voice lessons, or enjoyed painting, drawing, or attending summer arts camp. Somewhere along the road of life, we found other interests that took higher priority. Still, we remember what it was like to create something new and exciting.

As adults, artists are all around us, even though we may not initially realize it. When you are in your break room for lunch, take a poll of your coworkers: Who played an instrument growing up? Who is currently acting with a community theatre company? Who is teaching their son or daughter how to play guitar? You might be surprised by the responses that you receive.

The arts are not something we need to give up just because we are adults; rather, they are something we need to keep in our lives to keep us as excited as we were as students. Many of us focus on providing arts experiences for our children because we had such a good experience. We must remember, though, that we should take our own advice and continue enjoying them as well.

Whether you play, perform, or just enjoy being a part of an arts audience, check out the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance website, www.culturalcorridor.org for some great cultural opportunities here in the Corridor.

-- Abby Ballain, ICCA Executive Director


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Icky Honorees Announced
posted: Tuesday, February 1, 2011  Post Comment

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA), a group of over 150 arts and cultural organizations in the Eastern Iowa Corridor of Linn, Johnson and the nine adjacent counties, presented its 5th Annual Meeting and Excellence in Innovation Honors last night at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City. The Emmy-like event, well known in the Corridor as The Ickys, was created to elevate the awareness of artistic and cultural organizations in the Corridor and to celebrate excellence in innovation in artistic programming and events from the previous calendar year.

The 2010 Icky Honorees, announced at the event, were:

Dance Programming - The Englert Theatre (in partnership with The Nolte Academy of Dance) – The Nutcracker

Children’s Programming - Children’s Theatre of Cedar Rapids (in partnership with Linn-Mar High School, Washington High School, Jefferson High School, and Kennedy High School) – Disney’s Sleeping Beauty the Musical, Go. Dog, Go!, Captain Spoon the Forgetful Pirate, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Visual Arts Exhibits/Visual Arts Programming - Chait Galleries Downtown ­– Next Generation Juried High School Art Show

Music Programming - Orchestra Iowa (in partnership with Brucemore) – BRUCEMORCHESTRA!

Locally-Produced Festival - Marion Arts Festival – 18th Annual Marion Arts Festival

History Exhibits/History Programming - National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library – Rising Above: The Story of a People and the Flood

Educational Programming - Landlocked Film Festival – Landlocked Film Festival Workshops and Panels

Theatre Programming - University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts (in partnership with Hancher) – Eye Piece

ICCA Collaborative Honor - Hancher and Orchestra Iowa – Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony

Reaching Out Collaborative Honor - Theatre Cedar Rapids with Ryan Companies and OPN Architects – Iowa Theater Grand Reopening

In addition to the Icky Honors, two awards were presented to individuals who exemplify passion and commitment to the cultural vitality of the Corridor. Mark Ginsberg, president and owner of M.C. Ginsberg Inc., was recognized as the 2010 Larry Eckholt Award winner. James Kern, executive director of Brucemore, Inc., was recognized as the 2010 Cultural Advocate Award winner.

Special recognition and Icky Honors were also given to David Kilpatrick, immediate Past-President of the ICCA Board, and Joe Jennison, former Executive Director of ICCA.

The 2011 Icky Honors were sponsored by ACT and Alliant Energy. Additional support was provided by The Englert Theatre, Goodfellow Printing, Inc., and West Music. Continued support is provided by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Corridor Business Journal, and the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more information about the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance, visit ICCA’s website, www.culturalcorridor.org.


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January 31, 2011 Proclaimed as Arts and Culture Day in Three Corridor Communities
posted: Monday, January 31, 2011  Post Comment

Mayor Ron Corbett of Cedar Rapids, Mayor Jim Fausett of Coralville, and Mayor Matt Hayek of Iowa City have all proclaimed Monday, January 31, 2011 as Arts and Culture Day in their respective communities. The proclamation coincides with the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance’s 5th Annual Meeting and Excellence in Innovation Honors Celebration.

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA), a group of over 150 arts and cultural organizations in the Eastern Iowa Corridor of Linn, Johnson and the nine adjacent counties, will present its 5th Annual Meeting and Excellence in Innovation Honors tonight at 6:30 p.m. at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City. The Emmy-like event, well known in the Corridor as The Ickys, was created to elevate the awareness of artistic and cultural organizations in the Corridor and to celebrate excellence in innovation in artistic programming and events from the previous calendar year. Honors will be given out in 10 categories.

“We are delighted that these three communities have proclaimed January 31, 2011 as Arts and Culture Day,” said Abby Ballain, ICCA Executive Director. “We look forward to celebrating this evening with ICCA partners and Corridor community members.”

Mayor Corbett and Mayor Fausett will present one of the Icky Honors at the event, as well as read the Arts and Culture Day proclamation. Mayor Hayek is unable to attend due to a previous engagement, however, presented the proclamation from Iowa City at a council meeting last week. Additional presenters of Icky Honors include Congressman Dave Loebsack, former director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Cyndi Pederson, President and CEO of The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Les Garner, and representatives from several ICCA partner organizations.

Tickets for the 2011 Icky Honors are on sale through The Englert Theatre box office for $20.

The 2011 Icky Honors are sponsored by ACT and Alliant Energy. Additional support is provided by The Englert Theatre, Goodfellow Printing, Inc., and West Music. Continued support is provided by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Corridor Business Journal, and the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. More information regarding The Ickys can be found on ICCA’s website, www.culturalcorridor.org.


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ICCA Announces Presenters for 5th Annual Icky Honors
posted: Monday, January 24, 2011  Post Comment

Hello everyone,

The presenters for the 2011 ICCA Annual Meeting and Icky Honors are now available. Read the press release below:

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA), a group of over 150 arts and cultural organizations in the Eastern Iowa Corridor of Linn, Johnson and the nine adjacent counties, will present its 5th Annual Meeting and Excellence in Innovation Honors on Monday, January 31, 2011 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City. The Emmy-like event, well known in the Corridor as The Ickys, was created to elevate the awareness of artistic and cultural organizations in the Corridor and to celebrate excellence in innovation in artistic programming and events from the previous calendar year. Honors will be given out in 10 categories. All ICCA partners, associates, and community members are invited to attend.

Presenters of the Icky Honors will include Congressman Dave Loebsack, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett, former director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Cyndi Pederson, President and CEO of The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Les Garner, Johnson County Supervisor Terrence Neuzil, Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers, and representatives from several ICCA partner organizations.

Special recognition and Icky Honors will also be given to David Kilpatrick, immediate Past-President of the ICCA Board, and Joe Jennison, former Executive Director of ICCA.

In addition to the Icky Honors, two awards will be presented to individuals who exemplify passion and commitment to the cultural vitality of the Corridor. Mark Ginsberg, president and owner of M.C. Ginsberg Inc., will be recognized as the 2010 Larry Eckholt Award winner. Tobin Eckholt, son of Larry Eckholt, will present the award. James Kern, executive director of Brucemore, Inc., will be recognized as the 2010 Cultural Advocate Award winner. Peggy Whitworth, Director of Resource Development at The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, will present the award.

Featured performers at the event include the following ICCA partners who are celebrating special milestone anniversaries: International Academy for Russian Music, Arts, and Culture (5th anniversary of Seven String Guitar Festival), City of Mount Vernon (5th anniversary of Chalk the Walk), Summer of the Arts (20th year celebration of JazzFest and Friday Night Concert Series), Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre (30th anniversary), University of Iowa Division of Performing Arts (30th anniversary of Dance Gala), Chamber Singers of Iowa City (40th anniversary), and Brucemore (100th anniversary of Formal Gardens).

The honors will be hosted by Scott Schulte and Ric Swann from KZIA 102.9.

Prior to the performances, receptions will be held at the Iowa Artisans Gallery and Chait Galleries Downtown starting at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets for the 2011 Icky Honors are on sale now through The Englert Theatre box office for $20.

The 2011 Icky Honors are sponsored by ACT and Alliant Energy. Additional support is provided by The Englert Theatre, Goodfellow Printing, Inc., and West Music. Continued support is provided by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Corridor Business Journal, and the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. More information regarding The Ickys can be found on ICCA’s website, www.culturalcorridor.org.

--

2011 ICCA Annual Meeting and Icky Honors - Full List of Presenters

2010 Dance Programming Honor:  Presented by Marilee Fowler, President and CEO, Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Josh Schamberger, President, Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

2010 Children’s Programming Honor: Presented by Jackie McCall, Director of Education, The Old Creamery Theatre Company and Sean Ulmer, Curator, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

2010 Visual Arts Exhibit/Programming Honor: Presented by Christy Frost, Communications Director, Orchestra Iowa and Kehry Lane, President of the Board, Iowa City Community Theatre

2010 Music Programming Honor: Presented by Terrence Neuzil, Johnson County Supervisor and Ben Rogers, Linn County Supervisor

2010 Locally Produced Festival Honor: Presented by Tom Newport, Designer, Icky Honors Statues and John Lohman, Publisher, Corridor Business Journal

2010 History Exhibit/Programming Honor: Presented by the Honorable Ron Corbett, Mayor of the City of Cedar Rapids and the Honorable Jim Fausett, Mayor of the City of Coralville

2010 Educational Programming Honor: Presented by Deb Dunkhase, Executive Director, The Iowa Children’s Museum and Jason Wright, Vice President of Development, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

2010 Theatre Programming Honor: Presented by new ICCA Board Members Lisa Barnes, Executive Director, Summer of the Arts, Ellen Habel, Assistant City Administrator, City of Coralville, Amber Mussman, Public Information Officer and Adult Programming Coordinator, Cedar Rapids Public Library, and Jacob Yarrow, Programming Director, Hancher

2010 ICCA Collaborative Honor (collaborations between ICCA partners): Presented by Cyndi Pederson, Former Director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Les Garner, President and CEO, The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

2010 Reaching Out Honor (collaboration between ICCA and non-ICCA partners): Presented by Dave Loebsack, United States Congressman

2010 Larry Eckholt Award—Mark C. Ginsberg: Presented by Tobin Eckholt, son of Larry Eckholt

2010 Cultural Advocate Award—James Kern: Presented by Peggy Whitworth, Director of Resource Development, The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation


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ICCA Announces Larry Eckholt and Cultural Advocate Honorees
posted: Tuesday, January 4, 2011  Post Comment

Hello everyone! 

Please see below for information about this year's Larry Eckholt and Cultural Advocate Honorees: 

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Mark Ginsberg as the recipient of the 2010 Larry Eckholt Award and James Kern as the recipient of the 2010 Cultural Advocate Award. 

The Eckholt Award is for a community member in the Southern part of the Corridor, while the Cultural Advocate Award is intended for a member of the Northern part of the Corridor. All 150 partners of ICCA were given the opportunity to nominate individuals for the honors. Final voting was completed by the ICCA Board of Directors. 

“These two awards honor individuals who exemplify passion, commitment, and advocacy to the cultural vitality of the Corridor,” noted Marcia Hughes, ICCA Board President. “The dedicated efforts of Mr. Ginsberg and Mr. Kern have significantly enriched the quality of life in their communities and the wider region. The ICCA Board is pleased to recognize them.”

Both awards will be presented during the 2011 ICCA Annual Meeting and Icky Honors, an event created to elevate the awareness of the artistic and cultural organizations in the Corridor and to celebrate excellence in innovation in programming and events of ICCA partners over the past year, at The Englert Theatre on Monday, January 31, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. 

Mark Ginsberg, president and owner of M.C. Ginsberg Inc., will be recognized as the 2010 Larry Eckholt Award honoree. Mr. Ginsberg has created something much more than a profitable business dedicated to the bottom line. Soon after buying his father's jewelry store in 1985, he established the M. C Ginsberg Fund to better serve the arts community in Iowa City through free exhibitions, public lectures, artist's workshops, and community arts events. Ginsberg is well known throughout the Corridor, founding the Iowa City Jazz Festival and serving as one of the leaders in Iowa City’s Tickle My Keys program, which placed pianos throughout downtown Iowa City for tourists and community members to play. Most recently, M.C. Ginsberg, Inc. was name one of the Ten Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America by Americans for the Arts. Celebrating the arts in Iowa is an initiative that Mark Ginsberg has made his life's pursuit. Past recipients of the Larry Eckholt Award include Dottie Ray, June Braverman, Bob Goodfellow, and Dan Brown. 

James (Jim) Kern, executive director of Brucemore, Inc., will be recognized as the 2010 Cultural Advocate Award honoree. After earning degrees in theatre and English, Mr. Kern began his career in the restaurant business, working in such positions as executive chef, maitre d’, and caterer. He served as an educator with a classroom focus on the arts, teaching speech, theatre, and English. While teaching at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, Mr. Kern cofounded the Patrons of the Performing Arts. Mr. Kern has directed some 85 productions for high schools, Theatre Cedar Rapids, and the Chicago City Theatre Company. He is founder and principal artistic director for the Classics at Brucemore and former director of development for Theatre Cedar Rapids. He served as Assistant Director of Brucemore for six years and then took over as Executive Director in 2007. Mr. Kern is chair of the Cedar Rapids Visual Arts Commission, a member of the Linn County Nonprofit Resource Center Board of Directors, a Trustee with Theatre Cedar Rapids, and member of the Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Board of Directors. Past recipients of the Cultural Advocate Award include Peggy Whitworth, Chuck Peters, Audrey Linge-Ovel, and Eliot Keller. 

Tickets for the 2011 Icky Honors are on sale now through The Englert Theatre box office. 

The 2011 Icky Honors are sponsored and supported by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Englert Theatre, Goodfellow Printing, Inc., and West Music. Additional support is provided by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Corridor Business Journal, and the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. More information regarding The Ickys can be found on ICCA’s website, www.culturalcorridor.org.

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ICCA Announces 2011 Annual Meeting and Icky Honors
posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010  Post Comment

Hello Everyone,

Please see below for the press release about ICCA's 2011 Annual Meeting and the Icky Honors:

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance (ICCA), a group of over 150 arts and cultural organizations in the Eastern Iowa Corridor of Linn, Johnson and the nine adjacent counties, will present its 5th Annual Meeting and Excellence in Innovation Honors on Monday, January 31, 2011 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City. The Emmy-like event, well known in the Corridor as The Ickys, will feature live performances by artists and organizations celebrating special milestone anniversaries as well as the announcement of the recipients of the 2011 Icky Honors. All ICCA partners, associates, and community members are invited to attend. 

The Icky Honors were created to elevate the awareness of the artistic and cultural organizations in the Corridor and to celebrate excellence in innovation in programming and events of ICCA partners throughout the previous calendar year. Organizations self-nominate themselves for the honors and the ICCA partnership votes on a ballot of five finalists, narrowed down by a nominating team made of ICCA board members, ICCA partners, and community arts advocates. The organization or individual who receives the highest number of votes receives the honor and an Icky Statue, made by local artist Tom Newport. Honors are given out in 10 categories. Additional honors will be given out to two individuals in the community who have exemplified passion, commitment, and advocacy to the cultural vitality of the Corridor. These honors will be announced prior to The Ickys; the rest will be announced at the event. 

 The 2011 Ickys will feature performances and presentations by the following ICCA partners who are celebrating special milestone anniversaries: International Academy for Russian Music, Arts, and Culture (5th anniversary of Seven String Guitar Festival), City of Mount Vernon (5th anniversary of Chalk the Walk), Mount Vernon Area Arts Council (5th anniversary of Lincoln Highway Arts Festival), Summer of the Arts (20th anniversary of JazzFest and Friday Night Concert Series), University of Iowa Department of Dance (30th anniversary of Dance Gala), Chamber Singers of Iowa City (40th anniversary), and Brucemore (100th anniversary of Formal Gardens). 

The honors will be hosted by Scott Schulte and Ric Swann from KZIA 102.9. Prior to the performances and presentations, receptions will be held at the Iowa Artisans Gallery and Chait Galleries Downtown. 

 “The Icky Honors are a wonderful opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of arts and cultural organizations in the Corridor. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with the community,” says Abby Ballain, Executive Director of ICCA. 

Tickets for the 2011 Icky Honors are on sale now through The Englert Theatre box office. The ballot, released today, will be circulated to all 150 ICCA partners in early January for voting. The results will be announced at the event. The 2011 Icky Honors are sponsored and supported by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Englert Theatre, Goodfellow Printing, Inc., and West Music. Additional support is provided by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Corridor Business Journal, and the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. More information regarding The Ickys can be found on ICCA’s website, www.culturalcorridor.org.
 
The 2011 Icky Honors Ballot 

Children’s Programming

• Brucemore – ExploreMore 

• Children’s Theatre of Cedar Rapids (in partnership with Linn-Mar High School, Washington High School, Jefferson High School, and Kennedy High School) – Disney’s Sleeping Beauty the Musical, Go, Dog, Go!, Captain Spoon the Forgetful Pirate, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 

• City Circle Acting Company of Coralville (in partnership with The Iowa Children’s Museum) – Once on this Island 

• Hancher –Hancher Presents Roseneath Theatre’s The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh

• The Carl and Mary Koehler History Center – Memory Makers 

Dance Programming 

• Hancher – Hancher Presents Ballet West II 

• The Englert Theatre (in partnership with The Nolte Academy of Dance) – The Nutcracker 

Educational Programming 

• Iowa Theatre Artists Company – Remain True

• Johnson County Historical Society – Barn Tour 

• Landlocked Film Festival – Landlocked Film Festival Workshops and Panels 

• The Ceramics Center/Iowa Art Works, Inc. – Guest Artist Series 

• The Old Creamery Theatre Company – Camp Creamery: Little Red Riding Hood 

History Exhibits/History Programming 

• Hoover Presidential Library & Museum – A Little House Christmas

• Johnson County Historical Society – Beyond the Grave: Oakland Cemetery Tour

• National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library – Rising Above: The Story of a People and the Flood 

• Old Capitol Museum – Chaos and Creation on the Pentacrest 

• The Carl and Mary Koehler History Center - Corn County Exhibit 

ICCA Collaborative Award 

• Cedar Rapids Museum of Art with the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Hiawatha Public Library – Doodlebugs Preschool Program 

• Hancher and Orchestra Iowa – Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony 

• ImpactCR with the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Orchestra Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids, and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre – Impact the Arts 

• The Englert Theatre and the Marion Public Library with the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Hiawatha Public Library – Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series and The Englert Theatre present Charlaine Harris 

• Theatre Cedar Rapids with the Cedar Rapids Community School District – Spotlight on Kids

Locally-Produced Festival 

• International Academy for Russian Music, Arts, and Culture – The Russian Seven-String Guitar Festival

• Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – FRY Fest 2010

• Marion Arts Festival – 18th Annual Marion Arts Festival 

• The Englert Theatre (in partnership with Mission Creek Festival) – Mission Creek Festival 

• Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center (in partnership with Humanities Iowa, Linn County Conservation Department, Coe College, Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Sierra Club, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Trees Forever, The United Nations-USA: Linn County Chapter, and Indian Creek Nature Center – 4th Annual Cedar Rapids Environmental Festival 

Music Programming 

• Hancher – Hancher Present a Late Night Dance Party with Papa Grows Funk 

• Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center – Senior Center New Horizon’s Band Camp 

• Orchestra Iowa (in partnership with Brucemore) – BRUCEMORCHESTRA! 

• Red Cedar Chamber Music – Kaspar the Friendly… 

• Summer of the Arts – Iowa City Jazz Festival 

Reaching Out Collaborative Award 

• Brucemore with the BUDS-Community Garden Network, Cedar Rapids City Market, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, HACAP Local Food Task Force, Indian Creek Nature Center, Iowa Valley Resource Conversation and Development, Local Foods Connection, Local Harvest CSA, Lone Tree Farmers Market, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Soilmates, and Williamsburg Garden Exchange – Chew on This 

• Cedar Rapids Museum of Art with the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Commission – the Grant Wood Window: Drawings for the Veterans Memorial Stained Glass Window Commission 

• Eastern Iowa Arts Academy – Eastern Iowa Arts Academy’s “Arts For Life” Project 

• The Old Creamery Theatre Company with the Clear Creek Amana Community School District – 2010 Old Creamery Studio Series 

• Theatre Cedar Rapids with Ryan Companies and OPN Architects – Iowa Theater Grand Reopening 

Theatre Programming 

• Dreamwell Theatre – A Taboo Bijou 

• Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre – Another Serving of Slices of Life 

• SPT Theatre Company – The Writer’s Room Series 

• Theatre Cedar Rapids – Rent 

• University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts (in partnership with Hancher) – Eye Piece 

Visual Arts Exhibits/Visual Arts Programming 

• Brucemore – Framing Landscape 

• Chait Galleries Downtown – Next Generation Juried High School Show 

• Mount Vernon Area Arts Council (in partnership with Cornell College and the Iowa Arts Council) – Drift created by Stan Crocker

• Paul Engle Center – Torcuato Mural created by Leonardo Torcuato

• Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center (in partnership with Linn Area Photo Club, Porters Camera, and Photo Pro) – Annual Canon Explorer’s of Light Seminars


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Cyndi Pederson Visits the Corridor
posted: Thursday, December 9, 2010  Post Comment

Hello Cultural Corridor Friends, My first few months in the Corridor have simply flown by. I have enjoyed getting to know many of the ICCA partners and community members and have attended a number of fantastic arts and cultural events. I am so impressed by the quantity and quality of arts and cultural offerings we have right here in the Corridor! Friday, December 10 is a big day for the ICCA! Cyndi Pederson, Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, will be speaking at the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids at 3:00 p.m. regarding the state of the arts in Iowa. Ms. Pederson will also speak about how we can become more involved with her department. Following the presentation, we will hold the ICCA Holiday Celebration, complete with appetizers and beverages provided by New Pioneer Co-Op in Coralville. Entertainment will be provided by The Old Creamery Theatre of Amana. The event is free for ICCA partners and $5 for other attendees. Please send an e-mail to abby@culturalcorridor.org if you'd like to attend. I look forward to communicating with you on a regular basis through the ICCA blog. Be sure to check back to keep in the know about what's going on in the Corridor! Best wishes, Abby

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Abby Ballain Named ICCA Executive Director
posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010  Post Comment

The ICCA Board of Directors is pleased to introduce Abby Ballain as Executive Director. She replaces Joe Jennison who resigned in May after four years with the organization. 

Originally from Shenandoah, Ballain, 27, brings a unique background in business and arts management to the corridor role. She most recently served as the Marketing Project Assistant with the Madison Symphony Orchestra where she was instrumental in increasing the organization’s “Club 201” attendance by 20% over one year. She previously worked as a project manager for Epic Systems Corporation in Verona, WI, where she focused on strategic development for ambulatory practice roll-outs, specializing in access and revenue. Additionally, she serves as Manager of Madison’s Ancora String Quartet. 

More than 50 applications were received for the position. Applications were reviewed by a five-member Board-appointed search committee. 

“We were wonderfully impressed by the intense interest shown in the position and by the quality of the applications we received,” noted Marcia Hughes, committee member. “The process clearly validated the vital role ICCA plays in supporting quality of life in the corridor.” 

Ballain received her undergraduate degree in music management from Luther College where she served as the tour coordinator for the Celebration Iowa Singers and Jazz Band, performed with Luther's prestigious Nordic Choir, and coordinated the college’s Center Stage Series as president of the Performing Arts Committee. She earned her MBA in arts administration from the Wisconsin School of Business, serving as president of the Graduate Women in Business organization; Communication Chair for the Graduate Business Association, and a member of the Artful Business Collective group. Ballain has also remained musically active, performing with the Verona Area Community Theatre, the Madison Opera Chorus, and MadFusion a cappella. 

“The Board is very pleased that Abby has accepted our offer to be the new Executive Director of ICCA,” said David Kilpatrick, ICCA Board President. “Her education, background, and training will be a strong asset to each of our members and to the organization as a whole.” 

“ICCA excels in bringing together artistic organizations in the Corridor,” noted Ballain. “I look forward to joining the ICCA team and working with the members and the Board to continue to build and cultivate an artistic Eastern Iowa, and to make the Corridor a destination for travelers looking for an outstanding artistic experience.” 

Ballain begins her duties as Executive Director on Aug. 1. The Board will host a Welcome Reception for ICCA members from 5- 7 p.m. on Monday, July 12 at the Cedar Ridge Winery in Swisher. 

“We are anxious to welcome her to the Corridor and are looking forward to her creativity and leadership as we implement our strategic plans for growth and member participation,” added Kilpatrick.

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