| Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
|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
|Building Future Audience Resources |
posted: Wednesday, May 01, 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
Cultivating Demand for the Arts
Revitalizing Arts Education through Community Wide Coordination
Arts Education for All: Lessons from the First Half of the Ford Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative
Annenberg Institute for School Reform
SSIR's series on Collective Impact
National Endowment for the Arts Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (most recent)
National Endowment for the Arts' How Technology Influences Arts Participation
Albany Park Theatre Project (Chicago, IL)
New Urban Arts (Providence, RI)
West Michigan Center on Arts and Technology
National Arts Marketing Project
Americans for the Arts Arts Advocacy Center
|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
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 .
|New Year’s Resolution: Consume More Culture in 2013 |
posted: Thursday, January 03, 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
|Happy Holidays from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance |
posted: Friday, December 07, 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!
|Connecting with Students in Iowa's Creative Corridor |
posted: Wednesday, November 07, 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, email@example.com .
|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
|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.
|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.
|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.
Managing Director, Coralville Center for the Performing Arts
|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
|MusicIC: a festival of music inspired by literature |
posted: Tuesday, June 05, 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
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
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.
|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.
|Guest Blog by Ryan Heiar, City Administrator of North Liberty |
posted: Wednesday, May 02, 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.
|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!
|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 support
s 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?
|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.
|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!
|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
|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.
|“The Merry Widow” ~A Glimpse of the Opera |
posted: Monday, January 09, 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
|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
|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:
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.
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
|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
|Small Town, Big Benefits |
posted: Tuesday, September 06, 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
|Taking a Lesson from Grade School |
posted: Monday, August 08, 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
|Sand Sculptures Six Feet Tall and Other Corridor Happenings |
posted: Monday, August 01, 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
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!
-- Abby Ballain, ICCA Executive Director
|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
|Icky Honorees Announced |
posted: Tuesday, February 01, 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.
|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.
|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
|ICCA Announces Larry Eckholt and Cultural Advocate Honorees |
posted: Tuesday, January 04, 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.
|ICCA Announces 2011 Annual Meeting and Icky Honors |
posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 Post Comment
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
• 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
• Hancher – Hancher Presents Ballet West II
• The Englert Theatre (in partnership with The Nolte Academy of Dance) – The Nutcracker
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
|Cyndi Pederson Visits the Corridor |
posted: Thursday, December 09, 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 email@example.com 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!
|Abby Ballain Named ICCA Executive Director |
posted: Tuesday, July 06, 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.