Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture
3:55 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Returning home to say thank you with Wicked

Tim Baudler visiting his home state to see Wicked for the 30th time at the Civic Center. He celebrated his annual “life day” with friends & family that helped him in the 80s and 90s overcome his life struggles by sharing this musical with them.
Photo by John Pemble

This week the musical Wicked is celebrating ten years.  Former Iowan Tim Baudler returned to Des Moines to see this show at the Civic Center with close friends and family to thank them for helping him overcome struggles in his life. 

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Arts and Culture
7:45 am
Fri September 27, 2013

New York Times columnist visits Iowa

Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist, will visit Iowa Monday.
courtesy of New York Times

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speaks with IPR's Sarah McCammon

Award-winning New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof will discuss his book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 at the University of Iowa's Iowa Memorial Union.  

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Arts and Culture
8:08 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Iowa / Hungary Percussion Project Debuts in the United States

Gabor Palotas and Matthew Andreini commissioned 3 Iowan and 3 Hungarian composers to write music for the “Iowa / Hungary Percussion Project”. In June they completed a Hungarian tour and for one week in September they are performing the new music in Iowa.
Photo by John Pemble

Last week a performance combining the musical culture of Hungary and Iowa made its American debut in Cedar Falls.  It was organized by two recent music school graduates specializing in the performance of contemporary percussion music. Today they will share these new works with more Iowans as their short tour across the state resumes.


 

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Arts and Culture
6:35 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Iowa City Library's Local Music Project Could Become Library Model

Iowa City Librarian Jason Paulios looks at recently organized CDs that were donated to the library. Paulios says he gets a lot of donations when school at the University of Iowa starts and ends as students come and go on campus.
Clay Masters IPR

Despite changes in how Americans are listening to music, think Pandora or Spotify, people are still checking out physical CDs from libraries. A recent PEW report found that half of Americans visited a library last year, and 16 percent of them checked out music.

But just as libraries are introducing eBooks to readers – librarians are also trying to figure out how to get digital music to library goers. Iowa City has launched a digital music library that focuses on its local music scene.

Going Local Online

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Arts and Culture
2:22 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Portable Memorial Honors Iowan Veterans

Bill Williams started the veteran memorial project “Remembering our Fallen” with his wife in 2011 to honor soldiers killed in action since September 11th, 2001. They plan to create an exhibit for every state by the year 2015.
Photo by John Pemble

Two years ago a memorial honoring Iowa’s fallen veterans began traveling around the state. This week it’s getting its biggest audience yet while on display at the Iowa State Fair.  This new memorial is part of an effort by two Nebraskans who want to make exhibits like this for every state. 

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Arts and Culture
10:48 pm
Sat August 10, 2013

Cowboy Mounted Shooting comes to the Iowa State Fair

World champion cowboy mounted shooter Chad Little with his horse Jax at the Iowa State Fair.
Photo by Katherine Perkins

One of the fastest growing equine sports in the nation was showcased at the Iowa State Fair this weekend.  Iowa Public Radio’s Katherine Perkins was there to see cowboy mounted shooting.

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Arts and Culture
3:07 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The OK Factor’s Classical Ties to Folk Music

Violinist Karla Deitmeyer and cellist Olivia Hahn perform a combination of folk, alternative rock, and modern classical music as “The OK Factor” at the Iowa State Fair in 2013.
Photo by John Pemble

One of the musical performances this weekend from the Iowa State Fair is the new band “The OK Factor".  Violinist Karla Dietmeyer and cellist Olivia Hahn combine folk, alternative rock, and modern classical music. 



 

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Arts and Culture
2:29 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Disabled Painter Demonstrates Work at Iowa State Fair

Because Elsie Monthei is legally blind, she gets as close as possible to her color palette while mixing oil paints at the Iowa State Fair. She is part of Very Special Arts (VSA).
Photo by John Pemble

Elsie Monthei is a blind painter who for more than thirty years has painted landscapes.  This week she spent a day at the Iowa State Fair demonstrating her talent for Very Special Arts (VSA), a group with the mission of highlighting the artistic abilities of people with disabilities.

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Arts and Culture
2:27 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Hardacre Theater Will Close After Festival

The Hardacre Theater in Tipton

Filmmakers and movie lovers are descending on Tipton this weekend for the Hardacre Film Festival. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard  reports, when the festival goes dark tomorrow (Saturday) night, so too will the theater in which it plays.

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Arts and Culture
6:54 am
Wed July 24, 2013

NPR Reporters Travel RAGBRAI

Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor spoke to IPR at their RAGBRAI campsite in Des Moines, July 23, 2013
Credit John Pemble / IPR

 RAGBRAI, the annual bicycling ride across the state, made its way to Des Moines Tuesday. The trip wraps up this weekend in Fort Madison. Among the cyclists this year are NPR reporters Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor.

IPR's Clay Masters caught up with the trio. You can follow their travels the rest of this week at Return to Iowa.

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Arts and Culture
5:46 am
Mon July 8, 2013

80/35 Music Festival Paid Attendance Dips Slightly

Wu Tang Clan played on Saturday Night at the 80/35 Music Festival in downtown Des Moines
Credit Phil Thomson

Over the weekend, at least 30,000 people were estimated to be at the sixth annual 80/35 music festival in downtown Des Moines. That’s according to festival organizers. 

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Arts and Culture
1:02 am
Fri June 21, 2013

"Scree Stage" Premiers at Des Moines Art Center

“Scree Stage” is a new sculpture by British artist Phyllida Barlow. It’s assembled for the first time in the Des Moines Art Center’s I.M. Pei Gallery for a summer exhibition featuring many of Barlow’s large works and her paintings.
Photo by John Pemble

A new sculpture weighing more than twelve tons has been under construction at the Des Moines Art Center for two weeks.  It’s titled “Scree Stage”, named after the debris of fallen rocks found at the base of a mountain. It’s the center of an exhibit opening this weekend. Iowa Public Radio’s John Pemble visited the Art Center as this massive new work of art began to take its final shape.



 

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Arts and Culture
3:18 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Annie's List and Reviews

Arts and Culture
1:11 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Jan's List

Flickr / ChrisWarren1956

Jan Weismiller of Prairie Lights Books' Summer Reading List

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

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Arts and Culture
12:18 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Paul's List

Arts and Culture
7:33 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Madeleine Albright visits Cedar Rapids

Madeleine Albright tells the story of her swearing-in ceremony to become the first female secretary of state.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

As she led reporters around displays of the pins she wore during her career, it was as if Madeleine Albright were introducing old friends at a family reunion.

With each pin came a memory for the former Secretary of State; crucial diplomatic decisions, casual moments in the White House, and tense meetings with international heads of state… including Kim Jong-Il. 

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Arts and Culture
1:11 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Madeleine Albright's diplomatic pins on display

Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

In the summer of 2000, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attended a summit with Bill Clinton and Russian president Vladmir Putin. At the time, Russia had invaded Chechnya, amid reports of human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Albright, who had become known for her decorative pins that carried symbolic messages in diplomatic meetings, wore a pin of three monkeys representing the proverb, “See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.”

She says President Clinton was skeptical.

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Arts and Culture
11:08 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Director Tom Moore remembers 20 years at the African American History Museum of Iowa

A bird's eye view of exhibits at the African American History Museum of Iowa.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

It’s with pride that museum president and founding member Tom Moore moves between exhibits at the African American History Museum of Iowa.

"My hero is Alexander Clark," he says with a grin. "Clark was very instrumental in integrating Iowa’s classrooms,"

In 1867, nearly a hundred years before the Civil Rights Movement, Clark sued the Iowa's public schools in Clark v. Board of Directors to allow his daughter to attend the school near their home. He won, making Iowa one of the first states to have a law for the integration of schools.

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Arts and Culture
4:45 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

H.D. Harmsen’s first release on vinyl “Papoose”

Dustin Harmsen has been in bands since he was a teenager but now this 25 year old Des Moines musician works under the name H.D. Harmsen. Harmsen says he relied on his musician friends to record his new album “Papoose”.
Photo by John Pemble

One of the biggest changes for the music industry is the shift from publishing music on CDs, to downloadable music files.  There are still artists who prefer their music be available on a tangible medium, even one as old as vinyl.  In Iowa the two year old label Maximum Ames Records, publishes all of its titles on vinyl, including H.D.

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Arts and Culture
6:22 am
Fri April 19, 2013

"Trans Oral History Project" Collects Stories of Transgendered People

Credit Trans Oral History Project website

This weekend in Iowa City, several events are planned around the theme of celebrating and understanding the lives of transgendered persons.

Andre Perez of the Trans Oral History Project in Chicago joins IPR's Sarah McCammon for a conversation about trans issues and workshops designed to gather the stories of transgendered Iowans.

For more information about this weekend's events at the University of Iowa, click here.

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Arts and Culture
9:52 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Micro-distilleries find a niche in Iowa

Single-malt whiskey moves down the production line at a micro-distillery in Swisher, IA
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

The brewers at the Cedar Ridge Distillery are bottling and packaging a whiskey brewed with malted barley… if it were made in Scotland, you’d call it scotch.

They say it’s the first single-malt whiskey produced in Iowa.  

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Arts and Culture
7:01 am
Wed April 3, 2013

The Latino Experience in Iowa: Many Cultures Over Many Years

Family posed in front of car, Holy City, Bettendorf, Iowa, 1920s
Iowa Digital Library University of Iowa Libraries

Latino immigration has helped to shape - and re-shape - Iowa communities for more than a century. Dr. Omar Valerio-Jimenez, associate professor of history at the University of Iowa, joins Sarah McCammon to discuss "The Latino Experience in Iowa." That's the title of a lecture he's giving as part of a series on race and gender at Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids.

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Arts and Culture
1:00 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Sculpture of Norman Borlaug Nears Completion

Benjamin Victor stands next to his clay sculpture of Norman Borlaug at the Iowa Historical Building. Soon it will be cast in bronze and in 2014 installed in the United States Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall collection.
Photo by John Pemble

In the second half of the 20th century, native Iowan Norman Borlaug developed wheat seeds that increased crop yields in third world countries.  His work in agriculture led him to a Nobel Peace Prize, a Congressional Gold Medal, and next year he’ll be remembered with a statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection housed in the United States Capitol.  South Dakota artist Benjamin Victor is commissioned to create this sculpture and brought his work in progress to the Iowa Historical Building for a two week artist in residency to get the final details right.



 

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Arts and Culture
5:30 am
Mon March 11, 2013

A Composer and an Architect

William C. Wright, c. 1890s
Courtesy of Mary Rogers

The former Iowan who fathered one of the world’s most celebrated architects has been pulled from the shadows of his legendary son. The father was William Carey Wright, and Iowa Public Radio tells the story of his love for music and how it influenced the life of and career of his son, Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Arts & Culture
1:46 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Civil Rights Activist Grace Lee Boggs in Iowa

Grace Lee Boggs at one of her rare speaking engagements. She doesn't travel often because of limited mobility at age 97.
Credit Courtesy photo

Asian-American civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs has traveled from her home in Detroit to

speak at Grinnell College as part of the campus celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday. She tells Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank, she wasn't a fan of the idea when it was first proposed.  At 97, Boggs continues to be active with a program known as Detroit Summer.  It's a project that's been underway for several years involving the city's young people with activities such as gardening and renovating inner city buildings.

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Arts & Culture
8:35 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Lake Delhi Archeology

Some of the beer cans found when Lake Delhi emptied. They can fetch up to $50.
Credit Steve Gola

Lost treasures were revealed when Lake Delhi disappeared two summers ago. We conclude our series on the status of the eastern Iowa lake.

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Arts & Culture
8:20 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Iowa's "A Thief in the Night": Not Just a Horror Flick

The cover of the 1972 Christian apocalyptic film, "A Thief in the Night"

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

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Arts & Culture
4:39 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Iowa's "A Thief in the Night": More Than Just a Horror Flick

"Thief in the Night" 1972 movie cover

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

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Arts & Culture
6:17 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

White House Christmas Card features Des Moines Artist’s Painting

Larassa Kable’s oil painting “Bo in the Snow” is the cover for this year’s official White House Christmas card.

This year’s official White House Christmas card features a painting by Des Moines artist Larassa Kable. She talks with Iowa Public Radio’s All Things Considered host, Pat Blank.
 

Text

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Arts & Culture
1:44 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

ISU historian included in Burns' Dust Bowl documentary.

Pamela Riney-Kehrberg

An Iowa State University historian and expert on the 1930s dust bowl consulted on filmmaker Ken Burns’ newest documentary, which airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS.

Professor and chair of history at ISU Pamela Riney-Kehrberg is featured in the film, she says she assisted to ensure the film’s historical accuracy…

Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl, airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS

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