Despite the sluggish auto economy, sales never did slow down for an exclusive Iowa car dealership. In fact, the company has attracted some of the nation's biggest celebrities. Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen reports from American Dream Machines.
Recording music is often a long process. It's not unusual for each song to have multiple takes, edits, and mixes taking weeks to complete. But a small studio in the Quad Cities keeps the recording process quick and simple and has gained a national reputation.
Yesterday was first day for the third annual 80/35 two day music festival. 17,000 went downtown Des Moines to hear twenty bands on three stages including last night’s headliner Spoon a group that has gained wide popularity in the indy rock and mainstream music world. Hours before Spoon played Iowa Public Radio’s John Pemble talks with Spoon’s lead singer Britt Daniel about how the band’s independent sound is doing well with large audiences across the country.
A different type of Independence Day celebration will take place this weekend in Cedar Rapids. Community leaders and residents will gather for the rededication of a magnificent stained glass window which honors American veterans. Iowa Public Radio's Alex Heuer has the story of the only known stained glass window designed by Iowa artist Grant Wood.
Tonight when the Des Moines Metro Opera begins its new season it will be the first time a production is directed by someone other than Doctor Robert Larsen. Since he founded the organization in nineteen seventy three Larsen has overseen nearly every aspect of the Des Moines Metro Opera but this year he decided to significantly reduce his role as sole leader.
There was a time when puppets and marionettes played featured roles in American pop culture not just for children, but for adults too. They starred in plays, operas, movies, TV commercials, even news programs. If you doubt this, Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard invites you to tour a museum in Mason City to see the proof.
Leslie Hall is an artist who defies description. When she was a senior at Ames High School she amassed flamboyant sweaters decorated with shiny rhinestones. In 2002 Hall launched an online picture gallery featuring her favorite gem sweaters and quickly gained a large following of fans. Five years ago Hall released her first hip hop music album where she raps about her gem sweaters and her love of do it yourself crafts. She also published several music videos on the Internet many of which have been viewed over one hundred thousand times.
A documentary film about the high rate of suicides among farmers in northern India will have a single screening Sunday night in Des Moines. Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard reports the movie may bring back memories of the 1980s Midwest farm crisis.
Cedar Rapids- classical music ensemble Orchestra Iowa has several education programs to teach children the basics of classical music. One of these outreach programs, the Pied Pieper series, introduces preschool-aged children to the sound of each section of the orchestra. The season’s series concluded over the weekend as the bass section played popular and classical music for the next generation of classical music listeners.
Today in the Iowa City area there are at least nine theater ensembles and most of them are amateur groups lacking a permanent space to perform. Iowa City's newest theater group Red Door Ensemble debuted this spring and is trying to stand out in an already crowded theater scene.
On Friday night in Cedar Rapids students at Kirkwood Community College will perform the world premier of a play about the only U.S. President to come from Iowa. The play is about Herbert Hoover’s early adult life as a mining engineer in China. At the turn of the 20th century the West Branch native and his newlywed wife, Lou, were trapped in the country during the Boxer Rebellion.
Christopher O’Riley is an internationally renowned classical music pianist whose career includes profiling young performers on National Public Radio’s classical music program "From The Top". This weekend O’Riley was the Des Moines Symphony’s guest artist. His performance featured George Gershwin’s well known work "Rhapsody in Blue" and modern music of the band Radiohead
Edward Hopper’s oil paintings feature scenes of emotionally detached New Yorkers in metropolitan environments where the viewer is often forced to fill in the dramatic blanks as to what his subjects are doing. The most famous of which is "Nighthawks", depicting three customers at a late night diner. The early 20th century American artist frequently depicted women in his paintings that some say are vulnerable scenarios.
Internationally-acclaimed vocalist Simon Estes has performed in opera houses and concert halls around the world. But the Centerville native is taking on a tour that in some ways will be his most ambitious. Estes will perform in every Iowa county to raise college scholarship funds for high school students. Friday night his ninety nine county tour started in Franklin county where he sang with high school students and community choirs to a sold out auditorium.