Iowa attractions

Courtesy of the Museum of Danish America

When Danish immigrants settled in Western Iowa in the 19th century, they created two very different towns three miles apart: Kimballton and Elk Horn. Kimballton was composed of 'Happy Danes' and Elk Horn of 'Holy Danes.'

"One camp are the followers of a Danish theologian, N.F.S. Grundtvig" says Tova Brandt, curator of the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn. "He embraced a holistic approach to Danish faith and culture and community and he argued that those things couldn't be and shouldn't be separated." 

Ted Murphy/flickr

A state lawmaker from Cedar Rapids today grilled the director of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission over a proposed license for a smoke-free casino in their city.  

The commission denied Cedar Rapids a gaming license in 2014, citing a saturated market for casinos.  

The city is arguing that a smoke-free casino would fill an unmet need, since smoking is allowed in other gambling houses, an exemption to Iowa’s law banning smoking in public places. 

Phil Roeder / Flickr

My hometown is Des Moines, an underrated city with cheap rent, cheaper booze and a trippy sculpture garden. I like Des Moines, though it’s a place that’s easy to dismiss.

Iowa Public Radio / Clay Masters

CLAY MASTERS: Last October we brought you the story of $3 million worth of illegal construction productions at one of the nation’s most sacred Native American burial grounds. And it happened under the watch of the National Park Service.

Now this we’re talking about is Effigy Mounds. It’s up in northeast Iowa. And new evidence shows that the National Park Service has covered up a report on the Effigy Mounds scandal.

Ryan Foley is with me. He’s a reporter with the Associated Press here in Iowa. Hello Ryan.

RYAN FOLEY: Hello Clay.

Okki via Wikimedia Commons

Over his writing career spanning more than 30 years, W.P. Kinsella has become one of the finest storytellers in baseball’s history. He is also an acclaimed satirical author.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Kinsella about his writing and his new book, "The Essential W.P. Kinsella",  a collection of some of his best short stories over the years.

Chris Fredericksen / Family archives

A newly-translated diary describes a Danish emigrant's journey to America 108 years ago. He came aboard the doomed ocean liner Lusitania when it was brand new. IPR's Rick Fredericksen tells his grandfather's story in the centennial year of the historic sinking of the Lusitania.

Just like today’s emigrants, Europeans came to America long ago in search of a better life. Ellis Island remains an iconic symbol and a favorite landmark for documentarians.

“Tens of millions of us have relatives who came this way, part of the largest human migration in history.”

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

The historic Fort Des Moines Museum is formally reopening tomorrow morning (11-11-14)  with a Veterans Day program and public tours. Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen has the story.

The first class of black officers graduated at Fort Des Moines in WW1. The Army’s first women trained there in WW2. Despite its rich background, the Fort Des Moines Museum went into debt and even closed for a time. A Veterans Day ceremony will announce its rebirth, according to curator Jack Lufkin.

Clay Masters / IPR

Imagine being able to drive an all-terrain vehicle right up next to a sacred earthen Native American burial mound.

Matchstick Marvels

Maybe your parents took you to the American Gothic House in Eldon when you were a kid. Or maybe you stopped by the Field of Dreams in Dyersville on a road trip. But have you been to the Salt and Pepper Shaker Gallery in Traer?

Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

As summer winds down, Iowa’s arts scene is gearing up for another year of unforgettable performances. The September Iowa Arts Showcase outlines:

  • The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season, with Maestro Joseph Giunta
  •  The Iowa Composers Forum’s Fall Festival Concert on October 4, with ICF President and Luther College Resident Composer Brooke Joyce
  • The Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s 100th Anniversary Season, with executive director Ben Loeb
  • UNI’s William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series, with acclaimed director and guest Lucy Walker
  • Hancher Auditorium’s 2014-15 season, with executive director Chuck Swanson

Wikimedia Commons

After pulling a few all-nighters netting, sorting and spawning fish, Iowa’s fisheries supervisors are ready for a break. They’ve spent the last month working to ready the more than 100 million walleye fry, fish less than 2 inches in size, that get stocked into Iowa’s lakes and rivers every year.

Three of the world’s best young pianists will be competing in the finals for the first ever Midwest International Piano Competition, hosted by the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Music at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7.  Iowa Public Radio’s Jacqueline Halbloom and Al Schares will host a live Performance Iowa broadcast, presenting taped interviews with the finalists and commentary from the competition founders, UNI’s Assistant Professor of Piano Dmitri Vorobiev and Associate Professor of Piano Sean Botkin between the concerts.  

Emily Woodbury

Iowa is the second most privately owned state in the U.S., so land preserved on its public parks is particularly special. Today on River to River –  the future of Iowa’s parks.

Lindsey Moon/Iowa Public Radio

Have you ever wished the Museum of Natural History would visit you? Well, it’s on its way.

This spring The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History has launched a new initiative - the University of Iowa Mobile Museum - in collaboration with the UI’s Old Capitol Museum and the Office of the State Archaeologist. The 38-foot, custom built RV will being its tour of the state next week.

Joe Wilkinson / Iowa DNR

In a News Buzz edition of River to River, Host Ben Kieffer talks with IPR's Clay Masters about debate over a plan to ban the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine to minors. 

We hear from Cedar Rapids Democratic Senator Liz Mathis about the need for emergency funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.  She says one family found it less costly to spend a week in a hotel, rather than heat their home using propane. 

We get local reaction to a new study on the effectiveness of mammograms. 

Bob Hale

The annual tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper is winding down in Clear Lake as fans remember the plane crash that ended the careers of three talented rock and roll superstars. We talk with the man who emceed the tragic Winter Dance Party of 1955.

Colin Charles

After seemingly long weeks and short days full of shoveling, snow-blowing, icy cold and blustery winds, many of us are ready to complain and dream of summer. But there is hope for happiness during the dark winter season.

On this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with two Danish visitors working at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. They share the Danish secret to winter happiness - it's called "hygge." There is no direct translation, but it is often described as a feeling of coziness... a homey feeling, often with candle light, family, and friends.

Lyric Stage Company, Dallas, TX

Join host Jacqueline Halbloom for this month's Iowa Arts Showcase at 11Am or 5PM. Her guests include Iowa native Robert Lindsay-Nassif, speaking about his acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, Opal, to be produced this month in Cedar Rapids.

michaelgilbertson.net

Tune in to this month’s Iowa Arts Showcase as Jacqueline Halbloom updates us on exciting events in Dubuque, Cedar Falls and the Quad Cities. She visits the University of Dubuque to speak to its president, Jeffrey Bullard, and Heritage Center Executive Director, Thomas Robbins, about the new Heritage Center and upcoming performers like the King’s Singers. Also, Dubuque-born composer Michael Gilbertson tell us about his new opera, Breaking, premiering on November 13 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  Then, in Cedar Falls, Dr.

The Princess Diana Exhibition

Iowa Public Radio’s next Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast will air Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Join us as Iowa Public Radio’s Jacqueline Halbloom interviews Kim Findlay, director of Davenport’s Putnam museum. Findlay will discuss the museum’s current and upcoming exhibits with special attention to the current Princess Diana exhibition. Jacqueline and Findlay will explore details about Princess Diana’s wedding dress and diamond tiara displayed in the exhibition.

Orchestra Iowa

Iowa Public Radio's next Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast will air Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Join us as Iowa Public Radio's Jacqueline Halbloom interviews Jeff Fleming, Executive Director at the Des Moines Art Center. Fleming will discuss the upcoming exhibition: Gravity and Grace

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

Two years after massive flooding along the Missouri River, work to bring back a treasured museum exhibit has been halted.

Peter Zillmann / HPZ / Flickr

Iowa is home to a baseball fan who sees ghosts, one spunky librarian who owns all the books in River City's library and a cat with presidential aspirations.  It is also the future birthplace of legendary starship commander Capt. James T.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

At the same time utility companies erect modern wind turbines across the Iowa countryside, old fashioned windmills are rusting away on abandoned farmsteads. But there's one man who is out to preserve the crumpled icons, one windmill at a time. Meet the Windmill Wizard.

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.



 

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

As Iowans take to the road for family vacations, there is new appreciation for two of Iowa’s oldest highways. The Lincoln is 100 years old, and proud of it, but Iowa Public Radio has discovered a grassroots effort to revive the Jefferson Highway too. Rick Fredericksen produces Iowa Archives, our historic audio series.

Wikimedia Commons

Join Jacqueline Halbloom for previews of some major arts events in our state. This month, director Laura Johnson leads off, telling us about the production in Iowa City this weekend of Mozart's second-to-last opera, La Clemenza di Tito. Next comes David Janssen of the Brucemore in Cedar Rapids on this summer's events; then Hugh Pettersen of the Gallagher-Bluedorn in Cedar Falls tells us about the upcoming Creme de la Creme 13. Finally, Michael Egle of the Des Moines Metro Opera updates us on its next season. Hear them at 5 PM Saturday on IPR Classical.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer takes a tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  He talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.  The exhibit includes a Civil War field hospital, and signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. 

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The National Medal for Museum and Library service is the nation’s highest honor given to museums or libraries for service to the community.  This year there were two winners in Iowa. Both the Marshalltown Public Library and the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids have connected with their communities in some innovative ways.  

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