Arts and Culture

Arts & Culture
7:41 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Veteran's lost ring found after 41 years

A keepsake from the Vietnam War will be returned to an Iowa soldier who lost it in 1971 on the bottom of Iowa’s Lake Delhi. John Jones’ gold, 25th Infantry Division ring came off while swimming. Two years ago, after the dam broke and the lake drained, a Chicago treasure hunter found it under the muddy lake bottom, and a veterans official was able to trace it back to Jones, who lives in Cedar Rapids.

IPRs Rick Fredericksen has the story.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Notable Iowa Veterans

Retired Col. Les Vanheeswyk of Osceola piloted a U2 spy plane during the Cold War
Credit Bill Schaefer / Gold Star Museum

A new photo exhibit honors living Iowa veterans at the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge. Most Iowans will recognize many of them. Exhibit opens to the public on Nov. 9th.

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Arts & Culture
5:52 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Inaugural Tuk Tuk Goose Race

Matthew Smith is the organizer of the first “Tuk Tuk Goose” in Des Moines, Iowa and gives teams instructions for their race challenge.
John Pemble

In India, motorized rickshaws serve as taxis for short trips. In America, these vehicles are rare but over the weekend you could see them in Iowa albeit for a different purpose. A Des Moines businessman organized a rickshaw race, called “Tuk Tuk Goose”.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Being in Iowa: Quakers

In the final segment of this week's "Being in Iowa," we meet some Christians who go by a couple of names. We know them as Friends or as Quakers. There are also two branches of this religion in Iowa, representing two distinct approaches to worship.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Being in Iowa: Hindus

It took Indian artisans three years to carve the figures that cover the Hindu Temple south of Madrid

The Hindu Temple south of Madrid is an eye-catching structure with plaster images of animals and deities carved all over the outside surfaces. It’s where 500 families pray to the God they call Brahman, which they say is found in everything.

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Being in Iowa: Atheists

Controversy followed an advertising campaign sponsored by Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers

It’s impossible to put an exact number on how many people in the state describe themselves as atheist or agnostic. Many of them prefer to stay quiet about it. Iowa Public Radio correspondent Rob Dillard asked several Iowans who do not believe in a supernatural power about where they stand in a society that generally thinks religion is a good thing.

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Being in Iowa: Sikhs

Sikh men wear their hair unshorn with long beards and turbans

Iowa Public Radio is looking at how different groups of Iowans connect with God. Today, we examine the beliefs held within a 500-year old religion established in the Punjab region of northwest India and northeast Pakistan. In Punjabi it’s pronounced Sikhism (SICK-ism). Over the years, it’s been Anglicized to Sikhism (SEEK-ism). The practitioners at a Temple in West Des Moines pronounced it both ways.

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Being in Iowa: Mormons

Mormons say the Book of Mormon is a companion to the Bible.

With a devout Mormon running for president, pundits have labeled this period “the Mormon moment.” But polls indicate half the American public admits to knowing very little or nothing about the religion. Rob met with some practicing Mormons in Iowa City to understand more about their faith.

Arts & Culture
6:25 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Ballet Des Moines Adds Full Time Dancers

The six full time dancers hired to perform for the entire Ballet Des Moines 2012-2013 season
John Pemble

Ballet Des Moines is trying something new this year: hiring dancers for a six month residency.  It’s the first time Ballet Des Moines has six full time professional dancers to perform modern and classic productions for an entire season.
 

Arts & Culture
3:44 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Zombies Invade Downtown Des Moines for Fourth Annual "Zombie Walk"

Emily Woodbury / IPR

On Saturday, hundreds of Iowa residents gathered in Des Moines for the city’s fourth annual Zombie Walk, an event and fundraiser for the Central Iowa Shelter and Services. The walk was preceded by Iowa City’s zombie march that raises money for local Eastern Iowa charities.

These events were founded at the beginning of a so-called “zombie craze”, when obsession with zombies went from subculture to mainstream. But unlike similar horror-genre fads, like the vampire mania of a few years ago, zombie culture has persevered.

Arts & Culture
9:50 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Hob Nailed Boots Irish theatre troupe

At the invitation of Iowa’s Poet Laureate Mary Swander, who is of Irish ancestry, the theatre troupe, Hob Nailed Boots of Renvyle, Ireland,  is visiting the state giving dramatic recitals from works about the Aran Islands, the Irish famine, and immigration. We reached the troupe’s Sean Coyne from his home in Renvyle.  Coyne says audiences are in for an emotional experience…

Hob Nailed Boots Theatre Tour of 3 Plays

Performed by Sean Coyne and Tegolin Knowland, written by Eamon Grennan

Oct. 15, 7:00 P.M.  Hearst Center for the Arts, Cedar Falls, IA     Emigration Road

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Arts & Culture
10:17 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Audio Description for Blind People

Iowa Radio Reading Information Service (IRIS) volunteers Bobby Bailey and Dorothy Hockenbery read audio description for Les Miserables backstage at the Civic Center.
John Pemble

An assistive service began this weekend in Des Moines allowing blind people to hear descriptions of what’s happening on the stage of a theatrical production. The Iowa Radio Reading Information Service, or IRIS, is providing audio description for blind patrons attending shows during the Civic Center’s Broadway series.

Arts & Culture
2:08 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Des Moines Symphony’s 75th Anniversary Commission

“Symphony In Sculpture” composer Steve Heitzeg standing inside the sculpture “Nomad” in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

This weekend the Des Moines Symphony performed new music commissioned for their seventy fifth season inspired by art from the city’s two block sculpture park.

Video version of this story.


 

Arts & Culture
3:52 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Parlours First Full Length Record “all is here”

Dana Halferty is the founder and lead singer for the Des Moines band Parlours.
John Pemble

Early last year the Des Moines based band Parlours released their music on a 5 song EP.  Less than 6 months later one of their songs was used in a prime time television program.  This national attention helped give the band the resources to record a full length collection.

Arts & Culture
2:25 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Michael Feldman Discusses Origins of Whad'ya Know?

Michael Feldman, host of PRI's Whad'Ya Know spoke with Talk of Iowa's Charity Nebbe about the origins of the live radio quiz show, in advance of an appearance in Cedar Falls this weekend.  He explains that his start in radio was accidental.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Burmese

Myanmar is bordered by China, India and Thailand

Nearly every transplant to Iowa from Southeast Asia who we’ve met this week has been in the state for a number of years. Iowa has a long history of welcoming them. That’s partially why refugees from that corner of the world continue to arrive. The latest are from the country now known as Myanmar. But it’s almost impossible to lump these new arrivals into a single group of refugees.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Integration

In part four of our series “Being Southeast Asian in Iowa.”  we explore what it takes to integrate into a place where the people speak a different language and practice different customs. Is it possible to maintain the traditions from back home and embrace the American way of doing things?

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Being In Iowa: Southeast Asians: Culture

Thousands of Southeast Asians left behind the familiar culture of their homeland for a fresh start in Iowa. Although they’re now living on the opposite side of the world from their birthplace, these immigrants strive to maintain the traditions of their native countries. Correspondent Rob Dillard explains the lengths to which they go to bring a touch of Southeast Asia to the American Midwest.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Boat People

The "boat people" of Vietnam risked everything to escape Communist control

A few years after former Governor Robert Ray found a home in Iowa for the Tai Dam refugees of Laos, he did the same thing for another group who was seeking sanctuary. These were the “boat people”, most of them from Vietnam, who risked everything on the high seas to escape communism.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Tai Dam

The proposed Tai Village in Des Moines

The number of Southeast Asians in Iowa received a boost almost 40 years ago, when about 1,200 refugees who were fleeing the Communist takeover of Laos and Vietnam were allowed to resettle here. Their saga of escape from war and persecution is part of a bigger story about a compassionate governor and a state’s citizens, who opened their hearts to a batch of new residents.

Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Thu August 2, 2012

The Word Maven

Words like tornado and Derecho fascinate and frighten and they both have surprising histories. Charity talks with English language expert Patricia O’Connor who looks at  the origins of weather related words.  Patricia answers all questions that relate to the English language.

Arts & Culture
7:15 am
Tue July 24, 2012

"Papergirl" Project Rethinks Street Art

Some of the works were displayed in the Figge Art Museum lobby for one day only.
Clare Roth IPR

If you’re walking down the street this evening in Davenport, someone might hand you a work of art. "Papergirl" is an art movement where participants collect artworks from community members, roll it up newspaper-style, and distribute it to random passers-by via bicycles, like the paperboys of old.

Arts & Culture
2:11 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

RAGBRAI Director TJ Juskiewicz on Ride's 40th Year

Dave Herholz / flickr

RAGBRAI XL, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, rolls out of Sioux Center on Sunday. On the latest "Talk of Iowa", host Charity Nebbe spoke with the director of RAGBRAI, TJ Juskiewicz. Juskiewicz shared what is new for this year's route, why the tradition has continued over the years, and how the weather might affect the ride.

Arts & Culture
2:04 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Nate Logsdon Rotates in Three Bands

Nate Logsdon performs with the band Mumfords during the 2012 80/35 music festival in downtown Des Moines.

It’s common for musicians to collaborate in several bands.  This weekend at the 80/35 music festival in Des Moines an active musician found himself playing in three bands during one afternoon.  Iowa Public Radio’s John Pemble followed this busy artist from one stage to the next.

Arts & Culture
2:20 am
Sat July 7, 2012

80/35 Music Festival’s Fifth Year of Alternative Music

80/35 Music Festival Project Manager Amedeo Rossi heads up the 5th music festival in downtown Des Moines.

This weekend the annual alternative music festival Eighty Thirty Five marks it’s fifth consecutive year of bringing national acts like Avett Brothers and Death Cab for Cutie to Des Moines.  For some these are new and unusual bands and festival organizers say this is one of the key reasons they put together this music event.

Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Author Robert Kerr & Burlington Architectural Survey

When Joe Murphy’s wife, Linda, spies an ad for a “beautiful 3-story Victorian house in need of some TLC,” the couple jumps at the chance for their dream home. Renovating it will allow them to indulge their passion for antiques and to get closer to an era they believe was a better time. Privately, Joe hopes that the project will also fill the void that has opened within their family life.

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Arts & Culture
1:47 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Memories of the USS Iowa

The USS Iowa in the Port of Los Angeles

One of the largest battleships to serve during World War II was the USS Iowa. Now the Iowa has found a place to rest, rather than rust, as a museum in the port of Los Angeles.  On Tuesday she welcomed many of her seamen back home. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks visited the ship to hear their stories.

 

Arts & Culture
7:25 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Grotto of the Redemption Turns 100

The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend turned 100 this weekend.
Sandhya Dirks Iowa Public Radio

The Midwest is known for its roadside attractions — world's largest ear of corn, heaviest ball of twine, biggest truck stop.

But it's also home to one of the largest collections of grottoes in the world. Most of these man-made caves were created by immigrant priests at the beginning of the 20th century. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa.

This weekend, the Grotto of the Redemption turned 100.

Arts & Culture
1:24 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Iowa Opera House Project

Sam Knudson on the opera house stage at the Weiting Theater in Toledo Iowa.

In the early 20th century Iowa had close to 1,000 opera houses but now only a few hundred are still standing and many of them are abandoned.  This summer an Iowa musician is doing a series of performances in restored opera houses highlighting these building’s historic value while showcasing contemporary musicians. 

Arts & Culture
7:00 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Railroad enthusiasts flocking to Iowa

For nine days, starting next week, Iowa will be railroad heaven for fans of old trains. Thousands of people will be climbing aboard, photographing, or just admiring the romance of an earlier time. An organization of railroad buffs is bringing its national meeting to Iowa for the first time.

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