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The top five arts and culture events in Eastern Iowa this week

Help create public pieces of art, from murals to benches

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UPDATED: 21 January 2014 | 4:06 pm   ::  

Each week, Hoopla and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance team up to showcase arts and culture events in Eastern Iowa. Below are the hidden gems:

 



The Iowa City Downtown District, in partnership with the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, will unveil BenchMarks 2.0 - bringing a new dynamic to downtown Iowa City. The public is invited to the BenchMarks 2.0 Community Introduction on Friday, April 19, 12:00 p.m. at the Iowa City Public Library. BenchMarks 2.0. Can benches be more than a simple place to sit? Can they be visually and intellectually stimulating? Can they be simple and complex at once? Can they be a puzzle or pieces of a larger game? Can they be more than meets the eye? This presentation will outline the changes happening for BenchMarks 2.0 and serve as an introduction to the conceptual and community framework for participants, past artists, and the general public by creative lead, John Engelbrecht. Information on how the project will run, how people and organizations can be involved, and the visual aesthetic of the project will be addressed. BenchMarks is open to any community member who would like to participate, and through three all-ages workshops, the artistic content of the project will be developed. Iowa Youth Writing Project and Public Space ONE will facilitate the workshops in a manner that bridges age divisions, artistic talent, and creative input.

 

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art would like to invite you to join them for Rampin’ It Up on Saturday, April 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to help kick off their 3RD Capital Campaign to reinvent, rejuvenate, and revitalize the CRMA. Part of their plan is to demolish the ramp on the 3rd Avenue side of the building in the summer; this will create a new stepped entrance to open sightlines between the Museum and the new Cedar Rapids Public Library. Before they demolish the ramp, they want to turn it into a piece of art and they are inviting the public to help! Artist Mona Muse will be here to guide members of the public in creating a large collaborative mural on the side of the ramp facing 3rd Avenue. Younger kids can chalk the walkway up the ramp at the same time. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. with a welcome message from Mayor Ron Corbett, as well as special presentations by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance President & CEO Dee Baird and Jack Evans, President of The Hall-Perrine Foundation. The mural painting and ramp chalking activities will follow. Participants will also be invited into the Museum for an up-close look at their plans, including renderings of the newly designed entrance and Imagination Isle, the new children’s activity center. All Rampin’ It Up activities will be free and open to the public. Admission will also be free at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art all day!

 

The Coggon Opera House presents Leaving Iowa, an uproariously funny comedy about families and family vacations. It is the story of Don Browning, a middle-aged writer, who returns home and decides to finally take his father's ashes to his childhood home, as requested. But when Don discovers Grandma's house is now a grocery store, he begins traveling across Iowa searching for a proper resting place for his father. Join Don (and his dad, mom and sis) as the play shifts from the present to Don's memories of the annual, torturous vacations of his childhood. It is sure to make you laugh while reminiscing about your own childhood road trips. Performances are April 19-21 and 26-28 at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays; 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. Doors open 40 minutes beforehand. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door. Will call tickets can be reserved by calling (319) 435-2353 after 6:00 p.m.

 

Corridor Arts in Solon invites you to join them for Bordeaux & Brushes on Friday, April 19, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.  at 128 E. Main in Solon. This fantastic two-hour class starts with a Wine 101 Presentation. You will sample delicious wines and learn how to hold your wine glass, how to swirl and sniff, and what to look for when you're tasting wine. Next, we break out the canvassas and create! Painting with Acrylics is made easy with instruction from professional Susan Kennicott. Swirl your wine and whirl your brushes, creating a new pieces of art and building bright memories with friends! Registration is $29 plus $10 materials fee, call 319.270.7341 to register.

 

Kick off National Park Week 2013 on Saturday, April 20, by helping keep Herbert Hoover National Historic Site looking worthy of the 31st President of the United States! All are invited to participate in National Park Week Volunteer Work Day. This is a great opportunity to get involved hands-on with your local national park. Volunteers will help spruce up fences, paths, and plantings around its historic buildings, replace signs along its boundary fence, and clean up the creek bed. If you are interested in helping, call Adam Prato or Kristin Gibbs at 319.643.2541. Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. for an orientation and to get signed up. Work will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable work clothes. Water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats are recommended. Long pants and closed-toe footwear are required. The park will provide work gloves and other needed tools and equipment. National Park Week, April 20 to 28, is the annual week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. National parks are living examples of the best this nation has to offer—our magnificent natural landscapes and our varied yet interrelated heritage. They provide recreational experiences, opportunities to learn and grow, and places of quiet refuge. National Park Week is also a good time to explore local parks, trails, and architectural gems sustained through National Park Service programs such as the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program and the National Register of Historic Places. A map of places in Iowa served by these programs may be found at http://www.nps.gov/state/ia/.

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