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Release: May 11, 2001

Hancher ICN events reached students in more than 40 Iowa communities during 2000-2001

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Arts education events in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium involved students in 42 Iowa communities during the 2000-2001 season through the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). The ICN enabled students in classrooms throughout Iowa to participate in real-time audio-visual interaction with the Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast," the Jazz at Lincoln Center Sextet and storyteller David Gonzalez on the Hancher stage.

The two-way audio and visual capabilities of the ICN enabled Pilobolus artists to conduct a statewide movement workshop. Students who connected to the "Beauty and the Beast" session learned about the "Disney magic" of the technically dazzling Broadway production.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Sextet used their ICN opportunity to focus on the centennial of jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong’s birth. And Gonzalez -- as part of the Arts Across the Curriculum Project organized by Hancher and the UI Arts Share program -- provided an inside look at how music and storytelling combine to create powerful theater.

Participating communities were Ackley, Algona, Atlantic, Aurelia, Boone, Burnside, Cedar Falls, Charter Oak, Clarinda, Conrad, Crystal Lake, Des Moines, Earlham, Elkader, Exira, Fort Madison, Gilbert, Independence, Inwood, Johnston, Latimer, LuVerne, Manly, Marion, Massena, Middle Amana, Milford, Millersburg, Moville, Nevada, Oelwein, Parkersburg, St. Ansgar, Tipton, Traer, Troy Mills, Waterloo, Waukee, Wellsburg, West Burlington, West Liberty and West Point.

"We have found that the largest number of schools who receive Hancher's educational programming are in small, rural areas," says Emily Hansen, Hancher’s education coordinator. "It is very exciting to stand on the Hancher stage and watch these students who are not able to travel to Iowa City interact with world-renowned artists right from their own classrooms."

Deep River-Millersburg teacher Marsha Reitzler wrote to Hansen, "The ICN sessions from Hancher Auditorium have been a great opportunity for our elementary students. These experiences have allowed our rural young people the opportunity to see into the world of performance."

The ICN is the nation’s only publicly owned, statewide fiber-optic network, which connects schools, libraries and government agencies, giving Iowans in all parts of the state interactive access to Iowa’s educational, legal and governmental resources.

Hancher’s 2000-2001 educational programming -- partially funded through the Hancher Guild’s operation of the Hancher Showcase gift shop -- also included Stage Door performances for school groups, pre- and post-performance discussions, seven extensive residencies and a variety of other public events -- master classes, discussions, mini-concerts, radio broadcasts and open rehearsals.

Arts Share is a UI program that provides artistic expertise from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools, local arts councils, community arts associations, museums, senior citizen centers and other organizations throughout Iowa and the surrounding region. The Arts Share roster of touring artists includes more than 70 faculty members, ensembles, and graduate students in the performing, visual and literary arts.

Hancher was equipped as an ICN originating site through funds provided by US WEST. Sponsors of the Arts Across the Curriculum Project are Alliant Energy Foundation, Dain Rauscher, the DeMuth Family Foundation, Homer E. and Genevieve B. Dudley, Phyllis Fleming, John and Ellen Buchanan, M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Doug Hanson and Sue Deibner, Hills Bank and Trust Company, Scott A. and Jan. A. Johnson, Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, and Herbert A. and Janice A. Wilson.

Other sponsors of Hancher’s 2000-2001 ICN artists included the National Endowment for the Arts, McLeodUSA, the Gazette, the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, the Iowa Arts Council and West Music Company.

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