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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 8, 2004

Evening Of Storytelling Will Explore Creativity Oct. 15

What drives the creative process? How do creative people approach their work? Can their strategies be incorporated into lives and work that aren't centered around creativity?

These and other questions will be examined when a group of UI faculty and community members gathers for an evening of storytelling and creative exploration on Friday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. at Prairie Lights Bookstore, 15 South Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. This event is part of a Year of the Arts and Humanities project, "Creation Tales: How Creative People Talk About Their Work," organized by Judy Polumbaum, UI professor of journalism and mass communication, Steve Thunder-McGuire, associate professor of art education, and Doug Allaire, education media specialist in the College of Education.

Thunder-McGuire will host a spirited evening of lively tales intended to reveal the creative process in the artists' minds. Other participants include College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty members Glen Epstein, Rene LeCuona, and Alan Sener; UI alumna and fiction writer Mary Helen Stefaniak; and local singer-songwriter David Zollo. The event is free and open to the public and will be broadcast live on "Live from Prairie Lights," WSUI-AM 910.

The Creation Tales project brings together individuals on campus and in the immediate community who are "creative" in an easily identifiable sense, in that their livelihood incorporates a central focus on the arts and/or humanities. Polumbaum said the intent is to make creative people's explanations and reflections about their own work accessible in a variety of formats, including written profiles, videotaped interviews, and storytelling performance. The effort incorporates methods from journalism, oral history and storytelling. Shelbi Thomas, a senior journalism major, serves as undergraduate project assistant helping to conduct artist interviews.

Profiles, highlights from videotaped interviews, links to participants' works and other resources will be added to the project website,, during the coming months.

UI President David Skorton's determination to increase public awareness and support of the rich tradition of arts and humanities on campus and throughout Iowa led him to declare academic year 2004-2005 the Year of Arts and Humanities, a time to celebrate that rich tradition and forge cultural linkages between the academic community and communities around the state. The Year of the Arts and Humanities is supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice-president for Research and the Graduate College.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,