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University of Iowa News Release

May 31, 2005

Romper Rocker Dan Zanes Celebrates Father's Day In Hancher

Dan Zanes, the king of Romper Rock, will conclude his four-city Iowa residency with a Father's Day concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 19, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus. Zanes' Iowa residency is organized through "Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," a program is designed to help Iowa children and their families experience the performing arts first-hand.

Included in the ticket price is a Father's Day picnic, beginning at 12:30 p.m. on the Hancher green.

Zanes will also perform solo, for grown-ups, at 9 p.m. Monday, June 13, in the Siren on the Ped Mall in downtown Iowa City. The cover charge will be $5.

Free events in Iowa City/Coralville -- following Zanes' residencies in Perry and Spencer, and preceding three days in Marshalltown and the Hancher concert -- will take place in the Iowa Children's Museum at Coral Ridge, the Iowa City Public Library and outdoor locations. The schedule for these events will be:

Tuesday, June 14 at the Iowa Children's Museum:

-- 11 a.m., Musical Interactions, in which Zanes and families have fun with music;

-- 1 p.m., Making Musical Instruments Workshop;

-- 3 p.m., Musical Scrapbooking Session; and

-- 6 p.m., Musical House Party, featuring Zanes and local musical groups Big Wooden Radio, Mike & Amy Finders and Acoustic Mayhem.

Wednesday, June 15, in collaboration with the Iowa City Public Library:

-- 10:30 a.m., Stories In the Park, featuring Zanes with storytellers Shalar Brown and Debb Green at Willow Creek Park;

-- 1 p.m., Songwriting For Kids Workshop for grades two to six, featuring Zanes and local blues musician Kevin Burt;

-- 3:30-4:30 p.m., Playground Fountain Drum Circle, featuring Zanes with Rhonda Miller and the Yahoo Drummers in the City Plaza Pedestrian Mall; and

-- 6 p.m., at the downtown Farmer's Market, where Zanes will sit in with Saul Lubaroff's band.

Zanes first came to public attention as the leader of the Del Fuegos, the popular '80s garage band out of Boston, but he left the rock 'n' roll world in the 1990s to record and perform for children and families.

It was the New York Times Magazine that labeled Zanes' new venture "Romper Rock," a folk-tinged, roots-rock sound that led the Boston Herald critic to observe that his show is one of "those rare children's concerts where the grownups clearly (have) as much fun as their (kids)." His recordings have featured guests including Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright and Suzanne Vega.

"Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure" makes integral use of an interactive website -- The website includes entire areas specifically on events in each community.

Spot project residencies began this spring as a result of an $800,000 grant to Hancher from the Wallace Foundation, through its "Leadership and Excellence in Arts Participation" (LEAP) program. The grant enables Hancher to enhance arts participation through the use of innovative technology and direct interaction with performing artists over the next four years.

The launch of the Spot Web site on March 1 kicked off a series of eight performing-arts residencies in each community, with each series of residencies leading to a concluding performance in Hancher.

Children can become Spot Kids by registering at the website. Spot activities and information for parents is also available on the Web page, which includes games, recipes, learning activities and a chance for kids to get their own work published online. In addition, the site features a video of two Iowa City Spot Kids leading a backstage tour of Hancher.

The Wallace Foundation grant, which is the largest programming grant in the auditorium's history, builds on Hancher's experience partnering with Pella, Decorah and Burlington in the Iowa Network Project, also made possible by Wallace funding. That $300,000 grant was the largest previous grant received by the auditorium.

The LEAP grant is being combined with resources committed by several other UI programs and offices -- Academic Technologies, University Relations, the Division of Student Services, the Graduate College and the office of the Vice President for Research.

During the course of the project, the University of Iowa Foundation is establishing a $200,000 endowment that will enable Hancher to continue its audience-development efforts with the technology and expertise developed through the project.

Zanes' residency is supported by the Wallace Foundation and Peggy Scholz, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen. The June 19 picnic is supported by the Hy-Vee Food Store on Waterfront Drive in Iowa City.

Tickets for the concluding Dan Zanes concert and picnic are $25/23/22; UI student $25/15; senior citizen $25/23/22; youth $12.50/11.50/11.

Tickets are available from the Hancher Auditorium box office, which is open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays beginning May 31. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website,

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

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