The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

March 27, 2006

UI To Offer Summer Arts Programs In Okoboji

As part of its ongoing effort to foster engagement with the northwest Iowa community, The University of Iowa will offer a series of arts activities this summer in the Okoboji area. The university is working with ArtsLIVE -- a non-profit partnership of arts venues, organizations and individuals dedicated to promoting the arts in Northwest Iowa's Creative Corridor -- to organize and promote the events, which include a performance by a renowned drumming ensemble, a hands-on papermaking and bookbinding workshop, and a week-long writing program.

"We have an incredible wealth of arts and cultural programming at the university -- and we do a good job of sharing that wealth with Iowans across the state, through programs like Arts Share," said Michael J. Hogan, UI executive vice president and provost. "But we can do more, and this is an exciting example of what can come out of a focused outreach effort."

Hogan thanked Associate Provost and Dean of Continuing Education Chet Rzonca and ArtsLIVE President Sheryl Hall for coordinating the planning effort. "This has been a wonderful model of university-community partnership at work," he said.

"Sharing the talent and inspiration of the arts with the entire state of Iowa is an important mission of the University of Iowa," said Tom Bedell, chairman of Pure Fishing in Spirit Lake and a member of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. "This program will enrich the lives of northwest Iowans and the students and professors that participate."

The planned activities include:

-- June 5: A visit from the renowned San Jose Taiko Drummers as part of "SPOT: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," a multi-year collaboration that links the UI Hancher Auditorium with the town of Spencer and other Iowa communities. In Japanese folk tradition, the Taiko (roughly translated as "large drum") has been used for many purposes -- to frighten the enemy and bolster the courage of samurai going into battle, as an integral element of Buddhist and Shinto spiritual ceremonies or to celebrate good fortune. The modern art of ensemble Taiko drumming joins traditional Japanese and contemporary global sounds with a dramatic, highly physical performance style that has been described as "mesmerizing."

-- June 24-25: Workshops in paper marbling and bookbinding, arranged through Arts Share and led by graphic artist Kara Fellows, a graduate student in graphic design at the UI. Fellows is a nationally recognized illustrator whose work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Kiplinger's, Better Homes & Gardens, the Wall Street Journal and Texas Monthly. Her clients also include Target, Marshall Fields, Harper Collins, Bath & Body Works and American Express. The workshops, which will be held on the Lakeside Lab campus and will be open to Lakeside Lab students as well as community members, will begin with paper marbling on the first day and continue with simple bookmaking, incorporating the marbled paper, on the second day.

-- July 10-15: A week-long writing workshop program led by Iowa writer Jim Heynan. An alumnus of the UI English department and currently writer-in-residence at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Heynan, is perhaps best known for his book The One-Room Schoolhouse, a collection of short stories about growing up in northwest Iowa. He has also written, contributed to, or edited 17 other books and chapbooks of poems, fiction, nonfiction and translations. He is a longtime favorite instructor in The University of Iowa's Summer Writing Festival. The workshop will be held on the Lakeside Lab campus.

The English department is a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Arts Share is part of the college's Division of Performing Arts.

For more information about these programs, contact the Division of Continuing Education at 319-335-2531.

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

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Chet Rzonca, UI Associate Provost and Dean of Continuing Education, 319-335-2531; Writer: Kris Yows