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University of Iowa News Release


April 13, 2007

Museum Family Weekend Activities Planned April 20-22

Visitors can experience what it was like to grow up in the 1800s during Family Weekend events planned Friday through Sunday, April 20-22, at the University of Iowa's Old Capitol Museum and the Iowa Children's Museum in Coralville. Families can also enjoy several Earth Day activities at the UI Museum of Natural History in Iowa City over the weekend.

Family Weekend kicks off Friday, April 20 at the Iowa Children's Museum, with a chance to view its newest exhibit, "Growing Up in Iowa," based upon the Iowa Youth Diaries Project exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum. A family concert will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Playworks Theater at the Iowa Children's Museum. Local folk musicians Glenn Lonsdale and Carlis Faurot will perform original music and folk music from the 1800s. The Iowa Children's Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; the concert is free with museum admission.

Family Weekend celebrations continue Saturday, April 21, and include:

--From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors to the Museum of Natural History can explore the galleries and Pentacrest with a scavenger hunt. Students and families will also learn how to save the Earth in their own back yards with hands-on activities and information to take home.

-- At 11 a.m., Jeff Schabilion, UI professor of biological sciences, will lead a nature walk around the UI Pentacrest and describe the wide variety of trees surrounding the museums. Participants should meet on the front steps of Macbride Hall for the walk, which will take approximately one hour.

--From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum, several activities are planned for families to experience Iowa's early history, including 1800s parlor games, quill pen and ink activities, and popular 19th century music played by young pianists from the Iowa Mennonite School dressed in period costume. The museum will also host a scavenger hunt with prizes and performance of original folk music by Glenn Lonsdale and Company.

--From 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum, visitors can hear a variety of American and 1800s music performed by the Iowa Mennonite School's Studio C group, under the direction of music instructor Susan See. The 11 students planning to participate include Chelsey Bontrager, Ian McDowell, Sam Swartzendruber, Maria Davis, Ida Mae Short, Amanda Drish, Lauren Moeller, Taylor Fulton, Justina Anderson and Anne Dillon.

"The students are working hard and I think they and all who come to this Family Weekend performance are going to have a blast," See said.

The music will include some old parlor pieces and college songs of the late 1800s, such as "Bringin' Nellie Home," "Polly Wolly Doodle," and "Oh My Darlin' Clementine." Visitors will also experience some early 1900s ragtime by Scott Joplin, James Scott, Joseph Lamb, and Oskaloosa native George Botsford; a fiddle tune for piano and fiddle titled "Old Joe Clarke;" and some hymns that would have been sung in the mid-1800s though the early part of the 1900s. The students will also play a few classical period pieces by Brahms, Beethoven and Burgmuller.

--From 3:45 to 5 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum, Glenn Lonsdale and Company will play original tunes inspired by the Old Capitol Museum and Iowa's heritage, including "Straw On The Floor" (straw covered Capitol's floor boards in its early days), "The Underground Railroad," "Ushers Ferry Wind," "Little Bohemia," " #5 Turner Alley," and "The Rhythm Of The Trains." Both music performances will be held in the Senate Chamber.

Two Earth Day activities are planned at the Museum of Natural History, Sunday, April 22:

--At 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. the movie "Kilowatt Ours" will be shown in the Macbride Hall Auditorium. The 38-minute documentary made in 2005 follows filmmaker Jeff Barrie as he discovers solutions to America's energy-related problems, traveling from the coal mines of West Virginia to the solar panel fields of Florida. The film shows everyday Americans finding ways to harness power from the wind and sun, and offers ways to dramatically reduce home energy bills. This is first offering in the "Movies @ MNH" series.

--At 3 p.m. the Museum of Natural History continues the Sunday Stories program with "Keepers of the Earth," featuring Native American stories about the Earth and all living things, and ways to protect the environment in back yards. Stories and activities are geared to elementary-aged children.

For more information, contact the Iowa Children's Museum, 319-625-6255; Elisa Ewing, Old Capitol Museum, or 319-335-3591; or Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606 or

For museum hours, visit the following Websites:

UI Museum of Natural History:

Old Capitol Museum:

Iowa Children's Museum:

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,