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University of Iowa News Release


May 8, 2007

Gonzalez Entertained Elementary Students In Hancher, On ICN

More than 500 elementary-age and middle-school students, both in-person in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium and interactively on the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), spent an hour with music-therapist-turned-performer David Gonzalez on May 3.

Gonzalez was at the UI as part of "Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," which included residencies in Spencer, Perry, Marshalltown and Iowa City, and a concluding performance of the one-person show "The Frog Bride," May 6 in Hancher.

Gonzalez, a storyteller/musician/poet/actor/therapist, was nominated for a 2006 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" for his production of "The Frog Bride" at New York's New Victory Theater.

Spot project residencies began in 2005 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 a period of four years.

Two artists are involved each year -- romper rocker Dan Zanes and the ODC/San Francisco dance company the first year, Tomas Kubinek and San Jose Taiko last year, Gonzales and the Bobs this year -- with residencies leading up to a Hancher performance.

The Bobs, called "the Beatles of the a-capella world" by Pulse, will perform in Hancher Friday, June 1.

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.

Learn more about Spot at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.


Live audience

Horn Elementary, Iowa City: 140

Lucas Elementary, Iowa City: 145

Lone Tree Elementary: 40

Shirley Abdo, homeschool group, Iowa City: 5

Harmony Middle School, Farmington: 27

Weber Elementary, Iowa City: 95

Willowwind School, Iowa City: 35

Total: 487

Remote audience

Iowa Valley Education & Training Center, Marshalltown: 20

Alden Elementary: 15

Kuemper Catholic School, Carroll: 20

Total: 55

GRAND total: 542

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; cell: 310-430-1013;