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University of Iowa News Release


May 5, 2008

UI Hancher Auditorium seeks partnering community for 2009 residency

The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium's recent four-year partnership with Perry, Marshalltown, Spencer and Iowa City/Coralville was just the beginning of the "Hancher Family Arts Adventure." Hancher is now inviting communities anywhere in the State of Iowa to submit proposals to become the auditorium's partner in residency activities and performances in the spring of 2009 with the musical duo Trout Fishing in America.

One Iowa community will be selected from the proposals received to plan, publicize and present a three-day residency by Trout Fishing in America May 4-6, 2009. The residency will bring together parents, children and performing artists to generate active participation in the arts.

The original $800,000 Wallace Foundation grant that Hancher used to launch the ambitious, statewide SPOT program of residencies and performances for families is now expiring. In its place, an endowment has been established that will enable Hancher to continue its audience development efforts. The ongoing project will call on the technology and expertise developed through the project's eight music, theater and dance residencies, 2005-08.

Cyndi Pederson, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, is introducing the project concept in several Iowa communities this spring and summer. "Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa is a leader in the performing arts and a driving force in developing and nurturing a cultural environment that serves the artistic and educational needs of Iowans," she says.

"I heartily endorse Hancher's highly successful SPOT project, which brings high-quality artists to Iowa communities for performances that create a special bond between artists and audiences. Hancher has selected the multi-award winning family music duo Trout Fishing in America for the 2009 project. I encourage Iowans to consider bringing this intelligent, witty and fun group to their communities through Hancher's SPOT project."

Hancher will cover the artist fee, and the community will be responsible for facility rental, publicity costs, hotel accommodations, hospitality, local transportation and the group's technical needs. The Hancher staff will be available for advice and support as requested throughout the project.

Proximity to Iowa City is not a factor. Hancher will welcome proposals from communities of any size anywhere in Iowa that have facilities to implement the project. Partnerships among community organizations to jointly plan and implement the project are encouraged. Organizations may include schools, churches, PTOs, chambers of commerce, community centers, service clubs or any other groups that are active in the community.

Trout Fishing in America presents music that cuts across generations from toddlers to grandparents, bringing families together with songs full of the extraordinary as well as the everyday things that make life great. The duo is skilled in leading song-writing workshops for children aged 10 and above as well as for families. For more information about Trout Fishing in America, visit

The application deadline is Sept. 30, 2008, and the selection will be announced Nov. 1.

A brochure is available from Hancher that includes proposal guidelines and details. Application forms may be downloaded from and submitted to Hancher Auditorium, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 42242.

For additional information contact Hancher's artistic director, Judith Hurtig at 319-335-1136,; or executive director Chuck Swanson at 319-335-1133,

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.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),