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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 15, 2008

UI Museum of Art 'Museum Party!' Oct. 11 had record attendance

The University of Iowa Museum of Art's fifth annual fundraising celebration saw record attendance of more than 300 people and raised more than $158,000 for the museum's flood relief efforts, exhibitions and programming, museum and University of Iowa Foundation officials said.

The Oct. 11 "Museum Party!" kicked off the second year of the UI Museum of Art (UIMA) sponsorship program, which allows museum contributors to direct their support to specific events or exhibits. At the end of the night, the museum was just $5,000 short of the 2009 sponsorship goal of $163,000.

"It was wonderful to see such an outpouring of community support for the Museum of Art, particularly as we face numerous new challenges because of the flood," said UIMA Interim Director Pamela White. "We are so grateful to those who helped organize this wonderful event and to those who attended and contributed to the museum."

The UIMA relies on private support, including annual gifts and its endowment fund at the UI Foundation, for nearly 40 percent of its annual budget. These gifts provide meaningful cultural programs and stimulating exhibitions, and they secure the museum's vitality for future generations.

"Support from our patrons is fundamental to the museum's continued success, now more than ever," said Pat Hanick, the UI Foundation's director of development for UIMA. "Every donation is a step toward realizing our goal of providing relevant and innovative programming for the public."

This year patrons may become "UIMA Lifesavers" by giving to the newly established flood recovery fund. The purpose of the fund is to enable access to the UIMA collection while it is stored in Chicago.

Sponsors are also able to support other areas of special need including conservation and evaluation of the permanent collection while it is in storage; school programs Widen Our World (WOW) and Discover Africa, programs that have been modified to take art to the schools now that students cannot go to the museum; and temporary exhibitions in alternative venues, including "Eye Witness: Daniel Heyman's Portraits of Iraqi Torture Victims," which opens Nov. 1 at Old Capitol Museum's Hanson Family Humanities Gallery.

The "Museum Party!" also introduced the exclusive UIMA Flood 2008 T-shirt. Sales from these t-shirts totaled nearly $1,500. Shirts are still available for $20 in designs featuring two of the UIMA's signature masterpieces: Grant Wood's "Plaid Sweater" and Jackson Pollock's "Mural." Call 319-335-1725 for more information or to place an order.

Co-chaired by Kristin Hardy and Paulina Muzzin, the "Museum Party!" was held at hotelVetro in downtown Iowa City and included a strolling feast of hors d'oeuvres, live musical entertainment by local soul sensations the Diplomats of Solid Sound and the Diplomettes, as well as remarks by UI President Sally Mason, honorary chair of the event with Ken Mason.

"The Museum Party!" was made possible with support from sponsors James P. Hayes and Rob and Paulina Muzzin. Hosts for the event were Gerry Ambrose and Kristin Hardy; Lowell Doud; Gerry and Leesa Elseman, Vision Industrial Sales, Inc.; David and Jayne Hansen, Endodontic Associates of Iowa City, P.C.; McComas-Lacina Construction Company; McDonald's Restaurants: Alex, Lauren, Lily and Kevin O'Brien; Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker and Gelman, L.L.P.; Pleasant Valley Flower Shoppe; Rohrback Associates, PC, Architects; Kim Schulz, M.D., Infinity Skin Care and Spa; Shive-Hattery, Architecture-Engineering; Kristin Summerwill; Alan and Liz Swanson; Pamela J. White; and Candace Wong.

The UI Museum of Art was evacuated from its building in June due to the flood, and that building remains closed. Some exhibitions and events slated to be at the UIMA have been moved to alternate venues. For more information on the UI Museum of Art and the latest schedule information, visit

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Maggie Anderson, Museum of Art, 319-335-1731,; Patricia L. Hanick, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305,; Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;