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October 2010
In This Issue
Strategic Planning Survey Coming Soon
Teaching, Performing Artist Roster Applications Due Nov. 1
Upcoming Cultural Trust Grant Deadlines
Iowa Nonprofit Summit Nov. 15-16
A Modern Spin on Dickens
Oropeza Receives AEI "Distinguished Service" Award
Clive Dedicates Prairie Engine Public Art
For Good or Bad, Poetry Can Still be Relevant
Poetry Out Loud: Are You Registered?
Living the Folk Arts in Iowa
Engagement, Surprise and Pride: Art Education Provides Essential Foundation
Find Iowa Folklife at ICLC Nov. 2-3
IAAE Receives Kennedy Center Grant
DM Arts Festival Earns Big Kudos
New Play Recounts Khrushchev's Visit to Iowa
October is National Arts & Humanities Month; What Are You Doing?
IAC Out & About
ARTicles...of Note

IAC Calendar

Artist opportunities, cultural events listings and more at the In-Box.  

Oct. 6: Office on the Road, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Iowa City

Oct. 6: IAC Mini and Major Grants Workshop, 1-4 p.m., Iowa City

October 15-16:Iowa Latino Conference, Iowa City

November 1: Iowa Cultural Trust Stability Grant  deadline. See related story.

Nov. 1: Deadline for Teaching Artists Roster and Performing Artists Roster. New guidelines and application!

Nov. 3: IAC Mini Grants Workshop, Decorah

November 15: Deadline for teachers to request Poetry Out Loud materials


November 15-16: Iowa Nonprofit Summit, Ames. See related story.


Big Yellow School Bus Grants (transportation funds for arts field trips)

EZ 1-2-3 Grants (bring an artist to your school or community)

Iowa Arts Council Mini Grants.  Due 1st business day of each month, for projects in the arts.

Artist Directory (Iowa Artists - add your info to this!)

Iowa PUBLIC ART Artists Registry (For Iowa artists who create public art and are seeking public art commissions)

Check it out regularly for articles of current interest, announcements, and hot topics that are important to the arts in Iowa.

SAVE THE DATE! The Iowa Cultural Coalition's Advocacy Day will be a breakfast in the East Wing of the State Capitol Rotunda (1st Floor) from 7-9 a.m. Feb 15, 2011.



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TOPStrategic Planning Survey Coming Soon

By Mary Sundet Jones, IAC Administrator


We need your input as the Iowa Arts Council begins to work on its next multi-year strategic plan. Watch your in-box and the IAC Web site for a short, online survey asking about your priorities for the arts in Iowa, and the workings of your state arts agency. 


Expect it by mid-October, and help us out by taking 10 minutes to respond!


Teaching, Performing Artist Roster Applications Due Nov. 1

Teaching artists and performing artists: is one of the IAC's rosters right for you? The deadline for individuals and groups to apply to be on the Iowa Arts Council's Teaching and Performing Artist Rosters is 4:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 1, 2010.


Individuals and groups on the Performing Artist Roster are excellent and experienced artists available to perform in communities, schools and other venues. Applicants for IAC grants often look first to this roster when seeking performing artists. 


The Teaching Artist Roster identifies artists who have been evaluated for excellence both in their art form and as instructors. Professional teaching artists add rich learning opportunities in Iowa schools and communities, through residencies and other arts education activities.


In addition, applicants for IAC's EZ 1-2-3 Grants must work with an artist from IAC rosters.


Applications and all supporting materials must be received in the IAC office at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319 by the deadline. Applications and guideline information are available at or by contacting Veronica O'Hern at Auditions and interviews will be conducted Dec. 15, 2010, at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.


Upcoming Cultural Trust Grant Deadlines

Nonprofit cultural, arts and history organizations are encouraged to submit applications for two Iowa Cultural Trust grant programs.


Funding is available in two areas:


Iowa Cultural Trust Sustainability Challenge Grant

Deadline: Oct. 15, 2010

Organizations awarded Sustainability Challenge Grants must raise, over a two-year period, a minimum of $3 in new endowment funds for every $1 of grant funds awarded. Organizations with an operating budget up to $150,000 may request up to $20,000. Organizations with an operating budget over $150,000 may request up to $35,000. The requested grant amount should be appropriate to the needs and the fundraising capacity of the institution.


Iowa Cultural Trust Stability Grant

Deadline: Nov. 1, 2010

Applicants may request up to $2,500, but no more than 50 percent of the total cost, for projects that will measurably improve the organization's ability to be financially stable and sustainable. All requests must show a dollar-for-dollar cash match.


Both grant programs are funded through the Iowa Cultural Trust, created by the Iowa Legislature in 2002 to help bring financial stability and sustainability to non-profit cultural, arts and history organizations across the state.


Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. the day of the deadline in the office of the Iowa Cultural Trust at 600 E. Locust, Des Moines, IA  50319. This is not a postmark deadline. Detailed information about each grant program, eligibility, and matching requirements is available at or by contacting Cultural Trust Grants Manager Sandi Yoder at or (515) 281-8749.


Iowa Nonprofit Summit Nov. 15-16

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is proud to support the 2010 Iowa Nonprofit Summit Nov. 15-16, 2010 in Ames.


"Iowa Nonprofit Summit: Building the Capacity of our Charitable Sector Through Volunteer Management and Nonprofit Effectiveness" is offered by the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center and will offer workshops in: 

  • Volunteer Management
    •  Structuring Volunteer Projects
    •  Screening
    •  Volunteer Partnerships with the Business Community
    • Engaging Veterans as Volunteers
    • Sustaining an Inclusive Volunteer Program
  • AmeriCorps
    • AmeriCorps Directors Networking
    • Civic Engagement and National Service (required training for AmeriCorps members)
    • What is Life After AmeriCorps?
  • Principles and Practices Training
    • Starting a Nonprofit; Financing and Fundraising
    • Strategic Planning
    • Board of Directors and Mission
    • Advocacy, Collaboration, Accountability & Compliance
  • Service Learning
    • Best Practices
    • Community Partnerships
    • The Classroom as Community Publisher
    • Service Learning in Writing Courses and Programs
    • Partnerships with Higher Education


The Iowa Cultural Trust will offer a workshop for arts, culture, and history organizations on sustaining your organization in troubled economic times. DCA-led workshops will address disaster preparedness, and big-picture thinking and planning for Cultural Leadership Partner organizations. Other conference workshops will cover human resources issues, risk management, grant writing, government relations, collaboration and mergers, funding, social media, succession planning, and more.


The event will be held at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. Registration is $70. For more information, visit the Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center Web site.  


A Modern Spin on Dickens

By Sarah Oltrogge


"Only a tourist would be up here, and only a rare one would take a message in such a place."


From this opening line begins a 23-page first chapter of "The State of the Busted Box," by Iowa writer John Domini. It is the first installment in The Modern Dickens Project serial novel, an ambitious endeavor to challenge Iowa writers to create the next chapter of the story.


Charles Dickens published all his novels serially; the newspapers would publish one chapter at a time over a span of weeks and months. While this was clearly a way to sell newspapers and market authors, the method forced Dickens and other nineteenth-century novelists to consider structure carefully. They had to think simultaneously of the needs of both serial readers and those who would later read the novel as an entire book.


For The Modern Dickens Project, each month, writers may submit a chapter that builds on the existing work. An editorial panel will select a winner whose work will be posted online for subsequent authors to build upon the following month. Chapter by chapter and month by month, over the course of a year, the story will grow. The editorial panel will assemble the winning submissions into a published 13-chapter novel, slated for release in December, 2011.


"My real end goal of this project is to eliminate the need for anyone to ask the question, 'Why Iowa?'" said Chris Draper, executive director of The Modern Dickens Project. "The project will be the result of our community's ability to pull together, and my hope is that we can embrace a new way of thinking through that process."


The contest is open to anyone regardless of writing experience. There is no fee to enter. The project does requests but doesn't require a small to download chapters. The stories submitted must be distinctively Iowan, though writers do not need to be from Iowa. Chapter entries are due the 21st of each month, and will be posted at by the first of each month. The first of the month also marks the beginning of the next submission period.


"We wanted this contest to be open to anyone with a vested interest in our state, without financial limitations or constraints," said Kali VanBaale, a published Iowa author and editorial advisor for The Modern Dickens Project.


The first chapter is all-Iowa flavored whodunit with a mix of current Iowa social issues. A young female Iraq war veteran receives a death threat via text message while visiting the Iowa State Capitol. She's in town for a controversial gay wedding of an acquaintance, and carries more than her share of baggage from her past. Right on the heels of the threat, she's pulled into a murder in the East Village area. Domini said he has ideas of where the storyline could go, but is anxious to see where other writers take it.


"I see at least five ways it could go, and I tried to plant them all in the first chapter," he said. "One of the things that makes the project engaging to me is guessing where it's going to go from here. It's like launching your child out into the world and seeing how he he or she might be shaped."


Domini was born in Manhattan and now lives in Des Moines. His career includes fiction in the Paris Review, nonfiction in The New York Times, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his novel Earthquake I.D. His latest work is titled A Tomb on the Periphery --part crime story, part ghost story, part coming of age, and part redemption song, all having to do with Italy's underground ancient jewelry market.

Oropeza Receives AEI "Distinguished Service" Award

Art Educators of Iowa (AEI) has selected Dawn Martinez Oropeza as its 2010-2011 "Distinguished Service Within the Organization" Award.


Oropeza has been the Iowa Arts Council's Art Education and Community Programs Coordinator since 2006. She received the award during the AEI Fall Conference Oct. 2 in Sioux City.


"Dawn has a positive energy that exudes a contagious enthusiasm for the arts," said AEI Past President Maggie Parks. "She is relentless at working to ensure AEI produces quality programming to serve art teachers, art students, and the people of Iowa. She not only contributes ideas, but is the first to be present for the actual implementation of the work."


An artist in her own right, Oropeza has displayed her artwork in exhibits at Grand View University's Mujeres de Armas Llevar: Women Raising Arms. She built a beautiful altar for the Des Moines Art Center's Day of the Dead display, and painted an outdoor mural in Red Oak. Among her many activities, Oropeza is also a member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Education Committee, as well as a founder of the Aztec Dance Group in Des Moines.


Congratulations, Dawn!

Clive Dedicates Prairie Engine Public Art

Despite pouring rain and whipping winds, the City of Clive and Clive Historical Society held a special dedication event for the newly constructed Aasheim Plaza and Prairie Engine public art sculpture.


Located at NW 86th Street and University Boulevard, the plaza and sculpture were completed and installed in time for the dedication event Sept. 23. Aasheim Plaza is named in honor of Les Aasheim who served as Clive's Mayor from 2001-2009 and Councilman from 1986-1997 and 2000-2001. He is known for his improvements to the 86th Street corridor and his passion for public art and historic preservation.

Prairie Engine, by artist Marc Moulton, was commissioned for the plaza by the Clive Public Arts Program and financially sponsored by BRAVO! Greater Des Moines and the Clive Historical Society. The piece recalls the early days of the railroad and its importance to the development of the city. The new sculpture adds another piece of artwork to Clive's growing collection; more information can be found by visiting



For Good or Bad, Poetry Can Still be Relevant
by Heather Derr-Smith


Heather Derr-Smith is a Touring Poet for the 2010-2011 Poetry Out Loud in Iowa program. She earned her MFA in Poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop. In addition to two collections of poems, Derr-Smith has been published in numerous magazines and journals. She currently teaches poetry at Grand View University in Des Moines.


As a college teacher, I'm thrilled to see eager students scattered throughout the classroom at the beginning of each semester. But I'm also excited to reach out to those "other" students who have decided poetry is irrelevant to them.


Of course, poetry isn't irrelevant to them. But how do I convince them of that? I start by admitting that I can feel their pain. It's true that I love poetry. But for every poem I enjoy reading and re-reading, there are three more that I've never liked. I remember on my first day of high school, I had an uncomfortable secret: I hated Wordsworth, Keats, and Dickinson. I recited Lord Byron's Darkness in the state recitation competition (before Poetry Out Loud), and although my performance was good, the poem didn't speak to my heart. I struggled through line after line of melodramatic, dead verse for years before discovering that poetry could be a real, breathing thing, and startlingly relevant.


Let's tell it like it is - poetry is discipline. One must study the texts, learn to recognize a poem's nuts and bolts, metaphor and meter. And it helps to have an enthusiastic coach to point out the possibilities in each poem. Charles Wright says, "Give me the names for things, just give me their real names, / Not what we call them, but what / They call themselves when no one's listening." With help, a student of poetry can learn to read a poem expectantly, to lead themselves through a poem and experience their own personal revelations within it.


Marianne Moore said of poetry, "I too, dislike it..." but continued, "reading it...with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine." I encourage students to read a wide variety of poems, and not to worry if they dislike most of them. Poetry is deeply personal and deeply subjective. Certainly there are many types of good and bad poems, and it's important to teach the distinction. Showing the myriad things a good poem can be allow the reader to experience it on his or her own terms, to see that the poem is, indeed, alive, relevant and speaking its real name.

Poetry Out Loud: Are You Registered?

Teachers! The last day to request materials and indicate participation in the 2011 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition is Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. Once you have received the materials and decided to participate, you must confirm your school's participation by Dec. 1, 2010.


Don't miss this opportunity to teach your students about great poetry and help them master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and appreciate our literary heritage.


All the information you need to know about participating in Poetry Out Loud, including important dates and forms, can be found at Or contact Dawn Martinez Oropeza, Poetry Out Loud Coordinator at

Living the Folk Arts in Iowa

Dr. Laura Marcus Green is an independent folklorist, writer and consultant based in Santa Fe, N.M. Her experience includes community-based research and projects, publications and exhibits. She is the director of the Institute for Cultural Partnership's Building Cultural Bridges project, a national initiative encouraging interdisciplinary support for refugee and immigrant arts and heritage through publications, presentations and community-based workshops.


Explain what you are working on in Iowa for these few months.

I am working on contract with the Iowa Arts Council Folklife Program, conducting intensive fieldwork in six counties: Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek, Tama, and Marshall. With an abundance of leads from the IAC's folklife coordinator, Riki Saltzman, and my own folk arts compass, I set out to find people whose work I would document through notes, photographs, and recorded interviews.

Over two weeks in September, I met an incredible range of fascinating and talented people! I had the opportunity to hear performances by a family bluegrass band, attend a barn dance, and sit in on an old-time music jam, which included a 93-year-old fiddler. And I learned about charreria, the Mexican cowboy tradition that has taken root in Iowa and is growing in Iowa in exciting ways.

What have you been surprised by in your short time in Iowa?

People in Iowa are incredibly friendly and generous. This wasn't necessarily a surprise, but it was very striking. The work of a folklorist often depends upon "the kindness of strangers." People's willingness to take the time to talk to me about their cultural traditions and the hospitality I was shown contributed tremendously to the success of my time in Iowa. The folk arts are often a powerful connector-people don't remain strangers for long!


Where you do you live?

I live in Santa Fe, N.M.


Do you have any ties to Iowa?

Before I came to Iowa for this contract, I did have a distant tie to Iowa. My grandmother's family immigrated to Connecticut from Germany in 1906. I grew up hearing that we had relatives in the Amana Colonies, and our family name, Trumpold, is prevalent there. I didn't have the opportunity to pursue this connection during my September visit, but I look forward to doing so on a return trip.


What's outside the nearest window?

I live in a former orchard in a very old part of Santa Fe. I can see an apple tree laden with red fruit and a pink hollyhock gazing back at me through the window.


What artist or area are you especially looking forward to visiting?

When I visited a Bengali (Indian) singer and harmonium player, she offered to play for me, but I had to get to another appointment. I look forward to returning and hearing her perform. I also met community members from the Meskwaki Indian Settlement at Tama, and I am eager to visit that community when I come back to Iowa.


What did you do last Friday night?

Friday night was my last night in Iowa for now. After sharing a sumptuous (pre-fast) Yom Kippur eve meal with my host, Riki Saltzman, and her family, I ventured out to hear some live music. First, I heard New Orleans jazz musician Mikiel "Juju" Williams play his weekly gig at the 101 Lounge in downtown Des Moines. I moved on to Chuck's Lounge in the Oak Park neighborhood to hear jazz singer Gary Jackson perform, accompanied by a three-piece band, consisting of sax, keyboards, and upright bass -- tremendous! 

Engagement, Surprise and Pride: Art Education Provides Essential Foundation

By Deba Leach, National Endowment for the Arts


As recently as last weekend I was a student of arts education, this time in an introductory workshop on producing and binding small, handmade books.


The Saturday session provided an artists' studio ambience, good instruction, access to tools and equipment and all the materials we needed to make choices in color, pattern and form. In five absorbing hours, the four of us each crafted three small works of art.


Fifty years ago, I experienced my first conscious creative endeavor at a class working with clay. We gathered in the basement studio of an imposing pink marble museum, just me and a dozen or so other grade school students. The experience and the results both surprised me and made me proud.


Despite what, to me, were imperfections of my project --the dents left by my finger tips and other unexpected results like the transparent glaze firing into an amazing periwinkle -- the small kidney shaped ash tray was, in my mind, as good as something purchased at a store. My measure at the time.


Experiences like this in arts education prepared me for my job at the NEA. What inspires me every day is the chance to join teachers and artists, organizations, agencies and schools-public or private-in providing moments of arts engagement, surprise and pride. Every single one of us, at some point in our lives, can be transformed in big ways and small through arts education.

Since 2009, Deba Leach has served as the Arts Education Counselor to the Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. She previously worked on education programs for exhibitions at Iowa's Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
Find Iowa Folklife at ICLC Nov. 2-3

This year's Iowa Culture and Language Conference (ICLC) Nov. 2-3 in Coralville will feature a variety of Iowa's folk and traditional artists as well as folklorists. At the evening banquet, two groups from the Iowa Arts Council Folk & Traditional Artist roster, Brown Otter Singers, a Meskwaki drum and dance group from Tama, and Iowa City's Turkana, will provide cultural performances.


Dr. Bahri Karacay 

The Brown Otter Singers Song and Dance Group will perform traditional Meskwaki dances and various songs unique to the Meskwaki-style of music. They will also talk about their regalia and take questions. Featuring Dr. Bahri Karacay on the saz (a long-necked lute), Turkana performs its own compositions as well as music that are popular in Turkey.




Tuesday, Nov. 2

"Of Murders and Pen-Pals: Using Interviews to Capture Culture" with folklorist Bonnie Stone Sunstein, Professor of English and Education, U of Iowa; Rossina Zamora Liu, instructor and doctoral student, Language, Literacy, and Culture Program, U of Iowa.


"The Stories Within the Stories: Tales from a Refugee Arts Program" with folklorist Laura Marcus Green, Ph.D., (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Director of the Institute for Cultural Partnership's Building Cultural Bridges project (Harrisburg, Penn.).


"Preserving Meskwaki language and culture through storytelling and other traditions" with Yolanda Pushetonequa, Language Preservation Coordinator, Meskwaki Settlement (Tama); Iowa Arts Council Folk & Traditional Roster artist Jerry Young Bear, Meskwaki Storyteller (Tama); Riki Saltzman, Ph.D., Folklife Coordinator, Iowa Arts Council.


Wednesday, Nov. 3

"How Dinka culture and stories transmit cultural values in a new land" with Monica Akuien, ELL Tutor, Des Moines Public Schools; Riki Saltzman, Ph.D., Iowa Folklife Coordinator, Iowa Arts Council.


"Mbano: Kamba Traditional Tales" with Iowa Arts Council Folk & Traditional rostered artist Ruth Mwangangi, Kamba storyteller, CulturAll (aka World of Difference); Riki Saltzman, Ph.D., Iowa Folklife Coordinator, Iowa Arts Council.

Click here for Iowa Culture and Language Conference information and registration.

IAAE Receives Kennedy Center Grant

The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education has received a $12,600 grant from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to partially fund its BASICS (Bridging Arts Strategies in Communities & Schools) program.


The grant will be matched by business partners in each of three communities in which IAAE has selected school districts to participate: Davenport, Des Moines and Grundy Center. BASICS will help schools analyze and improve their arts education programs using Kennedy Center resources. The overall goal of the program is to create community/business partners to support arts education programs and to construct an Arts Education Strategic Plan to sustain it.

Schools will receive continual assistance and assessment for all steps in the BASICS Program. Schools meeting the final evaluation criteria for implementation will receive designation by the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education as a Model Arts Education School and become part of a network of resource sites for other schools to consult, regarding their own arts education program improvement. The Kennedy Center grant will provide financial support for the training, support, assessments and evaluations of the school's implementation of the program. 

DM Arts Festival Earns Big Kudos

The Des Moines Arts Festival was named the 2010 winner of the Gold Grand Pinnacle Award for Best Overall Festival and Event as well as 20 other awards from the International Festivals and Events Association.


"The arts have a vital and significant role in Iowa's future. Events like the Des Moines Arts Festival bring in tourists from across the country and provide a showcase for not only the tremendous talent represented at the festival, but also the state of Iowa," said Iowa Governor Chet Culver. "This international award is well-deserved and will spur even greater growth for the 2011 Des Moines Arts Festival."

Following the Des Moines Arts Festival in the Best Overall Festival and Event category was the Netherlands' Hague Festivals and Denver's Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

New Play Recounts Khrushchev's Visit to Iowa

A Coon Rapids-based nonprofit organization will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Iowa with a new play that will travel the state.


With help from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs' Iowa Community Cultural Grant, Creating Great Places (CGP) has commissioned the original play "Peace Through Corn" by Iowa playwright Cynthia Mercati.


"Peace through Corn" brings alive the amazing, unprecedented relationship of Iowa farmer Roswell Garst and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, culminating with Khrushchev's visit to Garst's farm in Coon Rapids in 1959. During a fearful time when the world was poised at the brink of nuclear disaster, Garst and Khrushchev forged a unique human bond based on their mutual fascination with agricultural progress and their shared love of a good laugh and a ferocious debate.


The play will be presented at cultural organizations across the state through May, 2011. Visit for schedule and more information. The play is supported by Humanities Iowa, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Image: John Earl Robinson (left) and Michael Cornelison play Nikita Khrushchev and Roswell Garst "Peace Through Corn." 
October is National Arts & Humanities Month; What Are You Doing?

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. Each year since 1993, NAHM has helped give millions of Americans the opportunity to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives and has encouraged them to begin a lifelong habit of active participation.

In towns and communities across America, arts organizations are planning and developing events, celebrations and innovative programming to highlight National Arts and Humanities Month. Throughout the month of October, special events will capture the spirit that the arts and humanities bring to everyday life. To get ideas on how you or your cultural organization can participate, visit


IAC Out & About

Oct. 1: Bruce Williams to Fairfield to attend dedication of mosaic mural by Karla Christensen

Oct. 2: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Sioux City for Art Educators of Iowa Conference

Oct. 6: Sarah Ekstrand and Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Iowa City for IAC Grants Workshop and Office on the Road

Oct. 11-15: Linda Lee in Austin, Texas, for National Assembly of State Arts Agencies conference

Oct. 12-14: Riki Saltzman to folk arts coordinator peer meeting, Austin, Texas

Oct. 15-16: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Iowa City for Iowa Latino Conference

Oct. 19: Bruce Williams and Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Grinnell for Cultural Leadership Partners (CLP) networking session and Office on the Road during Iowa Museum Association conference

Oct. 21: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Denver, Colo., for Art Education Partnership Fall National Forum "Creativity Works! Arts, Education and the Innovation Economy"

Oct. 21-22: Riki Saltzman to western Iowa for folklife fieldwork

Oct. 22: Bruce Williams and Cyndi Pederson to Madrid for CLP visit at Iowa Arboretum

Oct. 22: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Grinnell for Poetry Out Loud Touring Poets Team workshop

Oct. 23: Dawn Martinez Oropeza to Sioux City for Poetry Out Loud Touring Poets Team workshop

Oct. 26: Bruce Williams and Cyndi Pederson to Cedar Rapids for Cultural Leadership Partners visit to National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

Oct. 28-29: Bruce Williams and Cyndi Pederson to Amana and Coralville for Cultural Leadership Partners visits to Amana Heritage Society and Iowa Children's Museum

Oct. 30: Riki Saltzman to DMACC, Ankeny for a Panel on Deaf Culture 


ARTicles...of Note


Still Dancing, Her Way, From the Soul, The New York Times (6/2/2010): Alicia Alonso, director of the National Ballet of Cuba, will soon celebrate her 90th birthday and was recently honored in a program performed by the American Ballet Theater. Alonso gave her final performance at the age of 75 and still teaches though she is no longer physically able to dance.

Arts and Culture Can Help Businesses Gain Competitive Edge in Senior Market, (8/29/2010): Ann Arbor, Michigan, like many communities throughout the country, has a steadily growing demographic of older adults, many of which grew up with the arts as a part of their education. Studies such as Dr. Gene Cohen's which found that seniors involved in the arts have "fewer falls, fewer doctor visits and fewer pills to take," have inspired many senior centers to incorporate the arts into their facilities.


New Haven Government Launches Artist Storefront Project,, (9/3/2010): "The New Haven Department of Cultural Affairs recently announced the launch of Project Storefronts, a program designed to enliven the city's commercial districts. Project Storefronts encourages artists and creative entrepreneurs to test the viability of new creative and arts-related retail and other businesses by providing access to empty retail spaces."


First Lady Hosts White House Dance Event, USA Today (9/7/10): "[The September 7] inaugural performance of the new White House Dance Series transformed the East Room into a stage for some of the world's most talented dancers to strut their stuff: endless pirouettes, gravity-defying leaps, and some crazy one-handed spinning handstands, too.


Poll: Are Popular TV Shows, Movies Driving Kids to Music Education?,, (9/7/10): "School choirs, drama clubs, and bands are set to win the popularity contest this fall, thanks to shows like Glee and Camp Rock 2. Today the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) released the findings of an August 2010 Harris Poll in which 31 percent of the more than 1,800 kids (ages 8-18) surveyed nationwide want to become involved in music-making activities thanks to their favorite musical shows."


Board Members Are Not Hypothetical Constructs, Guidestar Newsletter (9/16/2010): It's fairly common among board development writers and consultants to suggest that nonprofits take inventory of their current boards and develop lists of what they need and want to add to the strengths of those boards. Then [goes the conventional wisdom] put your list in priority order, and you'll be ready to do board recruitment. What a waste of time!


Parking Tickets Adorned with Public Art Project, Boston Herald (9/21/10): "Parking tickets messing with your inner tranquility? Try yoga! That's the latest new age answer to modern aggravations from the City of Cambridge, Mass., where violation notices are now helpfully illustrated with a series of calming yoga poses...The city printed 40,000 yoga parking tickets as part of a public art project by artist-in-residence Daniel Peltz.


The Six Ways Artists Hack Our Brains, New Scientist (9/24/2010): "Here we take you on a grand tour of the burgeoning field of neuroaesthetics. You'll find out how Claude Monet bypasses your consciousness and plugs straight into your emotions, how Salvador Dali triggers neural conflicts and how Renaissance art and trompe l'oeil fool us into believing the impossible."


NEA Chief Rocco Landesman: Arts Jobs Count Too, Columbus Dispatch (9/28/2010): "There are 5.7million full-time arts-related jobs in this country; they're a real constituency. We're tired of being on the defensive. We're going to be on the offensive."


Demand-Based Ticketing. Ready To Pay A Fortune?, The Independent (UK) (9/29/10): "Fans booking tickets for gigs at one of Britain's most popular arenas have reported being charged up to four times the price of ordinary seats - not by a suspicious-looking third party, but by the venue's official web site."


Thoughts On General Operating Support in Uncertain Times, The Center for Effective Philanthropy (9/14/2010): The need for unrestricted operating support is greater than ever in these tough economic times. That support allows an organization the financial stability, autonomy, and flexibility necessary to direct their other spending where it is needed. However, many funders are leaning toward awarding specific project grants, the results of which are much easier to measure and evaluate-two criteria that are even more important in this competitive funding landscape.


The Graduate Institute Announces Arts Advocacy Cohort: Beginning this fall, artists and arts educators are invited to participate in a community dedicated to promoting arts programs while earning a master's degree in holistic thinking through The Graduate Institute. This opportunity involves working collaboratively on an arts advocacy project with like-minded artists and educators in a highly effective and creative environment that provides a way to improve public perceptions of the role of art in learning. For more information on this program, visit The Graduate Institute Web site.

Students Use Pencils As Musical Instruments: You might be surprised to learn what some beginning band members are doing at one California middle school. More than a dozen students don't have instruments, because not enough of them are available. So, instead, these students are playing ... pencils.


The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
The MISSION of the Iowa Arts Council is to enrich the quality of life for Iowans through support of the arts.
The VISION of the Iowa Arts Council is that Iowans recognize the arts are essential to their quality of life.
The Iowa Arts Council aims to empower Iowa's leaders in strengthening community life through the arts and provide leadership in stimulating a healthy arts environment.