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‘We won’t go back’: Reproductive rights advocates rally on the Pentacrest

Parents, grandparents, college students, sexual assault survivors, LGBTQ individuals, Christians, women’s health clinic workers and more gathered on the University of Iowa Pentacrest Friday, May 17, in support of abortion access. The demonstration, titled We Will NOT Go Back — Rally to Protect our Reproductive Rights, was organized by Liana McGowan Reimer and Nicholas Schnerre […]

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Pete Buttigieg to return to Iowa City Saturday

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend Indiana and 2020 presidential candidate, will make a second campaign stop in Iowa City Saturday, May 18. Buttigieg will hold a meet-and-greet at Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon (Walleye Dr SE, Iowa City) beginning at 12:30 p.m. […]

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Sparti’s Gyros is closing

Just shy of their 10th anniversary, Sparti’s Gyros will close its doors for good on May 24 (or as soon as it runs out of food supplies). The restaurant, located at 61 2nd St in Coralville, opened on June 1, 2009. Owner and manager Keith Brophy had just graduated from the University of Iowa and missed the meals of his Chicago-area upbringing. “Italian beef, gyros and Chicago dogs were definitely staples of my diet growing up,” he said […]

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Sympathy for the devil? A new documentary highlights the humor and humanity of the Satanic Temple

Update: FilmScene’s showing of ‘Hail Satan?’ at 6 p.m. Friday, May 17 will include a post-screening dialogue with Hollow Axis, interviewed in the film. A minute into my phone interview with Penny Lane, on a train to her next premiere, the director sighed with relief. “OK, good, all the people standing near me who I […]

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How do you stay sexy and successful after 90? Ask Dr. Ruth.

A new documentary about Dr. Ruth — the 4-foot-7 German refugee turned radio sex show host turned TV star turned 40-time author — doesn’t exactly break down the famed sex talker’s walls. But Ask Dr. Ruth, produced by Hulu and screening now at FilmScene, does offer a slick, fascinating and moving biography of Westheimer. […]

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Mount Mercy president cancels student-organized drag show, amidst promises for more ‘compassion’ towards LGBTQ community

Update, April 26: A drag show with the same performers, scheduled for May 3 at 7 p.m., has been announced with Rich Heritage of Cedar Rapids Theatre as the host and venue. The event is free with a $5 suggested donation. Proceeds will still benefit Iowa Safe Schools. A May 3 drag show and fundraiser […]

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It sounds like ‘Teen Spirit’ at FilmScene

Why are millennial actors-cum-directors expressing their creative angst through the medium of teenage girls? I’ll save that analysis for another time, and instead focus in on a single film that, rather refreshingly, begs no long-winded essays: ‘Teen Spirit,’ the directorial debut of English actor Max Minghella (who you may know from Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’). […]

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FilmScene marks the 30th anniversary of the University of Iowa HIV/AIDS Clinic with mini film series

When the University of Iowa introduced its HIV/AIDS Clinic in 1988, the U.S. AIDS epidemic was in full swing, with more than a 100,000 reported cases. The UI offered the first clinic in Iowa to treat not just AIDS, but HIV infection, and saw hundreds of patients within its first two years. Today, the UI […]

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Wild Culture Kombucha’s taproom brings a big-city staple to Iowa City

Though kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years, interest in the fermented tea drink has spiked considerably in the U.S. in the last decade or two. From hobbyists trying their hand at home brewing to major corporations capitalizing on the trend, kombucha is widely seen as a healthy alternative to beer and soda. […]

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‘It rocked my world’: Catching up with the Grays, one of the first lesbian couples married in Iowa

Decades before Lois and Karen Gray became one of the first same-sex couples in Iowa to legally marry, they were Iowa farm girls, courting each other on the campus of Grand View College (now University) in Des Moines. In the mid-1980s, in fairly quick succession, the women became friends, then roommates, then girlfriends. This evolution […]

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A conversation with Kate and Trish Varnum, 10 years after Varnum v. Brien

Cedar Rapids couple Kate and Trish Varnum celebrate their 18th, 15th and 10th anniversaries this year: they’ve been together since 2001, had a religious marriage ceremony in 2004 and were legally married in 2009, after a landmark Iowa Supreme Court case that bore their name. Since the April 3, 2009 ruling in Varnum v. Brien, […]

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The BarbouRoskes, plaintiffs in Varnum v. Brien, reflect on Iowa’s fight for marriage equality

The day the Iowa Supreme Court announced they’d made a decision in Varnum v. Brien, the landmark case that would determine whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa, Dawn and Jennifer BarbouRoskes’ two young daughters had covered their faces in temporary tattoos. “Jen’s at work and I’m scrubbing their faces,” Dawn recalled. “Bre had fallen […]

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