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‘I am my sister’s keeper’: Trans femmes in Central Iowa share home and resources through the Trans Housing Project

Zoie Taylor has owned two houses, across the street from one another in her Des Moines neighborhood, for a while now. They’re hers outright, mortgages paid off. And for a while, she rented them out in the typical fashion. Until […]

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Plants, pets, pandas, brews and boos: Halloween festivities for a cause in Des Moines

Back in the Iron Age, the holiday we now celebrate as Halloween was Samhain, a Celtic festival acknowledging the end of summer and marking the turning of the year. The themes of death and rebirth have persisted in our understanding, […]

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Tiny pianos, big ideas: Witching Hour and FEaST bring playful creatives to Iowa City this fall

When Lucy Yao and Dorothy Chan began collaborating with each other and creating as Chromic Duo, both were already experienced educators and performers, looking for a way to foster community and lift up the Asian American diaspora in New York, […]

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Five questions with Mirrorbox Theatre founder Cavan Hallman ahead of their first season in a new space

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, one of the first and most enduring adaptations allowing Iowans to continue experiencing the arts was young Cedar Rapids company Mirrorbox Theatre’s Out the Box series. Founder and artistic director Cavan Hallman brought together local […]

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Take a survey, boost local art: The Englert’s Katie Roche on why Johnson County is participating in the Americans for the Arts study for the first time

Roughly every five years, Americans for the Arts, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit founded in 1960, conducts a nationwide impact study on how individual communities are affected economically by the arts programs they foster and support. This year, the sixth of […]

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FilmScene’s Refocus Festival announces slate of features, from a VR documentary to a ‘secret’ animated film

As the start date for single ticket purchases quickly approaches, FilmScene has announced the lineup of films for its inaugural Refocus Film Festival, which runs Oct. 6-9 across Iowa City. (Ticket sales begin Sept. 16; passes are on sale now […]

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A UI student, her professor and Amanda Gorman launched Prompt for the Planet. Four years later, they have a new prompt.

When I was a kid, way back in the 1980s and ’90s, environmentalism was huge. Greenpeace was peaking. The Exxon Valdez oil spill hit when I was 11, and all of my nascent political energy in junior high and high […]

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The Stanley Museum of Art’s homecoming

In 2019, the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art was celebrating its 50th anniversary. It also had been nearly 11 years without a home. The floods of 2008, which wreaked havoc across Iowa, hit Cedar Rapids and Iowa City […]

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‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ sees Willow Creek Theatre Company bask in genderfuckery

I write this review of Willow Creek Theatre Company’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, text; Stephen Trask, music and lyrics) with the music of Tomato Boy playing in the background on Bandcamp. There’s not much […]

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Book Review: ‘Endlessly Ever After’ by Laurel Snyder, ill. by Dan Santat

Poet Laurel Snyder, an Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum, is a Geisel Award-winning children’s book author. Endlessly Ever After is her first collaboration with Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Dan Santat (beloved in my home for his work on Corey Rosen Schwartz’s The […]

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