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A-List: Out Loud! Author Series welcomes the rapid-fire flow of Kwame Alexander

When he’s excited about a subject, Kwame Alexander speaks in a rapid-fire flow, an improvised musical line that takes a theme and mines it for meaning and possibility.

Take, for example, his answer to a question about cultural references — to jazz, hip-hop, books and more — in his novels-in-verse The Crossover and Booked.

“I’m a big fan of exploring what’s going on in the world and our place in it,” he says. And then he fires off a list as I scurry to keep my pen flying across the page of my notebook: books, music, police brutality (I didn’t see that one coming), first love, how to imagine a better world — probably more that I didn’t catch. […]

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Film based on Merritt’s play ‘The Summerland Project’ to premiere in CR on August 4

Rob Merritt, well known throughout the region’s arts, journalism and nonprofit sectors, established himself as a playwright in 2011 when The Summerland Project premiered as part of Theatre Cedar Rapids’ Underground New Play Festival. The play, about a woman whose consciousness is transferred to a robotic replica of her body, was so well received that […]

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Czech Village Blues will bring two nonprofits together for concert, fundraising

Area blues fans have had the blues since the final Bluesmore event in 2015. The Linn County Blues Society had a two decade run with their annual daylong event on the lawn of the Brucemore mansion in Cedar Rapids, but for the last couple of years the enthusiastic fans of the music have had to do without. A new collaboration between the Linn County Blues Society and the Friends of Czech Village will give the event new life in a new home under a new name. […]

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Lindwall, Stewart take flight as Peter and Wendy in Theatre Cedar Rapids’ Peter Pan

The fairy dust does its job in the Theatre Cedar Rapids production of the musical version of ‘Peter Pan.’ Under the direction of Leslie Charipar, with musical direction by Benjamin Lee Schmidt, and choreography by Alvon Reed, the cast takes flight for a fun-filled romp in Neverland. My soon-to-be 12-year-old daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed the May 6 performance. […]

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The convenient comics of Thomas Hotka

Thomas Hotka didn’t have a grand plan in mind when he began publishing Nextuus: The Search for the Ocean Shard as a web comic. “I just got the idea to do it that way,” Hotka said. “And it’s free to post online.” That makes the whole endeavor sound rather casual, but the truth is Hotka […]

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