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The joy of anticipation and aftermath

As someone easily overwhelmed by crowds and sensory overload (and more so as I age), I can find Iowa City’s wonderful summer festivals a challenge. I have many times enjoyed the tunes, charts and riffs flowing from the stages of the Iowa City Jazz Festival. I have often parked my camp chair on the Pedestrian Mall on Friday night […]

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Street closures for Iowa Arts Festival announced

Street closures have been announced for the Iowa Arts Festival in downtown Iowa City. The festival doesn’t kick off until Friday at 4:30 p.m., when the Iowa City Carnival Parade starts, but street closures will start on Thursday so crews can start to set up the fair. According to a press release from the city, […]

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Iowa City buses will be free on Friday and Saturday for the first two days of Iowa Arts Festival

On Friday and Saturday, there’ll be no charge for riding Iowa City buses, as the Iowa Arts Festival takes over downtown, the city announced on Monday. Buses will run on their regular schedules, but some stops will change starting on Thursday. The city’s bus hub will move from Washington and Clinton to Court Street between […]

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Rock the Chalk street closures announced

Rock the Chalk 2018 Downtown Iowa City — Friday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. The third annual Rock the Chalk will be bringing art to the streets of downtown Iowa City Friday. Literally. Participating artists will start chalking artworks onto Clinton Street starting at 10 a.m. on Friday morning. Live music starts at noon; this […]

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Joan Osborne, ’90s chanteuse, will perform for Iowa Arts Fest

Iowa Arts Festival: Joan Osborne Downtown Iowa City — Friday, June 1 at 9 p.m. Among an excellently curated set of local gems and national talent, the Iowa Arts Festival’s featured performer for Friday night, June 1 is Joan Osborne, who claimed notoriety with her 1995 song “One of Us.” The biggest single off her […]

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Remembering Dennis Jones, Iowa City’s sound guy

Those who contribute the most to local music scenes often make the least amount of noise. This was certainly true of the late Dennis Jones, an unassuming sound engineer who could regularly be seen operating the sound board for Iowa City’s Friday Night Concert Series, as well as at hundreds of club shows, benefits and other local events over the past three decades, until his death at the age of 68 on Feb. 9. […]

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UR Here: Iowa City in August is a tale of two cities

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times: the first half of August in Iowa City. For half a month twice a year (also early January), tumbleweeds blow through our deserted streets. Those of us who are left enjoy Iowa City at its best. Those of us who are left suffer Iowa City at its worst.

Our town is at its worst at this time of year because the life has been sucked out of it. The university’s summer session is over, so even that relatively small summer population of intrepid students — the life-force of so much of Iowa City’s energy —
have headed for the beach, for home, for the mountains, wherever. Their professors have packed in their grade books and skipped town for the only two summer vacation weeks available to them. Even the university’s administrative offices are operating on skeleton crews before the onslaught of the fall semester begins. […]

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27th annual Jazz Fest hits Iowa City this weekend

Jazz Fest takes over downtown Iowa City this weekend with art, activities, food and drink and dozens of musicians. The event features a main stage with national and international performers, and three side stages to showcase a variety of local acts. Performances will rotate between stages throughout the festival. […]

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A-list: Anaïs Mitchell brings a deep history to the Iowa Arts Festival

Among the exciting national acts brought in for the Iowa Arts Festival this year is Vermont-born, Brooklyn, New York-based songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. Deeply rooted in American folk traditions, Mitchell manages a sound that is contemporary without being retro or revival — an extension of the sound, rather than a tribute to it. She is tomorrow’s folk singer.

Mitchell’s 2010 recording of her folk opera Hadestown featured an array of key voices in the genre, from Ani DiFranco to Iowa’s own Greg Brown. Mitchell continues to work on its transformation into a full stage musical; the 2016 off-Broadway production has been nominated for several awards, including the April Drama Desk Awards announcement of its nomination in the Outstanding Musical category. Her most recent record, 2014’s xoa, was the third released on her own label, Wilderland Records. Mitchell took some time just before hitting the road to answer some questions over email for Little Village. […]

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Photos: Christopher the Conquered closes out the Friday Night Concert Series

The Iowa City Summer of the Arts Friday Night Concert Series that has captivated audiences on the Ped Mall all season long ended in grand fashion on Friday, Sept. 2 with Des Moines artist Christopher the Conquered. Chris Ford and company played nearly three hours of lively and soulful music with some select covers, and plenty […]

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