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Counterfeit Madison is bringing the music and message of Nina Simone to the Witching Hour Festival

When Sharon Udoh first heard Nina Simone’s music, it was a revelation. “I was struck by our similarities,” said Udoh, who performs under the moniker Counterfeit Madison. “Here was this dark-skinned black woman who was a classically trained pianist, just like me, and with a similar vocal register. My head was spinning.” […]

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The new Stanley Museum of Art will serve as ‘a library and a laboratory,’ says its director, bringing art to all majors

Lauren Lessing began serving as the eighth director of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in July 2018, and less than nine months later, presided over the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new site for the museum. UI’s renowned art collection (arguably one of the top university collections in the United States) was displaced by […]

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A snacking guide to Witching Hour 2019

Since 2015, Witching Hour has worked to expand the consciousness of festival-goers by stretching imaginations and perceptions of what a festival can and ought to be: a two-day smorgasboard of obscure discussions and performances that take place just as the weather starts to turn horrible. I’m here to stretch how you imagine filling your gullets.
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Rachel Grimes explores her roots and Kentucky’s checkered history in ‘The Way Forth,’ a folk opera and film

A few years back, siblings Rachel and Edward Grimes were faced with a difficult but rather common responsibility: transitioning their parents into a nursing care facility. This required the pair to sort through decades—and, it turned out, centuries—worth of stuff in their parents’ Kentucky home. “Both of my parents had a really wonderful trove of photographs […]

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What’s in a fest? Witching Hour kicked off with curatorial conversation

If you are a devotee of the arts who has ever wondered how the sausage of your favorite festivals, seasons and programs gets made, the opening salvo of the 2018 Witching Hour festival shed a little light on the subject. […]

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Witching Hour interview: Fighting economic injustice with attorney Shawn Sebastian

According to attorney Shawn Sebastian, there are three main factors for why the economy is failing American workers. 1) The dismantling of unions and collective bargaining power for workers. 2) The increased power and consolidation of companies that control our lives and our wages. 3) The dismantling and undermining of public goods. […]

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Witching Hour Q&A: Janelle James on developing her comedy style

Janelle James, one of the featured comedians for the 2018 Witching Hour festival, performs at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Englert Theatre (tickets $15-55), opening for fellow Illinois-to-New York transplant Liza Treygar. […]

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Witching Hour announces Richard Hell, Aasif Mandvi, Here Lies Man

The fourth annual Witching Hour festival, co-presented by Little Village and the Englert Theatre, made its first line-up announcement today. The festival, which runs Oct. 12-13 this year, centers on celebrating new work and exploring the creative process. For 2018, Witching Hour will feature groundbreaking writers, musicians and comedians from across a variety of genres.

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Early bird tickets on sale for 2018 Witching Hour festival

Excited already for this year’s Witching Hour, sight unseen? Specially priced early bird tickets are now available for the 2018 Witching Hour festival. If you already know that you don’t want to miss whatever’s on tap for this year, snag your passes now for only $40. […]

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Talibam! will present the soundtrack to the apocalypse at Witching Hour

Musicians Kevin Shea and Matthew Mottel dubbed themselves Talibam! because it was the most unhip name they could think of, especially compared to the then-current new crop of Brooklyn groups like Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear — whose names read like impressionistic hipster word association games. It was an attempt, keyboardist Mottel said, to suggest “an alternative political vision, which was matched by our cultural determination to provide an alternative to the landscape of music and performance we were surrounded by.” […]

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Just announced: DJ Spooky, Tom Tomorrow, Beach Fossils, Talibam! and more at the third annual Witching Hour Festival

Iowa City’s Witching Hour festival, a joint venture between Little Village and the Englert Theatre, announced the 2017 lineup today. The festival, now in its third year, celebrates the unknown and lifts up new music and the creative process. This year’s lineup is, as always, an eclectic assortment of music, literature, science, art, comedy and more, with a mix of performances, screenings, lectures, art and workshops. […]

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Staff picks: 2016 Witching Hour festival

  Downtown Iowa City — Friday, Nov. 4 – Saturday, Nov. 5 Tickets available here Let’s just preface this by saying you should attend as many Witching Hour festival events as you possibly can. You may not know every artist or be familiar with every topic, but for those that choose to completely embrace the festival […]

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