Creative sessions slated to inspire Carnaval Parade floats

Creative sessions slated to inspire Carnaval Parade floats

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Old Capitol Museum will host sessions beginning Oct. 4
Children dressed in costumes to look like hummingbirdsColorful costumes, floats, and more will be designed for an Iowa City Carnaval parade during creative sessions beginning Oct. 4 at the University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum. Carnaval is the Portuguese spelling of carnival. Photo courtesy of Pentacrest Museums.

What’s your favorite Iowa place? A University of Iowa professor is encouraging Iowans to bring their heritage, memories, and fondness for the state to a creative process that will inspire floats, costumes, and more for an Iowa City Carnaval Parade planned for June 2013.

“A carnaval parade is art on parade to celebrate both individuality and community,” says Carnaval organizer Loyce Arthur, who is also head of design, director of undergraduate studies, and associate professor in the UI Theatre Arts Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “In an increasingly technological and impersonal world, the carnaval arts can be used to bridge differences and celebrate human resilience and creativity.”

To help make that vision a reality, Arthur is arranging what she calls “Four Sessions of Exploration and Discovery Through Creative Writing and 3-D Carnaval Art.” The sessions will all be held at the UI’s Old Capitol Museum and will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct 4, and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 20, Nov. 3, and Nov. 10. She hopes that participants will be inspired by George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From,” which can be viewed at

The Carnaval effort is supported by UI International Programs, which awarded Arthur a Major Projects grant. In addition to her appointment in Theatre Arts, Arthur is also co-director of International Programs' Caribbean, Diaspora and Atlantic Studies program.

The sessions will include conversations, writing exercises, and art making centered on themes of community and historically significant landmarks and buildings like Old Capitol.

During the first two sessions, participants will create stories and poems based on Iowa City and Coralville community spaces. During the last two sessions, participants will transform stories collected into drawings and 3-D representations.

The final products of these collaborative sessions will be combined with several other artful sessions as inspiration for floats, costumes, props, masks, and puppets for the parade in June 2013.

If you are unable to attend the sessions, there will be an information kiosk and story drop off site through December in the Discovery Center on the ground floor of the Old Capitol Museum. In addition, stories and poems can be submitted online at

For more information on the upcoming creative sessions, workshops, lectures, and 2013 Iowa City Carnaval Parade, contact Arthur at

For more information on the UI Pentacrest Museums and the Old Capitol Museum, contact Katie Moermond at 319-335-0546 or visit

Editor's Note: Carnaval is the Portuguese spelling of the English, carnival.


Loyce Arthur, Theatre Arts
Katie Moermond, Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-0546


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