June 14 event thanks state and federal leaders who paved way for art, music, and Hancher facilities
Monday, June 10, 2013

Update, 1 p.m., June 14: Due to risk of thunderstorms, the Arts and Minds program has been moved to its rain location in Macbride Auditorium, Macbride Hall. The post-program reception, exhibits, and performances will continue in the Old Capitol as planned.

The University of Iowa will mark the start of construction on new arts facilities—and thank the state and federal leaders who made the projects possible—during a Friday, June 14 event on the UI Pentacrest.

Arts and Minds: A Celebration of Partnership will open with a performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (the group also performs Saturday on the Pentacrest) and feature remarks from government officials, university leaders, and UI faculty, staff, and students. Performances, exhibits, and a reception will follow on the Pentacrest and in the Old Capitol.

Experience Iowa arts

In conjunction with the Arts and Minds program, performances and exhibits on the Pentacrest will showcase what the arts at Iowa are all about:

• Preservation Hall Jazz Band—The New Orleans-based group takes a quick break from its Hancher-sponsored statewide tour to open the Arts and Minds event.

• More live music—Catch a vocal performance by music student Jessica Pray, a set from jazz quartet Laranja, and piano pieces from master’s student Casey Rafn as the Arts and Minds program closes.

No Fish in the House— A selection from the family-oriented comic play touring Iowa this summer and presented by the Department of Theatre Arts and Arts Share.

• Work by School of Art and Art History students—Pieces will be displayed in the Old Capitol, along with renderings of new arts facilities.

Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter, state Sen. Bob Dvorsky, and state Rep. Vicki Lensing will take part in the public event. The program begins at 3:30.

Work is under way on new facilities for the School of Art and Art History, School of Music, and Hancher—three programs whose homes sustained heaviest damage during the flood of 2008. The new buildings are expected to open by the end of 2016.

“State and federal leaders, including officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have been instrumental in helping us establish a shared vision for a revitalized arts campus,” says UI President Sally Mason. “These new buildings will benefit generations of students and support programs that enrich Iowans everywhere.”

The June 14 event takes place against the backdrop of another Iowa River flood, and the university’s response to current conditions is a testament to enhanced preparation and collaboration.

Campus crews and contractors have installed some seven miles of protective barriers, sealed utility-tunnel bulkheads, and installed a removable flood wall around Art Building West (ABW).

In addition, FEMA-supported mitigation measures are providing new permanent protections for campus buildings. Planned projects will help safeguard the Iowa Memorial Union, the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories, and the Theatre Building.

“We’ve learned that living with the river and the risk of flooding demands strong partnerships, locally, across Iowa, and at the national level,” Mason says. “We’ve seen those partnerships work again these last few weeks.”

Each of the replacement arts facilities is sited at least two feet above the 500-year floodplain, the university’s standard for new construction.

Excavation for the new Hancher has begun north of the original auditorium. A new studio art building will be located just northwest of ABW, and the new music facility will be built in downtown Iowa City.

Anticipated completion schedules include Hancher and the art facility in spring 2016, and the music building in fall 2016.

Guests at the Arts and Minds event are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy a summer afternoon in downtown Iowa City. Performances and exhibits immediately after the program will showcase work by UI students and faculty (see sidebar).

Other arts events happening the evening of June 14 include a MusicIC performance at Trinity Episcopal Church and the weekly Friday Night Concert on the pedestrian mall. See the City of Iowa City Summer of the Arts website for more information.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend the Arts and Minds celebration, contact the UI Office of the President in advance at 319-335-3549.