The United States of Arts…

In collaboration with the Iowa Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts looks at the arts and culture of Iowa. The project is called The United States of Arts.

Orange City Arts happenings are included briefly in the NEA video below…  beginning at minute 1:19. Featured are three short clips taken in Orange City: Moon Hooch and Omaha Street Percussion at Onstage Orange City 2015, and Shanren from China, performing in a local school as part of Arts Midwest World Fest in January 2015.

Since the beginning of 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts has been gathering stories from the general public and grantees, elected officials and agency directors, artists and art lovers across the country about the importance of art in their lives and their communities. You can find the stories in text, audio, or video formats. Check it out here.


Grant for “The Nutcracker”!

The Orange City Arts Council has been selected to receive funding from Arts Midwest Touring Fund! The grant will assist in bringing Ballet Quad Cities and The Nutcracker to Sioux County.

Two performances of The Nutcracker, at the Unity Christian Knight Center in Orange City, will feature Ballet Quad Cities and 45 local young dancers. The performances will be at 1:30 and 7:30pm on Saturday, Dec. 19. In September, Ballet Quad Cities conducted master classes for local dance students, and library workshops at Orange City and Sioux Center: “Dance me a Story.” (Pictured above are children participating with Margaret Huling of Ballet Quad Cities at a workshop at the Orange City Public Library.)

Nutcracker 8 ballet quad citiesThe Ballet Quad Cities December residency will include a school assembly, a lighting design workshop, a talk with the choreographer and a question and answer session.

Arts Midwest Touring Fund is a program of Arts Midwest, based in Minneapolis and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Crane Group and General Mills Foundation. In 2013-2015, Orange City was selected to be the community in Iowa to participate in Arts Midwest World Fest—week-long residencies here featuring four international music ensembles.Nutcracker Ballet Quad Cities 2

Sioux Center Arts Council is joining with Orange City Arts in bringing The Nutcracker to Sioux County. “This is a huge undertaking,” said Janine Calsbeek of Orange City Arts.“We’re excited. Businesses in our communities are stepping up to assist with funding. And of course, we’ve had dozens of people ask about tickets!”

Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Orange City Chamber office and Sioux Center City offices, front desk. The tickets are reserved seating, and purchasers are asked to come in person. Advance tickets are $15 adult, $10 student. At the door, tickets are $20 and $15. Please pay in cash or check.

Those interested in participating as corporate sponsors or individual donors may contact Orange City or Sioux Center Arts:,, 707-4885,, or 722-0781 x118.

Arts Midwest has been the regional arts organization for nine states for 30 years, working to engage professional artists and promote inter-state touring in dance, music, theatre and other performing arts The 2015 grant to Orange City Arts totals $4,000.

For a list of the local youth dancing with The Nutcracker, click here. 

For more information on The Nutcracker performance in northwest Iowa, click here.


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ARTS on Central!

ORANGE CITY — Arts on Central. It’s the brainchild of Orange City Arts, and is set for Wednesday, August 26 from 5 to 9pm in downtown Orange City.artsOn Arts on Central logo cropped

Orange City Arts is pleased to announce that it has received an Art Project grant for Arts on Central, from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

IMG_5372 Kat & Dog arts on centralPart of Central Avenue will be blocked off for the summer’s final Onstage Orange City event. “We’ll fill the streets and businesses with artists, musicians, kids’ activities, workshops, food and more,” said Elsa Kooiker, event planner along with Janine Calsbeek of Orange City Arts.

IMG_6362 Lisa Laird summer suites largeKooiker, Calsbeek and the Arts on Central planning committee have found a variety of visual and performing artists… including Mary Jane Davidson of Sioux City, who paints on silk (below right); musicians Kathy Vaughn and Scott Amsberry — “Kat and Dog” (upper left); ventriloquist Lisa Laird (upper right); chalk artist Bradley Smith; artist Emilee Berry (above), and many more. Several of the artists will offer mini workshops, so the public can participate. Visual artists will have work for sale.

The evening also includes a live mannequin contest. Food will be available for purchase, with the Dutch Heritage Boosters offering half-price poffertjes to college students.

Prizes will be awarded, including people’s choice awards.IMG_2928 Mary Jane Davidson summer suites

The evening ends with a concert by the Twin Cities a cappella group, Six Appeal, at 7:45pm.

In addition to the $4,000 grant from the Iowa Arts Council, sponsors of the Onstage Orange City event are the Van Engelenhoven Agency and Orange City Arts.

Artists and participants in the mannequin contest must register by August 10. Email Elsa: or Janine: or get more info/ register at .


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A tribute to Joyce

I have known Joyce for many years, because I love the arts. As a young married couple, Doug and I appreciated how Joyce and the Orange City Arts Council brought so many wonderful musicians, actors, visual artists, storytellers and others to town… and provided opportunities for local artists to do their art. As a mom with young children, I appreciated those opportunities, plus classes and workshops and Missoula Children’s Theatre for kids. She was visionary, she quietly led the board, she wasn’t afraid to try new things, she worked carefully and tirelessly. She loved the arts, and she realized how the arts bring more understanding, more empathy and more beauty to the world. She directed the OBloemendaal pic 3x4range City Arts Council for 22 years. When she retired, and I was hired to try to fill her shoes, I came to respect Joyce even more.
Thank you, Joyce, for the many ways you touched our part of the world, but especially the legacy of Orange City Arts Council.
With prayers and sympathy from the entire Orange City Arts Council board,
Janine Calsbeek, director, Orange City Arts

Pictured above is Joyce with former Orange City Arts board president, Coleman McAllister, when she was honored following her retirement… at a community band concert in summer 2009.

Joyce’s obituary

Orange City & Sioux Center arts councils to cosponsor “The Nutcracker”

ORANGE CITY/ SIOUX CENTER — It’s a winter wonderland. Snowflakes drift onto the stage, over the flowing ballerinas dancing to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. It’s The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker, performed by Ballet Quad Cities, is coming to the Unity Christian Knight Center stage in Orange City Saturday, December 19, thanks to the Sioux Center Recreation and Arts, along with Orange City Arts.

Ballet Quad Cities will do two performances of the celebrated holiday classic, on December 19.

Thirty-nine local children will be able to participate in the performance with the cast of 20 dancers from Ballet Quad Cities.

The residency with Ballet Quad Cities will also include a school assembly on December 18, featuring the first act of The Nutcracker; plus workshops for elementary children, a master class for dancers, a lighting design workshop for college students, a talk with the choreographer and a question and answer session.

Iowa Public TV has broadcast Ballet Quad Cities performances several times, including their performance of The Nutcracker.

“The magic… is in the exquisite visual feast, bringing this beloved holiday tale to life,” wrote Jonathan Turner of Quad Cities Online in December 2014. “The enchanting dream of The Nutcracker was reimagined again by the wondrous wizards of Ballet Quad Cities.”

Tickets will be available in the fall.

For names of local dancers to participate with Ballet Quad Cities, click here.

For information on September workshops & auditions, click here.

For more information, see and

This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Iowa Arts Council, the Crane Group and General Mills Foundation.

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Orange City’s Got Talent! winners announced

ORANGE CITY – Lauren Plockmeyer, Brande Pals and Silent Valley took the prizes in the fifth annual Orange City’s Got Talent!
The area talent show was held Wednesday, May 27 at Windmill Park in Orange City, the first of this summer’s Wednesday night Onstage Orange City series.
Lauren Plockmeyer of Sioux Center (2nd from left) took the top prize with her vocal rendition of Don’t Forget Me from Smash. Plockmeyer wowed audiences during Tulip Festival earlier this month, playing the lead role in Mary Poppins.
Brande Pals of Orange City (left) sang What I Did for Love from A Chorus Line, and earned the second place award. Her accompanist was Cynthia Pals.
Silent Valley — Carley Wells, cajon; Taylor Simington, vocals; and Jordan Koenck, guitar, of Okoboji Middle School (right) — won third place. They performed Love Lost by The Temper Trap.
The three winners won cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 respectively.
The other seven acts in the talent show featured Joey Bylsma, Justin Schiltz, Jordan Schiltz, Dean Endrulat, Rachel Jorgensen, Lindsay Kuiper, Michael Howe, Megan Bylsma, Darby Schuiteman and Kayla Vande Zande.
The evening ended with Superchick’s Stand in the Rain performed by the 2014 OC’s Got Talent winner, Sydney Krommendyk, and a Mary Poppins medley by emcees Amanda Haverdink and Lois Estell. Additional entertainment was provided by “the bodyguard,” Jeff McCray.
The Onstage Orange City event was sponsored by State Farm: Matt Weg Agency and Orange City Communications, in conjunction with Orange City Arts.


Onstage Orange City line-up announced for 2015

ORANGE CITY — Kelley Hunt, Moon Hooch and Omaha Street Percussion – they’re all part of the line-up for the sixth season of Onstage Orange City.
The Orange City Arts Council has announced its schedule of shows in Orange City’s Windmill Park for summer 2015.
The series will feature 14 Wednesday nights of entertainment, plus three shows the evenings of Tulip Festival.
Orange City’s own Usual Suspects will perform the Thursday night of Tulip Festival — May 14, followed by Now Serving 7 Friday and Damon Dotson Saturday.
The regular Wednesday evening Onstage series starts May 27, with Orange City’s Got Talent — open to talent from area towns. Those interested in being part of the show must sign up to audition by May 12 at .
Onstage Orange City artists in June, July and August include the Rusty Wright blues band, Tropicante and its popular Latin beats, magician Eric Michaels, and Craig Ebel and the DyVersaCo Polka Band, one of the finest polka bands in the Midwest with one of the country’s youngest drummers.
Moon_Hooch_2240_by_Shervin_LainezMoon Hooch will take the stage June 3 with saxophones and percussion, coming to Orange City after locals heard them on National Public Radio. “There is not a band harder to describe or easier to enjoy than Moon Hooch. They are energetic, joyful, relentless and, best of all, original,” said a quote from the Wall Street Journal.
July 22 brings Omaha Street Percussion, featuring pots, pans and trash cans as their “unorthodox” percussion instruments.Omaha Street Percussion Buckets2014
And local blues favorite Kelley Hunt of Lawrence, Kansas, returns on July 1. She has appeared on Prairie Home Companion six times, and The Onion of Denver said, “Hunt delivers her socially charged lyrics with a voice that’s part powerful gospel yearning and part bawdy soul shouter.”
Kelley Hunt 2Favorites returning again are the Orange City Area Community Band; the SchoolHouse Company theatre troupe; and Festival Latino. The Orange City Public Library is celebrating 100 years with a special night of carnival activities, food and magic July 15. The final event, August 26, will be Arts on Central, featuring local artists and performers filling Central Avenue.
Summer Suites, the Orange City Arts Council’s progressive evening of music, gardens, stories and sweets, will be on June 10. The show will feature duo The Copoetics of Sioux Falls, an area flute choir, a violinist and several working artists… in three backyard gardens. It’s the one ticketed event of the series.
Contributions by local businesses and individuals, with help from the Orange City Arts Council, fund the shows, so they’re free to the public. Most shows will begin at 7:00pm in Orange City’s Windmill Park. Summer Suites begins at 6:30 and Tulip Festival shows at 7:30.
For more information, see or contact the Orange City Arts Council at 712-707-6514 or Onstage Orange City fliers will be inserted in The AdVisor May 5, and will be available at the Arts Council office and various businesses.

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OC Arts Council selected to participate in training program for arts & cultural leaders

ORANGE CITY – The Orange City Arts Council was selected to participate in ArtsLab, a six-month leadership and strategy program designed to ensure that artists and arts organizations in the Midwest have the skills, ideas, and networks needed to flourish. The course, available only to organizations in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa, will explore the concepts of relevancy in the marketplace, leadership growth, financial and resource development, and organizational infrastructure.

ArtsLab is a program of Arts Midwest, a U.S. Regional Arts Organization that fosters connections among artists, organizations, and communities across the Midwest. Through performing, visual, and literary arts and leadership development programs, Arts Midwest is committed to delivering high-quality arts experiences and encouraging new, cross-sector collaborations.

“The Orange City Arts Council is so pleased to participate in ArtsLab,” said Phyllis Van Gelder, Arts Council board president. “This course will give us the opportunity to connect with organizations that face similar issues. We are looking forward to learning from the experts and from our peers in the arts and culture sector. It is a very exciting time for us.”

Van Gelder (left), along with Orange City Arts Council director Janine Calsbeek (below right), will participate in the training program.IMG_Phyllis Van Gelder 9055

David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest, says, “We are looking forward to working with these organizations and leaders to support their ongoing leadership development. We are already inspired by the important work they are doing in Iowa to engage their communities in the arts and we anticipate that ArtsLab will only foster more exceptional conversations, new approaches, and innovative artistic experiences that make both urban and rural communities stronger and more connected.”

Beginning in April 2015, 22 organizations will participate in retreats and shared learning opportunities:
South Dakota
Aberdeen Area Arts Council
Hill City Area Arts Council
Mathews Opera House
Pierre Players
Sioux Falls Arts Council
Sisseton Arts CouncilJanine Calsbeek IMG_0842
South Dakota Arts Council

North Dakota
The Arts Center
Arts North Dakota
Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts
Dakota West Arts Council
Nelson County Arts Council
North Dakota Council on the Arts
Three Rivers Arts Council
Village Arts

ArtHaus, Inc
Grinnell Area Arts Council
Iowa Arts Council
Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance
Orange City Arts Council
Public Space One
Riverside Theatre

“The Iowa Arts Council is proud to partner with Arts Midwest to bring ArtsLab to Iowa,” said Matthew Harris, Iowa Arts Council Administrator. “Investing in the capacity of Iowa arts organizations is part of our mission and ArtsLab is giving us an opportunity to do that in a collaborative way while fostering a regional network with our peers in the Dakotas.”

Support for ArtsLab is generously provided by Bush Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation, and the Iowa Arts Council.

ArtsLab was launched in 1999 by six major foundations seeking to learn better approaches to building leadership and management skills in community-based arts organizations. All three cycles of the program have been highly rated by independent evaluators for their positive impact on organizational stability, community engagement, and the development of strong, adaptive leadership.

More information about ArtsLab is available at Questions about the program may also be directed to Sharon Rodning Bash at

Pictured above are Orange City Arts Council board members (left to right) Olga Alvarado, Sandie Vant Hof, Jim Schaap, Mark Volkers, Angela Kroeze Visser, Chris White, Phyllis Van Gelder, Emily Stokes and Susan Le Mahieu. Not pictured are Noah Adams, Gail Marincovich, Terry Mouw and Jennifer Sabo.