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 more information, see balletquadcities.com

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 orangecityarts.net/octalent .
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 orangecityarts.net or contact the Orange City Arts Council at 712-707-6514 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com. Onstage Orange City fliers will be inserted in The AdVisor May 5, and will be available at the Arts Council office and various businesses.

ONstage poster 15

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

Iowa
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 artslab.artsmidwest.org. Questions about the program may also be directed to Sharon Rodning Bash at sharon@artsmidwest.org.

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.

Winners announced at “Klompen with the Stars”

ORANGE CITY – Orange City’s Klompen with the Stars was a “huge success,” according to producer Vern Eekhoff and Orange City Arts Council director Janine Calsbeek. It brought six duos to the stage of the packed Northwestern College Chapel Saturday, March 21 for a northwest Iowa version of Dancing with the Stars.

The judges and the crowd together selected the winning teams. The winning duo was Lori Hayungs and Thai Hua; runners-up were Dan McCarty and Sarah Wittenberg. Of the almost 500 attendees, 403 people cast votes, via cell phone or paper ballots.

Other dancing teams were Jonny Craig and Marissa Wiese, Jason Alons and Valerie Heaton, Yesenia Cazares and Lee Stover, and Ali Achterhof and Jake Auerbach (pictured above).

The event also featured emcees ABC’s Jenna Rehnstrom and Life 96.5’s Lauren Banik; judges Luanne Christensen, Dan Sikkema, Rebecca Donahue and Jim Schaap; and professional dancers Gordon and Kate Bratt of Mill City Ballroom, St. Paul. IMG_4844 KLOMPEN Kate & Gordon Bratt(right) Show producer was Vern Eekhoff, and committee members were Olga Alvarado, Mark Volkers and Janine Calsbeek. Tech crews were students and staff from Orange City, Sioux Center, Northwestern College and Dordt College.

The event, sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council, raised funds for a new mural in downtown Orange City, the summer Wednesday night outdoor series Onstage Orange City and Ballet Quad Cities presenting The Nutcracker Dec. 19. “It was a great community-building event,” said Calsbeek, “and it makes many other things possible — terrific arts events — in 2015.”

Corporate sponsors of Klompen with the Stars were Diamond Vogel Paint, Orange City Area Health System and Northwestern Bank. Additional sponsors were Cardinal Therapeutic Massage, Hair Clinic, Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium, Northwestern College, Old Factory Coffee Shop, Bella Ruse, State Farm, Celebration Media Services and Woudstra Meat Market.

IMG_3356PHOTO above: Leah Hayungs presents her mom Lori with flowers and a hug following the announcement of the winners of Klompen with the Stars in Orange City Saturday, March 21. Pictured are the dancers (left to right) Ali Achterhof and Jake Auerbach; Sarah Wittenberg and Dan McCarty (runners-up); Yesenia Cazares; emcee Jenna Rehnstrom of KCAU-TV; Yesenia’s dance partner, Lee Stover; Leah and Lori Hayungs, and Lori’s dance partner Thai Hua; backstage emcee Lauren Banik of Life 96.5 Radio; Valerie Heaton and Jason Alons; and Marissa Wiese and Jonny Craig. The event was a fundraiser for the Orange City Arts Council’s upcoming projects — a mural, Onstage OC summer shows in the park, and The Nutcracker, to be performed by Ballet Quad Cities.

PHOTO below: No wooden shoes clomped at this Orange City event, there were just six crowd-pleasing dances, and funds raised for the Orange City Arts Council’s upcoming projects. The competing dance teams March 21 were (left to right) Jonny Craig and Marissa Wiese; Jason Alons and Valerie Heaton; Dan McCarty and Sarah Wittenberg — runners-up; Yesenia Cazares and Lee Stover; Lori Hayungs and Thai Hua — first place winners; and Ali Achterhof and Jake Auerbach. (Photo courtesy of Doug Calsbeek, Sioux County Capital-Democrat)

IMG_4241

Grant awarded to OC Arts Council for January events

ORANGE CITY – The Orange City Arts Council is pleased to announce that it has received a $5,000 Rural Arts Development Grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grant funds will support Shanren, a music ensemble from SW China, and an urban Latin dance theatre troupe from Los Angeles: Contra Tiempo.

The two ensembles will be in the Orange City area in January.

Shanren (pictured below) will share their culture and music with youth and adults in workshops and assemblies for nine schools, coffee house shows, Village Northwest Unlimited, a library workshop and a public performance. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the world through the eyes of musicians from rural SW China,” said Janine Calsbeek of the Orange City Arts Council. Shanren will be here Jan 11-16, with the coffee house shows at Fruited Plain Jan. 12 and Old Factory Jan. 13, and the public performance at Unity Knight Center Friday, Jan 16. All shows begin at 7:30pm.

Contra-Tiempo (pictured above) will present “Full Still Hungry,” theatre-dance vignettes about food, consumption and culture. Its opening night was sold out at the Ford Amphitheater in LA. Workshops will also be held – teaching a community-building form of salsa from Cuba. The public performance is Saturday, Jan 31 at 8:00pm at Unity Knight Center.

Both ensembles will bring the community together, said Calsbeek, learning about ethnic heritages, various music styles and dance. She expects that over 1,700 people from Sioux County and beyond to be touched by one or both of these ensembles.

Concerning the grant, Iowa Senator Randy Feenstra said: “It’s great to hear that the Orange City Arts Council received grant funds  from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.  This funding will help support two wonderful performances in Northwest Iowa.  I applaud these efforts of the Orange City Arts Council in writing this grant and creating cultural opportunities for rural Iowans!”

Tickets for Shanren are available at the Dove Bookstore, Orange City Arts Council office at city hall, and Northwestern’s music and theatre departments. Tickets for Contra-Tiempo will be available soon. Cost is $10 adult, $7 student. Group rates are available from Orange City Arts.

In addition to the Iowa Arts Council, the Orange City Arts Council is receiving support for Shanren from Arts Midwest and 88 Chinese Restaurant, and for Contra-Tiempo from Joiner and Zwart Family Dentistry.

For more information, contact 707-4885 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com.

Shanren

 

 

 

 

iac-color-dca

Artists win awards at Orange City art exhibition

ORANGE CITY – Four area artists recently won awards at the juried exhibit, Artists’ Showcase: Orange City Arts Council’s Regional Exhibition. Awards were announced at the closing reception in Orange City November 22.

Betsy Brown of Sergeant Bluff won Best of Show, with her acrylic pour painting, Moving Forward.

Honorable Mention awards went to Timothy J. Arand-McIlrath, Lynae Dadisman, and Emily Stokes.

Arand-McIlrath, of Okoboji, received an award for his sculpture, Button-Bracelet, constructed of red twig dogwood, crocheted yarn, buttons and bracelets.

Dadisman is a Northwestern College student from West Des Moines; her prize-winning work was a charcoal drawing entitled Iris.

Stokes created a linocut/ etching/ collage displayed as an accordion book, entitled Work Ethic. Stokes, of Orange City, teaches in the art department at Northwestern College.

The four award-winners received cash prizes. Jurors were artists Joanne Alberda of Sioux Center and Joan Brower of Orange City.

Twenty-two works by 22 regional artists were part of the exhibit, held at the Northwestern College DeWitt Theatre, in conjunction with the production, The Power and the Glory.  Sponsor of the show was the Orange City Arts Council, in conjunction with Northwestern’s Art and Theatre Departments.

 

Betsy Brown wins “Best of Show”

Betsy Brown of Sergeant Bluff (pictured above) was awarded “Best of show” for her acrylic pour painting, Moving Forward, at the Artists’ Showcase: Orange City Arts Council’s Regional Exhibition. The show, held November 13-22 at the Northwestern College DeWitt Theatre, featured the work of 22 regional artists. 

 IMG_1280 Arand-McIlrath, Stokes & Dadisman

Awards given to artists

Honorable mention awards at the Artists’ Showcase: Orange City Arts Council’s Regional Exhibition went to (from left) Timothy J. Arand-McIlrath of Okoboji, Emily Stokes of Orange City and Lynae Dadisman, Northwestern College student from West Des Moines. The exhibit was sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council. 

 

 

“Good grief! Why not?” Donate to OC Arts Council

“Good grief! Why not?” Chances are that Charlie Brown would support the Orange City Arts Council, and might possibly try to convince his dancing friends to do the same. The SchoolHouse Company’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was one of the Orange City Arts Council’s summer shows, part of the Onstage Orange City series. Now the Orange City Arts Council is conducting its annual membership drive.

The Orange City Arts Council began its 2014-2015 membership campaign in late July, and is continuing until October 31.

The Arts Council sponsors Onstage Orange City, Missoula Children’s Theatre and classes in the summer, and now the Beyond Onstage series of music, theatre and dance shows from October through April, beginning with a world class Brazilian group. A classical guitarist will perform in October, an art exhibit is planned for November, and classes for students and adults are in the works.

“It’s hard to keep up with everything!” said Janine Calsbeek, Orange City Arts Council director. The 13-member board is full of ideas, she said, especially related to visual arts and local artists. “The arts teach creativity and problem-solving, they educate us about others and the world, they enhance our quality of life, they bring visitors to town. As the Arts Council’s programming grows, we need more time and funds, so donations are essential.”

Each year, the Arts Council receives approximately 40 to 50 percent of its budget from community donors.

New members who donate $30 or more may choose a gift: a Bella Ruse CD or a sturdy colorful tote bag. Those who contribute $100 or more receive complimentary tickets to select OC Arts Council events, plus gift cards providing discounts on original art by several local artists.

More more information, see orangecityarts.net. Donate online, or write a check to Orange City Arts Council and bring to the city hall or mail to PO Box 202, Orange City IA 51041.

OC Arts schedule for 2014-2015

2014-15 Arts in ORANGE CITY

Aug 1 & 2 Missoula Children’s Theatre: King Arthur’s Quest. Northwestern’s DeWitt Theatre. Auditions for children July 28. Performances: Fri 7:30p, Sat 2:00p

Wednesdays Onstage Orange City thru Aug 20 in Windmill Park. Aug 27 show at Northwestern’s Green. 7:00p

Fri Oct 3 Peter Fletcher, classical guitarist from New York, OC Public Library, 7:00p. 

Fri Oct. 10 Paulo Padilha and Group: Beyond Onstage series. The swing & rhythm of urban Brazil, with humor! Unity’s Knight Center, 7:30p. Workshops Oct 5-10.

Oct 27-Nov 20 Memoir class, eight afternoon sessions taught by Barbara Turnwall. Old Factory Coffee Shop.

Nov 22 Watercolor workshop taught by award-winning artist Judy Thompson, OC Area Health System Downtown campus.

Nov 13-22  Orange City Arts Council’s Regional Exhibition in conjunction with NWC’s production, The Power & the Glory, Northwestern’s DeWitt Theatre. Deadline for entries: Oct. 13.

Dec The SchoolHouse Company’s annual Christmas show

Fri Jan 16 Shanren: Beyond Onstage series. Fusing indigenous Chinese with modern music. Unity’s Knight Center, 7:30p. Workshops Jan 11-17.

Sat Jan 31 Contra Tiempo: Beyond Onstage series. Urban Latin dance theatre from LA, performing Full Still Hungry. Unity’s Knight Center, 8:00p.

Sat Feb 7 An Evening of Dance featuring local dance teams, Unity’s Knight Center, 7:00p.

Sat Feb 21 Map of My Kingdom by Iowa’s poet laureate Mary Swander. Featuring Cora Vander Broek Brumlow (pictured) of Chicago. Northwestern’s DeWitt Theatre, 7:30p.

Sat Mar 21 Dancing with the Stars featuring local celebrities and Gordon & Kate Bratt of the Twin Cities. Prairie Winds Events Center, 7:30p.

Sat Apr 11 Cinderella by Des Moines Metro Opera: Beyond Onstage series. Comic opera & Rossini’s finest music. Northwestern’s Chapel, 7:30p.

Mon Apr 20 Harlem Quartet: Beyond Onstage series. 2013 multi-Grammy award winner. “Contagious enthusiasm.” Northwestern’s Chapel, 7:00p

May – Aug  Onstage Orange City & Summer Suites. Wednesdays. Windmill Park 7:00p unless otherwise announced.

June – July   Classes in arts & theatre

 

 

BEYOND ONSTAGE SEASON PASS DISCOUNT UNTIL OCT. 1: $35 adults, $20 students. After Oct. 1, $45 adults, $30 students

NEW! Purchase season passes at Dove Christian Bookstore or ONLINE at orangecityarts.net/beyond-onstage. Or send name, address, email, & ph # with check to Orange City Arts Council.  Individual tickets: $10 & $7. Children 5 & under free.

 

 

MEMBERSHIP PERKS 2014-15

• A free OC Arts Council tote bag – to all new members ($30 contribution or more)

• To donors of $100 or more: several artists are offering discounts on the purchase of their work. AND $100+ donors receive complimentary tickets to select OCAC events. Donate $1000 & receive two free season passes for Beyond Onstage.

2014-15 Beyond Onstage series announced

Beyond Onstage 2014-2015

The 2nd season is even better than the first. Season passes may be purchased at Dove Christian Bookstore or Orange City Arts Council. Season passes may also be purchased online: orangecityarts.net/beyond-onstage.  $35 for adults for five shows; $20 for students. After October 1, season passes are $45 adult, $30 student. (At the door: $10 adults, $7 students, children 5 & under are free.) Shows at Unity Christian Knight Center and Northwestern’s Christ Chapel.

Oct. 10: Paulo Padilha & Group from Brazil

Catch the swing and rhythm of urban Brazil! Highly acclaimed as a musician and clever lyricist with a mischievous sense of humor, Padilha’s songs take interest in everything from mother-in-law as muse to philosophic ramblings on art. A little samba, a little pop—you’ll dance all the way home!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zp0pQh-MlQ

Jan. 16: Shanren from Yunnan Province, China

Shanren, fusing indigenous music from southwest China with modern styles from around the globe, they’ve received critical & popular acclaim in Asia, Europe & North America. Both Paulo Padilha and Shanren are sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council & Arts Midwest World Fest, that brought the popular Le Vent du Nord & Baladino here!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwxeFqefZhc

Jan. 31: Contra Tiempo from Los Angeles

Contra Tiempo brings together salsa, Afro-Cuban, urban & contemporary dance-theatre to create Full Still Hungry. Opening night at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles was sold out. “Emotionally charged choreography, sharp cultural commentary & an unrelenting sense of humor.” (pictured) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8xdk13eLBQ

Apr. 11: Cinderella

From the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Iowa has performed in 40 states, Japan & China… and will present the delightfully romantic comedy, Cinderella. Hilarious characters & situations set to Rossini’s finest music, it’s comic opera at its most exhilarating best!

Apr. 20: Harlem Quartet

The New York Times used the word “panache” to describe the Harlem String Quartet’s recent performance: “a flamboyant confidence of style.” Their recording with Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Hot House, was a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winner. “A new attitude to classical music… fresh, bracing, intelligent.” “Contagious enthusiasm.” harlemquartet.com

Credit-Line-for-Iowa Flyer

Des Moines got a taste of Orange City.

Des Moines got a taste of Orange City.

It feels like news when Des Moines officials come to Sioux County. It doesn’t happen often, especially with the Department of Cultural Affairs. Budgets are tight. Schedules are full. We’re 200 miles away. And maybe people in the Hub of Iowa think we northwesterners are autonomous.

We like to believe that too, sometimes. But I’ve decided that it’s good to be part of Iowa.

Still, I was concerned that the Community Forum discussion July 30 would be so Des Moines-centered that we would feel superfluous. Mary Cownie and Chris Kramer, from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, came here, along with their consultants who are conducting 22 forums across Iowa… including one in Sioux City and another in Storm Lake. And 37 locals filled the meeting room at Northwestern College. People showed up from at least six towns, 20-somethings to 80-somethings, and representing a range of interests — educators, librarians, city officials, artists, patrons of the arts, Representative Dwayne Alons.

Everyone I spoke with appreciated the discussion.

What makes our communities culturally vibrant, what is missing, and what can the Department of Cultural Affairs do to help? 

The DCA, by the way, includes the Iowa Arts Council, the State Historic Society and Produce Iowa – the new state office of media production. They help bring the arts to rural communities, they are in charge of historic preservation, their latest project is iowacultureapp.com. And they head the State Historical Building, and asked for ideas on the Iowa stories that should be told there.

Suggestions flowed freely. We – all Iowans – need more sculpture walks. Trails. Trails with art and history components. More support for local artists. More cooperation. More networking between schools, arts councils, libraries, museums. More local history/ film/ story. Less town competitiveness and more regional-thinking. More travel to different parts of Iowa. Assistance in fundraising. A one-stop-shop in social media – “so we know what’s going on.”

The State Historical Building needs to tell stories honesty, said Kim Van Es of Sioux Center, reporting from her table’s discussion; “It needs to include painful or controversial parts of our history.” How about stories about Native and immigrant communities, the role of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, civil rights history, leadership in education, the polio epidemic, wind energy, rural life and ag business? Suggestions included a stage, gallery, and a bar graph similar to the one at Ellis Island, showing the origin countries of immigrants through the decades.

But this may not help northwest Iowans unless there’s a strong and interactive online presence, and traveling exhibits. And encouragement for schools to bring fifth graders to visit.

The DCA employs 60 people, and Iowa has almost 40,000 people employed by the creative sector, said Chris Kramer of the DCA.  She and her cohorts liked Orange City – the fresh faces at the meeting, the positive attitudes, our ideas, our lovely town.

And it didn’t hurt that they came on a Wednesday, when the Woudstra brat stand was open. “Wow, I’m glad I called you to set up a forum here,’ said Kramer with a smile.

I’m glad, too.

— by Janine Calsbeek, director, Orange City Arts CouncilIMG_7975 Community Forum with Chris Kramer smaller