The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs launched a new campaign in December, aimed at convincing Iowans to polish up their hidden gems and shamefully share their best and brightest.
“We’ve had so many conversations with Iowans across the state, and it’s clear that towns across the map have too many of their own best-kept secrets,” said Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie. The Iowa Arts Council is part of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
“I’m a member of the Iowa Arts Council board,” said Janine Calsbeek, director of Orange City Arts. “We in Iowa have a lot to be proud of that people may not know.”
Part of the push is the 50th anniversary of the Iowa Arts Council and Iowa’s 170th birthday. In fact, it’s also the 40th year since Orange City Arts was founded.
In conjunction with the “#NotToBrag” campaign, Orange City Arts is inviting residents in and around Sioux County to send in their stories. Bragging isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged! Orange City Arts is looking for amazing people, places, art, music and film having to do with Sioux County and Orange City to highlight all through 2017.
See the Iowa kick-off video below.
Send your story to Orange City Arts at ocArts@orangecityiowa.com, with “Not to Brag” in the subject line.
Beyond Onstage 2016-17 will be spectacular! For more details and to purchase your season pass, click here. See the video preview below.
ORANGE CITY — ArtRageous is coming to Orange City, with the assistance of Arts Midwest Touring Fund.
It’s an interactive arts and music extravaganza, recommended by CBS: “Go see this show!”
Harrison Ford loves ArtRageous too: “You’re the best!”
Date is Thursday, Oct. 27. Place is the Northwestern College Chapel. Time: 7:00pm.
The Artrageous troupe of a dozen artists, musicians, singers and dancers pays tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons and musical genres, culminating in a gallery of fabulous finished paintings.
It’s a one-of-a-kind experience.
In fact, Orange City Arts has already sold tickets to someone who will drive over three hours to the show, said OC Arts director Janine Calsbeek. Megan Wassom of Mason City is bringing her 12-year-old sister. ArtRageous reminds Wassom of the Blue Man Group, she said.
ArtRageous wowed the board members of Orange City Arts, said Calsbeek, and Arts Midwest Touring Fund caught the vision too.
Orange City Arts has been selected to receive a $2,375 grant from Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Iowa Arts Council and the Crane Group.
Arts Midwest Touring Fund engages people in meaningful experiences with professionals in dance, music, theatre and other performing arts forms… emphasizing inter-state touring.
“Arts Midwest is proud to support Orange City Arts and the ArtRageous performance,” said Arts Midwest director David J. Fraher. The show, and the outreach experiences for students, will enhance the quality of life in northwest Iowa, he said, and the grant helps provide meaningful jobs for artists.
Sponsoring the show are Orange City Arts and Northwestern College. Additional support for the educational outreach comes from the Staples Foundation: 2 Million & Change.
Tickets are $15 adult and $10 student, in advance, available online HERE. Or contact 712.707.4885 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com. Tickets at the door are $18 and $12. Tickets for Northwestern College students are $5.
For more information and video, click here.
About Arts Midwest: Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest is one of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States. Its mission is to promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, Arts Midwest has been serving audiences, arts organizations, and artists throughout the nine states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond.
About the National Endowment for the Arts: The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
About Orange City Arts: The mission of Orange City Arts is to enrich our community by showcasing artists, facilitating arts education and supporting local creative talent.
ORANGE CITY, IA – Orange City Arts has been awarded a $3,500 grant by the Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change. The program allows Staples associates to direct more than $2 million in donations worldwide each year.
Olga Alvarado, Orange City Arts board member and graphic designer at Staples, nominated Orange City Arts for the grant.
The grant will help present educational artistic assemblies and workshops to area students in schools, said Janine Calsbeek, executive director of Orange City Arts. The title of the grant is Beyond Onstage — Enriching Academic Education.
“Six exemplary artists are performing here this year,” said Calsbeek. “We’re excited that students will interact with gifted artists from other parts of the world. Artists like these inspire creativity and empathy. One of their gifts to students is the power and beauty of art.”
Artists are listed here:
• Herencia de Timbiquí, a 12-person ensemble, plays traditional music from Colombia— featuring congas, bombo drums, guasá shakers and marimba, plus energetic vocals, trumpet, saxophone, keyboards and guitar. A school assembly and evening concert will be Oct. 6.
• ArtRageous presents an interactive multi-media art and music experience Oct. 26 and 27. ArtRageous artists present a music and dance performance while creating several paintings onstage. Workshops include the business of entertainment; branding and marketing; and costuming, choreography and performance.
• Cantus, a premier men’s vocal ensemble from Minneapolis, will present a vocal workshop and concert Feb. 18 and 19.
• Mermaid Theatre from Nova Scotia features innovative puppetry and striking scenic effects with black light, projected images and large puppets. The show March 20 features the stories of Eric Carle. A puppetry workshop will be held that afternoon.
• The week of April 10, Taproot Theatre of Seattle presents bullying-prevention plays in six schools, plus two shows for the general public. Workshops will be held for theatre students. The Taproot residency is a collaboration between Orange City and Sioux Center Arts.
Most of the assemblies, workshops and shows will be held at local schools and colleges.
Created in 2012, the 2 Million & Change program allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations focused on academic education or job skills. In 2015, Staples awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to 875 local organizations.
“For 30 years, Staples associates have been making a difference in their communities around the world,” said John Burke, chief culture officer, Staples, Inc., “We’re thrilled that the 2 Million & Change program lets our associates make an even greater impact on the organizations they are passionate about.”
For more information, visit www.staples.com/community or http://orangecityarts.net/beyond-onstage-2016-2017-season-series/. To inquire about participating in an assembly or workshop, contact Calsbeek at 712-707-4885 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com.
John de Wolf, Bass Player – Bunraku Puppeteer – Stage Manager – Producer John has been a part of holding down the Artrageous troupe since the very beginning, both in the rhythm section & in business. John is one of the three founding members of the Artrageous troupe & both performs & manages the show. He plays bass & handles all of the details that help Artrageous get to each performance.
Larry Dolan, Vocals – Saxophone – Guitar Larry developed his power-house vocal style throughout the 90s, emulating singers such as
Bono & Michael Crawford. He has toured for over two decades with various productions featuring rock ’n roll and broadway. A mainstay of the Artrageous troupe since 1999, Larry resides in Arizona with his wife & three children.
Lauri Francis, Painter – Dancer – Singer – Choreographer – Costume Designer Lauri has choreographed & costumed the Artrageous troupe for 20 years. She has choreographed & costumed specialty performances & dances for hundreds of shows worldwide, especially enjoying private performances for Sir Richard Branson & in Paris and Austria. Trained in many dance forms, from jazz to hip hop, Lauri lends her dance flair to the stage. She has a passion for all things dance & loves to get people moving.
Jarvis Moorehead, Vocalist – Dancer Jarvis’s love for the stage & theater is evident in his performance & his extensive list of accolades. Jarvis has studied classical voice at the prestigious Adelphi University & studied at the Southern Nevada College & The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Jarvis has been acting, singing, dancing & composing his whole life.
Dani Lenski, Vocalist – Dancer – Puppeteer Dani is a natural match for the Artrageous troupe & has entertained audiences for many
years with her talents as a barbershop singer. You may recognize Dani gracing the silver screen as an actress in several films.
Joey Santiago, Singer – Painter – Percussionist Professional musician & vocalist, Joey has an arts & music degree from The University of New Mexico. Joey can play pretty much every instrument you put in front of him & excels in drums, vocals & percussion. Joey can often be seen with book in hand. He is an avid reader & a Game of Thrones super fan.
Lindsay Santiago, Painter – Vocalist – Dancer Artist & professional photographer Lindsay is a natural fit for the stage. Off stage Lindsay is pursuing a degree in graphic design. Lindsay has a flair for all things artistic from design to photography, from fashion to painting.
Jeff Smith, Painter – Lighting – Mime Jeff has a love of theatrical arts including classical mime. He studied theater, lighting design & mime, & received a scholar-ship in artistic design at the University of New Mexico. He enjoys traveling the
world, baseball & pizza.
Carina Duffy, Singer, Dancer A proud local of the Jersey Shore, Carina is thrilled to join the cast of Artrageous on their adventure throughout the U.S.— spreading art, music & positivity! When not performing, Carina can be found catching up on Netflix, expanding her palate at a unique restaurant, or learning a new instrument!
Hannah Harper, Singer, Comedienne, Keyboard Hannah is an actor & writer living in Los Angeles. She’s crazy excited to be a part of Artrageous & to be traveling all over with the troupe! In her free time, Hannah will almost always have a cup of coffee in hand & will probably ask you to be her friend.
Jeffrey Dobbins, Painter – Stage Coordinator From a background in architecture, Jeffrey brings a uniquely trained eye to the magic behind Artrageous. After years of touring, his youthful can-do attitude & unceasing positivity have come to personify the Artrageous troupe as a whole.
Jaden Francis, Stage Tech – Painter in Training Jaden, age 11, is currently homeschooling on the road with Artrageous. He is in 6th grade & his favorite subject is social studies. He is a brown (soon to be black!) belt in Taekwondo— his favorite sport. He has a passion for the dramatic flair & has acted in several TV shows. He loves traveling & helping with Artrageous behind the scenes.
Trey Richardson, Stage Tech – Guitar Trey graduated from UNM with a degree in music. He is enjoying the experience of traveling to new places with his Artrageous family. He is also tutoring Jaden in martial arts & is a 2nd degree black belt!
El Liberal: Herencia de Timbiquí, la alegría cantada para los niños del pacífico
“Preservar la cultura y los ritmos tradicionales, fomentar la convivencia y generar nuevas oportunidades a través de la música; son los objetivos de los talleres y proyectos culturales que hace esta agrupación en el pacífico sur colombiano…Un niño de 12 años…muestra sus fotos aprendiendo a tocar…en uno de los talleres que la Fundación Herencia de Timbiquí con el apoyo del Programa para Afrodescendientes e Indígenas de la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional, USAID, dictó, el año pasado, a docenas de niños y jóvenes de este municipio…’El objetivo de la Fundación y del proyecto social y cultural que hacemos es promover la convivencia y la paz del litoral Pacífico y dar un mensaje de esperanza, para que los jóvenes comprendan y valoren la importancia de reconocer su cultura y luchar por sus sueños…’ comenta Begner Vásquez, vocalista, compositor y uno de los fundadores de la banda.”
“Preserving the culture and the traditional rhythms, promoting community and generating new opportunities through music – these are the objectives of the cultural workshops and projects that this band carries out in the Colombian Pacific South…A twelve-year-old boy…shows his photos learning to play…at one of the workshops that Herencia de Timbiquí Foundation gave last year, with the support of the Program for Afro-descendants and Indigenous of the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, to dozens of this city’s children and youths… ‘The objective of the Foundation and the social and cultural project we carry out is to promote community and peace along the Pacific coast and give a message of hope, so that the young people understand and value the importance of recognizing their culture and fighting for their dreams…’ stated Begner Vásquez, vocalist, composer, and one of the band’s founders.”
ORANGE CITY, IOWA—Arts on Central, a celebration of the visual and performing arts, will return to downtown Orange City Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Now in its second year, the free interactive arts fair concludes the weekly summer series Onstage Orange City, sponsored by Orange City Arts. Streets will be blocked off starting at 4:3pm, and local artists will entertain on the street and in businesses. The evening will include music, poetry, visual arts, puppetry, chalk art, dance, children’s activities and a live mannequin contest.
Artwork on display will range from paintings to quilts to woodworking, with some items for sale. There will be demonstrations of such artistic techniques as painting with beeswax, using alcohol inks, and working with watercolors. Those interested may also create their own art with the help of artists who specialize in tie-dye, stencils or block printing on fabric.
Musical performances will include vocal ensembles; guitar, violin, ukelele and string bass players; and Usual Suspects, an acoustic blues and rock group from Orange City. There will also be a strolling ventriloquist, a balloon artist clown, and demonstrations by dancers from Just for Kix and Elite Dance and Tumbling.
Among the activities for children are face painting, a story walk in Windmill Park, kite-making, magnet poetry and a scavenger hunt. Kids can also paint a t-shirt, create mini sculptures with marshmallows and toothpicks, build large structures, and experiment with baking soda and vinegar or bubbles to make artwork.
Popular last year, according to Janine Calsbeek, director of Orange City Arts, was The Cube — a huge plywood structure in the middle of the street — which kids and adults filled with their artistic touches. It’ll be back. Also a big hit were live mannequins. This year the mannequins will be “on” for two 15-minute sessions each, from 5:30-6:30pm. Eight businesses will host live mannequins in their store fronts, and people can vote for their favorites with donations big and small—with all proceeds going to Orange City Arts and ATLAS.
Businesses have donated prizes for drawings that will be held throughout the evening. And food vendors will be on hand, selling pizza, burritos, tacos, gelato, skewers, stroopwaffles and more. College students can purchase poffertjes for half price. Local merchants are giving free hotdogs with toppings, “Thanks with Franks.”
The 2016 Arts on Central will feature dozens of new artists and activities, said Calsbeek: a kid water fight (note: bring a change of clothes), a full-face face painting station, and the opportunity to create artwork on tiles with alcohol inks. Also new is Thrift Wars, where contestants have one hour to transform thrift store castoffs into works of art–while others watch!
The Windmill in the downtown park is the center for information, maps and signing up for prizes, said Calsbeek.
Arts on Central will move to Windmill Park at 7:30pm, when Omaha Street Percussion takes the stage. Inspired by Broadway hits like STOMP and the Blue Man Group, the seven-member ensemble provides a visually appealing, highly energetic form of drumming using unorthodox “instruments” like pots and pans, buckets and trash cans.
Arts on Central is supported by the Old Factory Coffee Shop, Northwestern Bank and local merchants in conjunction with Orange City Arts. Rain locations for Arts on Central are downtown businesses and City Hall. Windmill Park is located at 200 Central Avenue NW. For more information, see orangecityarts.net or contact ocArts@orangecityiowa.com or 712-707-4885.
For more details about Arts on Central 2016 and Omaha Street Percussion, click here.
ORANGE CITY — It was a hands-on project last summer at Arts on Central in Orange City.
Emilee Berry, a recent Northwestern College art graduate, provided kids with canvases, plus tools. They painted with combs, plastic forks, fingers, sponges — “everything but paintbrushes,” she said. “I encouraged them to explore.”
Then, after the event last August, Berry unified the 14 children’s acrylic explorations. “I didn’t want to take away from what they did, but bring them together.” She used a pallet knife and eraser to paint with white acrylic paint and gel medium — on top of the colors painted by the kids. She added more texture and dots, “a fun way to give a unified look without hiding what’s behind it.” The finished artworks have a windmill theme.
The finished creations are being unveiled at Arts on Central — exhibited at Centrum Foto Studio on August 24 and the rest of the week.
Arts on Central 2016 is Wed., Aug. 24 in downtown Orange City. The interactive arts festival is 4:30-7:30, followed by a concert featuring Omaha Street Percussion at 7:30. For more information, contact 707-4885, ocArts@orangecityiowa.com.
For more info about Arts on Central, click HERE.
Exploring acrylics… Arts on Central
Abby Wallinga experimented with acrylics on canvas at Arts on Central last year— creating a design with a variety of tools — but no paintbrushes. Afterwards, artist Emilee Berry added her touches with white paint, and put together the 14 child-painted canvases into three unified works of art. See them on August 24 at Centrum Foto Studio.
To inquire about participating as a visual artist, performing artist or live mannequin in Arts on Central August 24, 2016, email ocArts@orangecityiowa.com.
Where were you on August 26, 2015? I was in Orange City, Iowa attending Arts on Central. Not sure what to expect, I hoped it would be a fun Wednesday night downtown.
What did I experience? Sensory overload, so much to take in! People arriving, trickling in and then: folks of all ages everywhere. A band of middle aged rock ‘n rollers set up on the south end of Central Avenue. On the north end, two blocks over, the street is anchored with a water spray station to cool visitors off. In Windmill Park a little girl is creating giant bubbles next to lush, colorful flowerbeds. It’s a joyful atmosphere of bumping into friends and chatting on the sidewalk.
There was so much going on that I was overwhelmed. My eyes couldn’t take it all in. My ears heard many kinds music from various directions. Wafting aromas of delicious food mingled around everyone. Everywhere I turned something intriguing was happening. A buzz of excitement and hearing folks say, “Did you see….”
In the midst of it all were Orange City Arts volunteers and staff— ringleaders to this 3 ring circus of art, music and live mannequin displays. They coordinated all this.
Children were busy drawing with fat pieces of colored chalk on the street. A chalk artist and crew had started scenes and hopscotch games all over Central Avenue’s smooth light gray concrete street. Scattered near the scenes lay chunks of chalk for anyone to pick up and add their own flair. In one spot I noted the directions: add an animal to the forest. Well, in my opinion, the tree needed a blue bird in a nest. Tan chalk for nest, blue for bird, not quite done, pink for beak. Yes, I added my touch. Another young man drew mushrooms. He was excited because he contributed to the artistic scene.
Next I focus on the music: a string quartet in the courtyard behind the Little White Store. Violin and piano duet inside Holland House. A rousing Irish ballad from the rock group. The boisterous street organ blows notes over the crowd. That large antique organ was also visual overload with so many colors painted on the carved figures. Party vibe of electric guitars. An accordion player wearing a beret sitting on a bench in front of the bakery evoked European flair. The young man played songs I’ve never heard before. Boom box blasts dance music and teen age girls laugh and move to it. I wouldn’t call it dancing exactly, mostly goofing around. Adding to the cacophony were voices over the public address system announcing prize winners. Lots of unusual things given away, like locally composed hymns, adult coloring books and Northwestern College theatre tickets.
Looking across the street, a girl I know from church is sitting in a window display doing sign language to music I can’t hear. It makes me pause and smile. Next door another store front has a huge canvas displayed. An oil painting of crab apples in fall comes to life, actually larger than life size, by the brush of a master artist.
My neighbor comes up to me and exclaims about a fantastic window display. Thrusting her smartphone at me she shows photos of the kids posing like mannequins. Meanwhile, in front of the tuxedo rental shop, couples are in formal attire and pose as parents of the bride and groom, alongside the happy couple. Later another couple slowly, mechanically clink goblets to celebrate.
In July when I learned about this event, I volunteered to be a judge in the visual arts category. After searching for the headquarters table and finally locating it I took the clipboard with lots of papers on it, read my instructions and looked at each display. I saw photographs from near (Iowa) and far (Italy). I examined quilted wall hangings on a makeshift clothesline, swaying in a slight breeze. I reached out and was scolded, “Do NOT touch.” Quickly I pulled back my hand, feeling like a little girl who was put in her place.
Village Northwest Unlimited had a large display of so many beautiful things, I could barely take it all in. The woman there explained items were not for sale, but created by handicapped individuals as part of art therapy. I loved it! In the downtown park next to the big old windmill an extensive display of silk scarves flutter in the breeze under large shade trees. It is a riot of color and the silks mimic butterflies floating above flowers, flowers tumbling over the edges of flowerbeds that are only a few feet away. At an artist’s booth I marveled at a collage of grains. Colored rice, seeds and corn were painstakingly arranged into beautiful scenes. Right beside the art is raw material on a table for budding artists to create with. Later I spot people carrying around their seed creations.
Standing next to a simple display is a woman who is giving her art away. The delicate drawings are about 5×7 or 4×6, a convenient size for carrying. She explains she has more than she can use in her scrapbooking hobby. “Go ahead and take one,” she urges each person who walks up.
One particular grouping of paintings caught my eye. This young woman had classic landscapes and farm scenes. However each work had one unusual character in it. Tranquil Americana street scene had a robot walking a dog. Pond with a sea monster peeking above the water. There is a giant bear napping on a barn roof. They were hilarious! Not a typical classy painting to hang above the sofa. She’s an artist with a sense of humor.
After I looked at 20 art displays, the time had come to meet with the other two judges. Our favorites were announced as the top three winners.
For those who like their art on a large screen television, short films from the Prairie Grass Film Challenge played at Joe’s TV & Appliance store.
Mother Goose made an appearance with her puppet friend, a colorful dinosaur named Jemima. Under the bank canopy she told stories to kids of all ages. Her helpers included a shy white rabbit and not so shy children. I love the sound of little kids laughing and it echoed all around this group. A magical Humpty Dumpty complained about how his story usually ended. To conclude her show, Mother Goose persuaded her audience to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Arts on Central took place during the supper hour. To satisfy the hunger of spectators strolling along, the meat market grilled bratwurst and the Little White Store made little Dutch pancakes. Pizza, tacos, Chinese food and more choices tempted taste buds. Some businesses offered free frankfurters, cookies or other treats. In the same way that music overlapped from one area to the next, the aroma of Mexican food blended into Chinese cuisine and all-American hot dogs.
People who attended were having so much fun that the concert in the Windmill Park band shell was a perfect way to end the summer music series. As the sun set on this lovely summer evening audience members appreciated the talents of the six a cappella singers performing a high energy show. Thank you to Orange City Arts — who made such a fun event come to life.
–by Gail Van Grouw
Photos by Doug & Janine Calsbeek
The mission of Orange City Arts is to enrich our community by showcasing artists, facilitating arts education and supporting local creative talent.