Latest News


Click VOLUNTEER  to look over the many different volunteer jobs, dates and times we have to offer!

We now have volunteer opportunities posted for both the Iowa Arts Festival (June 5-7) and the Free Movie Series (Saturdays from June 13 - Aug. 22) !

We will need over 600 volunteers this summer and YOU can Help to Make it All Happen! 


Summer of the Arts E-Newsletter: April 2, 2015

Click here to read the April 2, 2015, E-Newsletter featuring our latest information!

RIDE Iowa City March 29th!

Take advantage of spring, enjoy a great dinner and support Summer of the Arts all at the same time!


On Sunday, March 29th from 5 - 9 PM, RIDE Iowa City, the area's newest bicycle-themed restaurant has planned a very special menu for dinner and 15% of their sales will support Summer of the Arts!

Enjoy local, free-range chicken fried to perfection with family style sides to share!  There will be three cold sides and three hot sides, so plenty to choose from and plenty to fill you up!  Dinner for adults is just $15.95 per person while kids 12 and under pay their age!  A vegetarian option will also be available.

Another great way RIDE Iowa City is giving back to the community -- every six weeks this spring, they will be matching the amount generated by a local charity based on who has the highest sales!


So join us for dinner on March 29th at RIDE Iowa City, 630 Iowa Avenue and support Summer of the Arts!

Applications for Global Village Booths Now Being Accepted

Summer of the Arts is currently accepting applications for Booth Presenters as part of Global Village on Sunday, June 7, 2015, from 10 AM - 3 PM. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2015 and a limited number of spaces are available. 

The purpose of Global Village is to entertain and initiate interaction and cultural education within the community. Booth Presenters should offer an interesting display featuring a specific country as well as a craft suitable for young children.  Children have the opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures through interaction with the Booth Presenters.  Past booths have featured simple language lessons, samples of games from another country, and crafts featuring items that are appropriate for the country display.  One year a group built their own “great wall of China” as part of their booth display!

“A unique part of the Global Village experience is allowing young children to learn about other countries and cultures in a fun and interactive way,” explained Lisa Barnes, executive director of Summer of the Arts. “Past booths have featured countries like Japan, Ireland, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Australia and many more.”

Booth presenters can be church groups, schools, scout troops or community groups wanting to share information about the country they are originally from.  Presenters are responsible for their own displays and materials; however, each booth presenter receives a tent, tables, chairs and general supplies the day of the event.  Those interested in participating can download an application on the Iowa Arts Festival page of, or email for additional information.

The Iowa Arts Festival is presented by Veridian Credit Union and held in the heart of downtown Iowa City on seven downtown streets and the Pedestrian Plaza. The Festival typically attracts around 35,000 people throughout the course of the weekend. The Iowa Arts Festival not only includes a fabulous Art Fair, but also live entertainment on two stages, a Beverage Garden, Culinary Row, and additional Children’s Activities!

Click HERE for more information.

Click HERE for an application.


UPDATE: Volunteer & Community Relations Manager POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED

Volunteer & Community Relations Manager -Summer of the Arts
We are seeking an experienced part time Volunteer & Community Relations Manager to recruit, motivate, and generate enthusiasm with volunteers to meet the needs for our summer festivals and events. This position also supports the organization’s administrative functions, including record-keeping, clerical support, phone support, and communications with external partners and stakeholders. Candidate must have prior experience as a Volunteer Coordinator, the ability to work a part time flexible schedule (including some nights and weekends) and work effectively within a team environment. Excellent customer service and pleasant demeanor required when interacting with the staff, public, and volunteers. Successful applicant will meet driving and background check requirements, certification in Volunteer Management is preferred. Proficiency in MS Word, Excel and email is necessary.
For immediate consideration, please email your resume and cover letter to with the subject line Volunteer Manager. Applications will be accepted through February 1, 2015.
Click HERE to download a copy of the job description.


Now Accepting Artist Applications for Iowa Arts Festival Art Fair!

Calling all artists!

Summer of the Arts is now accepting applications for the 2015 Iowa Arts Festival Art Fair!  Applications can be submitted via Zapplication by clicking HERE.  The application fee is $30 and the deadline to apply is February 20, 2015.

The Iowa Arts Festival started in 1983 and celebrates a wide range of arts including our visual artists as part of the juried art fair. The festival also includes local and national performers on the Main Stage, a Culinary Row, Children's Activities and a Family Stage as well as an Emerging Artist Pavilion for student artists.

The 2015 Iowa Arts Festival will be held June 5-7 in downtown Iowa City.

If you need assistance with setting up your profile in Zapp, contact their Help Line at 888-562-7232. Contact with questions about the festival.


Iowa Soul Festival September 19-21*!

Summer of the Arts will be ending our 2014 season with a bang! The Iowa Soul Festival, presented by Diversity Focus, takes place on the University of Iowa Pentacrest and Clinton Street in downtown Iowa City on September 19 & 20th.  Hancher kicks off the festival Friday night at 5:30 PM with two world music bands, followed by UI Alumn Al Jarreau!

On Saturday, September 20th, the main stage features local youth and a variety of blues, funk, soul and jazz culminating with a performance by grammy winner Lalah Hathaway at 9 PM.  The festival also features a Beverage Garden, Culinary Row, African MarketPlace and FUN Zone!

Sunday, September 21st you can enjoy a collaboration between Summer of the Arts and KCCK Jazz 88.3, with a Gospel Brunch at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel.  Choose from two seating times to enjoy delicious food, wonderful music and joyful noise!  Tickets are just $30 per person for the 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM seatings and can be purchased by clicking HERE or by contacting the Summer of the Arts office at 319-337-7944.


5:00 PM – 10:00 PM Culinary Row 

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM African Marketplace, sponsored by Veridian Credit Union

5:00 PM -- 8:00 PM      FUN Zone, sponsored by MidWestOne Bank

5:00 PM – 11:00 PM Beverage Garden, featuring products from Cedar Ridge Winery and 7G Distributing


Main Stage:

5:30 PM                 Kinobe & The Wamu Spirit, Brought to you by Hancher  

7:00 PM                 TBA, Brought to you by Hancher

8:30 PM                 Al Jarreau, Brought to you by Hancher



11:00 AM – 8:00 PM African Marketplace, sponsored by Veridian Credit Union

11:00 AM -- 8:00 PM    FUN Zone, sponsored by MidWestOne Bank

11:00 AM – 10:00 PM Culinary Row

1:00 PM – 11:00 PM Beverage Garden, featuring products from Cedar Ridge Winery and 7G Distributing


Main Stage:

       11:00-12:00 PM  Ordained 2Praise Dance Ministry

                                 Set the Atmosphere

                                         Unified Youth Drill Team

sponsored by SouthGate Companies

12:30-2:00 PM The FunkDaddies, sponsored by University of Iowa Community Credit Union

2:30-4:00 PM Kilowatt & Grizz Blues Band, sponsored by 7G Distributing

4:30-6:00 PM Kool’s Bazaar, sponsored by Cedar Ridge Winery

7:00-8:30 PM 10 of Soul “A Genuine Tribute to Soul, Funk, and Everything in Between”

sponsored by the Sheraton & hotelVetro  

9:00-10:30 PM Lalah Hathaway, sponsored by Rockwell Collins




Summer Schedule Released!

It's that time of year when we are all anxiously awaiting the true arrival of spring!  In anticipation of warmer and longer days, Summer of the Arts released the  line-up of our summer festivals.

For complete schedules and bios, visit the respective festival page by clicking on the logo link on the right side of the page, then select the button on the left with the information you are looking for.

To access the on-line calendar and add dates to your personal calendar, click on the button at the bottom of the home page.

A few highlights:

Friday Night Concert Series -- kicks off May 16 with The Fez and wraps up Sept. 12 with Fire Sale AND Zeta June

Saturday Night Concert Series -- the third Saturday of the month in May, June, July & August starting May 17th with the City High and West High Jazz Bands

Iowa Arts Festival -- June 6-8 featuring Euforquestra and The Indigo Girls on Friday night

Free Movie Series -- celebrating its 10th year with movies counting from 1 - 10, starting with the June 14 showing of Captain America the First Avenger and finishing with a special Thursday night showing on August 21 of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

MusicIC -- Another wonderful opportunity to experience chamber music enhanced with literature in various downtown locations June 18-21

Iowa City Jazz Festival -- Moving to Thursday - Saturday, July 3-5, and featuring HUGE names like Joe Lovano and Tom Harrell. The Iowa City fireworks will take place Saturday, July 5

Iowa Soul Festival -- Moving to the UI Pentacrest Sept 19 & 20 and featuring Al Jarreau Friday night, brought to you by Hancher.  On Sunday, there will be a Gospel Brunch at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel in collaboration with KCCK Jazz 88.3!



Emily McMahon Named Development Director for Summer of the Arts

Emily McMahon has been named development director for Summer of the Arts, the organization that sponsors free summer festivals, concerts and outdoor movies in downtown Iowa City.  Summer of the Arts has grown substantially in the past four years and now produces eight major festivals from May through December.

“It’s important to remember that the free events sponsored by Summer of the Arts are actually funded by generous individual donors and many wonderful sponsors, including the City of Iowa City,”  said Diana Lundell, president of the board of directors.  “Our goal in bringing Emily on board is to ensure we stay in touch with these partners and to seek out new ones so that we can not only improve the quality of our events, but even add to them.” 
Lisa Barnes, executive director of Summer of the Arts, welcomed McMahon, saying, “Emily is an experienced professional who will serve as the single point of contact for our sponsors and donors.  She’ll also work with our fundraising committee to develop special events that will further support our mission.”
“After volunteering for many years as an intern and board member, I am ecstatic to be the development director for Summer of the Arts.  It feels like I have found an opportunity that fits who I am and what I want to become.  I look forward to connecting the organization with those community members who share our vision.  I am excited to build upon Summer of the Arts’ current relationships, recruit new donors, and engage these community members, which will create loyalty for years to come.  The future of Summer of the Arts is vibrant, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
McMahon has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Iowa in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship with course-work in marketing and non-profit management.  She most recently was senior catering manager for the DoubleTree, Cedar Rapids.  Prior to that, she was a catering sales manager from 2008 – 2013 for the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel. She is familiar with Summer of the Arts, having served as an operations intern for the organization in 2008 and as a board of directors member since 2011.
McMahon has also been active in the community outside of Summer of the Arts, serving on the EPIC (Empowered Professionals in the Iowa City Area) Leadership Council, Iowa City Junior Service League, American Heart Association Silent Auction Committee member and Greater Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

Celebrate The Season "Find The Elf" Game!

What is the "Find the Elf" Game? New to the Celebrate the Season event this year, the "Find the Elf" Game will be held throughout downtown Iowa City businesses the week of November 30th - December 7th!

Why Participate?  Because it's fun of course and you can win great prizes!  Find at least 10 of the 23 elves placed in participating downtown businesses and you can enter to win a Downtown Iowa City Gift Package!  Find all 23 Elves to be entered in the Grand Prize Drawing!

How to Participate You Ask:  Starting Saturday, November 30th, you can simply visit one of the participating stores (listed below), and pick up your game punch card! Your card lists each store location and the contest rules.  Once you have found the Elf in a store, the store associates will punch the card for you! The winner of the gift package and the Grand Prize Drawing will be drawn on Saturday, December 7, in the Old Capitol Town Center, where other Celebrate the Season activities are taking place. Cards may be turned in until 2:30 pm that day.

Thank you to the following downtown businesses for hosting an elf and donating prizes for Celebrate the Season's "Find the Elf" Game!

Good Luck Finding Elfie!



Hills Bank & Trust Company
Discerning Eye
Iowa Artisans Gallery
Om Gifts
Running Wild
Sweets & Treats
Sheraton/Share Restaurant
Molly's Cupcakes
Iowa Book
US Bank
High Ground
White Rabbit
Hands Jewelers
Java House

Englert Theatre


Final Week of Free Movie Series & Saturday Night Concert Series!

 We have a busy week as we wrap up the Free Movie Series and Saturday Night Concert Series.


The Free Movie Series ends on a special night -- Thursday, August 22nd with the 2012 hit "The Hunger Games" starring Academy Award Winner Jennifer Lawrence (Catching Fire, the second movie in the series comes out in November!).  The sun is setting earlier, so we plan to start the movie around 8:15 p.m.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy this film in a beautiful outdoor setting on the UI Pentacrest outside of Macbride Hall.

MOVIE DESCRIPTION:  In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.


At the Friday Night Concert Series August 23rd, we are pleased to bring back Jake McVey!  Jake is making a name for himself in the country music scene and last year he headlined Sand in the City. Opening for Jake is Prairie High School graduate Abby Ganske who shares a beautiful voice with some original songs and covers.  Abby will take the stage at 6:30 with Jake starting at 7 p.m.


Saturday brings the Latino Festival to downtown Iowa City with games, music and entertainment on the Ped Mall. Summer of the Arts is proud to partner with them and bring in Parranderos Latin Combo from Des Moines to wrap up the day-long festival.  For more information on the Latino Festival, click HERE.  Parranderos will play from 6:30 - 9 p.m.


Join us for an exciting week of FREE entertainment in downtown Iowa City!

Double Feature Week at the Free Movie Series!

 We are very excited about the Free Movie Series schedule for August 10th.  It's DOUBLE FEATURE NIGHT at the movies!



We will kick things off at 7:30 outside of Macbride Hall with a special performance by the 5 O'Clock Steel Band.  Our first movie, The Princess Bride will start at sundown, around 8:30 p.m.  This 1987 classic is one of the most requested movies we've ever shown!  Starring Robin Wright Penn as Princess Buttercup and Cary Elwes as farm hand Westley, the film also features great performances by Mandy Patinkin asInigo Montoya ("My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!"), Chris Sarandon as the devios Prince Humperdink, Andre the Giant as Fezzik and Wallace Shawn as Vizzini.  Add in a great cameo by Billy Crystal and Carol Kane, plus plenty of adventure, you have a truly original love story!  How many quotes do you remember from the movie?  I'm guessing there are plenty!


Immediately following The Princess Bride, we'll be showing 16 to Life.  For those of you who attended the Landlocked Film Festival in 2009, you are already familiar with this Iowa-based coming of age movie written and directed by Iowan Becky Smith and filmed in beautiful Macgregor, Iowa.  At the 2009 Landlocked Film Festival, 16 to Life won 1st place in the Narrative Film Category as well as the Audience Award playing to a packed house at the Englert Theater.

Kate is a rural American teenager whose angst about sexual inexperience drives a comic quest for love and understanding on a birthday to end all birthdays. 16 To Life, shot on location on the Mississippi River, boasts terrifically funny, heartfelt performances from newcomers Hallee Hirsh (KATE), Mandy Musgrave (DARBY), and soulful veteran seductress Theresa Russell (LOUISE). This first feature from Emmy-nominated writer/director Becky Smith (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) puts a wry, witty, and unpredictable ensemble cast in a small-town locale reminiscent of a Capra comedy. Kate’s irreverent fantasies of sexual awakening and guilt, fueled by obsessive reading of books on bizarre subjects (currently the Chinese Cultural Revolution) drive this explosive day. Kate is turning 16 and has never been kissed!  When best-friend Darby abruptly decides to lose her virginity this very day, mortified Kate pretends not to care by playing matchmaker for her other co-workers, Rene, the stoner cook (Shiloh Fernandez) and emotionally messy Louise (Theresa Russell), the stand owner. Kate pairs Louise with paraplegic customer and amateur Chinese historian, Ronald (Jaime Gomez), unaware of their tragic shared history. For Rene, Kate selects over-sexed Russian co-worker, Tatiana (Emily Foxler), to complicated and hilarious effect. Before the clock strikes midnight, Kate will learn more about love than most 16-year-olds could imagine. And Kate will discover what a 16-year-old American girl has in common with a 16-year-old Chinese girl half a world, and a cultural revolution, away.


So plan to join us Saturday night outside of Macbride Hall on the UI Pentacrest for a fabulous fun and funny evening of FREE entertainment.  Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blanket since the weather continues to cool down quite a bit at night!  Thanks to the Bijou Theater and Landlocked Film Festival for helping us line up these two fabulous movies!




Much More to Come this Summer!

I hope everyone had a great time at the Iowa City Jazz Festival this past weekend.  We really couldn't have asked for better weather in July and were fortunate to have a fabulous line-up of musicians, delicious food vendors, talented artists, expanded Fun Zone including the synthetic ice rink, which all added up to a really exciting weekend!

We're about half way through our season and there is SO much more to experience between now and the end of September!  This weekend we will take full advantage of the beautiful summer weather with local favorites playing at the Friday & Saturday Night Concert Series -- Bambu and The Beaker Brothers, respectively, plus the 80's classic "Real Genius" at the Free Movie Series on Saturday at sundown. Join us downtown for lots of FREE family-friendly fun and check the schedules for the rest of the summer so you don't miss a thing!

Saturday, June 29th events moved to rain locations!

 Due to the intermittent rain showers, the Saturday Night Concert Series will be moved to the lower level of the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp at Washington and Gilbert Streets.  

Join us from 6:30 - 9 p.m. for Rod Pierson's 'Not So' Big Band featuring Craig Boche, sponsored by Miron Construction.






The Free Movie Series showing of The Help will be moved into Macbride Auditorium and start at 8:30 p.m.  The pre=movie performance by the Iowa City Community Band has been canceled.

What You Need to Know About the Iowa City Jazz Festival

In case you're from out-of-town and aren't familiar with downtown Iowa City, here's some information that you might find helpful.

  • Dubuque Street provides the most direct access to downtown Iowa City from I-80.
  • The main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival is set up in front of the Old Capitol (original capitol of Iowa) on the University of Iowa Pentacrest adjacent to Clinton Street between Washington Street on the South and Jefferson Street on the North.
  • The College and Local Side Stages are set up on Clinton Street with the College Stage closer to Washington Street and the Local Stage closer to Jefferson Street.
  • Artist Booths and the Beverage Garden are both located on Clinton Street along with the Merchandise Booth, First Aid Booth and Volunteer Check-in.
  • Culinary Row is located on Iowa Avenue along with the Youth Stage.
  • The Skating Rink and FUN Zone are located on Iowa Avenue. The valet bicycle parking is located on Iowa Avenue adjacent to the festival entryway.
  • The Iowa City Jazz Festival is FREE -- no tickets required for attendance!
  • Bring your own blankets or lawn chairs for seating.  There will be covered bleacher seating at the Youth Stage, but not at the College or Local Stage.
  • Parking is readily available in downtown parking ramps.  The Iowa City Downtown District has a nice parking map HERE.
  • We want you to enjoy your experience, so for your comfort and convenience, our festival features a Baby Care Station, Doggy Hydration Station (no dogs on Culinary Row please), and if you purchase one of our new refillable water bottles for only $6, you receive FREE refills throughout the weekend courtesy of Crystal Clear Water!

If you have additional questions about the Iowa City Jazz Festival, please feel free to contact


Iowa City Fireworks July 5th!

Wondering about the Iowa City fireworks this year?  Summer of the Arts is proud to partner with the City of Iowa City to bring you the fireworks on Friday, July 5th following the performance of Sachal Vasandani and the Iowa Jazz Orchestra at the Iowa City Jazz Festival.

The fireworks will start around 9:30 p.m., immediately following the final performance of the night on the main stage.  The fireworks will be set up in Hubbard Park outside of the Iowa Memorial Union, so Iowa Avenue and Madison Streets will be closed leading up to the festivities and immediately following the show to allow for safety and clean-up.

You'll have a great view on the East side of the Old Capitol after the Jazz Festival performance, or bring your blankets to the West side of the Old Capitol for "front row" seats for the fireworks.

MusicIC is Back!

Musical performances by local and world-renowned talent. A world premiere. Stuff for kids. That’s MusicIC, Iowa City’s chamber music festival. And it’s all free and open to the public!


Here’s the rundown of events:

 • Thursday, June 13, Music for String Quartet and Soprano, 7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 320 East College Street.

 • Friday, June 14, Songs of Love and Loss, 7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church.

 • Saturday, June 15, A Soldier’s Tale by Igor Stravinsky, 7:30 p.m. Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington, downtown Iowa City.

 • Sunday, June 16, From Stories to Music with Goodnight Moon, Pecos Bill and Ferdinand the Bull, family concert at Iowa City Public Library, 2 p.m.


See all the details on our website:

The Free Movie Series Begins!

Summer of the Arts brings another exciting weekend to Iowa City!
Presented by M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers and the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums, the Free Movie Series is featuring its first full-length movie this Saturday night! The ten-week series will provide refreshments from Bijou Theatre each week and host special activities one-hour prior to some of the movies. Also, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will remain open to the public for people to explore its amazing museums before show time.

Following is a complete schedule of the Free Movie Series. For movie descriptions and other information, visit our Facebook page at

Victor/Victoria, June 15- sponsored by the Pride Festival
Ice Age, June 22
The Help, June 29
Real Genius, July 13
Vertigo, July 20
Hairspray, July 27
Lincoln, August 3
DOUBLE FEATURE: The Princess Bride AND 16 to Life, August 10
Monsters, Inc., August 17
Hunger Games, August 22

Note: In case of bad weather, the movies will be relocated to the MacBride Hall auditorium. Subject times are set to vary.

Friday Night Concert Series is back this week with a special performance from the band Tallgrass! The live concert will take place on the Pedestrian Plaza at the Weatherdance Fountain Stage outside the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Called "The best damn band I've never heard" by the ghost of Elvis, this three-piece band out of Iowa City brings gravel road vocals, quick-picked guitar, and a rhythm section with stomping ground sound. Visit or to listen.

RAIN LOCATION: In case of rain, Tallgrass will be relocated to the lower level of the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp on the corner of Washington and Gilbert Streets (same location as the Iowa City Farmer’s Market).

Check out each event this weekend for two great evenings downtown Iowa City!

Iowa Arts Festival Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Iowa Arts Festival, presented by Veridian Credit Union, is celebrating its 30th anniversary June 7 through the 9th. The free weekend long event is winner of Iowa City Press-Citizen's "2012 Best Festival", 2005-2008 "Favorite Festival", and three years running "Best of the Area."

"The Iowa Arts Festival is one of the longest running festivals in the area and its success is due to the vision and dedication of the handful of individuals who decided, in 1983, to formally celebrate the start of summer with an arts festival," states Lisa Barnes, Summer of the Arts Executive Director.

This event celebrates the arts in many different ways through visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts and literary arts for people of all ages. Some of this year’s attractions are as follows:

The Emerging Artist Pavilion, sponsored by Goodfellow Printing and US Bank. Located in the US Bank parking lot (on the corner of Washington and Linn street), spend the day shopping and browsing many talented young artists.

Sponsored by Johnsonville Sausages, Culinary Row is bringing a diverse array food vendors. Options include Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, Greek, American, as well as vegan and vegetarian, to provide a taste of everything. The vendors are located on the West end of Iowa Avenue.

ART GOES LIVE! is a collection of artist demonstrations back by popular demand, sponsored by downtown businesses. On Saturday and Sunday during the Art Fair, check out Booth #77 (Chait Galleries), Booth #78 (Beadology), Booth #85 (Iowa Artisans Gallery), Booth #91 (The Englert Theater), and Booth #125A (Akar).
The children’s activities are located in the Pedestrian Mall featuring Children's Day, sponsored by MidWestOne Bank and produced by the Iowa City Public Library on Saturday and Global Village, sponsored by West Bank featuring 13 different countries on Sunday.

NEW this year: FUN Stops for kids (and adults) to enjoy themselves will be strategically located throughout the festival and provide interactive arts and crafts.

On Sunday, June 9th at 9:50 a.m., Iowa Arts Festival welcomes its first Carnaval parade! This amazing addition will feature live music and colorful costumes and floats making each person in the parade work of art.

Sponsored by Toyota-Scion of Iowa City, the main stage will include a jam packed weekend of music performances. On opening night, Redbird kicks things off at 7 p.m. on the main stage Friday night. and we welcome back the Richard Thompson Electric Trio at 9 p.m.. Additional musical performances (just to name a few) on Saturday and Sunday: Mutiny in the Parlor, Slewgrass, Kelly Pardekooper, MOvMNT Dance Group, Sam Knutson, Eilen Jewell and Old 97’s. Enjoy these live music performances at the beer garden located on Iowa Avenue at the corner of Dubuque Street by the Main Stage!

Since its beginning in 1983, the Iowa Arts Festival continues to provide the opportunity for individuals of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds to experience, learn about, and enjoy the arts while celebrating summer.

SPECIAL NOTE: With North Dubuque Street closed, motorists coming to Iowa City for the Iowa Arts Festival are asked to take exit 246 (North Dodge Street) to enter the City.

Live Performances from Gloria Hardiman with the Johnny Kilowatt Band and Adam Ezra Group!

Summer of the Arts is all set to host more live performances at the Weatherdance Fountain Stage May 31 & June 1 featuring Gloria Hardiman with the Johnny Kilowatt Band on Friday and The Adam Ezra Group on Saturday.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday night with the Johnny Kilowatt Band.  Led by vocal guitarist Jon Klinkowitz, the live performance is a regular staple to Iowa City’s music scene.  Klinkowitz has been playing the soul and rhythm of rock 'n roll for over 20 years and was inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Friday Night Concert series also features soul-driven vocalist and Chicago blues veteran Gloria Hardiman.  The performing duo is a dynamic concert attracting people of all ages to come out and enjoy an evening downtown.  Expect an experience of soulful blues mixed with the vocal power of gospel. 

Boston-based Adam Ezra Group group performs this Saturday night, courtesy of the Iowa City Downtown District and Integrated DNA Technologies. The Adam Ezra Group features original music passionate about social change that gives people an opportunity to experience music as activism.

Looking at music as a way to channel contemporary social issues to an audience, AEG is a social and political force to be heard and seen.  In 2009, the documentary ‘Keepin On: A Film About the Adam Ezra Group’ followed the lives of the five band members making them some of the most talked about musicians in Greater Boston. Experience the AEG project at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday night for an amazing live performance that will deliver great energy and deep, thought-provoking lyrics. 

Remember in case of rain, the concert will be moved to the lower level of the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp at Gilbert & Washington Streets.

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City of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts           319.337.7944           P.O. Box 3128 Iowa City IA 52244-3128