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Past Endeavors

Bluestockings

Feminist art collective.

The Center for Humanist Inquiries

The Center for Humanist Inquiries offers classes, workshops, and individual consultations to help people become better critical and creative thinkers. We hope to connect thoughtful people in supportive and enriching local and global online communities. In all we offer, CHI explores basic human questions with an interdisciplinary approach to provoke wonder in everyday life.


draft: the journal of process

draft: the journal of process is a one-of-a-kind literary journal that publishes first and final drafts of stories, essays, and poems along with author interviews about the creative process. draft was founded in 2010 by Mark Polanzak and Rachel Yoder and has since been profiled in The Boston Globe, The L.A. Times, Poets & Writers, and The AWP Chronicle. We’ve talked shop, craft, drafts, and everything in between at The AWP Conference, The Witching Hour Festival (Iowa City), The Editors’ Roundtable at Porter Square Books (Boston), and on a new podcast called THE FAIL SAFE, produced in collaboration with The Iowa Writers’ House. Our journal has showcased the drafts of luminary writers and poets such as Amy Bloom, Roxane Gay, Matt Hart, Matt Bell, and Joe Wilkins. In addition to our print publication, we also curate a blog featuring writing exercises, craft talks, articles on the writing life, and student writing. For more info, please visit draftjournal.com.

Produced collaboratively by draft: the journal of process and The Iowa Writers’ House, The Fail Safe podcast provides encouragement for anyone who’s ever wanted to write and pulls back the curtain on the creative process for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the writer-at-work. This interview podcast explores how today’s most successful writers grapple with and learn from creative failure and examines the many challenges and pitfalls of the literary life. Past guests include Garth Greenwell, Leslie Jamison, and Roxane Gay in conversation with host Rachel Yoder. More at thefailsafepodcast.com.


Global Food Project of Iowa City

Global Food Project connects newly arrived and established Iowa City and Johnson County residents through sustainable local food production, educational events, and community gatherings. We provide a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment for sharing life experiences, building trust between cultures, and embracing the diversity of our fellow Iowans.


Iowa Music Project

Iowa Music Project is a collaborative endeavor dedicated to promoting, producing, and preserving live music throughout the state of Iowa.


Iowa Youth Writing Project

The Iowa Youth Writing Project is a collective of like-minded individuals that aims to join Iowa City’s unique literary heritage with its community, fostering creativity and writing among the children of Iowa City and surrounding communities. It provides writing, tutoring, and publishing opportunities to Iowa’s school-aged children and teens. These opportunities are provided at little or no cost to participants through the volunteer work of Iowa City’s literary community and partnerships with local programs, organizations, and institutions.

IYWP Goals and Objectives:

  • To foster imagination and the art of creative writing for children and teens
  • To provide free opportunities for project-based literary and interdisciplinary learning
  • To inspire children and teens with a lifelong appreciation of the writing arts
  • To create events, workshops, and other avenues for children and teens to work with nationally recognized and professional writers
  • To provide after-school and in-school support for teachers and students
  • To serve as a resource for student writing and publishing
  • To empower youth through language, literature, and creative thinking

Mission Creek

A festival held each spring that includes concerts, comedic performances, literary readings and events, film screenings, public lectures, food and culture events, and a tech and innovation mini-conference. It is now part of Englert Theater.


Prompt Press

Publications: inspired by Gertrude Stein's Paris Salon, Prompt Press provides inspiration for and invites collaboration between writers and visual artists. We believe cross media collaboration is vital to the creation of boundary pushing new work, and necessary at a time when funding for the arts is low. Prompt provides a space for artists to connect, study each other's work, and publish within the national scene. In our exploration of how word becomes image, becomes word we invite book artists, who are already working in the space between image and word, to design our bi-annual print journal.

Workshops and Camps: supports teen artists and writers through workshops and publishing opportunities. Our “Image+Word” workshop for teens (offered in collaboration with IYWP) takes an interdisciplinary approach to teaching both visual art and writing. Our first month long “Image+Word” workshop for adults will be offered in March in collaboration with Iowa City Poetry. Prompt also partners with Iowa City Poetry to sponsor the monthly “Free Generative Writing Workshop.” Each month a new talented teacher/writers presents an original prompt, from which participants write and receive feedback.


Public Space One

PS1 is concerned with providing the community a structure for expression in a multitude of genres and forms. It is now part of Legion Arts.


Reclaiming Roots

Our hope is that spaces are restored and reclaimed and that people meet people in the process. We believe all space is sacred and we have a duty in maintaining beauty.

Our hope is that while we work together toward completing each project, we learn to be conscious of our decisions and obligation to add to the beauty.

Our hope is that while we find ourselves in a culture of consumption and exhaustion we are able to slow down enough to see that all space is sacred and in need of repair.

Our hope is we become aware that we cannot survive without each other. That community is essential and without everyone’s help we will find ourselves looking for something more.

Our hope is to express love.


Saturday Night Free Movie Series

Started as a pilot program by M.C. Ginsberg and the James Gang in 2005, the Free Movie Series features a full-length movie on the University of Iowa Pentacrest outside of Macbride Hall. Each week you can enjoy a classic or contemporary feature film.  Movies start at sundown and many offer special entertainment prior to the feature film. It is now part of Summer of the Arts.


The Seagull Film

Our project involves making a full-length independent non-profit film of Anton Chekhov’s play, The Seagull. The film is to be shot here in Iowa during the summer of 2015 using mostly Iowa actors, artists and technicians. As director, Carol MacVey has worked on this play for three decades: researching, directing, acting, translating, teaching, and writing about the complex characters and beautiful world created by Chekhov at the turn of the 20th century. As a playwright, Chekhov’s genius is his ability to represent both our interactive outward lives as well as our unspoken often unrealized inner lives. Film may be the ideal medium to capture the depth and breadth of his vision.



Ten Thousand Hours Show

The 10,000 Hours Show (10K) is a year-round effort to engage young people in volunteer service that culminates in a free concert for which the only admission is 10 or more volunteer hours to local nonprofit organizations. It is now a national youth engagement project of the United Way.

cFree Wireless Project

An endeavor to provide free wireless to the community from 2004.

The Coaster Project

Composing Charities Project

A series of benefit shows to raise awareness and support of both local artists and local non-profit organizations from 2002-2006.

UNStaged

A free performance art event in Mount Vernon in 2007.