Opera & Meatballs a Big Hit

We've been hearing lots of great comments about our first joint fundraiser with the UI School of Music, "Opera & Meatballs," which was held Saturday night at the UIMA. For those of you that missed it, guests were treated to great food and a sampling of opera’s greatest moments, ranging from the breathtaking to the hilarious. Performed by talented School of Music students and alumni, the program included stuck-up starlets, seduction scenes, dueling divas, spine-tingling solos, and even singing waiters. What a fun night!

With nearly 120 attendees, the event raised approximately $6,000 for the Museum and School of Music vocal programs. Because of your generosity, the UIMA and the School of Music can continue to produce high-quality programming to benefit our entire community. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Special thanks to the event sponsor, Iowa State Bank & Trust, Chef Mickey's Catering for providing the meal, the UI School of Music students and alumni for their performances, Shari Rhoads for musical direction and program preparation, and the Opera & Meatballs event committee, chaired by Deb Galbraith, for planning the event. You are very much appreciated!

Here are some photos for you to check out. And if you attended the event, we want to know -- what did you think? What was good? What could have been better? What ideas do you have for future collaborations like this one? Have you become an opera convert after hearing those voices up-close, or is opera still not your thing?
Accordanist Jill Van Dorpe welcomes guests (above). Deb Galbraith, chair of the Opera & Meatballs event committee, greets guests, and Maitre d's David Johnsen (far right, Deb's husband and Dean of the Dental School) and Alan Swanson ( a member of the UIMA Members Council, show them to their tables.
Guests enjoy pre-performance beverages and appetizers.
Jo Ellickson places a basket of bread on the table (above). All the waiters for the evening were UI School of Music students.
Don't the decorations look lovely?
The UI School of Music waitstaff (above).
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Lola Lopes kicks off the evening with an introduction.
Above, from left to right: Shari Rhoads, Deb Galbraith, Lola Lopes, and Buffie Tucker (Members Council Coordinator for the UIMA). Great work, ladies!The opera stars (above).Shari introduces the evening's first act (above), Emily Johnson and Quiliano Anderson (below), who sang "Libiamo ne' calici" from Verdi's La TraviataAllison Holmes sings "Quando m'en vo" from Puccini's La Boheme (above and below).
Surprise! Singing waiters (above). Who knew a song composed entirely of words used to denote phrasing, dynamics, and tempo in music could be so much fun? Definitely a highlight of the evening.
Guests at this table were treated to an unexpected guest......Bryce Weber, playing a diva from G. Donizetti's Viva la mamma opposite Erin Smith. They sang "Oh, if I only had a serpent's vicious tongue" -- what fun!

Again, a big thanks goes to everyone who joined us at the Museum for this wonderful event. We hope you had a great time!

** Photos by Ben Roberts **

WOW! Family Day 2008: An African Celebration

If you didn't come to WOW! Family Day this past Sunday, you missed out on some cool performances, games, and activities exploring the museum's great collection of African art. Here are some photos from the day.
"Dr. J" took kids on a tour of Africa through storytelling, song, and dance (above, below).
UI student volunteers taught African games (below). Kids received "passports" (above) for their African journey and docents stamped them when they traveled to parts of the African collection (below).Visitors could watch clips from videos shot on location in Africa, and ask questions of UIMA docents (below). The UI Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble performed to a crowded room (below).... ...and then they asked the audience to join in (below)!All-in-all, it was a great day! A big thanks goes to all the volunteers who helped out with the event, including the volunteers from the event's sponsor, US Bank ( a couple are pictured below) -- we couldn't have done it without you!


Volunteer Reception

Finally --- here are some photos from our annual Susan M. Horowitz Volunteer Reception, held this year on April 16 at UIMA Director Howard Collinson's lovely light-filled home in honor of longtime UIMA volunteer Marlene Stanford. We hope those of you who made it out had a great time, and we really appreciate all the work you do for us!!

In addition to numerous volunteer activities, including serving on the Members Council, Marlene coordinated The Museum Store and Coffee Bar for nearly 10 years and was instrumental in its transformation from an occasional operation to a beloved Museum staple. Under her guidance, the store opened as a permanent part of the Museum in the fall of 2001. In fall of 2003 it moved to the mezzanine overlooking the Iowa River where it remained until its closing in July of 2007.
These photos were taken by one of our newest volunteers, Natalia Salazar. Natalia is a UI photography student who has worked for The Daily Iowan and the City of Chicago, and she hopes to get into magazine photography in the future. We'll probably be using some of her photographs in our Fall 2008 UIMA Magazine. Thanks for your work, Natalia!


Tom Brokaw is coming!

It's official: The May 2 "Know the Score LIVE!" held at the Museum will feature a special guest: the Former NBC Nightly News anchor and UI Alumni Service Award winner Tom Brokaw (right)!

The program is presented in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is May 2. Brokaw will discuss his latest book, Boom, as well as reflect on the people he met and stories he heard when researching his bestseller, The Greatest Generation.

When Brokaw was anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News from 1982 through 2004, he was one of the most widely known and respected newsmen in the United States. He traveled the world covering the major stories of the time, including the Tiananmen Square massacre in China and the fall of the Berlin Wall, which literally came down around him.

Brokaw attended the University of Iowa as an undergraduate, but completed his degree at the University of South Dakota. Nevertheless, he has shared his time, talents, and financial resources with the UI, leading to the Alumni Service Award from the UI Alumni Association.

"Know the Score," part of the monthly arts and humanities series hosted by Joan Kjaer, can be heard live on radio station KSUI, 91.7 FM (101.7 FM in Dubuque) and KHKE, 89.5 FM in Cedar Falls/Waterloo. It will be rebroadcast 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 3, on the Iowa Public Radio classical network, including KSUI and KHKE as well as WOI, FM 90.1 in Ames/Des Moines.

Other guests on the program will be Jason Weinberger, the director of the Waterloo-Cedar Fall Symphony, who will share his family's personal story of suffering and loss during the Holocaust; and Arthur Canter, UI professor emeritus, who will describe his experiences as a U.S. soldier entering the Mauthausen concentration camp at the end of the war.

Christopher Merrill, director of the UI International Writing Program, will read literary selections related to World War II and the Holocaust.

Weinberger and a group of principal-chair players from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony will perform selections from the "Quartet for the End of Time," written in a German prison camp during World War II by French composer Olivier Messiaen. Messiaen, a pianist, discovered among his fellow inmates a clarinetist, a violinist and a violoncellist, and wrote his mystical and haunting quartet for that unusual group of instruments.

The four performers -- Weinberger, clarinet; Sean Botkin, piano; Anita Tucker, violin; and Jonathan Chenoweth, cello -- will perform and discuss several of the eight movements of the quartet.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred and indifference reign.

"The Holocaust is not merely a story of destruction and loss; it is . . . a remarkable story of the human spirit and the life that flourished before the Holocaust, struggled during its darkest hours, and ultimately prevailed as survivors rebuilt their lives."

The University of Iowa Alumni Association is the corporate sponsor of "Know the Score LIVE!" broadcasts.


Upcoming Events

The end of April is a busy month for extracurriculars at the Museum. Here's a quick run down of upcoming UIMA events:
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17: Writer-in-Residence reading. UIMA Writer-in-Residence Amelia Bird reads with Iowa City author Joe Blair. Come early to hear members of the UI undergraduate literary review, earthwords, read from 6-7 p.m. UIMA graduate student writers fro 2008 are sponsored by Mary K. Calkin. More information here and press release here.
5-7 p.m. Friday, April 18: Know the Score LIVE! Shari Rhoads, coach-accompanist for the UI Martha Ellen-Tye Opera Theater, talks about the UIMA and UI School of Music benefit, "Opera and Meatballs," to be held 7-10 p.m. Saturday, April 26; John Tibbetts, producer of the radio series "The World of Robert Schumann" and associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Kansas, discusses Schumann's music; and pianist Uriel Tsachor, bassoonist Benjamin Coleho, and the Maia String Quartet from the UI School of Music perform on this monthly arts and humanities series hosted by Joan Kjaer. "Know the Score" can can be heard live on radio station KSUI, 91.7 FM (101.7 FM in Dubuque) and KHKE, 89.5 FM in Cedar Falls/Waterloo. It will be rebroadcast 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 19, on the Iowa Public Radio classical network, including KSUI and KHKE as well as WOI, FM 90.1 in Ames/Des Moines. More information here and here, press release here.
2 p.m. Sunday, April 20: Music at the Museum -- Canión: Spanish Art Song and Zarzuela Music Soprano Colleen Jennings and mezzo-soprano Vivien Shotwell will perform Spanish music and zarazuela arias accompanied by Shari Rhoads, piano. Zarazuela are operettas with plots in the comedy or lyric operetta tradition. They are a popular form of entertainment in Spain and Latin American countries. This eclectic program will include canción from De Falla, Turina, and other prominent Spanish composers. Recital attendance will be available. This performance is sponsored by William and Marlene W. Stanford. More information here, press release here.
7 p.m. Saturday, April 26: Opera & Meatballs We're bringing opera back -- back to its informal roots, that is. In partnership with the UI School of Music have teamed up to revive some of the less formal operatic traditions from the past with their first joint fundraiser, "Opera & Meatballs." With performances by UI School of Music students and hearty Italian Cuisine catered by Chef Mickey's Catering, you're sure to be toe-tapping to Puccini and Mozart for weeks after.



That's about the best word to sum up what's going on right now at the UIMA. Most of the permanent collection galleries are still empty, as we work to get everything together for our stellar reinstallation that is slated to be completed mid-summer. In the mean time, you can still see most of the works you love (Grant Wood's Plaid Sweater, Picasso's Flower Vase on a Table, Chagall's The Blue Horse, Matisse's Blue Interior with Two Girls, etc.) if you mosey on back to the North Gallery -- that's the one that usually has our big temporary exhibitions. There, you will find a special exhibition called "European and American works from the Collection." It's centered around the return of our Max Beckmann 1943 triptych, Carnival (pictured below), which had been on loan to a couple museums in Europe for a Beckmann show. More info online here, including the press release.We've also got a couple great shows opening May 9: MFA 2008 and The Power of Line: European and American Prints from the Lee Collection. MFA 2008 is our annual showcase of work by UI School of Art and Art History Masters of Fine Arts graduates. This year there's a large group -- more than 30 -- who are eligible to be in the show. We should know in the next couple weeks exactly who you can expect to see, but one thing is guaranteed -- it will be interesting! Check out this story from the Daily Iowan about last year's show, or this one from two years ago.

The Power of Line is a show that was guest curated by UI Professor of Art History Joni Kinsey and her museums class last semester. The prints (the one below is The Veil (Honeysuckle) by Frederick Warren Freer, 1887) are drawn from the collection of Debra Gabrielson Lee and Thomas Lee, which they donated in 2006 to the Museum. The show examines the work of several well known American etchers, including Thomas Moran, Henry Farrer, Charles Adams Platt, and Mary Nimmo Moran, who worked during the American Etching Revival of the 19th Century. These artists looked at printmaking in a new way—drawing inspiration from artists such as the American-born, British-based James Whistler, they used their etchings not only to depict a specific place, but also to evoke a feeling or mood. It should be a good show!