Arts and Culture

Justin Brice Guariglia gave up photojournalism to pursue environmental activism a few years ago. Today, he is most well known for his large scale photographic, sculptural and installation-based works inspired by the relationship between the earth and humans. He uses art to try and get his point across that humans are having a negative impact on the planet. 

Matt Alvarez / IPR

When cellist Hannah Holman began her YouTube series exploring the lives of female cellists throughout history, she did not anticipate getting many views or subscribers. Austin McConnell, a YouTuber with nearly one million subscribers, recently promoted Holman's channel in one of his videos, helping Holman develop a larger audience. 

James St. John / Flickr

A new podcast, "Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest" is harnessing the power of oral storytelling to explore the history and identity of the Midwest. 

Kyle Head / Unsplash

Theater has a problem. Only 30% of all plays performed nationwide last year were written by women, and that number is even lower in parts of the Midwest. Iowa State wants to change that.

Ted S. Warren/AP

When the #MeToo movement took off in the United States, it sent ripple effects around the world.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by two writers from very different parts of the world for a look at how violence against women and other vulnerable individuals manifests across the globe, and how it is countered and called out by women who write.

S. Benjamin Farrar

Megan Gogerty made a name for herself in Iowa's theater scene with her witty and comedic writing and delivery. Her latest work "FEAST." is a departure from this style, and takes the audience into a visceral, immersive theater experience where those seated in the theater are just as much a part of the story as Gogerty.

On this segment of Talk of Iowa, Gogerty joins host Charity Nebbe for a look at her new one-woman show set at a dinner party where political discontent and patriarchal critique are on the menu.

Jennifer Drinkwater

 

It’s easy to focus on all the things that are wrong in the world today, but Jennifer Drinkwater has a way to recognize the good that is hiding in plain sight. The What’s Good Project is a collaborative archive of the good in communities which feature paintings inspired by interviews, stories, photos, and drawings. 

In this segment of Talk of Iowa, Jennifer Drinkwater joins host Charity Nebbe to discuss how art has a positive impact and how this project can help shape a community. 

 

“Focusing on strengthening those assets helps create a 'spiraling up effect' in communities," Drinkwater says. "It can help strengthen the challenging areas, and I thought why not use this as a way to start an art project."

Drinkwater's work has focused on her native state of Mississippi, and her adopted state of Iowa, but she hopes to connect with people around the world. She says The What's Good Project is, as of now, a continuation of her life's work. 

 

Charity Nebbe / IPR

 

Indigenous People's Day was first celebrated in 1989 in South Dakota, and it has gradually caught on around the country as an alternative to celebrating Columbus Day.

Several cities and towns across Iowa declared the second Monday of October to be Indigenous People's Day in 2017. Governor Kim Reynolds made a statewide declaration in October 2018, and this year many other communities in Iowa have joined the movement. 

Natalia Zubko

A giant piece of public art is going up in Des Moines’ Water Works Park. The work is part sculpture and part musical performance.

The piece near the recently opened amphitheater in Water Works is called “River Constellation.” It’s the result of a collaboration between Brooklyn, New York based sculptor Natalia Zubko and composer Beau Kenyon, a native of Creston.

Loucious Thomas / Flickr

Throughout the last five years of his career as a running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch, or "Beast Mode," disengaged with the press and embraced silence as a form of protest. He became known for sitting during the national anthem and pushing back against questions from the news media.

A new documentary, "Lynch: A History," gives insight into what the all-American, all-pro, Super Bowl champion was communicating through silence. 

Photo Courtesy of Gail Brasher-Krug

This episode origionally aired on  9-27-19

Patterns of Migration In Iowa

Sep 23, 2019
Matthew Alvarez

 

Iowa is home to over 180 languages, and residents from across the world as a result of a range of migration waves. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, we explore the factors that draw people to Iowa as well as the challenges they may face here as part one of our "Iowa Week: Is This Home?" series.

Visit a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens with IPR Producer Matthew Alvarez, and hear the thoughts of new citizens about their ties to Iowa and thoughts about the state. Then, learn more about why we have the population in the state that we do. 

Charity Nebbe

A big dream is coming true for film lovers in Downtown Iowa City this week. For the last three years, people have watched the construction of the Chauncey building. This fifteen-story building will have a mixture of commercial and residential space, but what is on the first floor has film lovers excited. On Sept. 20, the new space for FilmScene, a non-profit cinema, and cultural organization will open its doors to the public. 

This program originally aired on April 1, 2019

NPR listeners know Paula Poundstone as a regular panelist on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and from 30 years of being hilarious on stage.

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Poundstone.

Matt Winkelmeyer

Nick Offerman became a household name as the meat-eating, gun-loving, Libertarian macho man Ron Swanson on the television show "Parks and Rec." But, his career choices since that iconic role have taken him in a vastly different direction. And that's on purpose.

"If I can say no, I will," says Offerman. Leaving "daylight in his calendar," has allowed him to tour as a comedian. It allowed him to do the film "Hearts Beat Loud," co-starring Kiercey Clemons. And it's allowed him to work with British author and filmmaker Alex Garland on his FX series "Devs."

Amy Baugess / Unsplash

What isn't being said about the lives of women in rural Kentucky?

Fueled by intuition, and inspired by time she spent filming present day life in rural Appalachia, pianist and composer Rachel Grimes set out to answer that question.

Ben Godar / Birth of the Cy-Hawk: A Documentary

When Iowa and Iowa State renewed their football rivalry in 1977, a group of ordinary guys conceived and created the trophy they would call “the Cy-Hawk.” A new documentary, Birth of the Cy-Hawk, tells this unique, Iowa story.

Lindsey Moon / IPR

The artist Rose Frantzen has a vision for her hometown of Maquoketa in Eastern Iowa. She sees a place with art at its core.

“We would be, like, an arts district, where you would come and see five, six, seven, eight galleries,” she says from the Old City Hall Gallery she owns with her husband and fellow artist Chuck Morris.

Courtesy of Max Wilkening


Music festival fans in Iowa found a lot to love this summer, with a mix of established festivals and new ones popping up around the state. Why are these festivals so appealing? Enter a well-planned music festival, and it can feel like you’re stepping into another world. One full of adventure, inspiration and escape. 

Kate Payne/IPR

An artistic couple who are largely running and biking their way along the length of the Mississippi River passed through LeClaire Friday. The trek from the river’s headwaters in Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico is part of a storytelling project that spans 10 states.

Courtesy of Gloria Martinez

The Iowa State Fair opened last Thursday and hundreds of thousands of visitors have already passed through the gates to see what this year's fair has to offer. 

For this special Iowa State Fair hour of Talk of Iowa, our host Charity Nebbe visited the fairgrounds the day before it opened. She talks to the fierce competitors of the popular jams, jellies and fruit butter competitions, then introduces a mother-son baking duo who have been competing in the baking contests for the last four years.

Charity Nebbe / IPR

Remember those afternoons at the lake, road trips with the sun blazing through the windshield, hot summer nights? The moments that make up our summer memories are often accompanied by music. 

John Pemble

This program originally aired on 8-15-18.

 

Corn dogs, baby ducks, and a butter cow to boot!

 

The Iowa State Fair is a time-honored tradition for many Iowans, and has gained a reputation for being one of the largest fairs in the nation.

 

Do you remember your first fair? 

Blank Park Zoo


Elvert Barnes — / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

This program originally aired on 1-08-18.

Domestic violence usually happens in private. It is unseen and underreported. Helping a loved one in an abusive relationship can be easier said than done. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with guests about this common type of abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some kind of violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

Emily Woodbury

This program originally aired on 11-29-17.

Artist Rose Frantzen grew up in Maquoketa and started painting portraits when she was in high school. Since then, she’s gained national and international acclaim for her oil paintings. She lives and works with her husband, Chuck Morris, an acclaimed artist of his own right.

Iowa seems like an unlikely destination for two very successful artists who met in New York City’s Central Park, but Rose Frantzen and Chuck Morris have made Maquoketa their home, their workplace, and an artistic destination.

Kate Payne/IPR

A collaborative art project in Cedar Rapids is helping immigrants and refugees explore the meaning of home by working with clay. The Shifting Ground project grapples with identity, memory and relocation as new Iowans from Central Africa and Latin America make lives for themselves in the U.S.

The Importance of Kids Music

Jul 25, 2019
Image courtesy of IPTV

This program originally aired on 11-09-17.  

Music is a powerful medium, allowing us to access and experience an entire spectrum of feelings. For children, music is an important educational tool as well, and all too often, children's music has a tendency to become bland. Host of IPTV's Kids Club Dan Wardell and musician Jim Sieck are on a mission to create interesting kids music, while also teaching them valuable lessons. One song in particular teaches kids about the alphabet.

Dave Herholz / Flickr

The Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, known as RAGBRAI, is just days away.  The recreational bicycle tour will take place July 21 through July 27 where about 10,000 registered riders from all 50 states and some international will travel through Iowa. 

Emily & Mason Kessinger / flagofdesmoines.com

You know what the American flag looks like, and the Iowa flag is labeled, so you can’t miss it, but does your city have a flag? Cedar Rapids is going through the process of designing a new city flag and there’s a grassroots movement afoot to bring back the Des Moines Flag. But what makes for a good flag design? In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with several guests about not only good flag design but also what these flags mean to these cities.

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