News Briefs

  • Iowa City's Brazilian- and Caribbean-style carnival parade celebrates community

    June 26, 2017


    Girl wearing butterfly wings costumeTraveling through the air past Afro Brazilian drum beats, the June breeze settled on a set of hand-painted butterfly wings, which fluttered gently on the back of 7-year-old Karina Schularick. In the 86 degree heat, she modeled the orange and black of her monarch costume before Iowa City’s Brazilian- and Caribbean-style carnival parade.

    “I’ve never been in a parade before,” she said. She flapped her arms a little. “I really like the wings.”

    In her monarch costume, Karina became a part of something bigger than herself. By walking in the parade that kicked off Iowa City’s Arts Festival on June 2, she became immersed in a community arts tradition, a rich display of kinetic art that included storytelling, dance, visual art, and more.

    Now in its fourth year, the parade celebrated community with a theme of “Iowa Stories.” For instance, monarch butterfly and bee costumes signified the importance of pollinators to the Iowa environment. And colorful floral gears represented the state’s intertwined natural and industrial worlds, said Loyce Arthur, associate professor of design in the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts and organizer of the carnival parade project.

    Though Mardi Gras is well-known in the United States, less Americans are familiar with the Pre-Lenten tradition of carnival, which has its roots in European festivals and African rituals. Carnival in major cities like Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are a blend of traditions native to those countries as well as traditions carried over during a time of French, Spanish, British, and Portuguese colonization as well as the Middle Passage slave trade. Over time, carnival reflected the changes in Brazil and the Caribbean culture—including slave emancipation, national independence, and civil rights movements. Girl in a bee costume

    People walking and celebrating together, especially in fun, vibrant costumes, creates a sense of oneness and community, Arthur said.

    “In an increasingly technological and impersonal world, the carnival arts are utilized to bridge differences, build community, and celebrate human resilience and creativity in Iowa City,” Arthur wrote in a description of the project.

    Iowa City-area artists and art enthusiasts were invited to participate on an individual or group basis. Many high school and UI students participated, too. And all ages, from children in strollers to seniors, have been involved. The goal of this community arts tradition is to involve as many members of the UI and Iowa City community as possible, Arthur said. Along with the 40 or so people who walked in the parade, others in the community participated by decorating the parade’s bee costumes, new this year, on the Pedestrian Mall last month.

    Just before the parade, a no-experience-required percussion workshop was held. Minneapolis-based Afro Brazilian drummer Troy Wilson taught basic drumming techniques to participants who went on to drum in the parade.

    Drummers marching in paradeParadise Murphy, 12, attended the percussion workshop with her father. She played an agogo bell, a percussion instrument of African origin.

    “I just learned it today,” Paradise said, taking a brief break from striking the bell with a drum stick. When she resumed, its cowbell-like sound carried through the air, mingling with drums and a variety of other instruments practiced by the new percussionists.

    Dance Professor Armando Duarte, who choreographed a dance for parade participants last year, said carnival is a joyful celebratory experience.

    “It’s the idea of becoming—if I wear a costume, I have license to become the art,” he said.

    Duarte, who was born in Brazil and is personally familiar with the carnival culture, said carnival is about a joy of movement and celebration. This is especially important for children, he said, as all those in costume are equal, moving as one.

    That oneness is an important theme of carnival, Arthur said.

    “When people from all different backgrounds celebrate together, that might lead to other types of partnerships and to learning what we all have in common,” Arthur said. “A carnival parade won’t change the world, but I hope it brings people together on multiple levels.”

    The carnival parade will be part of the 2017 UI Homecoming Parade in October. To participate and wear a costume, contact loyce-arthur@uiowa.edu.

    Visit the Iowa City Community Carnival Parade Project on Facebook and Twitter

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  • Class of 2017 Painting and Drawing MFA students to exhibit in New York

    June 25, 2017


    image of postcard for NYC MFA show

     

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  • History Professor/Fulbright Scholar/Obama Fellow Michaela Hoenicke Moore conducts public scholarship in Europe

    June 25, 2017


    UI History Prof Michaela Hoenicke Moore at Marshall Plan Forum in Austria
    UI History Prof Michaela Hoenicke Moore at
    Marshall Plan Forum in Austria

    University of Iowa Associate Professor of History Michaela Hoenicke Moore, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in American Studies at the University of Innsbruck, has given a number of invited public lectures on U.S. foreign policy across Austria during her spring/summer 2017 Fulbright tenure.

    On June 1, Hoenicke Moore presented a lecture at the Styrian Whitsun Dialogue ("Geist und Gegenwart. Pfingstdialog Steiermark), which included the former Austrian chancellor, the current vice chancellor, high-ranking political and religious officials, Austrian and U.S. ambassadors and diplomats, foreign correspondents from both countries, and other prominent opinion leaders. The theme of the conference was "Europe.USA.3.0.Values, Interests, Perspectives," and she spoke on the motivations and outcomes of the Marshall Plan at a forum on the post-World War II European Recovery Program.

    Hoenicke Moore's public scholarship in Europe in 2017 includes another highly prestigious honor—she has received a 2017 Obama Fellowship through the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at the University of Mainz in Germany. The fellowship offers financial support, office space, and facilities for visiting scholars. Hoenicke Moore will work with graduate students and deliver at least one public lecture, in addition to pursuing her own individual research.

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  • DNA Interest Group meeting June 27

    June 23, 2017


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  • David Cunning, Shaun Vecera named Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program fellows

    June 23, 2017


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  • Communication Sciences & Disorders: Spring 2017 newsletter

    June 21, 2017


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  • Arts Share presents "Cross-Examined," a Juneteenth play based on research by Leslie Schwalm, in Coralville and Keokuk

    June 21, 2017


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  • Writers’ Workshop student wins New American Fellowship

    June 21, 2017


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  • Bernd Fritzsch weighs in on blind tadpole study in New Scientist

    June 21, 2017


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  • Biology study finds promiscuous salamander using genes from three partners equally

    June 21, 2017


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The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 67 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.