I Lift My Lamp

Please join Coppers & Brass and the sister schools of Champagne Academy of Irish Dance and McGovern Music Studio for an Irish music and dance spectacular on Saturday, November 16th at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.

I LIFT MY LAMP is the first of several events presented by Coralville Center for the Performing Arts inspired by “I lift my lamp beside the golden door” from the sonnet inscribed on the pedestal of The Statue of Liberty – “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus.

The aim of the series is to highlight the immigration stories that enrich our nation and to celebrate our immigrant friends and neighbors.

ArtFarm19, a festival of creativity hosted at Scattergood from July 4 – August 3

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I’m thrilled to share this information from my friends at ArtFarm19! I will be there with bells on. Bells and heaven knows what else. Anything is possible.

Dear creative friends and collaborators,

I wanted to let you know about ArtFarm19, a festival of creativity happening near Iowa City this July. ArtFarm19 brings together artists, educators, entrepreneurs, healers, and movement builders, to share creative practices, find renewal and restoration on Scattergood’s rural campus, and participate in the launch of new regional arts programming. The mission of ArtFarm19 is to connect people across differences and harness the power of the arts to build a more JEDI (just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive) world.

Throughout the month, ArtFarm19 will gather together creative folks to participate in a variety of creative activities. Check out the opportunities below and RSVP for one or all of them:

  • July 4 (RSVP here)– opening potluck to greet the Swarm Artist Residency hive queens who will be curating 75 artists in residence this summer at Scattergood.

  • July 9 (RSVP) – Art Bazaar to meet the Swarm artists in residence.

  • July 14 (RSVP) – join The Great Parade in the Muscatine County Fair Parade in West Liberty – we will give you costumes, musical instruments, and puppets to play with as we make a spectacle and recruit more people to the creative force

  • July 15-17 – join us as we Build-a-Show in three days. The first day will be for designers who want to get inside the making of the show. The second day will be for people who want to be in the show. The third day will be for people who want to see the show we made. RSVP to join us for Day One-Designers, Day Two-Performers, or Day Three-Final Performance!

Attached is a flyer you can share with your networks. Please follow our social media platforms (linked below!) to keep up on all the events as they unfold. You can also fill out our contact form to be added into our events email.

Facebook

Instagram

Eventbrite

#ArtFarm19Iowa

Buttonhole

I have very good days and very hard days. Just like you. On the very hard days, I try a number of things to get back in tune. Different things work on different days. Social media never works. Dogs are a pretty reliable win. Poetry has never let me down.

Naomi Shihab Nye wrote this in one of my favorites of her poems: “I want to be famous in the same way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular but because it never forgot what it could do.”

This is me being the very best buttonhole I can be:

I remember this day. It was a terribly sad day for me because it was the last performance of a band I had played with for almost fifteen years.

Here I am happy though because I am useful. I love these three dancers and their joy gives me joy. Dance needs music and music needs dance.

Thank you, Tréa Champagne and the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance for being my buttons.

The international Irish dance community has suffered a tremendous loss in the death of beloved young dance champion Ian Luebbers.

Today is an important day to reflect on the truth that we all belong to each other and what’s most important is how we can love each other best in this world.

Without my buttons, I’m just a hole.

The Front Porch Music Festival is this Saturday, June 8!

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The Front Porch Music Festival is coming up again this Saturday, June 8 in the Longfellow neighborhood in Iowa City!

Free? √
Accessible? √
Inclusive? √
Family-friendly? √
Dog-friendly? √
FUN?! √ √ √

This year, I am delighted to be joined by several of my fiddle students. We will play from 4-5 pm on the Front Porch at 611 Oakland but there will be all kinds of music from 2 to 5:30 pm.

Congratulations to Althea & Naomi!

Introducing Althea and Naomi, my featured musicians for November and December!

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I am delighted to introduce a wonderful family who I have been very lucky to make music with for many, many years now. Althea and Naomi have been with me since I was teaching in our smaller house when my sons were very small, they stayed with me when I taught in the West Music conservatory for several years, and they are my stalwart Friday friends in my current home studio.

I have seen a huge amount of musical development from each of them over the years and I have also had the real privilege of being alongside them as they grew and gathered many other interests and continued to keep music in their lives while they explore ballet, taekwondo, basketball, art and many of the other pleasures of life. I encourage you to read their answers above to see all the wonder they find in the world.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I get a real surge of joy from seeing my students making music with their family members and so I especially love when their dad Ryan joins them on mandolin and guitar and their mom Jen joins them on piano and flute. Our fellow beloved Family Folk Machiners and audience members also know what marvelous singers they all are.

This family of truth seekers and kindness givers weaves their love of music into the splendid landscape of life’s many treasures and I stand in awe of all the beauty they share with us.

St. Louis Tionól 2018

This was our 13th year attending the wonderful St. Louis Tionól! We look forward to it every year.

I have several videos to upload from our Friday night performance so I’ll be back with those once more pressing household responsibilities have been attended to but in the meantime I leave you with some photos from our weekend.

IMG_2571Here we are walking to my favorite event of the weekend, the Sunday morning brunch/session at McGurk’s.

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I really love this panoramic shot that Joe got at the session. I have known, loved, and played music with many of these good people for years and years now.

The kids’ favorite part of the trip is having special grandparent time in St. Louis while Joe and I are busy with music but on the way home, we also had a memorable day together at the fantastic St. Louis Zoo. This zoo is a world leader in global conservation efforts.


We eagerly await our 14th Tionól in April 2019!