The University of Iowa

Arts Share

Annual Report Header

Arts Share is the University of Iowa’s arts outreach program, sharing the talents of students and faculty from the Division of Performing Arts (music, dance, and theatre), the School of Art & Art History, and the Writers’ Workshop with the rest of the state. Arts Share programs can tie into classroom curricula, enhance offerings in community venues, and fill in gaps in arts programming. In addition to developing new curricula each year, we also have established programs that we continue to expand.


Rome Sweet Rome
One of the highlights of the year was our annual Theatre Workshop & Performance Day, which brings high school students to campus to participate in workshops and attend a UI performance. Students started the day with engaging workshops in Acting, Improvisation, Playwriting, and Design taught by UI graduate students, and then attended a main-stage production of “Rome Sweet Rome.” Attendees included students from Mt. Vernon, West Branch, Donnellson, Britt, Pleasantville, Cedar Rapids, Eldridge, Anamosa, Madrid, and Waterloo.

Left, UI Theatre actors perform Rome Sweet Rome, a hip-hop version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, for high school students from all over the state.

Another successful venture was our pilot project with the town of Maquoketa, called “Layers of Maquoketa.”  Arts Share, the Office of Outreach & Engagement, and UI’s Arts Advancement Committee teamed up to assist Maquoketa in creative projects that would help capture the many layers of the community: its people, history, agriculture, places, art, and businesses. A year of projects culminated in a town celebration in April. 

Highlights of the week-long celebration included: a coffee house ‘Story Telling’ night where more than 100 local people of all ages spoke and performed; food and dance by the local Micronesian Islanders community; an exhibition that included history and book arts projects by students; and the presentation of a documentary on the Maquoketa Fire of 2008. The project allowed people to learn more about the community and its history, including the sharing of Pacific Islander culture and remembering the devastating fire that destroyed much of downtown. 

Layers of Maquoketa
The Layers of Maquoketa committee has continued to meet monthly and has expanded to include additional community members. Regular coffeehouse nights have been held to celebrate the stories and talents of people in the community, and the week-long festivities in April will become an annual event.

Arts Share received a grant from the Community Foundation of Johnson County to continue the Community Stories Workshops (CSW) at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. CSW is a series of weekly art and writing workshops for veterans, facilitated by UI graduate students from the Writers' Workshop and School of Art & Art History, and co-faciliated by Dr. Rossina Liu. Participants work in traditional written forms (e.g. narratives and poetry) as well as multi-modal forms (e.g. audio, visual graphics, and other fine arts media). We also work with Veterans on campus through biweekly workshops taught by Veteran and Writers’ Workshop graduate Brandon Moore-McNew, and weekly workshops at the Shelter House in Iowa City. 

Find out more about Arts Share or request an Arts Share artist.