The University of Iowa

Lectures, Workshops, and Performances


Are you looking for speakers, artists, or performers to share their expertise and talents with your city, school, or other community group? University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students regularly reach beyond campus, offering insights on a broad range of topics, both local and global, cultural and political, scientific and literary. Arts experiences include performances and workshops.

To learn more about opportunities available to your community or organization through the Office of Outreach and Engagement, please click on the tabs below!


Karim Abdel-Malek


Iowa City fourth graders attend University of Iowa Symphony performance at Voxman


The Office of Outreach and Engagement continues the University of Iowa's long tradition of sharing creative resources from the Division of Performing Arts (music, dance, theatre), the School of Art & Art History, and the Writers' Workshop with communities across Iowa. We work to strengthen the arts and provide access to life-enriching arts experiences throughout Iowa and beyond.

Almost 100 faculty and staff artists and graduate students from the School of Art & Art History, the Division of Performing Arts, and the Writers’ Workshop are available through the Office of Outreach and Engagement. Faculty and staff artists are distinguished professionals, having performed and taught throughout the nation and abroad. Graduate artists attend one of the prestigious University of Iowa graduate programs in the arts, and have been recommended to us by a faculty or staff member.  Most graduate artists have extensive performing and teaching experience.

Schools and organizations

Office of Outreach and Engagement staff will assist you in selecting an artist or ensemble. Workshops, residencies, and performances are tailored to meet the needs of each school or organization.

Artists are a perfect way to enhance your arts programming, tie into curriculum, enliven the classroom, and expose students and the community at large to a wide variety of arts.

Complete the scheduling form below to bring an artist, ensemble, or group to your community. For questions, contact us by phone: 319-335-1618 or email.

Make a Request

The Office of Outreach and Engagement provides speakers to service clubs, schools, senior centers, and other community groups across the state by request. These speaking engagements allow the University of Iowa to grow community partnerships by making university experts available to meet the educational needs of Iowans in a broad range of topics.

Community members can request a University of Iowa speaker to come to their scheduled event by clicking the link below and filling out the request form. Be sure to make your request at least four weeks in advance of the scheduled event date. 

Make a Request



Art and Art History

Business and Entrepreneurship

Community Development



Environment and Sustainability


Health and Wellness


Medicine and Health Care

Organizational Management

Performance Arts

Politics and Policy

Physics and Astronomy

Social Justice



The University of Iowa was among the first universities in the nation to organize travel for statewide lectures. These efforts were formalized with the creation of the University of Iowa’s Extension Division (now the Division of Continuing Education) in 1913. The purpose for this division was to “render a larger service to the Commonwealth and to the people of Iowa by carrying out to every part of the State the knowledge, the thought, the ideals and the spirit of the several departments and colleges of the University and by bringing the University generally into direct contact with the citizen.”

The Extension Division fulfilled speaker requests for over 60 years until the Office of Public Information and University Relations (now the Office of Strategic Communication) began fulfilling requests through the Speakers Bureau program in 1974. The Office of the President housed Speakers Bureau activities from 2015-16, before finding a home for fulfilling UI speaker requests within the Provost’s Office of Outreach & Engagement in July 2016. 

Professor Paul Hanley

Our first faculty Spotlight featured Professor Paul Hanley, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering.

He shared insights and successes on incorporating community-engaged learning into his Project Design and Management capstone course. Watch the video of his talk to learn how he's innovating in the classroom to benefit both students and communities throughout the state. Hanley explains how the collaborations work and shares examples of the projects students have completed.

The spring semester Spotlight Lecture will be announced in January 2019. Spotlight Lectures take place every semester in the Iowa City and Des Moines locations listed below.

Iowa City

Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa Theater, 125 North Madison Street
Lectures are held in the historic Iowa Memorial Union Iowa Theater. This building has played a central role in bringing the campus and community together since it was built in the early 1900s.

Des Moines

John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, 1200 Grand Avenue
Spotlight speakers present at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center in downtown Des Moines. This building was acquired by the University of Iowa in 2008 as a way to collaborate with central Iowa educational institutions and advance learning programs to meet the educational needs of Iowans. The Hawkeye Lunch & Learn lecture series joined this effort in January 2014 and continues to host noon hour lectures each month.


Past Presenters

Check out the examples below of how the Office of Outreach and Engagement shares University of Iowa knowledge with communities around the state.