Fine arts are thriving in our area

The summer has been full of the celebration and making of arts in our region. Thank you to the Fort Dodge Fine Arts 37 members, 10 supporting artists, generous patrons, and the support of the city governments, civic groups and community members for recognizing the importance of arts and culture and advancing them in our region.

As summer winds down, get ready for a full and exciting fall and holiday season of events.

Several of our members and supporting artists hold regular weekly or monthly events:

Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association 3rd Thursday event will continue into the fall with the Fort Dodge Choral Society hosting the event Sept. 21 at Grace United Lutheran Church. On Oct. 26, the Webster City Community Theatre will host at their venue in Webster City. These events run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and refreshments are served. This is an informal gathering of anyone interested in the arts. It’s a social time as well as a chance to network. Come sit back and get to know the artists, the art enthusiasts and supporters in the community.

After the 3rd Thursday event in October, stop by the West Twin Park in Webster City to visit the new sculptures organized by Arts R Alive. The sculpture event happens every August.

Iowa Central continues to present “Sentimental Swing Dances,” with live music performed by the Tom Steinkoenig Band, held at the Eagles Ballroom. The band plays music from the Big Band era, which includes swing, foxtrots, waltzes and polkas. These dances are open to the public and are from 6 to 9 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $10 per person.

Both Soldier Creek Winery and ShinyTop Brewing have live music every week. Soldier Creek has live music on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. ShinyTop has live music every Thursday evening, beginning at 6:30 pm. Admission is free, with beverages and food available for purchase. We are pleased to partner with ShinyTop to bring art exhibits from area artists. The exhibits change every three months.

Iowa Central is starting a new Travel Series Program. This first of this series will be held Sept. 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the East Campus location, Room 207. This event, “Great Churches of Europe” is presented by Steven Hoesel, Iowa Central and Rhonda Strutzenberg, Northland Travel. It is free and open to the public. Reservations are required by contacting Iowa Central at 574-1293.

Webster County Conservation continues to explore “Art in Nature” with its many hikes, paddles, equestrian poker run (Sep. 30) and its event “Becoming an Outdoors Woman.”

If improving your skills as an artist interests you, The Blanden Memorial Art Museum and Legacy Learning Boone River Valley offer a wide variety of art classes.

The Blanden has classes for adults and children, including “First Free Saturdays,” a come-and-go event with activities for families. It also hosts an art history lecture series on a wide range of topics, from artists, photography, music lessons and art forms. The Blanden’s classes and open studios are on pottery, painting, drawing, pastels, clay and more. The music lessons offered currently are guitar and harmonica with future classes for ukulele. The Blanden also has wonderful exhibits, including the work of Fort Dodge native ceramic artist Daniel Rhodes, which will be on exhibit from Aug. 26 through Nov. 11. The opening reception for this exhibit will be held Sept. 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. and is open to the public.

Legacy Learning offers classes that foster an appreciation of natural resources and our heritage. Classes are taught by artists, natural resource professionals and skilled crafts people. Legacy Learning is based in Webster City.

Choral music is plentiful as well.

On Sept. 10, Sonshine Singers will perform its Fall Ministry concert at the Fort Dodge Middle School auditorium. This 100-plus member choir will be accompanied by professional musicians. This joyful group of singers will entertain and inspire the audience with is traditional favorite pieces.

The Fort Dodge Choral Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. The Choral Society and its board have been working on great concerts, guest soloists and musicians for this year’s concert series. New members are always welcome. The season opens Oct. 28 and 29, when it performs 500 years of choral music. A special holiday concert “A Celebration of Christmas Past” on Dec. 17 is a perfect way to enjoy the holiday season.

Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge Senior High Choir and St. Edmond Catholic School Choir program dates will be announced later this fall.

Our region also has excellent options of live theater and performances to enjoy.

Webster City Community Theatre will host a stage reading of “Don’t Hug Me, We’re Family” by Phil Olson. The playwright will be in attendance and will welcome input following the play over light refreshments. This will be held Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Webster City Community Theatre Performing Arts Center, 1001 Wilson Ave. There is no admission charge.

Stage Door Productions will host a Cabaret at the Ann Smeltzer House on Oct. 12 and 13. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with music starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults and children aged 10 and older are on sale at First American Bank and at the door, $20. Stage Door’s Cabaret provides excellent entertainment, food and beverages and is a very enjoyable evening.

Comedia Musica Players is also celebrating its 50th anniversary season by performing Iowa native Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man.” This production will be held at Decker Auditorium at Iowa Central Nov. 9 through 11.

Hawkeye Community Theatre will present “The Bride’s Bouquet,” a murder mystery, Oct. 18 through 21 and “The 12 Days of Christmas,” Dec. 14 through 16.

The Fort Museum and Frontier Village is hosting many great events: Live Music w/ Beaver Creek 4 on Aug.29 at 6 p.m.; Screen Painting with Pumpkins on Sept. 7, a Smithsonian Poster Exhibit from Sept. 8 through Oct. 26; visit www.fortmuseumfv.com to learn more.

Silhouette Media, featuring local musician Dave Hearn, just released a new album, “Now & Again”, featuring new versions of five HAWKS songs. Dave can be heard performing with Chad Elliott.

The Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association is thrilled to have so many choices of entertainment, music, classes and exhibits to offer our region. We encourage you to try something new — attend a new event, try a new class –audition for a play. If you would like more information about any of these events or would like to receive our weekly newsletter, please visit www.fdfineartsassociation.org or contact us at 570-7807 or fdfinearts@gmail.com.

Shelly Bottorff, is executive director of the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association. Amy Kersten Bruno is a member of the board of directors.

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