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Fonda Arts Center presents ‘Growing Magic’ on July 28

Documentary is about Mickey Mouse-shaped cornfield

FONDA — The Fonda Arts Center will present the documentary “Growing Magic: The Mickey Mouse Cornfield Story” on July 28. The screening begins at 3 p.m. with a question and answer panel discussion to follow the documentary. The Fonda Arts Center screening will be another opportunity for people who may have missed the March premiere at Buena Vista University to view the documentary. Admission and refreshments are free.

The Mickey Mouse-shaped cornfield that was grown in Iowa for Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday is the subject of a documentary created by the Buena Vista University Digital Media Program under the direction of Jerry Johnson, assistant professor digital media. Johnson, a Fonda native, started the project in 2015 with multiple students showing an interest in telling this special story.

From the original idea of creating the documentary, 36 students ranging from digital media to strategic public relations to graphic design and animation at Buena Vista University contributed to the final project to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Kernel Mickey.

The documentary tells the story about how a cornfield grown in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s profile not only celebrated Mickey’s 60th birthday, but also brought together seven small-town Iowa communities during the difficult time of the 1980s farm crisis. Members from all seven communities — Dougherty, Sheffield, Thornton, Swaledale, Chapin, Rockwell, and Meservey — came together and put on a celebration for Mickey Mouse’s birthday, hosted in Sheffield. The small Iowa town grew from a population of 1,000 to 35,000 in a few short days.