Southeastern neighborhood in Iowa City celebrates its community with live music

BY EMILY BURDS | MAY 09, 2013 5:00 AM

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This weekend, one often overlooked neighborhood will come together to celebrate the community and the music bringing them together.

On Saturday, the 319 Music Festival will return to Wetherby Park for the fourth year. The event begins at noon; admission and games are free.

The festival was started after the southeastern neighborhood was trying to recover from violent fights that broke out in 2009 that was later dubbed the Mother’s Day riot. In response to this, the Broadway Neighborhood Center and Americorps teamed up to bring something fun and family-friendly to the area.

The event is based on volunteers and brings community members together from all parts of Iowa City and Johnson County as well as such musical acts as Dave Zollo, Milk and Eggs, and Amanda Miller, who will donate their talent for the entertainment this year.

“The 319 committee really was looking for a diverse set of genres for this festival,” said 319 committee member Ashley Paulsen. “We have acoustic, rap, alternative, to name a few. The importance of this is to showcase inclusiveness and multiculturalism in our local community.”

The committee and Americorps said they hope to see the tradition continue in coming years.

“This concert aims to cater to a wide range of interests, from family-friendly to college-student affordable, and more importantly, highlighting the talents of youth and local musicians,” said Americorps volunteer Lydia Thies. “It is my hope that we stop seeing each other as persons from Chicago, college students, or locals and start sharing experience that make us all Iowa City denizens.”

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