Music and art for a cause


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Music and art will come together to raise money for a local cause at the annual Riverside Jam Music and Arts Project.

The daylong event hopes to build on the diverse Iowa City culture and eventually rise to one of the biggest festivals in town. However, Adam Epstein, the director of the project, said its main goal is to bring Iowa City closer together.

“I would really say it’s to celebrate a community atmosphere,” Epstein said. “Everyone has so many talents that they can share together, and we just need a place to be able to do that.”

The Riverside Jam Music and Arts Project will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in City Park. To enter, guests must either bring $10 or 10 canned goods. All of the proceeds will go to the Crisis Center of Johnson County.

Bands, artists, and guest speakers will perform on stage all day for audience members to not only hear live music but also experience painting, dance, flow arts, lighting design, film, photography, yoga, meditation, slack line, and hula-hoops. In addition, Tim Dwight, a former Hawkeye football player and NFL wide receiver, will be one of the speakers.

The marketing director of the Riverside Jam, Duncan Ross, said there will be a lot of variety in the art performances.

“Flow art is performance-style art, and people will [also] live paint with acrylics and oil-based colors, plus graffiti as well,” Ross said. 

Along with creating a tightly knit atmosphere in the community, it is very important for the Riverside Jam project to inspire and motivate people to recognize art while tackling a world issue.

“[We want] to create awareness on global-hunger issues through philanthropy, music, and art,” Epstein said.

This will be the third year for the Riverside Jam project, and creative coordinator Jennifer Dolan said the group will continue to make strides in order to make it as big as possible.

“Top priority is to raise money for our fundraiser, for conscious alliance, and to be about helping and giving back,” Dolan said. “This started off as a grass-roots movement, and now, it’s progressed to getting people from the community to support these local bands, and we want to touch on student and community demographic. It’s taking a piece of our culture and adding it to that big puzzle in Iowa City.”

Epstein looks forward to what this year will bring for the project. Even with the growth it has experienced, he said, the members stayed true to the roots that started the project in the first place.

“We all needed a place to create together; that is what drew everyone together, and this idea blossomed from it,” he said. “The first year, it was 50 people, and we were just hanging out in the park, jamming. Last year, a lot more people got behind us, and we still don’t have the cred for art projects such as this, but it really grew last year, and this year we are putting the pedal to the metal.”

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