Summer in IC full of arts


The population of Iowa City declines in the summer, when thousands of University of Iowa students return to hometown jobs, but those remaining are rewarded with concerts, festivals, outdoor film screenings, and other warm-weather fun.

Summer of the Arts, a local nonprofit organization, has supported some of Iowa City’s most popular festivals, including the Iowa Arts Festival and Iowa City Jazz Festival. 

Jazz Fest will celebrate its 25th anniversary July 2 through 4 with performances by the Brian Charette Trio, Becca Stevens Band, Julian Lage Trio, Charles Lloyd, and many more.

An even older tradition, Arts Fest, will be held June 5 through 7. The 32nd-annual event will welcome more than 115 artists, both established and up-and-coming, to display and sell their work on Clinton Street, Washington Street, Iowa Avenue, and Dubuque Street. A main stage, which last year hosted the Indigo Girls and Eufórquestra, will offer nightly concerts.

As with all Summer of the Arts festivals, a Culinary Row and children’s activities will be available. 

Apart from adopting these two large-scale festivals, Summer of the Arts has also established several other events and programs. Perhaps the best known is the Friday Night Concert Series, which will bring more than 20 musicians to the Weatherdance Fountain Stage on the Pedestrian Mall every Friday evening through Sept. 18. The first concert was held May 15 and featured Latin American folk band Inti-Illimani, cosponsored by Hancher.

The Free Movie Series welcomes families to the Pentacrest lawn Saturdays after sunset to view movies on a large screen. (This year’s showings include Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic Park, and Frozen.) Music IC, a four-concert chamber music festival June 17-20, works to celebrate the intersection of music and literature.

Another original Summer of the Arts event is the Iowa Soul Festival, now in its third year. Highlighting African and African-American music, food, and dance, Soul Fest will round out the summer Aug. 28 and 29.

For more information on these programs and full schedules of events, visit www.summerofthearts.org.

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