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Community Notes: Arts Center helps enrich community through visual and performing arts

By Emily Kiewel, Director, Charles City Arts Center

First I’d like to give a big thank you to our current and past volunteers and members. The Charles City Arts Center (CCAC) is a non-profit entity and we rely on our members’ generous time and resources.

The CCAC has been able to offer free access to the arts for 59 years and is proud to be one of the oldest arts councils in the state of Iowa. We are still here because of members and volunteers’ support.

“To encourage and advance the understanding and appreciation of the arts and to help create an environment in which the arts and artists may flourish.” This is the mission statement of the CCAC.

We will continue to strive to be a cultural center for our community by creating an environment where the visual and performing arts and artists can thrive.

We have exciting plans for 2020. We hold 10 different exhibits of local and regional artists every year. We started this year with the work of Osage artist Lori Biwer-Stewart, who makes linocut prints. Her beautiful and thoughtful work will be on exhibit through February.

Our February fundraising dinner, Play it Again Sam, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21. Join us for a night of fun, food and live music. Stewart Dalton will be cooking delicious Moroccan food and prizes will be awarded for best Bogie and Bergman outfits.

We are excited to host an exhibit of new work from local artist Karl Haglund for the month of March. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, March 6, and Karl will be on hand to discuss his work. Admission is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Also in March, we will be having our Empty Bowls soup dinner and fundraiser. Come enjoy hot soup made by our volunteers and take home a hand-crafted bowl from a local potter for the minimal price of $10. This raises much needed money for our local food bank and the CCAC.

The action continues with exhibits featuring the artwork of the Charles City High School and Middle School in April and May.

Later this year we will be having a Willy Wonka-themed event (chocolate!) and the 47th Art-A-Fest will return to Central Park on Aug. 15.

We also have events that continue throughout the year. This is our second year hosting a monthly spoken word event. It’s a relaxed night with attendees reading their favorite poetry or prose as well as their own work.

The After School Kids Art Class continues to meet every Thursday from 3:30-5 p.m.

These events, classes and programs are important for our community. Exposure to visual and performing arts helps people connect with each other and enriches us all.

This helps make Charles City a more vibrant and dynamic community. We thrive on collaboration and working with community members, businesses and organizations.

Please check our website for more information about our events and classes at We also have an Instagram account, @charlescityartscenter, as well as a Facebook page at Charles-City-Arts-Center. We update our pages daily so check back often.

If you aren’t already a member please consider becoming one. Your contributions, whether they be time, skills or dollars, are what make us successful.