UNI NEWS SERVICES - The University of Northern Iowa’s Gallagher Bluedorn has been awarded $10,000 by the Iowa Arts Council to support the Kaleidoscope Series for Youth, a program that brings national touring theater productions to over 40,000 of the area's youth.
The Kaleidoscope Series creates a deeper understanding of classroom subjects, serving as a supplementary tool in classroom learning. Each season, high-quality performances address complex issues such as race, poverty and other forms of difference, often creating an entry point for discussion of challenging material.
Since the program's inception in 2000, it has reached over 625,000 young people throughout the state of Iowa.
“Gallagher Bluedorn’s various educational programs broaden youth’s understanding and participation in the arts among communities throughout Iowa and serves its mission: to inspire,” said Amy Hunzelman, education and special projects director at Gallagher Bluedorn. “We value the power of the arts to influence and transform the lives of all people, strengthening and improving our communities.”
The series is considering several models if live performances and field trips are not allowed next season. Staff is currently exploring virtual Kaleidoscope learning for students to experience either at home or in the classroom, Hunzelman said.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded more than $2 million in grants for art, film, history and culture. The grant funding comes through several programs overseen by the department’s divisions: the Iowa Arts Council, the State Historical Society of Iowa and Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media production.
In all, the department awarded $2,018,052 through 176 grants across the state for community initiatives, creative projects, cultural organizations, small businesses and individuals.
“These funds are critical to help sustain arts, film, heritage and cultural vibrancy across the state and showcase Iowa’s world-class cultural programs and destinations with help from our state’s hard-working artists, historic caretakers and creative business owners,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “It is important that we support our creative economy when this sector needs it more than ever."
Investments in art, film and history help boost quality of life and promote economic growth, which has become especially important in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shared cultural experiences help people feel connected even when they are physically apart.
"Through this funding we hope to provide cultural experiences in our rural communities and larger cities with a challenge to promote diversity and inclusion," Director Kramer added.
For updates about events and future performances, visit gbpac.com or facebook.com/GallagherBluedorn.
Blake Argotsinger, Gallagher Bluedorn marketing manager, 319-273-3676, firstname.lastname@example.org