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Celebrate Earth Day with a Creative Flair in Decorah
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Celebrate Earth Day with a Creative Flair in Decorah

Earth Day is just around the corner and downtown Decorah's home for the arts, ArtHaus, has is hosting a variety of activities for youth and adults to 'go green' with.

On Friday April 22, kick things off with an after school festival of hands-on projects and family-friendly film from 3:30-5pm with ArtHaus' inaugural Earth Day, Art Day after-school open house will take place at 508 and 516 W Water Street.

Hands-on projects in the studio will include button making, monarch mask masking, and making art with ink and stamps. Participants can also pick up free seed packets for plants that support bees, monarchs, and other pollinating insects. In ArtHaus' gallery space at 508 W Water, the Up, Up Film Festival will present a family-friendly film screening for all to enjoy. The open house is free to attend and all are welcome. You might want to bring a few bucks though as premade Earth Day buttons will be available for a small donation.

Later in the evening, join ArtHaus for a 'green'-themed Poetry Slam in collaboration with Green Iowa AmeriCorps at the Elks Lodge. Author and artist, Robert Wolf, will take the stage as the Slam's featured artist.

Robert Wolf is a writer, playwright, poet and visual artist. He has been director of Free River Press, a nonprofit publishing company, for 28 years and is host of a syndicated radio program heard in 17 states. He is winner of the Sigma Delta Chi Award and Bronze Medal from the Society of Professional Journalists for the Best Radio Editorial of 1994. The short film, "American Storytellers," documents his work with Free River Press.

ArtHaus Poetry Slams are divided into three parts:

  • Featured Artist
  • Original Voices
  • The Slam itself

Following Wolf's performance, “Original Voices” offers an opportunity for anyone to perform two minutes or less of their own poetry. The final portion, "The Slam," invites participants to perform two minutes or less of original poetry in a high-spirited, good-natured competition, complete with applause-o-meter and prizes. Memorization is encouraged in the Slam category as performance is valued as much as the quality of the poem.

"The Slams our one of our favorite events to put on," says ArtHaus Co-director, Jenni Petersen-Brant. "We're looking forward to this one with heightened anticipation because it is the first time we encouraging a set theme, and what better one to embrace than Earth Day."

Those wishing to perform at the slam are encouraged, but not required, to share poems that relate to the environment, nature, or other related topics. Reserve a performance spot in advance for either "Original Voices" or "The Slam" at ArtHaus' website. For more information, or to sign up over the phone, call ArtHaus at 563-382-5440.

Doors of the Elks Lodge, at 402 W Main St in Decorah, will open at 7:30pm, the Poetry Slam begins at 8:00pm. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students. The event is recommended for adults, age 16 and up, and is sponsored by Dragonfly Books.

Established in 2008, ArtHaus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in downtown Decorah, Iowa that provides high-quality, hands-on experiences and year-round, accessible public arts events in the visual, performing, and literary arts. All contributions and donations to ArtHaus are tax deductible; donations and more information can be made online.


Photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons

More about decorah, earthday, arthaus
  1. Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Whoo hoo! Thank you for keeping us in the loop on these fantastic Earth Day events! Way to go Arthaus!

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