In the fall of 2016, every 8th grader in the ICCSD enjoyed the enviable opportunity to watch a live performance in the beautifully redesigned University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. The students studied Jacob Lawrence’s depictions of the Great Migration and discussed the migration in their American Studies classroom in advance of watching Step Afrika! live, familiarizing them with the art and the history shown on the stage. The production projected Lawrence’s canvases depicting the Great Migration onto the background while dancers added life to the paintings. This experience was a new addition for our students this year and proved to be memorable. Hancher Auditorium is an Iowa City treasure and it was a privilege to have the opportunity to show this to our 8th grade students.
The LiveArts program was coordinated by Any Given Child Iowa City, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., designed to assist a community in planning strategically to provide an equitable arts education for all students in grades K-8. LiveArts was made possible through donations from the ICCSD Foundation, the Community Foundation of Johnson County, a Big Yellow School Bus Grant, Future Voters, and the Iowa City Noon Kiwanis Club.