Trying to stop the deluge, last June.
The newly built Art Building West, under last year's flood waters.
By July 4th, recovery had already begun.
On Friday, My friend Cindi and I are going to an open house at the temporary (I hope) home of the University of Iowa's Studio Arts Program. Last June, the Arts Campus of the U of Iowa was devastated by the floods that hit our part of the state. Not one of the many buildings and facilities on the arts campus was spared. Damage to the two Art Buildings, the Art Museum, Hancher Auditorium, the Music Building, and The University Theatres was devastating and in some cases unrecoverable. One of the buildings, the Art Building West, was less than 2 years old and maybe a complete loss. Nearly a year later, we still don't know what what the Arts Campus will look like in the future. The money for recovery will be very hard to find.
The University's Studio Arts programs have been relocated to abandoned big-box home improvement store on the south edge of Iowa City. It's not as bad as it sounds, as the U has put a lot of resources into making the space workable (click here, to see photos). Hopefully our University will have the courage to take a stand for the arts and come up with a plan that will restore the campus to if not it's former self, something even better. I believe that this is important. After all, a liberal arts university simply must make the arts a high priority. It's who we are.
I hope, if you are able, that you'll go to the open house and show your support for the arts program. The event is on Friday, May 1st from 4-8pm. Admission is free and there will be demonstrations, performances and more than 300 artists displaying their work.
Learn more here: http://www.art.uiowa.edu/
See flood photos from campus here.