While the festivals, concerts and film screenings of Summer of the Arts certainly keep people’s schedules full, there are still plenty of events you’ll want to catch in between.
This weekend, singer-songwriter Janis Ian is stopping in Iowa City as part of a farewell tour while an annual Russian guitar festival returns to Iowa City.
Here are five things to do in Johnson County this weekend.
The free film series Summer of the Arts
Grab your popcorn, M&Ms and a blanket.
The Summer of the Arts free film series begins Saturday with the Iowa classic “Field of Dreams” at Napoleon Park.
This year, Summer of the Arts brings films to Iowa City’s parks and venues, from Mercer Park to the Johnson County Fairgrounds.
The full schedule is below:
- May 21: “Field of Dreams” in Napoleon Park
- May 28: “Free Guy” at the Iowa City Municipal Airport
- June 11: “Cruella” at Willow Creek Park
- June 25: “Soul” at Mercer Park
- July 9: “Sing 2” at the Johnson County Fairgrounds
- July 23: “Raya and the Last Dragon” at Upper City Park
- July 30: “Spiderman: No Way Home” at City Park, Hills
- August 6: “Big Hero 6” at McPherson Park
- August 20: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings” at ST Morrison Park, Coralville
- Oct 8: “Hotel Transylvania 2” at Iowa City Municipal Airport
In partnership with Iowa City Parks and Recreation, some screenings will include special pre-film activities and games.
The films start after sunset.
International Annual Russian Guitar Seminar and Festival in Iowa City
The annual Russian Guitar Festival in Iowa City returns with a focus on Ukrainian music.
The festival is produced by the International Academy for Russian Music, Arts and Culture and Oleg Timofeyev, the artistic director.
Timofeyev plays the seven-string Russian guitar and has revived the instrument through programs like this festival.
On Thursday, the festival begins at 7:30 p.m. with a concert at Zion Lutheran Church featuring solo and ensemble music for seven-string guitar by Ukrainian composers. The musicians at this concert include Dan Caraway, Stefan Wester, Dmitry and Mikhail Melnik, and Timofeyev.
The next concert is Friday at 7:30pm at the Deanery School of Music in Davenport. The concert is dedicated to the celebration of Ukrainian music of all genres. Anton Belov and Kris Svennevig will join the musicians from Thursday’s concert for this concert.
Zion Lutheran Church will host the festival gala at 19:00 on Saturday with all musicians and seven-string guitarist Vadim Kolpakov.
For those outside of Johnson County, an additional gala will be held at 7:00 p.m. Sunday at the Jubeck New World Brewing in Dubuque.
Each concert has an admission fee of $15 and $12 for students and seniors.
All proceeds from CD sales will be donated to Ukraine to fund humanitarian aid and medicines.
Janis Ian performs at the Englert Theater
Singer-songwriter Janis Ian is perhaps best known for her songs “Society’s Child” and “At Seventeen” in the 1960s and ’70s.
The two-time Grammy Award-winner’s career has spanned decades, but ends this year with her latest album, The Light at the End of the Line.
The album of new material is Ian’s first in 15 years.
On Sunday, Ian will perform at the Englert Theater as part of her closing tour, Celebrating Our Years Together Tour.
Ian, now 71, was a teenager when Society’s Child hit the scene and was facing much controversy because the song was about interracial couples.
The singer-songwriter told The Guardian in January stories about the artists she’s hung out with, from Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix.
In the years that followed, Ian continued to make and play music while pursuing writing and philanthropy with the Pearl Foundation, which she founded.
“When I wrote ‘The Light at the End of the Line’ I realized that it really is a love song. What I didn’t understand was that so many years of meeting and corresponding with my audience after shows created that very real relationship that few artists have been privileged to have,” Ian said of her tour in a press release.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the Englert Theater website.
Iowa City Community Theater’s Romeo and Juliet
The Iowa City Community Theater will conclude its performance of Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet on Friday and Saturday.
The play is directed by Claire Boston.
The last two shows are at 7:30 p.m. at 4261 Oak Crest Hill Road. Tickets can be purchased on the Iowa City Community Theater website.
Playground Crawl by North Liberty
North Liberty’s second annual Playground Crawl is perfect for kids and their families who crave an afternoon of play.
From 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, five North Liberty Parks will host activities and free snacks as families roam from one park to the next.
While United Action for Youth constructs a minefield obstacle course at Quail Ridge Park, the North Liberty Community Center will host yard games including Cornhole and a giant Sorry! game.
The participating parks are:
- Deerfield Park at 1415 Browning Drive
- Quail Ridge Park at 920 W Zeller St.
- Centennial Park at 1565 St Andrews Drive
- Beaver Creek Park at 218 S. Chestnut St.
- Creekside Commons Park at 1350 Sadler Drive
North Liberty will have two 15-passenger vans that will circle all five locations for those in need of transportation. Vans depart from Creekside Commons Park and Deerfield Park at 2:00 PM. Complimentary snacks and drinks are provided at each park.
Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and arts in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. You can reach her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.