The upcoming Iowa Arts Festival in Downtown Iowa City will include two events coordinated and supported by the City's Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC): the Kidz Tent and Poetry in Public readings. The Iowa Arts Festival, part of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts program, is scheduled June 3-5, 2016.

The Kidz Tent, an Iowa Arts Festival attraction now in its ninth year, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. The tent, designed to let kids explore different art mediums and purchase art they like, will be located in front of Coldstone Creamery at the northwest corner of Washington and Dubuque Streets. One of the most popular KidzTent artists each year is Cheryl Jacobsen, a local artist and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa. She will be working in the tent from noon to 4 p.m., using calligraphy to turn children’s names into individual, specialized works of art.

To enter Kidz Tent, children must be 5 to 12 years of age -- no parents allowed! All pieces will be donated by artists participating in the Iowa Arts Festival, and will be priced at $5 or less. Proceeds are donated back to Summer of the Arts programs.

Also, some of the poets whose works were selected as winning entries in the annual Poetry in Public competition this year will read their poems on Saturday and Sunday at the Family Stage in the Ped Mall, near the intersection of Dubuque and Washington Streets. Several local writers, ranging in age from young students to adults, will read from 12:45 to 1 p.m. and 4:35 to 4:50 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Poetry in Public is an annual writing competition sponsored by PAAC that encourages writers of all ages and levels of experience to submit poems for consideration. Prior to the start of the Iowa Arts Festival, selected poems will be posted in the Iowa City Public Library at 123 S. Linn Street, the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center at 220 S. Gilbert Street, and on the City’s website at

PAAC, which oversees the commission, procurement, and maintenance of public art, also invites Iowa Arts Festival-goers to enjoy the wide range of art on display in public spaces throughout the City.

For additional details, contact Marcia Bollinger, Iowa City Public Art Coordinator, at 319-356-5237 or More information on the Iowa Arts Festival is available at

Date of publication

Tuesday, May 31, 2016