The Creative Matters lecture series seeks to demonstrate that creativity is not only at the core of all research and discovery, but also central to our human experience. The exciting lineup of invited speakers includes artists, thinkers, builders, and doers who challenge conventional thinking about creativity, science, and artistic expression, and borrow from a range of influences and disciplines in their work.
Composer and Witching Hour performer, Rachel Grimes, will discuss how women’s historical documents inspired her latest multimedia composition, The Way Forth. Iowa Women’s Archive librarian, Anna Tunnicliff, and Stanley Museum of Art curator, Vero Smith, will facilitate this conversation about creative expression and archival sources. It is free and open to the public. Presentation and Discussion
Howley will read from her forthcoming book about the American surveillance state, Bottom’s Up and The Devil Laughs. The reading will be followed by Howley in conversation with TBD.
Currently serving as the World Bank’s climate advisor to the CEO, Marcelo Mena will share his process for understanding a problem and how to address it, speaking as a scientist, a political figure, and a cultural leader.
The Way Forth, a new folk opera and film from Rachel Grimes, encompasses lush layers of voices and orchestrations in an experiential, non-linear investigation highlighting perspectives of Kentucky women from 1775 to today.
A comedy showcase featuring Meredith Kachel, Cameron Gillette, and Arish Singh
Cleveland’s Obnox is a modern day punk legend. While he spent time playing in several bands in the ’90s, it’s the years since the turn of the decade that has seen Lamont “Bim” Thomas releasing forward thinking punk music at a furious rate, with eight albums and countless EPs and singles.
Dimensions: Yoga, Sound, and Visual is a unique multimedia yogic experience featuring live ambient music and psychedelic projected visuals.
It’s hard to predict where we are going in this world. Moral bankruptcy is celebrated and our lives, relationships, and jobs are being impacted. The winds of change are blowing and some would say we are already going through the apocalypse. How do you chart a course when the future is uncertain? The short answer is: know who you are, what you value, and what’s important to you. It’s about having a decision-making tool that will keep you in alignment with your core values, what drives you, and what you need to live a balanced life. Through personal narrative, I will share how I use three creative tools to make artistic, personal, and professional decisions.
Telling the truth is a radical act. In this hands-on workshop, would-be storytellers will learn techniques and strategies to shape personal experiences into universal revelations. As Anne Lamott famously said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
This presentation grounds magic in everyday human thinking (no supernatural entities required). The presentation identifies the role attention, intuition, and intention play in secular magic; discusses exercises that develop these skills; and concludes by describing how these skills help in everyday life, creative pursuits, and political change.
Presentation and Workshop
Many of us live in a primarily mental world where we dissociate from or leave our bodies regularly. Research shows that we have complicated, often negative relationships with our physical selves – and for women, the number one source of shame in our lives can often be our bodies. Betsy Rippentrop (Heartland Yoga) and Sarah Driscoll (Breathing Room Yoga) will lead a discussion about achieving true acceptance of our bodies and the bodies of others. We will shed light on the work behind self-love and the benefits a mindfulness practice can offer while also examining American yoga culture’s ongoing failure to maintain diverse and inclusive spaces. A presentation of the All Bodies Belong photography exhibit will be shown in conjunction with this session. The exhibit showcases images and stories of body diversity within a yoga practice.
Members will be creating visual and literary art that is inspired by other works being presented at Witching Hour, as well as the larger festival themes. The Englert Theatre gallery space on the second floor will display this visual work, and the literary work will be read onstage on Saturday.
In her sharp and candid collection of essays, My Time Among the Whites, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Capó Crucet will read from this new collection which examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply-flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here. Her reading will be followed by a discussion and Q&A.
Reading and Discussion
This workshop presents an opportunity to dig into the creative planning tools for the apocalypse. This hands-on workshop will help you build you own Values Based Priorities Matrix (VBPM). The workshop facilitation style will include personal reflection through writing and sharing. Pairs will build their tools in real-time. Groups will choose to work from the Values Based Priority Matrix, Mission Money Matrix, or Ikigai. Align your values and priorities. Define your values and key priority areas of your life.
Lynch: A History is a kaleidoscopic look at NFL star Marshawn Lynch and his use of silence as a form of protest. Culling more than 700 video clips and placing them in dramatic, rapid, and radical juxtaposition, the film is a powerful political parable about the American media-sports complex and its deep complicity with racial oppression.
A screening of the movie will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with director David Shields. Screening and Discussion
The University of Iowa has faced many challenges over the past twenty years – floods, the great recession, changing demographics, and a generation of disinvestment in higher education – to name a few. These challenges created both short and long-term challenges for the UI but through challenges new opportunities have emerged.
Leaders of the UI will discuss the strategic priorities of the university which will beget a promising future for our students, our community, our state, our nation, and world.
Presentation and Discussion
The Reaping 4.6 (2020) is a new installation made for the gallery/museum space. This work will use formality, abstraction, and chance procedures as a conduit in which to explore and interrogate white supremacy. The installation’s scenography will be sourced from interviews with a white supremacist, viral videos of college fraternities chanting racist epithets and common stereotypes of people of color. This work will use gesture story and movement to make both blackness and white supremacy visible through the use of radical juxtaposition.
Projected viral videos of racist fraternity chants and white supremacist riots will frame the space and movement sequencing. Formal choreography and slippages of Africanist movement will create a mirror of whiteness, which is composed of the next generation and the viral videos.
The Writers of Color Reading Series is an ongoing event that celebrates undergraduate, graduate, and local writers in the Iowa City community. Co-founded by T. Geronimo Johnson and Andre Perry in 2015, the series seeks to ensure that local literary voices from across the spectrum have a community and a time and place to be heard. The Witching Hour 2019 installment of the series will feature Jennine Capó-Crucet and a collection of local writers. Reading
Creatives from all walks of life are powerful forces for social transformation. As creative artists, healers, entrepreneurs, movement builders, and educators, we drive the innovations that create new futures. If we can reach across the divides that separate our country to connect with creatives from other walks of life, we can harness our creative forces to dissolve those divides and find new ways of communion. Through story circles, skillshares, and organizing strategies, we will explore how to reach creatives from other walks of life than our own, exchange creative processes, and join forces for social transformation.
Nina is a curated performance of some of Nina Simone’s most poignant material. With this performance and workshop, I want to ask the following questions about Nina: Who is she? Why is she important? Do you have any personal history with her music? What was Nina asking for in the performance of her music? How did she set change in motion in her world? How can we learn from her to set change in motion in our world and in ourselves? Nina Simone’s music remains relevant today with ever-looming racial tension between Black Americans and police, the politicization of immigration, and the general rhetoric from our nation’s capital. Americans are very afraid these days of any unfamiliar changes that might of our freedoms. Nina once exclaimed, “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear. I mean really, no fear!” It is my undeniable belief that we cannot move past these American fears without deep personal and individual revolution. Nina’s music can help us do this work, as it is indeed both externally and internally revolutionary.
Carrier Waves is a collaboration between producer Limit Infrared and choreographer/visual designer Angelia Mahaney combining live electronics, dance, and live video projection to explore our understanding of physical bodies in digital mediums. Angelia’s direction of the choreography and live projection shifts the audience’s focus from the macro to the micro, asking the audience to explore what cannot be seen by the naked eye in juxtaposition with private moments that are never recorded. Limit Infrared’s music and sonics push the listeners’ focus back to the somatic experience of the performance, combining dense rhythms with vapor trail atmospheres. Both artists aim to re-contextualize their work within the performance space, with Angelia moving dance out of the concert hall and into typically music-focused venues and Limit Infrared producing body music outside the framework of current club genres. This is their third collaboration together, having previously worked together on Motley Cow’s Sci-Fi CoLab Dinner of Mission Creek 2017, and Witness, performed at Yacht Club Iowa City in August 2017!