Each week Hoopla and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance team up to showcase the top arts and culture events happening in Eastern Iowa. Here are the hidden gems:

The Sound of Music

The Starlighter’s II Theatre in Anamosa presents The Sound of Music. Don’t miss the world’s most beloved musical this weekend! When a postulant proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed navel Captain. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain, and they marry. Upon returning from their honeymoon they discover that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis, who demand the Captain’s immediate service in their navy. The family’s narrow escape over the mountains to Switzerland on the eve of World War II provides one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in the theatre. The motion picture version remains the most popular movie musical of all time. Shows are December 7 & 8 at 7:30 p.m.; December 9 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $16/adults, $15/students & seniors.

Coffeehouse Night

Join the Marion Arts Council for Coffeehouse Night at Lowe Park on Friday, December 7! The December Coffeehouse Night will be “songs of the season” with Carol Montag. The popular singer/songwriter will be performing with another local talent, Carlis Faurot. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. with the performance from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. The performance is free and refreshments for purchase will be provided by Witte’s End Coffeehouse. The new visual arts exhibit, Close To Home Landscapes, will also be in the art gallery through January 4th. The featured works are by Mt. Vernon artists Susan Coleman and Marty Mitchell. This year’s Christmas Coffeehouse Night at Lowe Arts and Environment Center will be in conjunction with Uptown Marion’s Christmas in the Park. Enjoy the activities in Uptown Marion starting at 4:00 p.m. Meet Santa and visit the Uptown merchants…then come join the Marion Arts Council at Lowe Park to warm up with hot coffee/cocoa/treats and enjoy the great music and local art!


The James Gang invites you to experience Somatophobia, an exhibition that will run from December 7-December 28 at Public Space One (PS1) in Iowa City, with an opening reception from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on December 7. It includes over 30 objects, installations, and events from international, national, and local artists. The work submitted via national and international call features a collision of electronic-responsive work, artist’s books, textured photography and painting, experimental clothing/textile work, and a series of events, installations, and performances. For example, Luiza Kurzyna’s Long Distance, a jacket with interconnected arms, to be worn by two people at once and facilitate a new perspective on limbs, movement, and body. A “reading lounge” will feature a number of artist’s books including Tarpaulin Kingdom, by Matt Runkle. Work will be installed and the gallery will be transformed from “white cube” to a full-sensory environment to encourage lingering, hanging out, and the handling of the art/work. This exhibition continues the PS1 December tradition of combining local and inter/national artists for a group show in Iowa City.

A Dan Knight Christmas

Don’t miss A Dan Knight Christmas with Marcia Hughes and the Trio this Saturday, December 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. The evening features Steinway artist and composer Dan Knight, together with the inimitable voice of singer/actress Marcia Hughes performing classic Christmas songs, and some new songs that are destined to become classics. Word has it that Santa Claus might even make an appearance! Tickets are $14.50/adults, $12/students & seniors.

Tour of Lights in Tipton

The holiday spirit is warm, merry and bright in Tipton! Tipton Community Development invites you to celebrate an Old Fashioned Christmas and Tour of Lights in Tipton. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a free Christmas concert at the Hardacre Theater, live nativity scene and a community soup supper. Take a stroll in the downtown area where you will find hot cocoa, popcorn, roasted marshmallows and live old fashioned Victorian windows. Do some shopping at one of the Christmas vendor and craft shows or pick up some holiday goodies at the Old Cedar County Jail Bake Sale. Santa will be arriving at 5:00 p.m. by local fire truck and you can visit him from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Tipton Fire Station. Come celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in Tipton! Old Fashioned Christmas & Tour of Lights events include:
  • Free Christmas Concert at the Hardacre Theater, 5-8 PM
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides sponsored by the Tipton Lions Club, 5-8 PM
  • Live Victorian Christmas Cards sponsored by the Cedar County Attic and Attic Belles, 5-8 PM
  • Old Cedar County Jail Open House and Bake Sale, 5-8 PM
  • Community Soup Supper at St. Mary’s Hall, 4-8 PM
  • Live Nativity Scene at the Spear Barn, 120 East 9th Street, 5-8 PM
  • Christmas Vendor Show and snacks at US Bank, 4-8 PM
  • Christmas Craft Show at 313 Cedar Street, 10 AM-8 PM
  • Holiday music and food throughout downtown courtesy of Citizens Bank, Liberty Trust and Savings Bank and representatives of the Tipton High School Chorus, 6-8 PM