Each week, Hoopla and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance team up to showcase arts and culture events in Eastern Iowa. Below are the hidden gems:   This week, see the Western Africa: Before the Boats exhibit at the African American Museum of Iowa! Before the slave trade, tight-knit African communities lived surrounded by humid tropical rainforests or the vast grasslands of savanna.  Join us to experience an African village, the sounds of African drums, shekeres, and singing, and a bustling African market to trade for salt, cloth, gold, and ivory.  Discover the foods, masks, pottery, and metalwork that were part of everyday life for thousands of people. Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Admission is only $5/adults, $4.00/seniors, $2.50/students. Exhibit highlights include:
  • An immersive rainforest and Asante village created by local artists Jeni Reeves and Karen Hoyt
  • Opportunities to try-on clothing, create art, and play African instruments
  • Artifacts, photos, and hands-on activities illustrating the diverse cultures and complex societies of western Africa
  • A look at how West African influences can be seen in the United States today
  Join the Marion Arts Council for Coffeehouse Night on Friday, March 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of jazz at the Lowe Park Arts and Environment Center, 4500 N. 10th Street in Marion. Performing will be the popular local group the John Shultz Jazz Trio. The Lowe Center art gallery will showcase artwork from the local Creative Artists organization. The exhibit features a variety of works by some 20 artists. Admission is free; hot beverages and desserts from Witte's End coffeehouse will be available for purchase. Come early and get a good seat in the gallery...doors open at 6:30 p.m.   Adults of all ages are invited to come and dance at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center’s English Country Dance on Saturday, March 16. English Country Dance is a social dance dating from the late sixteenth century. The dance is done to hauntingly beautiful tunes taken from old ballads and political satire, classical music, and operas. The dance will be held from 7:00-10:00 p.m. in the Assembly Room at The Center. It is open to the general public and no registration is required.   The Ushers Ferry Historic Village, 5925 Seminole Valley Tr. NE, is offering a South of the Border Wine Class on Saturday, March 16 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Adults ages 21 and up are invited to spend an evening in the Ushers Ferry Hotel learning about wines from South America and South Africa from Lauren Chalupsky-Cannon of the Secret Cellar. Each wine will be paired with a delicious taste treat by The WrightTouch Catering. The fee is $21 for residents and $25 for non-residents. Pre-registration is required, call 319.286.5731 to register for this program.   Working Group Theatre invites you to their monthly spoken word, storytelling, and music show, Was the Word, on Sunday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. at The Englert Theatre. Each event brings together community members and local performers to share their words and experiences on stage to benefit local non-profits or community service groups. The theme for the night is “Lucky Me” and proceeds from the event will benefit Pathways. Tickets are Pay What you Can @ the door. Was the Word is part of Working Group Theatre’s creation of The Broken Chord, a full-length play presented by Hancher April 12-14, 2013, examining the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.