MUSCATINE, Iowa – The days of summer have moved to August with the day that teachers and students head back-to-school is just around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy some family fun this summer. The Muscatine Art Center is sponsoring two free, family-friendly events this month, so circle Thursday, August 18, and Sunday, August 21, on your calendar.
The Muscatine Art Center, in conjunction with the Muscatine County Arts Council, will present “Community Stage” from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, and then the Art Center, along with the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center, will provide a sweet celebration for the last weekend before school starts with the Annual Ice Cream Social from1-4 p.m. on Sunday, August 21.
New this year is the “Community Stage” presented by the Muscatine County Arts Council and held on the grounds of the Muscatine Art Center on August 18. Muscatine Brass Ensemble will kick off the event with a performance at 5:30 p.m., and then catch a short puppet show by Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater followed by readings of poems submitted by local writers and selected for this year’s Wandering Words project, and stories and other musings presented by local authors. This free event includes outdoor games and back-to-school crafts.
Who can resist ice cream on a warm summer afternoon? Join the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center for the return of the Annual Ice Cream Social from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 21. The Annual Ice Cream Social, sponsored by Kent Corporation, is a Muscatine tradition that dates back to 1979.
“There is something for everyone at the Ice Cream Social,” Alexander said. “Expect to see some of your friends and neighbors at the event while also helping raise funds for the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center and its mission to support educational programs at the Muscatine Art Center.”
Crusin’ is the featured live music for this year’s event and will perform from 1:15 to 3:45 p.m. During their intermission, the Muscatine Civic Chorale will entertain the crowd from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. Other family-friendly activities include games in the courtyard, building with big blue blocks from Musser Public Library, studio projects for the children, and learning about wildlife with Muscatine County Conservation.
Admission to the Ice Cream Social is free of charge. In addition to selling ice cream, the Friends organization is offering slices of pie, brownies, cookies, and other treats to satisfy your sweet tooth.
As always, those who participate in the family-friendly bike ride will receive a token for a free ice cream during the event. The bike ride is free of charge. Riders will depart from the Charles and Jean Harper Pavilion on Houser Street at 1:00 p.m. and stop at the Muscatine Art Center. The Melon City Bike Club and Harper’s Cycle and Fitness are the organizers of the bike ride.
August 21 is also the last day to catch the special exhibition, “Where Children Sleep: Photographs by James Mollison,” organized by Curatorial Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. In this revealing series of photographs, Mollison invites us into the diverse stories of children in many different countries and circumstances. Each studio-style portrait is accompanied by a detailed study of the child’s “bedroom,” which can range from elaborate sanctuaries to the barest spaces set aside for sleep.
Also on view during the Ice Cream Social is William Havlicek’s “The Sanctuary of the Sun: Seasons and Time,” “Great Leaders of the Indian Nations: McKenney and Hall Prints from the Permanent Collection,” and “Incredible Minds: Muscatine Authors.”
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit https://www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a quarterly newsletter.