Two family events at the Art Center in time for the start of the school year

MUSCATINE, Iowa — Back to school is fast approaching, but so are two free family events at the Muscatine Art Center. Mark your calendar for Thursday, August 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 from 1-4 p.m.

New this year is the “Community Stage” presented by the Muscatine County Arts Council and held on the grounds of the Muscatine Art Center. Muscatine Brass Ensemble will kick off the event with a performance at 5:30 p.m. on August 18. Then, enjoy a short puppet show by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, readings of poems submitted by local writers and selected for this year’s Wandering Words project, and stories and other reflections presented by local authors. This free event includes outdoor games and back-to-school crafts.

Who can resist ice cream on a hot summer afternoon? Join the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center for the return of the Annual Ice Cream Social on Sunday, August 21 from 1-4 p.m. The Annual Ice Cream Social, sponsored by Kent Corporation, is a muscatine tradition that dates back to 1979.

Crusin’ is the featured live music for this year’s event. They 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 activities include games in the yard, building big blue blocks Musser Public Library, studio projects for kids, and wildlife discovery with Muscatine County Conservation.

August 21 is also the last day to attend the special exhibition “Where Children Sleep: Photographs by James Mollison”, organized by Curatorial Exhibitions, Pasadena, CA. In this series of revealing 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 most stripped-down spaces reserved for sleep.

Also on view during the Ice Cream Social, “The Sanctuary of the Sun: Seasons and Time” by William Havlicek, “Great Leaders of the Indian Nations: McKenney and Hall Prints from the Permanent Collection” and “Incredible Minds: Muscatine Authors”.

“There’s something for everyone at the Ice Cream Social,” says Alexander. “Expect to see some of your friends and neighbors at the event while helping raise funds for the Friends of Muscatine Art Center and its mission to support Muscatine Art Center’s educational programs.”

Admission to the Ice Cream Social is free. In addition to selling ice cream, the Friends organization offers pie slices, brownies, cookies, and other goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth.

As always, those who participated in the family bike ride will receive a token for a free ice cream during the event. The bike ride is free. Runners will depart from the Charles and Jean Harper Pavilion on Houser Street at 1 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.