Posts Tagged ‘Luther College’

KDEC Home, Sport and Garden Show and Empty Bowls

Sunday has always been fun-day in my book, and this coming Sunday, March 7, will fit the bill perfectly. It’s supposed to be in the 40s and sunny, so don’t stay inside – take that spring fever and put it to good use.

First, head out for one of the best Northeast Iowa spring traditions: KDEC’s 27th Annual Home Sport and Garden Show at the Decorah High School. Go early for pancakes and sausage served up to benefit Sunflower Childcare (starting at 9:30), then stroll through the booths inside to learn about landscaping and gardening, architectural design, hybrid vehicles, electronics, home construction, bicycles and more. There are more than 80 vendors signed up to help you dream about an ever-approaching spring season filled with possibilities. And kids can shoot hoops for a chance to win $100.5 savings bond from Decorah Bank and Trust! The Show is open from 10 am to 3 pm.

Next, take a walk on up the hill to Luther College’s Center for the Arts and enjoy the community’s fifth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. 

Part of a nation-wide project to help stop world hunger, this event has become an extremely popular spring event. 

Local potters craft hundreds of bowls – and for just a $20 donation, attendees choose a bowl of their liking and can taste soup donated by local restaurants, businesses, and individuals. The proceeds of the event will be divided between local food pantries and world hunger assistances through Lutheran World Relief. Soup is being served from 11 am to 2 pm. The event raised $18,000 last year; let’s help them surpass that amazing mark this year! Supplemental funds are provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

We hope you get out of the house this Sunday for a great Fun Day, dream of big projects to come, and put some food in your belly that helps local and national organizations as well.

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This weekend, August 21-23 is the 1st Annual DigIN Festival in Decorah, IA. The Decorah Iowa Green Initiative (DigIN) is a chance for you to visit our awesome little corner of Northeast Iowa and see what’s happening with progressive green and sustainable technologies. Check out the full schedule at www.digindecorah.com – and come to Decorah this weekend. Registration & maps will be available throughout Saturday for the sustainable farm & home tours, and the KDEC Green Expo on Sunday, August 23 will provide a chance for everyone to check out the latest and greatest in green technology.

Check out these great events throughout the weekend:fresh_poster_small

Friday August 21 – 8pm – Street Dance with the Foot-Notes. Washington St. near Water Street (across from the Hotel Winneshiek). Rain location at the Elks Lodge in Decorah – corner of River & Main near Viking State Bank.

Saturday August 22 – all day! Sustainable Farm & Home Tours. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION. Special tours of homes and farms featuring sustainable technologies – also great efvents annd tours at the Seed Savers Exchange in rural Decorah both Saturday and Sunday!

Saturday Night August 22 – Screening of ‘FRESH’ the movie – 8pm, Decorah High School auditorium – free for registered DigIN members, $5 for non-registrants. ALSO Saturday evening – A Garden Party with Maritza at the home & gardens of David Cavagnaro- 7pm. Click Here for more details!

Sunday August 23 - The KDEC Green Expo at the Winneshiek Co. Fair Grounds 11am-4pm. Green businesses will show off their products and services and two informational seminar tents will have programs throughout the day! FREE for all – don’t miss this great chance to speak to professionals from across the spectrum and learn more about cutting edge green technology and sustainability.

SEE YOU at the first annual DigIN Festival this weekend in Decorah!

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The August / September issue of Inspire(d) is quickly coming together here at the Oak Street HQ. As you can see at left, our cover features a beautiful painting by Doug Eckheart of the Borlaug family farm – and you’ll find a feature story by Aryn all about Dr. Norman Borlaug, the upcoming Harvest festivities in Cresco, and more.

Speaking of Festivities – there is also a ton of great information in this issue about digIN, the new green festival in Decorah August 21-23. Check out profiles of Off-the-Grid Homes and sustainable farms that you can tour, musical events, great local food, details on the KDEC Green Expo, and a bounty of other things!

Of course we have all the regular reviews, a piece on old tractors, Froelich, and Mabel/Hesper Steam Engine days by Benji, State Fair tidbits – and the list goes on….

As you may have seen or heard us say, we are dangerously close to honing in our new website for it’s launch. We’re not ready to spill the beans yet, but we have to say we’re pretty darn excited about it and we think you will be too!

Better get back to finishing up the magazine – Until it meets you on stands…….

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A film by ana Sofia joanes

Screening in Decorah Saturday evening August, 22 as a part of the new DigIN Festival.

DigIN = (Decorah Iowa Green Initiative) (click for details & registration!)

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

Details on Screening location & timing to be released very soon – visit www.digindecorah.com for details & to register for the DigIN Weekend Festival. The First 250 on-line registrants receive a free tote cooler stuffed with great items & offers from Decorah area businesses, restaurants, food producers, and more.



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Celebration Iowa – Nordic Fest 2009 Performances

Celebration Iowa, a showcase of 40 of Iowa’s most talented yong musicians will perform several times at the 2009 Nordic Fest in Decorah Friday and Saturday, July 24-25. Performances will take place in the Decorah High School Auditorium (air conditioned).

In its 27th season, Celebration Iowa’s 2009 show will open with a memorable America Off to War set, featuringPICT2513 Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Rosie the Riveter”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, followed by excerpts from the hit musical, “Newsies.” Some of the selections chosen for performance include, “Carrying the Banner”, “King Of New York” and “Seize the Day.” The show will conclude with an entertaining One Hit Wonders set, which will include, “Gloria”, “Turn the Beat Around” and “Macarena.” The Celebration Iowa Jazz Band will once again perform an eclectic mix and fun jazz literature from many styles and eras. The group performs classic swing charts from Count Basie and Duke Ellington, as well as more modern big band charts from the likes of Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie. They also perform original songs and arrangements from some of today’s newest composers as well as original arrangements written just for this group. Popular selections from last year include: “Salt Peanuts”, “Anything Goes”, “Four”, and “In the Mood.”

CI_NewsiesCelebration Iowa, a project of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa is also funded by The R.J. McElroy Trust, The Fred Maytag Family Foundation, Iowa West Foundation, and the Celebration Iowa Alumni and Parent Funds.

More information about Celebration Iowa and tour dates can be found at:


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Welcome to summer!

To really kick it off right, check out all these fun things to do in the very first week of this wonderful season!

Windemere Student Massage Clinics, June 22: www.windemere.org



The First Lutheran Summer Music Academy Faculty Recital in Noble Recital Hall at Luther College, June 22, 8 pm: www.lutheransummermusic.org 

Aaron Bodling artist reception at the Decorah Public Library, June 23, 7 pm


crucibleWEBDown on the Farm Iron Pour June 24-27: http://theinspiredmedia.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/hungry-for-the-pour/

Anne of Green Gables, New Minowa Players June 26-27, 7 pm: www.newminowaplayers.org

DRAC’s Art Walk opens June 25: www.decoraharts.wordpress.com


Celebration Iowa dress rehearsal, June 26, Storre Theatre, 5 pm: http://celebrationiowa.luther.edu

banksofplumcreekLaura Days in Burr Oak June 27-28: www.lauraingallswilder.us


The Rainmaker opens in Lanesboro, MN: www.commonwealtheatre.org

Foot-Notes Dance at the Cutting Farm, Rural Decorah, June 27, 7 pm



P.S. Don’t forget about First Friday next weekend! See events page for details!

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It was just one year ago that a series of torrential storms dropped incredible amounts of rain on the tri-state area. At the time, inspire(d) was allowed access to capture many aerial photos of Decorah as the flood waters crested. If you would like to see these photos please CLICK HERE.

Also, Luther College Professor and Inspire(d) Book Critic Amy Weldon shared her perspecitves on the floor later last summer – you can read her accounts of community and high water by CLICKING HERE.

Sandbags in Decorah

Sandbags in Decorah

Here’s to a much happier, healthier, and weather stable summer in the upper midwest!

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August 21-23, 2009 – Decorah, IA

The Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau is kicking off a fun and educational new festival called “Dig IN: the Decorah Iowa Green INitiative” this August 21-23. The WCCVB and partners established this first annual event to celebrate the Decorah area as leaders in “green” initiatives. Dig IN is a weekend-long festival set in idyllic Northeast Iowa featuring off the grid homes and sustainable farm tours, along with live music at both a street dance and garden party, an expert-filled green expo, seminars and forums, and local foods all weekend.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live without power lines stretching across the land, into your house, your outlet, and your coffee pot or lamp, ready to make light at your fingertips or your morning java? Do you imagine a dark life with few luxuries or fun? For off the grid families these days, this life is neither dark nor dreary – it’s merely an adaptation of where to get energy and how.

Now let’s take it another step: what do you think of when you hear the word “sustainable,” “green,” “organic,” or even “local”? How about when you add the word farming? In the Midwest, farming is a way of life. We’ve gotten used to fields lining our roads and animals in our pastures, and now we’re starting to get used to these “new” words – important to the quality and health of both our food and our land – that actually bring farming back to its roots of centuries ago. Dig IN will answer these questions and more.

On August 22, traverse the region’s rolling hills and picturesque bluffs to get a peek into off the grid homes and sustainable farms as the owners downtownpicwebopen their doors for tours. Learn about solar, wind, and geothermal energy, composting toilets and ultra efficient appliances. Get up-close looks at small wind turbines and visit farms that produce food for our tables responsibly – without chemicals and with the environment and land in mind – and profitably – making a sustainable life for their families and tackling the local and regional marketing level.

Luther College will also welcome visitors to its campus to check out the electric vehicle fleet and learn more about its climate commitment. Based on this commitment Luther has set a goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% in the next four years and is working on a plan to become a carbon neutral campus. The college is a local leader in bio diesel and hybrids, and has recently completed a LEED certified science laboratory and research center. (www.luther.edu)

And if you’d like to learn more on a one-and-one basis, visit KDEC Radio’s Green Expo on Sunday, August 23. Regional experts will set up booths and be available to discuss efficient options for your home, garden, cars and more. Seminars and forums will be running all day and there will be local food available. (www.kdecradio.com)
Local food will also be on hand throughout the entire weekend at participating Dig IN restaurants, each highlighting the region’s wares through special local menus. Also stop by Decorah’s Oneota Community Food Co-op to see one way farmers get their produce to the public or visit the great local farmers’ market Saturday morning. (www.oneotacoop.com)
Amidst all this learning and eating, don’t forget the dancing! Friday night, August 21, the area’s famed Foot-Notes will play a rousing street dance complete with waltzes, schottisches, polkas, and more in their traditional Scandinavian style. This concert – completely FREE (!) – will run from 8-11 pm and is open to the whole family. (www.footnotesdance.com)

Saturday night features a garden party at local gardener and photographer David Cavagnaro’s home with “Maritza“. Cavagnaro, whose photographs have graced the pages of national magazines such as “Mother Jones,” “Martha Stewart,” and “National Geographic,” is the founder of a new gardening program called the Pepperfield Project. (www.pepperfieldproject.org)

The project is dedicated to helping individuals of all backgrounds improve their quality of life through classes that will teach how to develop and enhance their relationship with food, cooking, and gardening. Visit Cavagnaro’s extensive vegetable and flower gardens in rural Decorah and enjoy the Balkan sounds of local band, Maritza.
Of course, Decorah always has great shops, hotels, canoeing, camping, hiking, biking and more. (www.decoraharea.com) So make plans now to participate in this great new summer festival.

Register online at http://www.digindecorah.com to get full access to a program guide, a map for home and farm tours, plus a chance to a prize package. Registration is $10 for adults and kids 18 and under are free.

For the latest news, event listings, and information, visit www.digindecorah.com.


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April/May Inspire(d) Magazine on stands by March 28!

Featuring: David Cavagnaro & The Pepperfield Project, a chat with the New Zealand String Quartet, The Decorah Community Free Clinic, David Faldet’s ‘Oneota Flow‘, Roger Brooks (Destination Development) amazing tourism statistics come to Winn Co., Brownsville artist Sara Lubinski, reviews, calendars, live music round up, festival news, the Probituary, and more!!!

A huge thank you to all of our advertisers, supporters, readers, and fans from across the Driftless Region and the country! We hope you enjoy this new issue of Inspire(d) Magazine. If you’d like to subscribe – email benji@theinspiredmedia.com.

March 26, 2009 – 3:15AM – 24 degrees F

Greetings Inspire(d)ville!

As March makes one more chilly pass at us, Aryn and I are dangerously close to putting our April/May issue “to bed.” Itnever fails to be

Spring Frost Breaker - March 2009 - 412 Oak - (B. Nichols)

Spring Frost Breaker - March 2009 - 412 Oak - (B. Nichols)

an exciting process, this magazine making that we love so much. It was just Tuesday evening that I snapped this picture off of our porch – the air was incredibly balmy and fresh – like all of the frost decided to float out of the ground and create the most luscious amber air. We often joke about making a new logo for ourselves with bunnies & unicorns & rainbows on it – and we would truly be making mad fun of ourselves, except that there was the most amazing rainbow Tuesday evening, just as I was about to put the camera away. I didn’t see any unicorns, and we haven’t found a pot of gold yet, but we hope that this issue of Inspire(d) will help bring in a beautiful new season of Spring, growth, community, and beautiful weather. Thanks for tuning in – please stop back again soon as I’ll be posting more stories here throughout the next week – and – we truly are in the process of relaunching www.theinspiredmedia.com into something spectacular. Keep an eye out for us this Spring – and for bunnies & rainbows. Over and out for now, we’ve got a magazine to finish…       -benji

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A Q&A with Diavolo

by Aryn & Benji Nichols / Inspire(d) Media

A veritable dance circus is coming to Decorah – but instead of bearded ladies, lion tamers, and clowns, the performance company, Diavolo Dance Theatre, brings dancers, gymnasts, rock climbers, and actors.
Diavolo was founded in 1992 in Los Angeles by Jacques Heim in an effort to create large-scale interdisciplinary performances that examine the funny and frightening ways individuals act with their environment. They will bring their antics and props to the Luther College Center Stage Series March 17 at 7:30 pm.
Inspire(d) caught up with Diavolo performer Garrett Wolf to ask him a few questions about the show. Wolf is an elite level gymnast who has been a part of Diavolo Dance Theater since August of 2000. Raised in Alaska, he trained in gymnastics and garnered further skills in partner stunts at the University of Anchorage, Alaska, where he studied American Sign Language. Wolf’s stunt, dance, and acrobatic work has been viewed in many of the Southern California Theme Parks. His role in Diavolo has not been limited to Dancer; he has been Video Archivist, Rehearsal Director, Associate Artistic Director, Studio Manager, and Assistant to the Artistic Director, Jacques Heim. A working model for both film and television, Wolf’s professional skills are complemented by his enthusiasm for downhill skiing and sea kayaking.


I. (inspired) Diavolo is not your standard American dance company. Please give us a brief description in your words of what Diavolo encompasses as a performance group unlike any other.

W. (wolf) Diavolo embraces spectacle. Because Diavolo’s works incorporate athleticism, architecture, and pedestrian movement along with dance, our audiences become interested in a form of art that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to see anywhere else.

I. Are there different prerequisites to becoming a Diavolo company member than in a more traditional dance company? Are there particular skills that make some resumes stand out more than others?

W. The dance world is becoming a fusion of all kinds of art outlets. The dancer needs to know basic gymnastics, the gymnast is being introduced to martial arts and aerial work. Similarly, the Diavolo performer needs to be skillful in dance, gymnastics, acting, martial arts, and aerial work, making them hard to find. We require a great amount of upper body strength, tumbling skills, air awareness, and they must be quick studies. But besides being talented, what really makes the Diavolo performer – something that can’t be seen on a resume – is the ability to be a team player. The 10 dancers teach, train, and perform as a team. The high level of danger within the dance does not allow the performer to be a single player.

I. The props used by Diavolo are very unique, such as doors, chairs, and stairways. What are the technical challenges of traveling with the Diavolo show? What outlandish props will be making their way to Decorah on this tour?

W. The most common challenge we face with our set pieces is their durability – they must be able to withstand constant usage, repetitive building/breaking down, as well as extensive travel. The sets are often made of steal, fiberglass, or a sturdy wood, so it is a heavy piece of equipment, and the freighting definitely makes up a significant portion of the annual budget! Pragmatically speaking, something as simple as the measurements of a theater’s loading dock becomes hugely significant for us, as there is often a chance that we won’t be able to fit all our pieces through. Fortunately for us, we work with an amazing team of designers and fabricators when constructing new set pieces. Foreign Bodies, for example, was originally planned as an 8 ft by 8 ft cube once put together, though the design changed to 7 ft by 7 ft because that would allow us easier access through most doors – theater/truck etc.


I. Is there a usual phrase you tend to hear when audiences come out of a Diavolo performance?

W. Yes… “The performance was amazing and different from what I’ve seen before, Thank You.” Also… “I’m so amazed by the level of commitment and teamwork displayed by the dancers at all times on stage.”

I. In Diavolo founder Jacques Heim’s artistic statement he speaks of wanting to “expand the boundaries” of dance in ways that offer audiences “a cinematic experience of powerful images and abstract narratives.” Diavolo represents something much more than just a classical or modern dance company – almost a new hybrid of entertainment that engages viewers on a different level, pulling in humor, awe, and surrealism. Why take dance to this new level?

W. Because we can. Audiences are interested in seeing something new and different. People can’t always describe exactly what it is we do, but there’s something very much enjoyable about experiencing the unfamiliar and new.diavolo-dance-020

The Diavalo Dance Theatre will be performing at Luther College’s Center for Faith and Life Tuesday, March 17, at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale Thursday, February 26, and are $22 with $20 tickets for seniors 65+ and students age 4 to 21. All are invited to experience the post performance discussion with the dancers and artistic director. For more information on tickets please contact the Luther College Box Office at (563) 387-1357, or visit www.luther.edu/programming.
More information can be found on the Diavolo Dance Theatre at www.diavolo.org.

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