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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

3-22-05

Contacts:

Sheryl St. Germain, Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, (515) 294-7104

Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720

Vilsacks to host 'Unmasking the Arts' event at Iowa State March 25

AMES, Iowa -- This Friday night, Gov. Tom and First Lady Christie Vilsack will preside over a carnival-inspired celebration at which strolling musicians will break into song and costumed performers, samba dancers and beggars will roam.

Iowa's first couple will host "Unmasking the Arts: A Carnival-Inspired Evening of Fun and Fancy" at Iowa State University on Friday, March 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. Iowa State's Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities has organized the "friend-raiser" to both raise funds and build relationships with future donors.

The event concludes a day-long symposium, "The Cultures of Carnival." "Christie Vilsack has a strong interest in promoting a sense of community among Iowans, and the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities shares that goal," said Sheryl St. Germain, associate professor of English and the center's director. "Part of enhancing community is understanding the cultural experiences and traditions of those around you."

Vilsack sits on the center's advisory council. The Vilsacks and other guests, including Des Moines Arts Festival Director Mo Dana, advisory council chair; and ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and his wife, Kathy, will wear elegant eye-masks (handcrafted by student artisans) at the event.

Silent auctions of two "First Lady" masks, a parade of student-designed carnival costumes, and a commedia dell'arte performance -- a type of improvisational comedy dating to Renaissance Italy -- will be among the evening's festivities. Members of the world-renowned National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique also will perform.

"You can have a vibrant arts and humanities community at a university that is primarily dedicated to the sciences," said St. Germain. "We want to be an arm of Iowa State that is active in energizing the arts and humanities throughout the entire state."

The event will be held in the Molecular Biology Building atrium at Iowa State, located on Pammel Drive on the north side of campus. A donation of $25 per person is suggested. Complimentary masks will be given to all guests, and custom masks designed by ISU student artisans may be purchased. For directions or more information, visit the center's web site.

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Quick look

Gov. Tom and First Lady Christie Vilsack will preside over a carnival-inspired celebration and fund-raiser March 25.

Quote

"You can have a vibrant arts and humanities community at a university that is primarily dedicated to the sciences. We want to be an arm of Iowa State that is active in energizing the arts and humanities throughout the entire state."

Sheryl St. Germain