Art, Galleries & Museums
Muscatine Art Center Selected to Participate in National Museum Assessment Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 12:22

Muscatine, Iowa (May 12, 2014) – The Muscatine Art Center has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP). Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will empower the Muscatine Art Center to better serve the citizens of Muscatine by facilitating its meeting and exceeding the highest professional standards of the museum field.

The program is funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and throughout its 30 years has been administered by the American Association of Museums (AAM). As part of the IMLS National Leadership program, MAP advances best practices and fosters improvement in museums.  MAP is a self-motivated program; application to and participation in MAP is initiated by each local institution, and those accepted invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment.

By completing the MAP study, the Muscatine Art Center hopes to better understand the audiences that it serves or could potentially serve through audience evaluations and learn how to better respond to the needs of these audiences. Other goals include increasing the visibility of the Art Center in the Muscatine area and within a 60-mile radius and improve the Art Center’s ability to identify and develop community partners.

MAP is a confidential process of self-study, peer review and implementation.  Museums use the assessment process to strengthen operations, build capacity, and enhance communication throughout the organization and in response to community needs.  Participant museums choose one of three categories for its assessment: Collections Stewardship Organizational, Community Engagement. The Muscatine Art Center will take part in the Community Engagement assessment process.  Small and mid-sized museums of all types, including art, history, science and technology, children’s, natural history, historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos participate in the program.

“Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civic involvement, public service and overall excellence on the part of the Muscatine Art Center,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “Studies have shown America’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better.”

Since its creation in 1981, the MAP program has served over 4,300 museums. MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. For more information, including a complete list of museums participating in MAP, please visit, call 202/289-9118 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

AAM is the only organization representing the nation’s entire museum community and has been dedicated to promoting excellence within the museum field for over 100 years. For more information about AAM, visit The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

For more information, please call Melanie Alexander, Director of the Muscatine Art Center, at (563) 263-8282 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Play Along with Dora and Diego in New Exhibit Dora & Diego – Let’s Explore! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Elly Gerdts   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 10:11

Bettendorf — Get ready to explore with Dora and Diego at the Family Museum in the new exhibit Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! The exhibit features beloved characters Dora and Diego from Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!, along with their friends Boots, Map, Backpack, Isa, Tico, and of course Swiper, now in their own exhibit for your preschooler to explore as they learn and play along.

This new, interactive traveling exhibition was created by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis in partnership with Nickelodeon, presented by the WellPoint Foundation, and made possible locally by DHCU Credit Union, Scott County Regional Authority, The Family Museum Foundation, and Ann E. Whitman. The exhibit will be open Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, September 14, 2014.

Media and their families are invited to the ribbon cutting and member-only opening on Friday, May 23 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The QC Chamber will cut the ribbon at 5:30 pm.


Dora the Explorer follows the adventures of the 7-year-old Latina heroine Dora and her friends in an imaginative, tropical world. Go, Diego, Go! stars Dora’s 8-year-old cousin Diego, a bilingual animal rescuer who protects animals and their environment. The exhibit gives children and their families the opportunity to go into the worlds of Dora and Diego to engage in problem-solving and active play. Young children play along as they join an adventure and learn how to solve problems, be a good friend, and care for animals and the environment. Spanish vocabulary is incorporated throughout the exhibit to introduce Spanish-speaking skills to preschool children.

Dora the Explorer is a ground-breaking children’s series that draws kids into an interactive quest using a variety of learning techniques in every episode. Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! carries the play-along theme throughout the exhibit as children are encouraged to actively play while they solve problems, share and learn about the natural world.

Favorite friends and places from episodes of Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Do! are incorporated in the exhibit including:

The Purple Planet

Visit the Purple Planet with Dora and Boots! A Purple Planet home invites young visitors to climb inside and slide down on the surface of the Purple Planet.


Rocket Ship

Dora’s outer-space friends want to go back to the Purple Planet and need help getting there. Aboard the Rocket Ship, preschoolers are invited to put on a spacesuit, pilot the ship, and test their memory with images of colorful planets as they help Dora and Boots take their outer-space friends home.


On the way to the Purple Planet, Dora and Boots encounter some interesting star groupings. Children and their families are invited to help identify the patterns made out of stars by inserting star shapes to light-up a constellation.


Isa’s Flowery Garden

Dora’s friend Isa the Iguana demonstrates how to take care of flowers, plants, and animals. Preschool visitors can tour Isa’s Garden to pick flowers, interact with bird, butterfly, and insect puppets, and pretend-fly with toddler-sized bird and butterfly wings. Even the littlest visitors will enjoy smelling the flowery scents and picking soft-fabric posies.


Tico’s Tree and Car

Dora is a good friend to Tico the squirrel and young visitors are invited to be a good friend to Tico too. Tico needs help picking nuts from the tree for a family picnic. Children can play along with Swiper to swipe the nuts and watch as they shoot up and over to fill Tico’s basket. Tico’s car is in need of fuel! Visitors can help Tico fill up his car with nuts so he can begin his journey.

Pirate Ship

In the Pirate Ship, preschoolers can join the Pirate Piggies crew and dress like a pirate to pretend-play along sailing the ship and divvying up the treasure. Visitors can raise and lower the Pirate Piggies’ flag, look through the telescopes to spot the treasure chest and then divvy up the coins into the Pirate Piggies’ banks and help them share the treasure.


Animal Rescue Center

Young children can practice caring and helping rainforest animals in Diego’s Animal Rescue Center. Preschoolers can be an animal rescuer, like Diego, as they diagnose and address an animal’s problem from the ‘Scanner’ bed, bandage and apply cold packs at the ‘First-Aid Station,’ and bathe stuffed animals at the ‘Care Station.’

Rainforest Maze

Preschoolers will explore a rainforest to locate rainforest animals. Active play is encouraged as children swing across the Bobo Brothers’ monkey bars, crawl through a fallen tree, climb across Jaguar Mountain, and jump or hop across the River Rocks.


John Wayne Birthday Celebration May 23-24 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Jill Hauser   
Monday, 12 May 2014 08:51

Winterset, Iowa:  With construction underway on the long-awaited John Wayne Birthplace Museum, Duke's hometown is buzzing with anticipation. To kick off the project the entire community is joining together in presenting the 2014 John Wayne Birthday Celebration May 23 & 24. New to this year's lineup will be a Rodeo/Western Swing Dance on May 23 (admission $15 individually or $25 combined) and special appearances by screen star Lana Wood, who played young Debbie in the acclaimed motion picture classic, "The Searchers." Also new this year, the Iowa Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association present two shows where mounted contestants compete in a timed event using .45 caliber single-action revolvers. And authors Lana Wood and John Wayne's daughter Aissa Wayne will join New York Times best-selling authors Scott Eyman and Glenn Frankel in a book symposium to discuss their block-buster books on John Wayne and director John Ford.

Continuing event favorites are free screenings of classic John Wayne movies at the vintage Iowa Theater, this year featuring "The Searchers," "Stagecoach" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." Visitors may also enjoy a Fireman's Pancake Breakfast, a 5K run/walk, Pie Squared dessert tasting and tours of Madison County's legendary Covered Bridges (nominal charges for each).

The exciting Birthplace Museum Benefit Dinner takes place Saturday evening at 5pm where guests will enjoy a meal along with music, celebrities and an auction of John Wayne collectibles and memorabilia hosted by the actor's daughter Aissa Wayne. Reservations are $125 per person.

For more information and reservations visit or call 877-462-1044

Loebsack Announces Winner of 2014 Congressional Art Contest People’s Choice Award PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 13:39

“Old Man” by Brianna Paup to be displayed in U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that a pencil drawing by Brianna Paup, a junior at North Cedar High School in Stanwood, was selected to represent Iowa’s Second Congressional District in the 2014 Congressional Art Contest. For the first time, the People’s Choice Award winner was selected in an online competition in which nearly 2,500 votes were cast. Paup’s winning drawing, “Old Man,” was one of a record 167 entries from 13 different high schools in 10 counties. It will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year and Paup will receive a free trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the unveiling as well as a reception held to honor all of this year’s winners.

“Each year I am more and more impressed by the creativity, ingenuity, and talent of our local high school students. I send my congratulations to all of the young artists whose record number of submissions made it a very close contest this year. I especially want to congratulate Brianna and look forward to welcoming her and her family to Washington and seeing her artwork hang in the U.S. Capitol,” said Loebsack.

The artwork of the first and second runners-up will be displayed in Loebsack’s district offices in Davenport and Iowa City. The first runner-up was a photograph by Pimpaporn Teerathammongkol, a senior at Davenport West High School, entitled “Sunset in Iowa.” The second runner-up was a painting by Alli Herr, a freshman at Keokuk High School, entitled “Silhouette Tree.”

Winner:  Brianna Paup, North Cedar High School

Old Man

First Runner-up:  Pimpaporn Teerathammongkol, Davenport West High School

Sunset in Iowa

Second Runner-up:  Alli Herr, Keokuk High School

Silhouette Tree


Beaux Arts Fair Weekend PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Natalie Dunlop   
Monday, 05 May 2014 09:35

Davenport, Iowa (May 5, 2014) The spring Beaux Arts Fair will be taking place this weekend on the plaza in front of the Figge Art Museum.

From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday more than 200 artisans will fill the plaza and the surrounding streets with a variety of handmade crafts including jewelry, pottery, stained glass, sculptures and more. Spin art for kids of all ages will also be offered from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. both days.

Admission to the fair is free and the Figge is offering $2 admission to the museum all weekend long. This year, Beaux Arts Fair and Mother’s Day share a weekend, so to celebrate the museum is offering FREE admission to all moms on Mother’s Day. Treat your mom to a full day of fun free of charge.

Spend the day exploring the Beaux Arts Fair outside and enjoying the exhibits inside as well as family-friendly activities in the family gallery and studios. All proceeds from the Beaux Arts Fair benefit programming and exhibitions at the Figge.

About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays 12-5 p.m. Thursdays the museum is open until 9 p.m. Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members and free to all on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit


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