Stage & Theatre
East Moline teenager going to state to compete in POETRY! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by M. McNeil   
Friday, 01 March 2013 10:42
(East Moline, IL) You always hear about football and basketball players making it to state....well, now a United Township High School senior is going to state for her poetry recitation skills. Brianna Gray won the UT "Poetry Out Loud" competition earlier this month and won the Regional competition last Saturday.   She will compete at the State competition on Friday, March 8th, in Springfield for a slot in the 2013 Poetry Out Loud:  National Recitation Contest in Washington, D. C., in late April. This is her second trip to state finals for Poetry out Loud.

Brianna says to competing at the state level has boosted her confidence level because you have to believe in yourself when you are standing in front of hundreds of people.  “I love poetry Out Loud because it has taught me how be confident in myself and that I am capable of great things. It has also taught me how to better understand poetry and to figure out what the poets were thinking when they wrote.”

Brianna says her quest for state was helped along by UT staffers.  “I have my school librarians who are always willing to lend me their ear and help me understand what that poem is actually about, I have other teachers who are able to listen and critique my performance so it can be the best version when I preform, and I also have my family who listens through countless run-throughs and makes sure I am accurate in my poems.”

Students study, memorize, and recite renowned classic and contemporary poetry at each level of competition, and a panel of writers, teachers, and performers judges the recitations.  Each state champion will receive a trip to the nation’s capital to join a field of fifty-three students vying for the top prize, a $20,000 scholarship award.

“UT is very excited to be taking poetry to the next level and representing the Western Illinois region at state finals. This is our 3rd year participating and going to state finals in this program and we've seen many positive things come from this experience for our students.” says UT’s Poetry Out Loud coordinator, Lisa Carroll.

The Springfield Area Arts Council will host sixteen high school students from eight regions spanning Illinois.  They are the winners and runners-up from competitions held this month, starting in their own classrooms.  Contest organizer, Sheila Walk, “This program gives teenagers a way to compete, just as school athletes do, and the competition at the state level is intense.  Participating students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.  Plus, they meet students from urban, suburban, and rural schools and interact with the judges who are language arts professionals.  It’s a great event.”
Poetry Out Loud is backed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  Now in its eighth year, the contest is designed to encourage interest in poetry at the high school level.  Last year, almost 6,000 students from 57 Illinois public and private high schools participated.

UT’s Poetry Outloud is an afterschool enrichment class which is part of a “Lights ON” grant funded by the 21st CCLC grant, a partnership between the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education and UTHS.


Free Admission Open House this Saturday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Kelly Lao   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:48
Open House!
Saturday, March 2nd 12pm-4pm
join us for family fun at our open house
This Saturday from 12-4  come down to GAHC with free admission! See our excellent exhibits, sign up for a membership, and shop our German made gifts!
We have the privilege of being entertained by the dance duo The Dick & Jane Variety Show featuring dancing, clogging, instrumental, and vocal music!
Guaranteed Performances at 1:00 and 2:00!
Don't forget to pledge to our Challenge Drive!
We only have one more month to reach our goal! Call 563-322-8844 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.
Thank you and we hope to
see you on Saturday!
German American Heritage Center

Saturday, March 2nd
712 W 2nd St.
Davenport, IA 52802
An awesome event that you won't want to miss out on!

Luther College student Michael Ehrecke to perform in 'On the Verge, or--the Geography of Yearning' PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Julie Shockey   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:52

DECORAH, IA (02/27/2013)(readMedia)-- Michael Ehrecke of Davenport, Iowa will perform the eight major supporting roles in the Luther College Department for Visual and Performing Arts production of "On the Verge, or--the Geography of Yearning," a comedic tale of three Victorian women's trek through time.

Ehrecke, the son of Mark and Nancy Ehrecke of Davenport, Iowa, is majoring in theatre at Luther. He is a 2011 graduate of Davenport West High School.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. March 8, 9, 14 and 16 and at 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 15 with an additional matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. March 9. All performances will be held in the Jewel Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the Luther campus.

Tickets for the performance are $10 or free with a Luther I.D. and are available at the Luther Box Office, telephone (563) 387-1357 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

"On the Verge" by Eric Overmyer tells the story of three adventurous Victorian women who begin their journey in 1888, traveling through what seems like an unexplored land deemed "Terra Incognita." Through clues they discover along the way, the women realize Terra Icognita is actually a link to the future that leads them all the way to the strange era of the 1950's, a world filled with distasteful music and women who wear trousers.

The female leads encounter eight quirky characters in their journey, including the gentlemanly Mr. Coffee, the psychic Madame Nhu and a beatnik gorge troll. These eight characters are all played by the same actor to lend to the surrealism of the play.

The production is directed by Robert Larson, Luther professor of theatre.

The production is also made possible by collaboration with Lisa Lantz, Luther assistant professor of theatre, managing costume design and construction; Tom Berger, technical director of the theatre, managing scenic design and construction; and Jeff Dintaman, Luther professor of theatre, managing lighting for the performance.

NAACP Unveils “Restore the Votes” Billboard in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Jessica Neal   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:35
Restore the Votes Awareness Campaign Continues

(Des Moines, IA)— The NAACP and the NAACP Iowa State Conference are putting a face to their continuous efforts to restore the votes for people who were formerly convicted of felonies.  The organizations unveiled a billboard on Highway 69, just south of the Capitol and state offices, to raise awareness of the issue. The billboard image portrays individuals whose rights have been negatively impacted by voter disenfranchisement.
The state conference has been a steady advocate for expanding reentry services and restoring the votes of people with former felony convictions who have completed all the terms of their sentences. The Iowa billboard launch will expound on national efforts across Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, and Iowa to restore the votes.
“While Governor Branstad is joining a group of state governors and state legislatures across Virginia, Delaware, and Kentucky who are taking steps to restore the votes for citizens who have paid their debts to society, it is important for the state conference, local NAACP branches, NAACP and other leading organizations to bring awareness to the issue, continue the conversation and push for more permanent solutions like automatic restoration of rights,” said Arnold Woods, President of the NAACP Iowa and Nebraska State Conference.
In December, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released an updated application designed  to make it easier for returning citizens to restore their voting rights: a streamlined application, clarifying instructions, simplifying the application process, and removing requirements such as credit history checks.
The NAACP hopes that the billboard also serves as a reminder for people formerly convicted of felonies to continue to seek restoration of rights under the new application process.
“The faces on the billboard represent millions of citizens whose voices are silenced because of past felony convictions,” said Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Senior Director for Voting Rights. “These are parents, taxpayers, students, employees, and in some cases employers who are expected to reintegrate and function normally in a society where they cannot cast a vote.”
On the NAACP’s billboard, the faces of Kemba Smith Pradia, Desmond Meade, and Jessica Chiaponne provide the backdrop for the tagline “They made mistakes. They did their time. They deserve to vote.” On October 5, 2012 the Commonwealth of Virginia reinstated Kemba Smith Pradia’s right to vote. President Bill Clinton gave Smith Pradia executive clemency in 2000. Desmond Meade and Jessicia Chiaponne, President and Vice President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, have still been unable to restore their votes.
The NAACP Restore the Votes Campaign aims to restore the right to vote for millions of citizens formerly convicted of felonies.  The campaign was launched in October following the NAACP’s delegation at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.  As part of the visit, the delegation held a panel discussion on felony disenfranchisement and the attack on voting rights in states across the nation.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Dress to Impress for Work PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:21
To Get Ahead at Work, Ditch the Flip-Flops

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg aside, for many men, the days of wearing hoodies and flip-flops to work are over.

After a decade of increasingly casual office dress requirements (inspired by Zuckerberg’s 1990s Silicon Valley predecessors), CEOs began demanding a more polished look beginning with the 2001 recession. By 2002, more formal dress codes had been reinstated by 19 percent of companies with more than $500 million in revenues, according to a Men’s Apparel Alliance survey.

“The 2001 recession gave Americans a taste of the tougher job market,” says Darnell Jones, a  business professional and creator of TUKZ Undergarments for men, (, which have clasps that ensure shirts stay tucked.

“Then along came the Great Recession in December 2007 and, with it, the layoffs and high unemployment we’re still experiencing. Today, if you want to get hired and if you want to get promoted, you’ve got to look like you mean business.”

Jones notes that it’s not just corporate leaders who want a more professional-looking workforce. In a 2012 survey by, nearly 25 percent of respondents said their workplace’s dress code is too lenient. Less than 10 percent said theirs was too strict.

“Right or wrong, how much care you take – or don’t take – with your appearance communicates a lot about you,” Jones says. “If you take pride in how you look, you probably take pride in the work you do. If your outfits are thrown-together or dated, you may be reckless with details and not up on the latest in your profession.”

If you’re ready to give up your office hoodie, but aren’t sure what to replace it with, Jones offers these tips:

• Get a navy blue or gray blazer or suit coat: Solid colors are best, although pinstripes are fine, too. Get the best material you can afford. If wearing a jacket all day doesn’t fit with your workplace vibe, keep one in your office or cubicle to have handy just in case. Whether it’s a surprise visit from a client or an unexpected meeting with the CEO, slipping on a jacket is an easy way to make a good impression.

• Watch your feet: Invest in a good pair of lace-up shoes -- brown, black or, better yet, both. (The color should complement your trousers and match your belt.) Avoid square-toed shoes -- they’re dated. Be sure your shoes are polished, and replace the heels when they get run down, particularly if you’re going on a job interview or attending an important meeting. Of course, you’ll need socks, too. They should coordinate with the color of your trousers – and with each other!

• Avoid the peacock effect: Your shirt should be a solid color – no patterns and no hot pinks. Be sure it’s pressed. An undershirt is a must; it helps prevent unsightly perspiration stains and unwanted views of underlying body parts. If you’re not wearing a tie and leaving the top button or two undone, make sure the T-shirt collar is not visible at your throat. If you’re wearing a coat, about a half-inch of shirt cuff should be visible at your wrist.

• Flatter your face with a V-neck: A good-quality gray, V-neck pullover sweater worn over a blue dress shirt is a great look for business casual. The bottom of the sweater should stop at your belt line.

“You’ll be amazed at how much more seriously people take you when you look the part,” Jones says.

“The best thing is, dressing well makes you stand taller and feel more confident. That’s really a winning look.”

About Darnell Jones

Darnell Jones is the founder and president of TUKZ Undergarments, LLC, specializing in a unique functionality that prevents shirts from becoming un-tucked. He earned his bachelor’s in health with an emphasis in management at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. Jones’ vision is for TUKZ Underwear to reside in every household to improve appearance and build confidence in men and women of all ages. He currently serves as an investor and a Region Manager for Olive Medical Corp.

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