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University of Iowa News Release


May 3, 2010

Hancher nets NEA grants for projects featuring Kubínek, Carolina Chocolate Drops

The University of Iowa's Hancher has been awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

An "Access to Artist Excellence" grant of $25,000 will support the commissioning and presentation of "Professor Kubínek Meets the Orchestra," a collaborative project of Hancher, artist Tomás Kubínek, and Orchestra Iowa. And an "American Masterpieces: Chamber Music" grant of $12,500 will support residency activities featuring the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band.

"Professor Kubínek Meets the Orchestra" will be presented by Hancher and will premiere in November 2010 with performances in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Decorah and Mason City. Kubínek will also perform the work with the Omaha Symphony and then hopes to tour orchestras around the world. "Professor Kubínek Meets the Orchestra" combines Kubínek's trademark zaniness with a symphony orchestra in an effort to appeal to longtime concertgoers and newcomers alike.

The project is among 950 ideas funded via the "Access to Artistic Excellence" grant program.

"Professor Kubínek Meets the Orchestra" is also supported by the Iowa West Foundation, an anonymous family foundation, and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, as well as by donors to Hancher through the UI Foundation.

Hancher will present the Carolina Chocolate Drops in April 2011. With an emphasis on music popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the band will participate in educational activities and workshops designed to introduce this musical tradition to a wider audience.

The members of the trio are rooted in this traditional music, but also adept at adapting contemporary songs to the band's style. The residency was one of 72 projects funded via the "American Masterpieces: Chamber Music" grant program.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037,