News & Features

  • Christine Hawes
    Personality Profile: Jenni Fitzgerald is ‘selfless’ teamwork embodied

    You may know Jenni Fitzgerald as the “special assistant” to legendary University of Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder, one of the familiar faces with Bluder on the coaching bench for decades. But did you know Fitzgerald was also one of Iowa’s first-ever 5-on-5 girls’ basketball stars? Or that she remains one of the state’s most heralded high school athletes? Or, that she knows as much about heartbreaking loss as she does about thrilling wins? In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a collection of fascinating facts about a sports pioneer whose ethics are an inspiration for all genders: • Fitzgerald excelled at not only basketball, but also volleyball and softball while attending North Scott High School in Eldridge, near the +

  • A look at two of Iowa’s health care heroes

    Especially with the growing coronavirus pandemic and questions it forces us to confront about health care access, few topics are as urgent this year as health care. We’re needing to figure out how those without insurance can receive protection and +

  • E-stim adds new charge to intimacy

    OMAHA — Erotic stimulation through electricity sounds a little “scary” at first, says Bill Dudley, an experienced practitioner who presents workshops regularly.. “Any time you mention electricity people get a little bit nervous and rightfully so,” says Dudley, who will +

Arts & Entertainment

  • Christine Hawes
    ‘Kinky Boots’ enlightens

    ROCK ISLAND – Brett Hitchcock calls it one of the “edgiest” shows the Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse has ever put on in its 43-year history, comparable only to “The Full Monty.” “Kinky Boots,” the award-winning creation of Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, is on stage four to five shows weekly through March 14. The story features a quartet of drag queens who join to support their leader, Lola, as she helps a shoe designer create a line of erotic footwear to save his factory. “The message of the show is the biggest thing, and that’s acceptance,” says Brett Hitchcock, manager of the Circa ’21. “Accepting people for who they are really is important, especially these days.” Built around music written by Cyndi Lauper, based on a book written in the ‘90s, and featuring a storyline reworked by Harvey Fierstein, “Kinky Boots” was on Broadway for five years. Hitchcock is proud to share that the Rock Island presentation features the original costumes from that run. The local cast includes only one actor who performs drag professionally, Weston Lundy, who is also +

  • Slam poetry in Iowa born 19 years ago

    In the documentary, “Louder Than a Bomb,” a poet takes the stage and says “poets, breathe now.” Though I wasn’t a poet yet when I saw the film, I held my breath and then released it with him. In that electrifying and powerful moment, I breathed life into a poem for the first time. I felt the poetry begin to +


  • Becca Hathaway

    Climate change effects are far-reaching in Iowa

    Iowa is far from the coasts, and far from the polar ice caps. But it is not far from the effects of climate change. Climate change affects Iowa in a very real way, affecting our crops and our personal health.  +

  • Christine Hawes

    Why newspapers matter

    The suspicion of media among LGBTQ people and people of color runs deep. So deep, that even a lesbian reporter writing a supportive piece about the LGBTQ community, for an LGBTQ-identified paper or column, can find herself getting verbally slapped +

  • Katie James

    Your Words: “He”

    Due to popular demand, we are adding a new feature in The Real MainStream: “Your Words,” featuring poetry and prose submitted by our readers. Our debut poet: Coralville resident Katie James, pictured here with her son Ro. “Basically, I am +

  • Jason Frerichs

    Coming out after age 40 today brings unique challenges

    Coming out is a long and individual process at any age. When you’re coming out after the age of 40, you have a unique set of challenges. You may have a history of being in a heterosexual marriage. You grew +

  • Ox Fotheringham

    A Positive Way to Set Start-of-Year Goals

    Thank god we’ve made it through another January. It’s my least favorite month, with December and February following closely behind. The snow. The long, dark months of cold. The post-holiday trauma from curt conversations with family. The influx of patrons +

  • Christine Hawes

    Time again to gut-check your unacknowledged Trumpism

    With the Democratic presidential contest heating up, along with Donald Trump’s rhetoric, now is an important time to revisit a difficult truth: we all need to continuously purge ourselves of unacknowledged Trumpism. Trumpism is built around a few key hurtful +