Warhol numbs, Dylan Kelly makes us care: two Scholastic Art Award winners then, now

daryn kelly

This is a case of a lesson learned, and then unlearned. Some years ago, as a high school art teacher, I learned to withhold praise for personal styles in student work. Teens, not fully formed in mind or body, will stay with the praised style, hesitant to explore other ways of working. Andy Warhol embodied this behavior. TEEN WARHOL Hyperallergic Magazine reported on teen art at NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a display of students who had won this year’s 90-year-old Scholastic Art Awards. The magazine mentioned that Warhol won the same award…

Read More

High school writers connect across chasms with Page Poetry Contest

page poets cover

IOWA CITY — With the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and the trial of the officer who killed him, a program I started as a high school writing program has become an escape, an outlet, and a way to deal for the young writers who are participating. Page Poetry Contest Winners from IC Speaks Over the past year, IC Speaks and our members have dealt with a pandemic, and an explosion of political conversation happening worldwide. In some cases, I had BIPOC students writing pieces about the anger and pain…

page poets cover Read More

Lies, melodrama, and the hunger to control guns and drugs: roots of police brutality (TRM Blog)

police brutality

Days after Derek Chauvin’s trial resulted in full convictions last week for George Floyd’s murder, we’re in the thick, realizing things haven’t changed much in the past year. Since Tuesday alone, victims of known videotaped police shootings are a 40-year-old unarmed Black father of 10 wanted on drug charges, shot in the back; a 21-year-old unarmed Black father of one wanted for missing a Zoom hearing on gun charges; another 21-year-old unarmed Black man who sought help from police; a 16-year-old Black girl shot from behind while rushing another girl…

Read More

TRM Blog: Race, gender and religion? Or ego, pride and control? Real-life intersectionality in Grinnell

TRM blog 4 4 21

GRINNELL, IA — The straight white male history teacher could not have been more repentant. “I drew incorrect conclusions …. I misinterpreted … I did not paint an accurate picture,” he said of an attack letter he wrote about efforts to make Grinnell-Newburg’s public school curriculum more diverse and welcoming. “I failed to reach out… failed to take the time …. misinterpreted… had preconceived notions,” said Kent Kastendick. On he went, in at least 17 different ways, trying to pull back the wave of anger, suspicion and fear he inspired…

Read More

Front-lines teacher raised in Iowa remembers few childhood chances to meet, know People of Color

71006447 3547341665291216 4015389393459085312 n

At a time when straight white men are leading so many fights against diversity, some straight white men are fighting the good fight. They include Kent Mick, a Grinnell High School history teacher who grew up in Humboldt, Ia., and has taught public schools in Iowa for most of his life. Mick knows from personal experience that being a native Iowan can mean little to no experience interacting with People of Color, even today. He recalls “barely being exposed to People of Color” as a child and teen, and said…

Read More

Misguided anti-meth bill has regressive, anti-art, anti-business impacts

glass pipe tax 2 1

Add yet another Republican-driven, over-reaching, and misinformed piece of legislation to the Iowa Legislature’s list of bad ideas this year: a 40 percent tax on glass pipes, plus several more increased costs and licensures. Proposed under the guise of slowing the damage of highly addictive methamphetamine, the bill if passed would instead hurt hundreds of small businesses across the state, opponents say. They predict it would drive out the glass art industry altogether, and further marginalize Iowa in the budding cannabis industry as states around Iowa move toward embracing the…

Read More

Burst of events provides intersectional end to Black History Month

header bhm 2 25

St. Louis is filled with nationally significant Black History: it’s where Dred Scott and his wife Harriet began their fight against slavery in 1847, where Josephine Baker kicked off her amazing blues career, and where tennis great Arthur Ashe grew up. It’s also within miles of where, in 2014, the late Michael Brown unwillingly kicked off the current Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality, when an officer shot him in Ferguson, to the east of St. Louis. This city near the border of Illinois is pioneering the mapping of…

Read More

Groups ramp up, seek help, to fight Iowa’s anti-LGBTQ bills

genderless

DES MOINES — If you’d like to join the fight against a rash of anti-LGBTQ bills proposed by Republican state legislators this year, two of Iowa’s leading civil rights groups are providing three chances to get involved within the next week. “Moral Mondays Iowa: The State That Loves to Hate” will feature State Rep. Liz Bennett, D-Cedar Rapids, and leaders of Iowa Safe Schools and One Iowa Action. They’ll educate Iowans Monday on the 14 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year in the Iowa State Legislature. Then, on Wednesday, the One…

Read More

Key City Pride in Dubuque moves forward with diverse tone starting Feb. 6

Black History Month Key City Pride

DUBUQUE — Key City Pride is moving forth with at least five months of events through June, starting with a Black History Month drag showcase Feb. 6. Featuring drag performers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, the Feb. 6 showcase will be offered both in-person, and through Facebook. For those partaking of limited capacity tickets, temperatures will be checked at the door and masks are required, says event organizer Río S. Suãvé. “COVID will tell us,” Suãvé said, emphasizing that all planned Key City Pride events are held contingent on what…

Black History Month Key City Pride Read More

EDITORIAL: The Biden-Harris era as an antidote to nihilism, full-spectrum

3503631946 a3fc465d74 c e1611124953536

Today’s the start of the Biden-Harris era. But more importantly, let’s make it the “End of Nihilism” era. Nihilism, the belief that everything is hopeless, is the ugliest ‘ism of all. It encompasses all the other ‘isms, encouraging a belief that nothing matters and there is no hope for a better world. It’s the one ‘ism that has the danger of uniting the far right AND the far left, white and Black, mystical pagans and fundamentalist Christians, jacked-up young adults and the frail elderly. Nihilism got a lot of fuel,…

Read More