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It Takes an Iowan

Posted: Mon, September 9, 2019

Book Signing with Brian J Borland

Posted: Fri, August 9, 2019

Farewell to Summer Concert

Posted: Fri, August 2, 2019

Cedar Valley Chamber Music Concert

Posted: Mon, July 8, 2019

All News


Collecting Christmas

Posted: Tue, December 10, 2013
There is a distinct difference between "collecting" and "accumulating", "stockpiling" or, to use a contemporary reality TV theme, "hoarding". The latter are indiscriminate habits reflecting, perhaps, the less-disciplined side of human nature that results in an often higgledy-piggledy compilation.  "Collecting", however, is both purposeful and selective and often results in a display that is a thing of beauty and a testimony to human thought and creativity.
 
On display through the end of December, the current exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center, "Collecting Christmas" is indeed a thing a beauty. Comprised of selections from a variety of collectors, the exhibit reflects the joy, tradition and reverence inherent in this holiday season. Nativity scenes contributed by Sue Baron of Charles City represent the Christmas story as interpreted through the eyes of different cultures and artisans. The warm glow of vintage glass ornaments collected by Bill and Renee Croell of New Hampton embody the simple pleasures of the Christmases past. "Manufactured to be collected" items such as Snowbabies, plates by Hummel and Bing and Grondahl, Rowe Pottery Santas and are intermixed with "made collectible by age and love" items such as vintage postcards, a diversity of angels and nostalgic full page illustrations of Santa scenes from early New Hampton Tribunes. Even Scrooge could find something of pleasure and meaning among these fine and carefully chosen artifacts.
 
The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Avenue in New Hampton. It is open noon to six on Thursdays, ten to four on Saturdays, one to four on Sundays or anytime by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Center at (641) 394-2354 or consult its website www.carnegieculturalcenter.org
 
Photo I.D.s:
He deals in concrete for a living, but Bill Croell and his wife Renee take special pleasure in their "light-as-air" glass ornaments.
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From Your Closet To Ours

Posted: Mon, September 16, 2013

If you are the type of person who likes to wander around antique or second hand shops, you'll enjoy this. If you've ever wondered what type of stuff your neighbor might be hoarding, you'll enjoy this. If you think it would be fun to stock a "cultural capsule" to launch into outer space in hopes of making contact with other life forms, you'll enjoy this. "This" is "Carnegie's Closet", the current temporary exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center.

On display through early November, the exhibit showcases some of the items donated by area residents that are now part of the Carnegie's permanent collection, but not always on display. Items in the Carnegie's Closet are varied...clothing and accessories, kitchen paraphernalia, religious artifacts, toys, calendars, medical gear, souvenirs from around the world, vintage catalogs, school memorabilia, greeting cards, sewing and needlework supplies and local advertising ephemera. Some of the items are common and some unusual, but they all, in some way, tell something about life as it is or has been in the Chickasaw County area.

There is a lot to take in, so the Cultural Center is issuing a challenge that could pay off for attentive observers. Until the end of October, visitors are invited to find specific items and information in the exhibit and record what they have found on survey sheets. On October 31, drawings will be held from the completed forms for cash prizes in each of three age categories: Elementary (grades 1-6), Middle and High School (grades 7-12) and adult (out of high school). Taking up the challenge could be rewarding fun...it could also prompt one to take a more in depth look in his own closets!

The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Ave. in New Hampton. Fall and winter hours are: Thursdays 12-6; Saturdays 10-4; Sundays 1-4 or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information call (641) 394-2354 or visitwww.carnegieculturalcenter.org

Photos: The Carnegie's Closet illustrates the beauty of ordinary kitchen utensils and the unusual items collected by a Chickasaw County turn of the century world traveler, Harry Dane.
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Farewell to Summer

Posted: Thu, July 25, 2013
Perhaps it's because of the late, wet spring. Perhaps it's because the school starting date is earlier than ever. Perhaps it's both, but "summer" 2013 seems to be coming to a premature closure. No matter how you feel about that...happy or sad...you're sure to enjoy the Carnegie Cultural Center's annual "Farewell to Summer" treat, the Johnson Strings. In concert on Sunday, August 18, at New Hampton's Mikkelson Park band shell, the performance will start at 6:30 pm and refreshments will be available.  Back-up performance site will be Trinity Lutheran Church.

The rural New Hartford family including Paul (husband/father), Linda (wife/mother) and children (ranging from 10 to 20 years in age), Laura, Karen, Luke, Abigail, Seth, and Silas have been performing as the "Johnson Strings" for the past six years. Playing in venues throughout the Midwest, the Johnson's repertoire varies from classical to old folk music, ragtime, bluegrass, and gospel. With the exception of Paul, everyone in the family plays multiple instruments...piano, viola, violin, banjo, mandolin, cello and harmonica...and have had formal voice training. The children also have lessons with instructors at Wartburg and Coe colleges and the University of Northern Iowa.

The Johnson's ability to pick up and perform is made easier by the fact that all of the children are home-schooled, with the older children taking advantage of on-line providers for advanced degrees and certificates. The family is in the process of renovating a loft on their acreage into a concert hall so they can host events and concerts on site.

Admission is free, so everyone is invited to "tip their hat" to the season and take in what promises to be a highly entertaining event. For more information, contact the Carnegie Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354 or visit its website www.carnegieculturalcenter.org

Photo: The Johnson Family of New Hartford is certainly one of the finest when it comes to Iowa-produced musicians.

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HATAGANZA

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013
Get Ready for HATAGANZA

 "Fashionista" or not, you'll have fun at the Carnegie Cultural Center's "HATAGANZA." Designed to complement the current Temporary Exhibit, "Hats, Hats, Hats!" the event is scheduled to begin at 1:00 on June 1 at the Center. The event's main attraction will be a program entitled "A Century of Hats" by vintage clothing collector and women's historian, Heather Edgington, of Spring Grove, MN. 

 During her college years at the University of Wisconsin, Heather worked in the Historic Costume Lab where she learned the value of preservation and restoration. Edgington also worked at one of Chicago's finest vintage clothing shops where she was enthralled by the varied collection of  beautiful, period apparel...including the hats, of course!

Heather has collected exquisite vintage clothing and hats for over 25 years with an emphasis in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Thirteen years ago she started offering hat and style shows based on her collection and interwoven with women's history. In 2005, she started taking her show on the road and enjoys meeting new people who also are lovers of the old.

Following the program, attendees are invited to "Tea and Tidbit Tasting" featuring different varieties of tea and sweets. Everyone is invited to come dressed for the occasion. Door prizes will be given for the "Largest Hat" (determined by averaging the length, width, and height of a hat), "Most Bedecked Hat" (determined by the number of different trims) and "People's Choice." Another activity will be a "Name That Hat" contest.

The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Avenue in New Hampton. Admission to the Center and to HATAGANZA is free. Summer hours are: Wed., Thurs., Fri., 12 noon - 6p.m.;  Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sun. 1 - 4 pm. For more information, contact the Center at (641) 394-2354; carnegiecc@yahoo.com or visit the website at www.carnegieculturalcenter.org

PHOTO: Heather Edgington will present "A Century of Hats" during the Carnegie Cultural Center's "HATAGANZA"
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Songs and Highways

Posted: Mon, February 11, 2013
Martin Jones of Charles City is one of those people who make you proud of your northeast Iowa roots. Solid and self-effacing with a quick wit, one immediately feels at ease in his presence. That's a good thing because under that comfortable demeanor is a skilled artist of no small measure. The results of his artistic impulse are being featured in the current Temporary Exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton entitled "WoodSong- carvings by Martin Jones". On display through mid-April, the exhibit includes naturalistic as well as decorative carvings executed mostly in basswood and butternut.  Largely self-taught, Jones took advantage of Iowa Arts Council grants to hone his skills under woodcarver Ivan Whillock in Faribault, MN. He also took advantage of chip carving workshops offered by the Vesterheim in Decorah. In the end, detailed sculptures in the round and deeply carved reliefs have become hallmarks of Martin's distinctive carving style.
 
Martin's contribution to the Carnegie is like a double dip ice cream cone, however. The occasion of his temporary exhibit coincides with the opening of a new Permanent Exhibit, "Paths and Power" that traces the development of farm to market roads and highways in the Chickasaw County area.  An impressive display of models of road building equipment masterfully crafted in wood by Jones highlights the new exhibit. Carnegie Cultural Center Volunteer Administrator, Juanita Andersen, comments, "Martin is a 'hidden treasure.' His carvings are beautiful and fluid and his woodworking pieces are stunning examples of skill perfected. We are excited to tribute his creativity in "WoodSong" and are very appreciative of the contribution his wood models are making to "Paths and Power."
 
An artist reception is slated for Sunday, March 3 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Cultural Center. Woodcarvers, woodworkers, lovers of nature, heavy equipment aficionados and the general public are all invited to attend, take in the exhibits, meet the artist and enjoy refreshments.
 
The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Ave. in New Hampton. It is open Thursdays noon to 6; Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm; Sundays 1 - 4 pm; or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, or to schedule a tour, call the Center at (641) 394-2354, email carnegiecc@yahoo.com or visit the websitehttp://www.carengieculturalcenter.org/
 
 
PHOTO: Master carver and woodworker, Martin Jones holds his wooden model of a road grader while posing in front of some of his woodcarvings currently on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center.



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All In The Family

Posted: Tue, September 18, 2012
Some things don't seem all that remarkable until you look a little closer. A snowflake is just a little dot of white falling from the sky that, in combination with millions of others, piles up in the driveway. On closer examination of just one snowflake, its beauty, symmetry and uniqueness becomes apparent. On the surface, the family of Doug and Marian Sowers of Fredericksburg, Iowa, seems much like many others...a hard working patriarch, a nurturing matriarch, and a flock of eight children who have found their place in society. Further examination reveals that, over and above this archetypal household, is a brood of varied, accomplished, noteworthy artists... not your typical Northeast Iowa farm family.

The story of this unique group and an array of their artistic accomplishments is the basis for the current exhibit, "All in the Family", on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton through mid-November.

The heart of the story is that of Marian Jeffries, a Waterloo native, and Doug Sowers of Sumner who fell in love and married at the ages of 16 and 18 respectively and, as Marian always said, two children began their lives together. The rest of the story is filled with raising children, making a living...and discovering and developing their own artists within. The exhibit of artwork is both a tribute to Marian who passed away last year and a celebration of the Sowers' artistic legacy. Included in the display are paintings, wood carvings, bronze sculpture, decoys, quilts, pen and ink, collage, photography and custom clothing and costuming...to name a few...created by Marian and Doug, their children and extended family. The Sowers siblings still living in Iowa are: Sue (Plainfield), Jeff (Milo), Ric (Fredericksburg), Melinda (Conrad), Marijo (Farley), Ken (Readlyn), and Kris (Riceville). The sixth child, Kelly, now resides in Austin, MN.

An artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Cultural Center. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend.

The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Ave. in New Hampton Iowa. Its hours are: Thurs. 12- 6; Sat. 10-4; Sun. 1-4; or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Carnegie at (641) 394-2354.
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Farewell to Summer

Posted: Sat, August 18, 2012
The summer of 2012 was indeed a long, hot one, so it may be with a sigh of relief that we bid it goodbye. The Carnegie Cultural Center invites everyone to collectively enjoy a sigh of relief at their "Farewell to Summer" concert scheduled for Sunday, August 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Mikkelson Park bandshell. Relief will come in the form of the cool, relaxing and fun sound of Fusion. Well-known throughout the area for their retro look and repertoire, Fusion promises to be the perfect way to look back and enjoy while looking forward to the changing of the seasons. Don't miss it!
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Traces In Time

Posted: Mon, July 16, 2012
There's a bit of surprise in looking down at the ground and spying something out of the ordinary. There is more than a bit of wonder when one picks that something up and finds evidence of a life that came before. In the case of Indian artifacts, that life could have been there...on the very spot where one is standing...hundreds, and even thousands, of years before. That sense of wonder is at the heart of "Traces in Time", the current exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton. On display through the end of August, the exhibit showcases found and accumulated artifacts primarily from the collections of two men: Jack Ruzicka of Marble Rock and Frank Peters of New Hampton.

By opening a window to the past and defining the life of our ancestors, the exhibit reveals that, while the methods and tools of the ancients are very different from those of the 21st century, the motivations are much the same. Arrowheads, bows, arrows and fishing utensils speak about an existence maintained by hunting. Axes, scrapers, grinding stones and celts provide insight into the labors of everyday living. Beaded articles and game pieces express the appreciation of beauty and playfulness of the native culture while ceremonial pipes and effigy figures exemplify the human yearning to find meaning in life and explanation in a complex world.

The accumulation of these traces in time indicates yet another theme...our impulse to preserve the story of our past and delight in the beauty of that which is man-made...a compulsion that is at the heart of collecting.

An open house reception for Ruzicka and Peters, as well as all collectors, is slated for Sunday, July 29, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Cultural Center. Everyone is invited to attend, take in the exhibit and share their stories of collecting.

The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Avenue, New Hampton. Its hours are noon to 6 pm on Wed., Thurs, and Fri.; 10 am to 4 pm Sat.; 1 to 4 pm Sun.; or anytime by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Center at 641-394-2354.

PHOTO: artifacts from the collections of Jack Ruzicka (L) and Frank Peters are on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center
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John Deere Reunion

Posted: Wed, May 23, 2012
If you are a lover of tractors, you may know that the John Deere Company is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. You may also know that the Company's home offices are in Moline IL, and that there's a good-sized plant in Waterloo, IA. Perhaps you have not considered, however, that John Deere is also HERE…right here in Chickasaw County….and has been for quite a while.


Highlighting the story of John Deere's presence in the Chickasaw County area is what the current exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton is all about. On display through June 10, the exhibit, entitled "John Deere Here" explores three themes: the equipment, the dealerships and the people who made the equipment. A fine display of model tractors and equipment illustrates the development of product lines that can be found on numerous area farms…and considering the loyalty of some farmers to the brand, one might expect that the blood that runs through their veins is bright green. Another display features information about the local dealerships through years and a third display presents a visual representation of the many, many, many people who have commuted from the Chickasaw County area for employment at the Waterloo Tractor Works.


Within each of these themes there are multiple stories to be told. The Cultural Center will be hosting a "John Deere Reunion" on Sunday, June 3, with refreshments, door prizes, and an open microphone to encourage the telling and preserving of stories. Everyone is invited to attend.


The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 North Water Avenue in New Hampton. Until June, when hours are extended, the Carnegie is open Thursdays, 12-6; Saturdays, 10-4; Sundays 1-4 or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354.


Photo: Some models of vintage tractors on display include a Froelich, a Melvin Motor Plow and a Slovsky B-3.

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Elanor Rosevelt Reflects

Posted: Wed, March 21, 2012
Tired of the political squabbling of late? The Carnegie Cultural Center and the Chickasaw Event Center invite you to take a political break...a theatrical break actually. On Sunday, April 15, the two agencies are co-sponsoring a performance entitled "Eleanor Roosevelt Reflects" by historical reenacter, Jessica Michna. The presentation is scheduled for 2:00 pm at the Event Center, 301 N. Water Ave, New Hampton, with dessert served following the performance.

While most people find the current political rhetoric uninspiring, the story of the wife of America's 32nd president is just the opposite. Born into the opulent wealth of America's "Golden Age", Eleanor Roosevelt grew from a shy, homely orphan into a confident, driven woman. Annealed by her 13 year tenure as First Lady during which the country endured the Great Depression and the horrors of the Second World War, as well as the loss of her husband near the War's end, Eleanor emerged as a champion of civil rights, author, and stateswoman. She is best summed up by President Harry S. Truman, who dubbed her "The First Lady of the World."

Michna's compelling portrayal of Roosevelt is historically accurate and is done in a voice that is amazingly similar to that of the first lady. The presentation will be approximately one hour in length after which Jessica will entertain questions from the audience about Mrs. Roosevelt as well as her own background.

Admission at the door is $7 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, contact the Carnegie Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354, or the Chickasaw Event Center at (641) 394-3173.

PHOTO: In addition to Eleanor Roosevelt, Jessica Mischna's repertoire includes First Ladies Mary Todd Lincoln and Abigail Adams.
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Three Women and Mother Nature

Posted: Mon, February 6, 2012
Tired of the political squabbling of late? The Carnegie Cultural Center and the Chickasaw Event Center invite you to take a political break...a theatrical break actually. On Sunday, April 15, the two agencies are co-sponsoring a performance entitled "Eleanor Roosevelt Reflects" by historical reenacter, Jessica Michna. The presentation is scheduled for 2:00 pm at the Event Center, 301 N. Water Ave, New Hampton, with dessert served following the performance.

While most people find the current political rhetoric uninspiring, the story of the wife of America's 32nd president is just the opposite. Born into the opulent wealth of America's "Golden Age", Eleanor Roosevelt grew from a shy, homely orphan into a confident, driven woman. Annealed by her 13 year tenure as First Lady during which the country endured the Great Depression and the horrors of the Second World War, as well as the loss of her husband near the War's end, Eleanor emerged as a champion of civil rights, author, and stateswoman. She is best summed up by President Harry S. Truman, who dubbed her "The First Lady of the World."

Michna's compelling portrayal of Roosevelt is historically accurate and is done in a voice that is amazingly similar to that of the first lady. The presentation will be approximately one hour in length after which Jessica will entertain questions from the audience about Mrs. Roosevelt as well as her own background.

Admission at the door is $7 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, contact the Carnegie Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354, or the Chickasaw Event Center at (641) 394-3173.

PHOTO: In addition to Eleanor Roosevelt, Jessica Mischna's repertoire includes First Ladies Mary Todd Lincoln and Abigail Adams.
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