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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Making Connections

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Members from the Cherokee Arts Council, The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee Area Economic Development and several local business owners gathered at the Copper Cup on Monday to welcome an envoy from the Spencer/Lakes region.

The delegation was part of ArtsLIVE. The group was made up of Alyssa Jackson, Executive Director of Arts LIVE; Connie Loeschen, ArtsLIVE board member and Lakes Community Theatre past president; Karli Frerichs, co-owner of Shaky Tree Coffee in Spencer; Deidre Rosenboom, ArtsLIVE board member, artist, and freelancer graphic designer; and Chad Elliott, singer/songwriter, painter and ceramicist.

The ArtsLIVE delegation came to Cherokee after receiving an invitation from Jomi Anderson of KCHE. Jackson met Anderson about two years ago and recently rekindled her acquaintance with Anderson when Jackson took a new position with the ArtsLIVE.

ArtsLIVE is a non-profit organization that was created in 2005 to further the development of the arts and cultural opportunities in Northwest Iowa by joining arts and culture organizations together under a free partnership. Through the partnership, the umbrella ArtsLIVE organization promotes the events and names of these organizations to help residents and visitors throughout the Northwest Iowa corridor to take advantage of arts and culture.

After hearing about such examples of the arts culture in Cherokee as exhibits at the Sanford Museum, The Gathering Place, The Copper Cup, the Cherokee Symphony, Cherokee Community Theater, "Cherokee Connection" on KCHE, and the annual Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival - to name just a few, Jackson and Anderson scheduled a visit to Cherokee to see the community first hand.

Jackson pulled together some great arts partners from their community with the goal of connecting all of the communities and to get people excited about community development and artistic growth.

Meet and greet - Singer/songwriter Chris Elliott (pictured, center) was part of the ArtsLIVE delegation that visited Cherokee on Nov. 26. Elliot is an Award-winning Iowa songwriter, and has performed for folk music audiences in the U.S. and Canada,
After a get-to-know each other session at the Copper Cup, both groups went on a walking tour of downtown. They visited the Gathering Place, where Jimmy Davis gave them a tour of the building and described some of the many events that have taken place at the Gathering Place.

Then, after touring Main Street Antiques and Body of Wisdom, the tour headed over to the Sanford Museum. There they viewed the art exhibits of Cherokee native Ben Laposky and Karen Cooper of Spencer. Cooper's work was well known to the ArtsLIVE group, and many knew the artist personally.

Next stop on the tour was The Book Vine, where Mollie Loughlin welcomed the envoy and gave a tour of her store. The group wrapped the tour up by having lunch at the Gasthaus Bar and Grill.

Members of the Cherokee delegation and business owners who met with the members of ArtsLIVE were: Jomi Anderson, Jimmy Davis, Mary Ann Miller, Jim Adamson, Curt Moye, Joni Devos, Mark Buschkamp, Dwight Varce, Mary Meloy, Linda Burkhart, and Mollie Loughlin.

A partnership with ArtsLIVE has many advantages; according to Jackson, they have many tools at their disposal to promote arts and cultural opportunities such as there web site, http://www.artslive.com.

They also have a weekly radio spots on KWIT/KOJI FM 90.7; monthly radio spots with KICD FM 104.9 radio; a media contact list, a myspace and facebook page, and a strong organizational networking system. ArtsLIVE also supports a number of special events, including Artoberfest, a celebration of year-round area arts opportunities and organizations.

Some of the many partnerships of ArtsLIVE include: Lakes Community Theatre, Spencer Community Theater, Lakes Art Center, and Spencer Area Concert Association.

Any one can become a partner in this organization. To join just visit

http://www.artslive.com\",and click the "join us""link to take part in the opportunities offered through ArtsLIVE. A partnership with ArtsLIVE is free. Their office is located at 1900 Grand Ave., North Spencer. For more information, contact Alyssa Jackson at 1-800-765-1428 or 712-264-3472.

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