Free concert series: Guttenberg's River of Music 2014

Look for a full schedule of events for Guttenberg's River of Music concert series in an upcoming issue of The Press. Concerts will be held in the park every Friday evening, June through August. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

The newly formed Umbrella Arts group, an initiative of Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center, is organizing a free, family-oriented summer concert series entitled Guttenberg’s River of Music. Concerts will be held every Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m during June, July, and August (with the exception of the 4th of July and RAGBRAI).   

“We encourage all residents – especially families – and visitors to bring their chairs or blanket and a picnic lunch (or restaurant carry-out) to enjoy while listening to live music provided by local musicians,” said Juanita Loven, Umbrella Arts chair. “Spend a Friday night mingling with friends and neighbors in our beautiful Ingleside Park, between the bandstand and gazebo.” 

Loven, Sherri Oliver, and M.J. Smith have joined forces to bring this vision to life. “Mark your calendars now,” Loven urges. “To make this project a success, we need to have community support – a park filled with people!” 

Oliver is in the process of booking area bands in a variety of musical styles for the series. Umbrella Arts has secured generous sponsorships for this community music program and sponsors will be announced with the full program of performers, expected to be finalized this month. Look for a full schedule in an upcoming issue of The Press.    

“I don’t have any artistic talent, like painting or sculpture, but I love music,” said Oliver. She envisioned the ambitious project as an all-ages event combining two of Guttenberg’s most scenic assets, the Mississippi River and Ingleside Park, with local musicians. 

“To me, music is something you can enjoy all your life,” Oliver said, expressing that though advancing age begins to limit participation in many hobbies, music is an exception. “I love tennis, but my knees won’t do it anymore,” she chuckled. “Music soothes the soul, energizes you, and speaks to a lot of emotions.”

Anyone wishing to contribute monetarily to the project may send a check payable to Umbrella Arts: Guttenberg’s River of Music, P. O. Box 610, Guttenberg, IA 52052. All donations are tax deductible. To become an Umbrella Arts Supporter, call 563-252-1310.

The mission of Umbrella Arts is to promote the arts by complementing and supporting the efforts of existing organizations like Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center and Guttenberg Tourism and Development. The new group recently launched the ReCycle Sculpture Project to coincide with RAGBRAI’s end-City activities. “Watch for these creative objects as they emerge around town,” says Umbrella Arts chair Loven. 

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