The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 14, 2013

Ideas flow freely at city forum

OTTUMWA — In one of the largest town hall meetings ArtSpace organizers have ever seen, artists and art lovers asked questions and gave their input on what can be done to renovate and use the Capri and Capitol theaters in downtown Ottumwa.

The evening began with entertainment in the lobby of Bridge View Center, showcasing just a few of the art forms that could utilize the theaters — live music, dance, film, painting and drama. A slideshow of photos from the theaters dating back to the 1920s brought back some memories and triggered some new ideas.

The town hall meeting portion of the event was an introduction to Artspace by Roy Close, the organization’s vice president of special projects.

He was quick to explain that they aren’t an entrepreneurial group, but have been invited to Ottumwa by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation to examine the community and what type of arts center it can sustain.

“There are lots of ways to define an artist, and our philosophy is to do that very liberally,” Close said. “We want them to be passionate about having a career in the arts and live in our buildings.”

Many before and after photos of other Artspace projects across the company were shown, bringing oohs and ahs from the crowd.

Artspace’s purpose in each community they have worked in, and in Ottumwa in particular, is to assess the art uses of the building, collect information on the city and the art community and then write a summary of recommendations for the next steps in the process.

Once the gathering was opened up to public comment and questions, the ideas started flowing. All ages groups were represented, and mention was made of studio space to record and produce music, giving the overlooked talent in the area a place to launch from. Others talked about computer technology space, a place for the high school’s popular show choir to host competitions and multiple options for both film and live theater.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0422 Eagle photo On a wing and a prayer

    LAKE RED ROCK — Protective gloves aren’t uncommon when dealing with a sick patient, though they’re not usually heavy, leather welder’s gloves. But, then, the patient usually doesn’t have toenails designed to puncture flesh. Or a sharp beak. Diane Mas

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420 OTT Gothic house easter web-color photo American Gothic House celebrates Easter weekend Kids participate in an egg roll competition Saturday on the American Gothic House lawn in Eldon. Families were invited to come and participate in Easter-themed events and make crafts. They also had the opportunity to dress up and pose in front of the

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0422 OTT Egg hunt color photo -L On a roll this Easter ELDON — If you pulled up to the American Gothic House Center Saturday afternoon at moments before 1 p.m., you probably had to park halfway down the road. Cars filled the parking lot and spilled out onto the street as parents and kids from all over so

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

Photo reprints