Inside Iowa State
October 8, 1999

Center program reaches out

by Anne Krapfl
A new outreach program at the Iowa State Center is intended to extend fine arts performances beyond the walls of Stephens Auditorium and into central Iowa classrooms.

The inaugural year of the Martha-Ellen Tye Performing Arts Institute opened this week with a half dozen mini-concerts and lecture demonstrations by Japanese marimbist Makoto Nakura. Visits to care centers and rural Story County elementary schools were associated with Nakura’s public concert Thursday evening in the Tye recital hall.

The second in the Tye institute series features a lecture demonstration for high school students Monday morning (Oct. 11) by the Hubbard Street Dance Company, following its Sunday evening performance in Stephens. And, on Oct. 20, principal players from the National Symphony Orchestra will conduct master classes for university music students. The orchestra performs at Stephens Oct. 19. The series continues spring semester with opera auditions, matinee performances by the Omaha Theater for Young Children, and elementary school performances by the AMAN folk ensemble.

The Tye institute is funded by a $500,000 endowment that was part of a $1.1 million gift to Iowa State. Tye’s gift also funded performing arts scholarships and new sound and lighting systems in the music building auditorium that carries her name. The Marshalltown woman died in May 1998.

Paul Ferrone, who is in charge of performing arts programming for the Iowa State Center, said the Tye institute allies closely with Iowa State’s land-grant mission of outreach.

"We’re really pleased to have this opportunity to take what we do beyond the confines of the university," he said. "This clearly and convincingly falls under that outreach mission."

The goal of the series, he said is to encourage creativity in students — at all levels — through exposure to the performing arts. In some cases, that exposure includes personal interaction with artists in master classes, workshops, discussions and clinics. The institute also is intended to provide actual performance and education opportunities for young performers.

"We know that people exposed to the arts at an early age tend to attend more events as they get older," Ferrone said. "We also know the arts have a positive impact on their personal development."

Ferrone said his intent is that the Tye institute will contain the mix of music, dance and theater achieved in a season at the Iowa State Center. Providing opportunities to students of various ages, from pre-school through college, also is part of the plan for the institute.

Iowa State homepage

Inside Iowa State,, University
RelationsCopyright © 1999, Iowa State University, all rights reserved


Revised 10/6/99