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Free Kids Music and Puppet Show by Balderdash Ditty – Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Continuing a series of monthly kids puppet shows, Balderdash Ditty will be performing FREE for kids on Saturday January 21st, there will be 2 shows: 10:30am and 11:30am in the Uptown Theatre.  Come join the fun!

The shows will feature performances by Balderdash Ditty, which is composed of Mount Vernon residents Dale Beeks, Kim Benesh, Braden Rood and Emily Beeks.

The presentation will be interactive, based on a theme, with music and puppets for children accompanied by an adult.

This series of shows are performed on the third Saturday of each month through April. There will be two performances each day, at 10:30 and 11:30 am.

Dates of upcoming shows are Dec. 17, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18, and April 15.

Balderdash Ditty Facebook Page


This show is brought to you by:


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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market is OPEN Saturday, December 31st, 2017

picture of one of the stalls at the winter farmer's market

We all hope that you have been having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday!  Just a quick note to remind you that the Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market will resume its normal schedule on the 31st.

So come on out of hibernation long enough to stop by the gymnasium this Saturday the 31st of December, 2017 from 10am – 12pm!


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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

Free Kids Music and Puppet Show by Balderdash Ditty – Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Kicking off a series of monthly kids puppet shows, Balderdash Ditty will be performing FREE for kids on Saturday December 17th, there will be 2 shows: 10:30am and 11:30am in the Uptown Theatre.  Come join the fun!

The shows will feature performances by Balderdash Ditty, which is composed of Mount Vernon residents Dale Beeks, Kim Benesh, Braden Rood and Emily Beeks.

The presentation will be interactive, based on a theme, with music and puppets for children accompanied by an adult.

This series of shows will be performed on the third Saturday of each month through April. There will be two performances each day, at 10:30 and 11:30 am.

Dates of upcoming shows are Dec. 17, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18, and April 15.

Balderdash Ditty Facebook Page


This show is brought to you by:


Get the Latest News!

Get the First Street Community Center News in your Inbox.


For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

Magical Night 2016 – Our Holiday Celebration

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The holidays are quickly approaching, and the First Street Community Center with the Old School Shops in Mount Vernon are already decking the halls for the city’s Magical Night celebration Thursday, December 1st, 2016.

Magical Night festivities will begin at the First Street Community Center – at 5:00 pm Santa will “flip the switch” to light up the historic building.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the First Street Community Center, owned by Rick and Trude Elliott of Mount Vernon. The building was originally the town’s high school, then its middle school. Now it is home to more than 12 local businesses and the First Street Community Center amenities which include a gymnasium, theater and meeting spaces, are available for the public to rent.

Schedule of Activities at the First Street Community Center:

5:00 pm
Help Santa light up the First Street Community Center building

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Cookie Decorating, sponsored by Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Business Open House, visit local businesses, enjoy live music, snacks and begin your holiday shopping

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Arts Fest – “Snowflake Chandelier” presented by Stan Crocker & Mount Vernon Schools

6:30, 7:00 and 7:30 pm:
“Holiday Tidings” from Dance Arts Iowa @ Uptown Theatre

For more information:
Contact Trude Elliott about Magical Night activities at the First Street Community Center via phone at: (319) 558-9202 or email at: trudejoelliott@aol.com


Did you know this?

Magical Night activities will take place throughout uptown Mount Vernon.
Go to www.VisitMVL.com for a complete list of events.


Nutcracker Photo by ginnylgorman


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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

Eddie Piccard – Music of New Orleans and All That Jazz

Eddie Piccard will once again be serving up “All That Jazz” at the First Street Community Center on Saturday November 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Eddie Piccard Jazz Quartet

For each Mount Vernon appearance Eddie offers a special highlight, and this year’s performance will offer Music of New Orleans.

“My first instrument was a trombone,” Piccard said. “And one of my heroes is the Texas trombone player, Jack Teagarden. It is always a kick to play piano with Dixie groups. The contrapuntal effects of group improvisation add excitement to the music.”

The first part of this year’s program will feature the Eddie Piccard Quintet. This group plays hot traditional favorites and cool Shearing melodies, as well as warm Latin tunes. Eddie will be on piano and vocals, Craig Dove on bass, Jon Wilson on drums, Rich Martin on vibes, and Dave Richter on guitar.

For the Dixieland part of the program the quintet will be joined by the Busch Brothers – Marty on trombone, Larry on trumpet, and Luke on clarinet.

“We really like playing for the audience at the Community Center,” Eddie said. “And this group will have a swinging, toe-tapping sound that people will really enjoy.”

Eddie Piccard grew up in eastern Iowa, and began playing music at an early age. He left for larger venues in Chicago, Florida and on the west coast. But he came back to Iowa in the 1980s and has become a jazz icon in eastern Iowa. People still talk about the jazz club he and his wife Dallis opened on Mount Vernon Road in the 1990s. Patrons remember a sophisticated spot that offered unforgettable nights of music. Eddie now plays regularly in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area, as well as in the Chicago area and the Twin Cities.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Bauman’s Clothing Store or at the performance.  You can call (319) 895-8692 for more information.

As with most performances at the First Street Community Center, patrons are welcome to bring a favorite beverage and purchase a Community Center cup.


Performers

Eddie Piccard has been a professional musician and a jazz artist since he left college. Before coming home to Cedar Rapids, he had extensive experience in the jazz world playing in Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, and San Francisco, sometimes opposite such musicians as George Shearing and Ramsey Lewis. As Piccard fans know, Eddie both plays and sings in a wide variety of styles.

Jon Wilson, talented musician and percussion educator, has performed and recorded with many original bands including Jake Kaligis and Driver. A much sought-after drummer since moving to Cedar Rapids in 2000, he has continued to work in several musical genres and plays regularly with Eddie Piccard.

Craig Dove plays piano, upright and electric bass, guitar and is an accomplished vocalist. He has performed throughout the U.S. and in London. He has recorded solo and with a variety of musicians. Craig is also the Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids.

Rich Martin got his first taste of jazz as a boy hearing Gene Krupa in Sing, Sing, Sing.  He grew up surrounded by music and was able to see some of the greatest performers of the time, who remain his idols. Rich has been known to levitate when a tune starts to swing.

Dave Richter comes from Dubuque to perform in All That Jazz. He is well-known in northeast Iowa as an accomplished guitarist, bassist, and banjo player. He performs in Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area.

Larry Busch is a veteran of the Guy Lombardo, Wayne King, and the Al Pierson Orchestras.  He has been leading his own big band for many years and is currently the leader of the Dixieland Allstars.

Marty Busch, a trombonist, has toured with Al Cobine, Johnny Mathis, Dick Jurgens, The American Vintage Orchestra, and the Larry Busch Big Band.

Luke  Busch has played with the Dixieland Allstars, the Mad City Funk, and his own SKA band.


This concert is made possible by:
Burke Investments – Fred Burke

And the following investors in the arts:

  • Jerry Kaalberg
  • Bauman and Company
  • David Osterberg
  • Kay Johansen
  • Steward Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services
  • Neal’s Water Conditioning Services, Inc.
  • Cornell College
  • Koppenhaver & Associates, PC
  • Central Appraisal-Andy Wolfe
  • Iowa Physical Therapy PC
  • The Sun Newspaper

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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

The 2nd Annual Mount Vernon ART WALK – November 5th, 2016

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The 2nd Annual Mount Vernon Art Walk will be Saturday, November 5th from 11am-4pm.

There will be Art Stops along 3 blocks — all are on or just off of main street — watch for the red balloons. Each Art Stop will offer refreshments, have a special exhibit, or offer something fun and arty.

The walk is setup so that you can park once, then start at either the East or West end of 1st Street. You can start at any location and visit the art stops in any order.  There is free parking and free admission.

Enjoy complimentary light refreshments along the way.  You might even be tempted to treat yourself to the shortbread at First Brick, the coffee & home-baked goodies at Fuel, and lunch at Palisades Cafe and Skillet Cafe.

The shops participating are:

  1. First Brick Art Gallery – 224 First St SW
  2. Ben & Flo’s – 224 First St SW
  3. One Tree Wood – Under Lincoln Wine Bar on 2nd Ave
  4. Palisades Cafe – Optional Lunch Stop (11-2) 117 First St NW
  5. Iron Leaf Press – 102 First St SW
  6. Liberty Iron Works – 117 First Ave NW
  7. Skillet Cafe – Optional Lunch Stop (11-2) 101 First St NE
  8. Fuel…Art & Espresso – 103 First St NE
  9. The Twig & Fairy Room – Old School Shops 221 First St NE
  10. East End Art – Old School Shops 221 First St NE

Call or Text for more information: (319) 535 – 0828


Organized by:

East End Art Logo 200w

First Friday Art Reception for Denise Murphy

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Please join East End Art for our First Friday Art Reception for Denise Murphy on Friday, November 4th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Library (adjacent to the gallery) in the First Street Community Center.

Light refreshment served, for this casual (come as you are) meetup. The public is welcome. Come and meet Denise, she has a great collection of her current project “365 Series.” All exhibit items are available to purchase.

Denise Murphy lives in Mount Vernon, Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics. As the VP of the Mount Area Arts Council she has been focused on children’s art education and strategic planning. She chaired the LHAF in 2015 and 2016 and is planning on it again in 2017.

Denise’s Alcohol Inks paintings have been displayed most recently at the University of Iowa Pappa John BioMedical Center, LHAF 2015, Palisades Café and currently at East End Arts gallery in Mount Vernon, Iowa and the Art Cellar in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Denise and her husband Robert also host the Portrayal of Mount Vernon show which will be on display at the Palisades Café’ Dec 13- Jan 29th, 2017.

Her most recent project is to create an Alcohol Inks Painting everyday of 2016, titled the “365 Series”. It’s on track so far…

She also works at ACT in Iowa City, Iowa.


East End Art Logo 600wEast End Art Gallery hosts a featured gallery artist and a reception every first Friday of each month in the First Street Community Center’s Library meeting space.

The artist will be available to visit with.  The exhibit will stay up for the rest of the month, until the next reception.

We invite the public to join us, no reservation, or fees and dress casual… just come!

We hope you can join us for this special event!


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Get the First Street Community Center News in your Inbox.


For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

First Friday Art Reception for Sri Rao

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Please join East End Art for our First Friday Art Reception for Sri Rao on Friday, October 7th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Light refreshments and wine served for this casual event. Come meet Sri and see her exhibit of beautiful Iowa landscapes as well as her new collection of jewelry.

Reception is held in the Library (next to the gallery) at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon.

“The idea of beauty is the fundamental idea of everything. In the world we see only distortions of the fundamental idea, but art, by imagination, may lift itself to the height of this idea. Art is therefore akin to creation – Leo Tolstoy

Sri describes her process below:

Brilliant colors enhance the feeling of happiness, joy and appreciation of beauty in life. I have constantly experimented with various mediums to learn and enjoy the different combinations of what can be created. I am inspired by Colors and Composition. Beauty is the inspiration for my work and floral compositions interest me at the moment.

The process of painting is something I enjoy and the reason why I paint. I continuously search for inspirations that make it hard not to jump into my studio to paint. The process involves preparing the surface and sketching an outline to guide my painting. I pour colors, wipe, spray and layer them to create depth. During this process, I get transformed into a whole new world – my world of quietness and focus. The process is at the same time intense as I am making many decisions and feeling deep emotions.

Once the process is complete, my heart fills with joy and there is a sense of great satisfaction. I am working on exploring more of this creative process and hope to create and share the joy with you.”

– Sri Rao


East End Art Logo 600wEast End Art Gallery hosts a featured gallery artist and a reception every first Friday of each month in the First Street Community Center’s Library meeting space.

The artist will be available to visit with.  The exhibit will stay up for the rest of the month, until the next reception.

We invite the public to join us, no reservation, or fees and dress casual… just come!

We hope you can join us for this special event!